#2
Yeah you should hear a difference. It can be quite subtle, though, especially if you're a newer player.

it's a coil split rather than a tap (though a lot of manufacturers use either designation). basically that one only has one of the coils active, so you should have half of the output, and a thinner, brighter, more single-coil type of sound. the pickup won't be hum-cancelling in this mode.

series is regular humbucker wiring. both coils are active, so you get twice the output of the coil-split mode, and should be fatter-sounding too.

parallel is both coils active, but wired in parallel rather than series. this doesn't add the outputs of each coil together as series wiring does, so you get lower output, but still hum-cancelling.
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#3
I have Tri-Sound switching on an early-80s AR300. You can definitely hear the difference between the single coil and humbucker (series) choices, but the parallel will be a bit tougher to hear.