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Are independent coil taps really useful?

Discussion in 'Just Pickups' started by TX_Slinger, Jan 13, 2021 at 1:35 PM.

  1. TX_Slinger

    TX_Slinger Tele-Meister

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    My newest guitar has them but I haven't found a useful combo of one of them split with the other full HB. I'm getting ready to drop splittable HBs into another guitar and was planning on using one push/pull for both. Anyone find they use them independently?
     
  2. Frodebro

    Frodebro Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Both of my newer Paul Reed Smiths have independent coil splitting, and I do use this feature with them. I like the sounds I get from a neck humbucker and a split bridge with those particular guitars, but it really varies depending on the pickups as far as how useful it may be to someone. PRS doesn’t actually cut one of the coils, though, it is tapped so that it still contributes a bit to the sound and prevents a noticeable volume drop like you get with a typical coil cut.
     
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  3. Dan R

    Dan R Poster Extraordinaire

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    I've had coil splitters on two guitars. The guitars were good but I never found coil splitters useful. Something that mimics a single coil just does not sound like a single coil to me.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2021 at 2:40 PM
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  4. StrangerNY

    StrangerNY Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    My Trussart Steeltop has independent splitters with Arcane humbuckers. Every single combination delivers a different tone, all usable.

    Set up right, they cover miles of tonal ground.

    - D
     
  5. Tommy Biggs

    Tommy Biggs Friend of Leo's

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    Generally I just split the neck pickup, but mine are always both independently split.
     
  6. TX_Slinger

    TX_Slinger Tele-Meister

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    Putting in a Tonerider Birmingham set. Not sure how you describe them, bright PAF-ish but trying to retain the no load tone pot I have in there now, and my switch plate real estate is limited.
     
  7. DavidP

    DavidP Friend of Leo's

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    Consider a partial coil split... Just add a resistor to ground on the switch.
     
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  8. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I never cut a coil. I like parallel humbucking versus a single coil that is ‘split’ out of a humbucker. I have set a guitar up with a three-way mini-switch on a humbucker. That allows 9ne to have humbucker in series, single coil, and humbucker in parallel. Other than a lack of single coil hum when in parallel, I doubt if there are three guitarists out of 100 that could differentiate between the single coil and the parallel humbucker. But of course, that single coil hum is a dead giveaway, isn’t it....so the test is difficult to do. The difference is very subtle and cannot cause me to want to hear that single coil hum. Ommv..
     
  9. JL_LI

    JL_LI Friend of Leo's

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    I've played PRS guitars with split or tapped pickups. The volume drop on the older ones made for too much fiddling with controls. Even though I likes the sound from the newer ones, the tapped tones weren't the same. There may be an easier and cheaper way to get what you're looking for. An unexpected benefit from my BOSS EQ-200 equalizer is that I get that thinner, brighter single coil like sound from humbuckers by rolling off the lower frequencies. If the sound is too bright, I roll off the high frequencies too. Rolling off thins the sound. Boosting mids makes pickups sound hot or if they're single coil pickups, a little fuller and richer. I use my EQ-200 with all my electric guitars to get "my" sounds from them and it gives me that and more. I haven't looked at a PRS or Gibby with coil splits or taps since I got my EQ-200 a year ago.
     
  10. Ron C

    Ron C Tele-Meister

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    Couldn't agree more! I went from feeling like coil splits were useless to terrific once I started using partial splits. In my opinion, they're particularly good with a pickup that's a little darker and mid-heavy than I'd like at times. I use the partial split mode (with a resistor that's about 60%-80% of the DCR value of the pickup) as my base tone, and then switch to full humbucker mode as a kind of passive mid & volume boost.

    Lindy Fralin has a nice, simple description and diagram of the wiring.

    Oh - and about your original question...I don't find independent splits all that helpful over a single switch covering both pickups. Might depend on the pickups, though.
     
  11. Chiogtr4x

    Chiogtr4x Poster Extraordinaire

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    I just got an Epi SG with pretty nice sounding ( clear!) humbuckers and coil taps on both.

    Granted I do prefer the sound of the bridge coil tap in combination with the neck humbucker ( then I use either Volume knob to 'pan tonally' towards one way or the other...)
    But as someone who played a Tele for years in a Classic Country band, and still play a few in my band, and play some Grateful Dead ' country pickin' or funky tunes- I do like the bridge coil tap for some twang and bite- it's a thin, bright tone, but like the option.

    I LOVE this feature! ( especially for a Fender player, playing a 'Gibson' platform)
     
  12. Middleman

    Middleman Friend of Leo's

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    The only time I've really used one is on the wide range humbucker (or replacement humbucker in that guitar). I can drop back to single coil to get a standard neck sound out of a telecaster. I have not found it useful anywhere else.
     
  13. Alex_C

    Alex_C Tele-Meister

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    Not a huge fan of coil split. I've used it and found it to be 'meh'. I have it on three guitars but rarely use it.
     
  14. BCblues55

    BCblues55 Tele-Meister Gold Supporter

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    Personally, I get much more use from having a switch to go from HB series (normal) to HB parallel. The parallel tone is very similar to single coil, but there’s no hum and less of a volume drop. Easy to wire and easily reversed. YMMV
     
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  15. Norris Vulcan

    Norris Vulcan Tele-Afflicted

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    I use it all the time on my Yamaha SG2000 - its another sound for the palette.

    I do the exact opposite of this :lol: I split the Neck and keep HB Bridge. Split Neck on its own is good too, but I never use split Bridge - weak and wiry.
    TBH I'd probably be happy with a coil split on the neck only...
     
  16. Zepfan

    Zepfan Doctor of Teleocity Gold Supporter

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    I have 2 guitars with a single humbucker and they have coil splits. The pickups are wound a bit hotter than usual so it's like having a Strat single coil.

    I have a SG with SD PRails though and I love every combo from those pickups and the regular humbucking modes too.
     
  17. scooteraz

    scooteraz Friend of Leo's

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    I have a PRS Custom 22 with a three way switch and the tone pot has a push-pull for coil splitting. All 6 tones are useful there.

    I have a partscaster Strat with single coils with a coil tap. The tap is at about an early 60’s spot, and full wind is like P-90 winding. Again, that coil tap is useful. I have used other guitars where I was not so enamored with the coil taps.

    One of my HSS Strats is wired so position 2 is one coil from the humbucker and the middle. I’m not sure I like that better than the other HSS where that position is the full humbucker and the middle single coil.

    Depends on the guitar and your sensibilities.
     
  18. TX_Slinger

    TX_Slinger Tele-Meister

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    Thanks, I wasn't aware of this method. I might try it. Chose my pickups because every one if the samples I could find (the bad user ones and the Tonerider ones on YT lol) get what what I'm looking for. Very little perceived output drop. Now I have to break open my Schecter Fastback IIB to see if it utilizes this since mine sounds better split than Premier Guitar's and Schecter's demos. I would bet that's what Gibson is doing in the SG and LP Moderns but the circuit appears to be kind of obscured on a circuit board in every pic I could find. I had the sense to order two of the Mojotone CTS push pulls JIC...
     
  19. Antigua Tele

    Antigua Tele Friend of Leo's

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    Most of our preferences come from having listened to rock albums since we were kids, and most rock stars either played a Tele, a Strat, or some kind of Gibson, so a song is either a single coil song, or it's a humbucker song. For that reason, I find having one push pull to split both pickups more "usable" when I'm playing with others, it lets me think "single coil guitar" or "humbucker guitar". Having to mix and match is too much of a load if I'm trying to play my best, too. I often have to tweak the amp EQ for singles or humbuckers, it's easier if I'm going one way or the other.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2021 at 8:21 PM
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  20. Fiesta Red

    Fiesta Red Poster Extraordinaire

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    In my experience, they’re not that great...but I have a guitar with them.

    I just leave it in humbucking mode
     
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