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Best Humbucking pickups for coil spliting

Discussion in 'Just Pickups' started by GuitarsBuicks, Oct 20, 2020.

  1. GuitarsBuicks

    GuitarsBuicks Tele-Holic

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    I am getting into guitar building and I was thinking of doing a Big Apple Strat type of build. Those have a coil split thing going on. Originally they had Pearly Gates I believe. I like coil splitting, however I am not a fan of the tone drop that can happen. Thoughts?
     
  2. gregulator450

    gregulator450 Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Call me crazy, but one of the best coil-split tones I have ever heard was when I split coils on a Seymour Duncan Dimebucker. Not much of any volume drop, and it was a bright, super clean sounding single/split coil tone.

    Did the Big Apple strat by any chance have a Pearly Gates Plus? That pickup had a few more winds on it, and an A5 magnet instead of the normal A2. I believe the Plus was born in the Fender custom shop as a modified Pearly Gates but I could be wrong.
     
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  3. Peegoo

    Peegoo Poster Extraordinaire

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    No humbucker coil splits well enough to sound exactly like a Strat or a Tele; I attribute that to the magnetic pull of the inactive coil immediately next to the active coil. However, splitting a humbucker does provide enough of a tonal difference to make the guitar quite versatile.

    One pickup that does this extremely well is the Duncan P Rails model. It's a humbucker that splits to give you the choice of the tone of a Fender-style single coil or a P90.
     
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  4. SixStringSlinger

    SixStringSlinger Friend of Leo's

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    Lots of players find coil-split sounds good-enough-but-not-quite at best. Others may have good suggestions, but as an alternative I suggest you check out bass-cut controls like G&L's PTB and those on Reverend guitars. Basically the guitar would have one master treble-cut control (your typical tone control on a guitar) while another control would cut bass. In my experience, cutting the bass on a humbucker is more convincingly single-coily than a coil split. And, since it's a knob rather than a switch, you have more versatility on hand.

    Another option would be single coils with switching between parallel (your typical Strat set-up) and series (because humbuckers are two single coils wired in series). Again, not a perfect substitute, but it can hang.

    My American Deluxe Strat has parallel/series switching via an S1 switch, and I modded it for 1 master treble cut and one master bass cut. It's a versatile beast.
     
  5. Tuxedo Poly

    Tuxedo Poly Friend of Leo's

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    Seymour Duncan 59 Custom Hybrid. One coil from a Custom and one from a '59.
    Coils are 7kOhm Custom and 4kOhm '59. Split to the Custom coil gives a very acceptable Tele single coil sound.
     
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  6. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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  7. BB

    BB Poster Extraordinaire

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    Dave Plummer (Zhanglquin) rewound a bucker for me years ago that was the absolute best bucker I've used split. IIRC, he wound it with unbalanced coils.

    Also had a Steve Kersting Dualtone humbucker that was very good. Great bucker tone and great stratish tone.

    I'd love to try a P-Rail though.
     
  8. Blues Twanger

    Blues Twanger Tele-Afflicted

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    Akin to the second post and the Dimebucker, one of my old Jacksons had a TB-6 Distortion at the bridge that split well without tons of volume drop. I've also had a Players Series HH strat guitar with a generic 12k ceramic neck humbucker later a Dimarzio Norton in that spot. And again while not everyone's cup of tea the volume drop was less than I expected with both pickups.

    Long story short, in most cases you don't cut volume in half even if dc resistance is half by using only half the humbucker.
     
  9. MAXXFIELD

    MAXXFIELD Tele-Meister

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    The Epiphone nighthawk I had had GREAT coil splitting. Whatever pickups those are work great.
     
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  10. Deaf Eddie

    Deaf Eddie Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    You can "simulate" unbalanced coils by adjusting the height of the pole pieces (and the pickup height). If you are shunting to the slug coil, raise the pickup and screw the adjustable pole pieces down into the bobbin. Shunting to the screw coil, lower the pickup and raise the pole pieces up. That can make the shunt less of a gain drop.

    BTW, if you replace that Pearly Gates Plus, I'd be happy to take it off your hands!
     
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  11. EsquireBoy

    EsquireBoy Friend of Leo's

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    One thing you may want to consider is the trick PRS use in their guitar: resistors on the coil split switch in order to bleed less than half the coil to ground. On the McCarty I had, there were 2 resistors of different values, one for the neck PU, one for the bridge PU.
    [​IMG]
     
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  12. jvin248

    jvin248 Doctor of Teleocity

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    Probably hard to see in the picture but I have this Tele with a single bridge humbucker split to a 4-way switch.
    The pickup is lowered and the screw poles raised more than 1/8th inch.
    This gives the 'neck' side the volume drop to simulate a neck pickup
    The unequal bobbin strengths between 'neck' and 'bridge' bobbins to give Strat #2 Quack
    The strong single bridge coil for a Tele tone
    The series combo for a LP humbucker tone
    [​IMG]

    It's one pickup out of an ebay 2/$15 pickup set where the bridge is a hot 16kohms and the unused neck pickup was 8kohm (PAF style). They come as two wire pickups so I dismantled and added the extra wire outputs to give me control of all four connections. The pickups might run 2/$18 lately, unbranded so you need to look closely at the construction and place a bet.

    I like these pickups because they have half the internal capacitance of many of the popular pickup brands. Internal capacitance is the feature that gives you muddy machine wound tones some like to say "warm" or the brighter more articulate tones you get from boutique hand-scatter-wound pickups.

    .
     
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  13. 2HBStrat

    2HBStrat Tele-Afflicted

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    Yes, the Big Apple Strat, and the earliest Double Fat Strats have a Pearly Gates + lead pickup and a Duncan '59 neck pickup. I prefer the '59...

    Is that the same as a Duncan Distortion? That's what I have in my #1 and it's the best split HB that I've found so far...
     
  14. gregulator450

    gregulator450 Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    https://www.seymourduncan.com/single-product/dimebucker

    No, it's quite a bit different than a Duncan Distortion. I would imagine a Distortion would sound really good split. I know the DiMarzio Super Distortion, which I've heard is quite similar to the Duncan Distortion, sounds great in coil split.
     
  15. TX_Slinger

    TX_Slinger Tele-Meister

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    Listen to John Bohlinger's review of the Gibson SG Modern. Burstbucker Pro pickups. They use some a "resistor" as he calls it to limit output drop. He prob meant capacitor. Anyhow, it's almost as good as the P-Rails.
     
  16. Blues Twanger

    Blues Twanger Tele-Afflicted

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    The TB-6 is the trem spaced version of the SH-6 Distortion. both Duncans to clarify.
     
  17. Ringo

    Ringo Poster Extraordinaire

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    I had a set of Tom Anderson alnico humbuckers in a Blacktop Strat, they were great in single coil mode, and didn't lose much volume at all, also some of the G&L humbuckers are like that.

    You'll get a lot of recommendations, generally a lower output humbucker 7/8k when split is going to sound thin, IMO.

    Fralin makes the Unbucker where one coil is wound hotter , I've read that they sound good in single coil mode if wired to use the hotter coil.
     
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  18. littlebadboy

    littlebadboy Tele-Afflicted

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    Consider parallel than coil split. It has a better tone to my ears. Take a look at the DiMarzio D-Activator X.
     
  19. DeepDangler

    DeepDangler Tele-Meister

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    Duncan P-rails are great for splitting. They have 3 pickup sounds that are good. Not as much hair as a high output humbucker but it’s the only one I’ve played that sounds like a real single coil when split.
     
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  20. uriah1

    uriah1 Telefied Gold Supporter

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    fyi.. I have never heard a good coil split
    Maybe some are built for it..like a prail..but I dont know..
    IMHO
     
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