Coil tapping vs splitting.

Discussion in 'Tele-Technical' started by jimilee, Aug 17, 2019.

  1. jimilee

    jimilee Tele-Afflicted

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    Now as I understand it, coil tapping and coil splitting are 2 different things, yet used interchangeably. I had a Les Paul that had coil tapping which, from what I read, is when you are reducing the resistance I guess. It’s making a humbucker less powerful sounding. Coil splitting on the other hand is splitting 2 into one. I sold some coil tapping pickups on eBay that I ultimately had to refund because his “luthier” said that the pickup wasn’t working properly.
    Am I way off on this subject matter?


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  2. Verne Bunsen

    Verne Bunsen Tele-Afflicted

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    They are two different things and should not be used interchangably! A coil tap is generally found on single coil pickups and means there are more than one “hot” lead, taken from different locations in the coil for different output/tone. One will be less wraps/resistance, the other one will be more. A coil split means eliminating one coil of a humbucker.
     
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  3. Frodebro

    Frodebro Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Coil tapping and coil splitting are indeed two separate things entirely. Most people use "coil tapping" when they are referring to cutting off one coil of a humbucker, and though everybody knows wheat they mean, it is still technically incorrect. "Tapping" a coil refers to a single coil with two leads in the winding, one at the end of the full winding and one 'tapped' in someplace in the middle. The tapped lead will result in a lower output and slightly different tonality than the lead at the end of the full winding.
     
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  4. chris m.

    chris m. Poster Extraordinaire

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    With humbuckers the typical options are coil split and parallel. With coil split you ground out one coil. With parallel you run the humbucker’s two coils in parallel rather than in series. Both options produce a thinner, brighter tone. I like parallel because it still bucks hum. With coil splitting the single coil produces 60hz single coil hum.
     
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  5. JD0x0

    JD0x0 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Split = Removes a coil (usually wired in RWRP for humbucking with both coils)
    Tap = Using less of a coil
     
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  6. littlebadboy

    littlebadboy Tele-Afflicted

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    Yes sir, they are different things. Tap is literally a tap halfway through the winding making the humbucker "weaker" while split is using one of the 2 coils of a humbucker.
     
  7. moosie

    moosie Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    What everyone else said.

    But... your mention of the Les Paul is interesting. I had a 2012 LP Standard that had 'coil tapped' humbuckers. I think they said 'tap'. They were trying to improve on the problem where you lose output when switching from full humbucker, to just one coil of the humbucker (split).

    What they did was add a lead (a 'tap') in between the two internal coils, and run it to ground. Now normally that's the recipe for a coil split. But in this case, they put a .01uf (I think) capacitor in that location. This caused the highs from one of the coils to be shunted to ground, but the full low end retained. So it still had the 'beef' like a humbucker (and it still bucked hum, mostly), but it had a faux-single-coil, woody kind of sound.

    I've done that in the past with the series position on a Telecaster. Pair of single coils, in series, is much like a 'spread out' humbucker. So, add the capacitor 'tap' (I called it a Fat Tap), and you get a more open-sounding series mode. Since the cap attaches between the coils, I'd put it on a three-way switch. Middle did nothing, no cap. Each of the other two positions ran the cap alternately to ground, and to hot. This would make the fat tap affect either the neck, or the bridge pickup, for another sound.
     
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