Lowering output humbucker to match split coil using resistor?

Bonjocaster

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Greetings. I would like to split coil a hot humbucker (4 wires), but I would not want a drop in volume when splitting it (as a single pickup). I would like to lower the output of the humbucker, as it is too hot for my taste, anyway, to somehow match it when split. Is this doable using a resistor between the humbucker's hot wire and the pot? What value should it have? And how about the pot to suit both the humbucker and split coil modes?
Thankyou
 

LOSTVENTURE

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I think that there are electronic/magnetic relationships that have to be maintained in order to get a realistic single coil sound. I have trouble seeing how just adding an impedance factor would get you the sound you're looking for.
 

hopdybob

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option 1 :if you have multiple wires why not parallel option?
option 2 you can even use a pot to gradual engage the second coil when split
 

Boreas

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I have been down the road you are embarking on and I wouldn't go down it again. The bottom line is, splitting the HB results in the most anemic SC you have ever heard. The other issue is that when you split the HB, the output is essentially halved when split, so you lose volume. So you end up having to find a compromise solution to the two different output levels. Yes, it works, but I doubt you will be happy with the pseudo SC tone and will end up rarely using it.
 

moosie

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Have a read. Maybe first try it with just the resistor, then try it with both cap and resistor. I prefer both.

The initial theory paragraphs should be of use to you. But for the wiring, skip my test harnesses, which were only ever really of interest to me, and look at post #17.

Screen Shot 2022-03-28 at 05.12.46 PM.png
 
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Bonjocaster

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option 1 :if you have multiple wires why not parallel option?
option 2 you can even use a pot to gradual engage the second coil when split
Thanks for your answer. Parallel wiring will lower the volume even more than splitting, as far as I know. The pot thing is an interesting idea, but it will end up having the same volume difference when fully split.
What I would like is to add some sort of electric "device" (resistor or so...) to lower the output of the pickup un humbucker mode, that is too hot anyway. Anyone knows if there is such a thing?
Thank you all for your answers, nevertheless!!!
 

Bonjocaster

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I have been down the road you are embarking on and I wouldn't go down it again. The bottom line is, splitting the HB results in the most anemic SC you have ever heard. The other issue is that when you split the HB, the output is essentially halved when split, so you lose volume. So you end up having to find a compromise solution to the two different output levels. Yes, it works, but I doubt you will be happy with the pseudo SC tone and will end up rarely using it.
Thanks.
You are probably right, but I'd like to give It a try. I got a very hot humbucker for my Esquire type guitar with the thought of getting a strong single sound when split, but adding "something" (resistor or something that sends more signal to ground or something of that sort) that would lower the output when in humbucker mode, thus balancing the volume between the two modes. I'll keep on searching.
 

Bonjocaster

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Have a read. Maybe first try it with just the resistor, then try it with both cap and resistor. I prefer both.

The initial theory paragraphs should be of use to you. But for the wiring, skip my test harnesses, which were only ever really of interest to me, and look at post #17.

View attachment 967211
Thankyou!
I will investigate more about this!!!
👍🏻
 

hamerfan

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Have a read. Maybe first try it with just the resistor, then try it with both cap and resistor. I prefer both.

The initial theory paragraphs should be of use to you. But for the wiring, skip my test harnesses, which were only ever really of interest to me, and look at post #17.

View attachment 967211
I don't get this schematic. How does that change between north and south coil?
The other thing is that the 6.2k resistor is much too high imo.
 

moosie

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I don't get this schematic. How does that change between north and south coil?
The other thing is that the 6.2k resistor is much too high imo.
You may want to wire it up and test for yourself before making decisions about the component values. All open to variation, of course. These are the values that worked best for me. If you read the entire thread linked, you'll see the other values I auditioned. Using only my ears, in my rig, of course.

It's not one diagram, it's two. The switch is not between coils, it's full vs split. The goal here was a better split tone, not a multi-split switcher. That's a different subject.

You would decide at build time to wire it one way or the other, to split north or south coil. Sure, you could design something to do both, but maybe see if you like this at all first.
 

hopdybob

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i have thought it over and what you want is that you have a 12 cylinder car engine that has to have the same max speed when you use only 6 cylinders.

the only way's you can solve this is in my humble opinion is
1 using a variable resistor that you adjust the volume in humbucker mode to the split volume level when the humbucker is in full mode. this together with a switch that engages the resistor in full humbucker and eliminates its influence when in splitmode.
2 using a boost with battery like the midboost in a clapton strat that engages when in splitmode
 

Bonjocaster

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Thank you for the tips.
I think you got right. The pickup is quite hot, too hot for my taste. The reason for it to be so hot is to avoid an anemic output in single coil mode. What I am trying to achieve is to lower the output when in humbucker mode by using some electronic device, so as to match the one when split coil. I look into your first suggestion. Cheers!
 

tubejockey

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If you don't like the sound of the humbucker, i would change the humbucker. Then you can go after a more usable single- coil tone in any way you like. I like to use a cap on the coil junction to ground to keep the bass intact. It also keeps about 80 percent of the volume.
I have seen schematics that use a 2:1 transformer to boost the volume when in split mode. Haven't tried it, but it should work.
 

philosofriend

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To cut down the output of the humbucker is not hard, but it will always change the tone. I have always found the changes to be for the worse.

Your idea of lowering the humbucker with a series resistor alone is a problem because you affect the tone much more than if you use two resistors. In using two resistors, you add another resistor to ground, either directly from the pickup lead or from after the series resistor. In theory it is better to connect the grounding resistor after the series resistor. What you have in that situation is just like another permanantly set volume control before the real volume pot. For the least tone loss, the grounding resistor should be two to ten times more resistance than the volume pot.

Whenever I tried to use just a series resistor it took a huge resistance and pretty much killed everything I liked about the sound of the pickup.

A problem with using two resistors is that suddenly you need a complex switch, and the ability too figure out how to wire it.
I agree with everything that Boreas and Tubejockey said. Instead of directly shorting out one coil of the humbucker to ground you put a capacitor in that grounding wire. You experiment with values. a bigger cap gives more bass and volume.

When I do these experiments I listen to the guitar directly into an all-tube amp and also with a clean solid state stompbox. The electrical characteristics of these two preamp types can change the effect of the passive gadgetry we like to add to the guitar.
I hope this helps. My goal is to end up with a guitar with all gutsy and versatile tones.
 

Robert H.

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I’m not a fan of split coil sounds - it’s a personal preference. But for me, I’d get a humbucker I like more - underwound with less bite.
 




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