Out of Phase Phat Cats

Zepfan

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Looking at SD's website, they only show 2 volumes instead of 1. I would try this wiring scematic.
 

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chris m.

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Did the hum cancel out even though it sounded weak and out of phase? I think it would also be good to try reversing the wires on one pickup and see what happens then.
 

Stingfan73

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My understanding is this: the two pickups will sound out of phase unless they are reverse wind / reverse polarity or have the same wind / same polarity. Only the RW/RP will be hum cancelling, but neither combo will sound out of phase. Your pickups must have the same wind /same polarity, Stringfan.
Yes, my pickups do indeed have the same polarity. Also, the impedance seems to be different foe each pickup so that tells me that I didn't get two neck pickups, or two bridge pickups. They are to the best of my knowledge, different pickups. I'm not super-annoyed about the middle position not being RWRP, except that if true, I paid for something I didn't get, and there would occasionally be times where the noise canceling might be a plus.... but that assumes I stick in middle position the whole time to take advantage of it, and I tend to be one of those people who tries to pull a lot of diverse sounds out of the guitar instead of just sticking with one, and that inevitably involves uses of the solo neck pickup and solo bridge pickup. It's a minor thing, but clearly, has created a lot of confusion. And this is not the only place where the confusion has manifested. Even on Youtube video demos I did, someone asked me about this.

The guitar tech who installed the pickups had been doing all kinds of guitar mods and work, professionally (as his main job) for more than 30 years, and I have no reason to think he mis-installed the pickups, as they work and sound as they should (minus the middle position hum canceling factor), but I can admit he could have made a mistake, but again... everything works as it should. I really don't know how everything but the RWRP aspect in middle position could work correctly, unless neither pickup was spec-ed with that feature to begin with, do you??? I'd love to know how, if so. And I mean to ask that of all who see this, and not specifically you.
 

bendercaster

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Stringfan, that is what I am trying to figure out too. From the diagrams I have seen, it appears to be wired correctly. Everything else works correctly on this guitar too--the pickups sound fine by themselves and the volume and tone pot each work as they should. Knowing that the pickups are reverse polarity, is there anything other than the direction they are wound that could be causing them to sound out of phase?
 

Stingfan73

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For whatever it's worth, I just today demoed a brand-new Epiphone Ltd Edition Inspired 1955 Les Paul Custom, which has two Gibson USA Soapbar P-90s. I used a Fender Hot Rod Deluxe with that guitar, and used both clean and drive channels. That guitar DID NOT have RWRP, or hum-canceling in the middle position. I also have three SS Telecasters, and none of them have that RWRP feature either, with their stock pickups. Two are MIM, and one is an Am Std.

Anyway... for whatever it's worth... I do love the SPH90 Phat Cat. It totally transformed my Dot to a very useful tone machine in all positions, and sometimes is the perfect guitar for the occasion when the humbuckers are a bit to thick, and the single coils (Fender) is a bit too thin. It has it's own sound. I can use it for Jazz, or rock, or country, or whatever.
 

Stingfan73

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Stringfan, that is what I am trying to figure out too. From the diagrams I have seen, it appears to be wired correctly. Everything else works correctly on this guitar too--the pickups sound fine by themselves and the volume and tone pot each work as they should. Knowing that the pickups are reverse polarity, is there anything other than the direction they are wound that could be causing them to sound out of phase?
I had one SH Tele (Single coil bridge, Humbucker neck) that was a partscaster I bought finished. The out-of-phase middle position sound drove me crazy, and was less than useless to me. I never did understand why exactly the problem occurred, except guitar tech in this particular case flipped the magnet in the humbucker, and somehow between that and whatever wiring change might have occurred, the out-of-phase problem went away.

I'm no electronics or even pickup genius, but my sense of it, is that if the magnet is flipped on one of the pickups, the out-of-phase sound should go away. Yes, there may be a contributing wiring factor that is confusing, but at it's core, this is an issue regarding a magnet. Some may surely know better than I.
 

Stingfan73

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Stringfan, that is what I am trying to figure out too. From the diagrams I have seen, it appears to be wired correctly. Everything else works correctly on this guitar too--the pickups sound fine by themselves and the volume and tone pot each work as they should. Knowing that the pickups are reverse polarity, is there anything other than the direction they are wound that could be causing them to sound out of phase?
Nice profile picture, Garth.
 

bendercaster

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Did the hum cancel out even though it sounded weak and out of phase? I think it would also be good to try reversing the wires on one pickup and see what happens then.
It is hard to tell if the hum canceled out. The pickups don't have much hum to begin with, and when in the middle position, the volume is so much lower that it is hard to tell if the hum is being canceled out. We're going to try to switch the hot and braided ground next week and see what happens.

Since this was originally wired with humbuckers, do you think there is anything in the circuit that could be causing this out of phase sound?
 

john_t

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Resurrecting this old thread, since I had the same exact issue with a brand new set of phat cats. After spending a lot of time (and $) with new wiring harnesses, etc. it turns out the problem was the brand new set of pickups being out of phase. These come with vintage braided wires - you can’t swap hot and ground. My pickups were already opposite polarity, so I assume that they were not reverse wound as they should have been. SD is offering to repair/replace, so I sent them the pickups and I’m waiting for a new set. Just expanding the thread in case others are tearing their hair out trying to figure out why brand new pickups sound like crap in the middle position.
 

hamerfan

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Just in case i sound like a brocken record: RWRP means reverse WIRED reverse poled. That means you have to swap the leads inside the pickup.
Reason: pickups bobbins are all wound in one direction and reverse wired to the braided lead.
 

bendercaster

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I realize I never followed up on this. They were indeed out of phase. SD sent my friend a new set and we installed them without issue. Nice sounding pickups.
 

john_t

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Just in case i sound like a brocken record: RWRP means reverse WIRED reverse poled. That means you have to swap the leads inside the pickup.
Reason: pickups bobbins are all wound in one direction and reverse wired to the braided lead.
I believe it indeed means reverse-wound and the hot and ground wiring are also reversed. It could be clockwise or counter-clockwise wound. At least that's what Fralin Pickups, Sweetwater, and other RWRP resource pages say.
 




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