Whats the difference between pickups in series vs. parallel?

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by jessecoffee, Dec 26, 2008.

  1. jessecoffee

    jessecoffee TDPRI Member

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    I'm new to the 4-way switch thing, and curious as to what the difference is.
     
  2. Ricky D.

    Ricky D. Doctor of Teleocity

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    The parallel combination is the customary arrangement for pickups combined, so you're already familiar with that. In comparison, the pickups combined in series have higher output and a somewhat fatter sound. The sound still resembles the parallel tone. It's a very useable distinct additional sound.
     
  3. mellecaster

    mellecaster Former Member

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    Not a Huge deal if you're going thru a lot of Pedals and such...but works well for that little extra, needed to push a Tube Amp into natural Distortion..a very useful Mod IMO
     
  4. tdowns

    tdowns Former Member

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    The reason for the tonal change is due to the inductance of the pickup. The guitar circuit has an electrical resonance between the inductance of the pickup and the sum capacitance of the tone network, cable, and amplifier capacitance. Raising either the capacitance or the inductance will lower the resonant frequency of the guitar circuit. If you have two pickups of identical inductance, and they are wired in parallel, the total inductance will be halfed. This makes the resonance a higher frequency. If the pickups are wired in series, the inductance is doubled. This lowers the resonant frequency. Wiring the bridge and neck pickup in series results in a fatter/bassier tone than wired in parallel.

    That's one of the reasons a humbucker is more bassy, because it has two coils in series.
     
  5. jessecoffee

    jessecoffee TDPRI Member

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    Thanks so much! That helps me a lot. I had already decided to do the mod, but I was curious about the technical aspect of it.
     
  6. DMace

    DMace Friend of Leo's

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    that was a great little education. Thanks. Love this forum.
     
  7. shades

    shades Tele-Afflicted

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    Amen, preach it Brother Downs. Well said.
    +1 on the much fuller,fatter sound.
    The four way switch mod is well worth it.

    :cool:
     
  8. 777Brad

    777Brad Tele-Meister

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    Phew! I have a lot to learn, apparently.

    Nice description! I now need to learn about all those electrical terms.

    I do know that 'series' is thicker & more humbucker like. I learned that about my brand new Baja :D!
     
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