Coil Split And Phase Switch ?

Discussion in 'Guitars' started by dbrian66, Oct 10, 2017.

  1. dbrian66

    dbrian66 Well-Known Member

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    Hello everyone!

    I just got a new project guitar yesterday. Its an Epi SG special. I want to try to do kind of a cross between an SG and a Fender Mustang. I am going to paint the body seafoam green with chrome hardware and white plastics. I think the neck is maple. If it is, I am going to take it all the way down to bare wood and seal it with tru oil so the neck and body together have a Fender look.

    For the electronics, I want to have the two humbuckers that I can split into single coils. That part I can figure out. But I also want to be able to put the pickups out of phase for that Mustang sound. I haven't tried to draw it out yet, but I can't picture it in my head.:( The guitar has two humbuckers, one vol, one tone, and a three way toggle switch. I have two push pull pots to use.

    Anyone ever do anything like this? Any ideas?
     
  2. tobijohn

    tobijohn The Great Enabler Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

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  3. dbrian66

    dbrian66 Well-Known Member

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  4. Manodano

    Manodano Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    That's a good wiring scheme.

    The SG is pretty thin, so make sure your push-pull pots fit in the cavity with the back cover on before you get it all wired up.
     
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  5. dbrian66

    dbrian66 Well-Known Member

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    Good point. I'll definitely check that early on. I hope they fit!

    And the schematic is great. That's a cool website. A lot of cool ideas on there.
     
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  6. Perfect Stranger

    Perfect Stranger Well-Known Member

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    just leaving your mama's bedroom!
    Just my humble opinion, but split coils are the biggest waste of time ever. I've never heard any
    that sound halfway decent....and they ALL cut volume drastically. But hey, you probably will
    have the first to buck that trend. Good luck!
     
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  7. tobijohn

    tobijohn The Great Enabler Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

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    I felt exactly the same way until @Buddha Pickups (based on a suggestion by @Mossman) made a set for an AL-3100MCC that has one of the coils wound thicker than the other and also included an additional "booster" magnet on that coil (I'm not sure if that's an accurate description of what he did but Tim can clarify). The drop off in volume is almost imperceptible and in single coil mode it sounds like something between a Strat and P90...
     
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  8. dbrian66

    dbrian66 Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, I have to talk to Tim about that. He made the pickups for my last project and they sound great.
     
  9. Mickey

    Mickey Gandalf the Intonationer

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    I couldn't possibly agree more Jim.
    I've always looked at coil splitting as something people do because they CAN
    not because it serves any useful purpose or anything.
    But it can be done so folks want to do it.
    Perhaps Tim can change all that, after all I've heard rumors that he can
    raise the dead, heal the sick, make the blind to see, etc. :)
     
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  10. Mossman

    Mossman Well-Known Member

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    I only know my speed
    I felt the same way about coil splitting too, but the thing you have to realize is that split coils need a little boost to sound their best. I use an EQ pedal with a 15db boost, and both my 3100MCC (w/ Tonerider A2s) and my Epi LP Custom Pro (w/ Pro-Buckers) sound great in split coil mode. I really dig combining split coil and full HB on the Agile.

    Does it sound like a Tele? Hells no... but it sounds good!

    The Toneriders sound good split even without any help. Just turn the volume and/or gain up, man! :)
     
  11. PsychoCid

    PsychoCid Well-Known Member

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    I will send you 5 bucks if you can figure out how to wire it up with a coil switch and a phase split, instead!
     
  12. golem

    golem Well-Known Member

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    I disagree with those here hating on the coil split.
    My 2008 PRS Mira sounds great split. The more recent coil splits that PRS offers which are hotter and take off only some winds from one coil are amazing (and quiet).

    The SD'59 in the neck of my Big Apple sounded good.The JB in my G&L Legacy Deluxe sounds good split, but benefits from a boost or OD pedal to bring it up to humbucker volume.

    Cool Rails sound amazing split. P-Rails also sound good split. Dimarzio Megadrive sounds cool split.

    The thing people have to keep in mind is that they are going to change the EQ and output of the pickup. If you are switching from humbuckers between songs or during songs you're going to want to account for that somehow and the easiest way is with EQ, Boost, or OD. If you don't do that, you probably aren't going to be happy with the split sounds.
     
  13. PsychoCid

    PsychoCid Well-Known Member

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    Wine only gets better with age if it was designed to do so.

    Split coils only sound good if the humbuckers have certain types of specs.

    I was also extremely displeased with all previous split setups until I got my Kramer Pacer Special, which allows selection of either coil or both. All options sound delicious.
     
  14. Buddha Pickups

    Buddha Pickups Well-Known Member

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    well, my day job is teaching people to walk again, so.... :)

    as far as the topic, Coil splitting loses a lot from cutting the magnet strength in half. In my opinion, the coil strength is important, but not as important as the magnet strength. Look at gretsch/tv jones pickups and the Trons I make, they aren't half as loud as an 8k humbucker cause they only read 4.5 to 5k. I feel the coil wind more effects the eq curve of the pickup vs it's output, it certainly has an impact, but I feel magnet strength is a bit more important.
    The split loses a lot cause you are only getting half of the bar magnet strength. I think like with Johns pickup set, you keep a lot of that strength if you can get another magnet in there, so when you split there is still a magnet on both sides of the screw/slug, then you end up somewhere near p90 territory.

    I wire all my teles with the tone as a push pull to do series/out of phase. If there was a humbucker in the neck, it would still be easily doable, just do a push pull on the volume pot to split the bucker.
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2017
  15. Manodano

    Manodano Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    I figure that the thing about coil splits is that the volume pot is inherently wrong for one of the settings.

    Since the humbucker function is usually the main attraction, most people use a 500 K volume pot.

    But when you split the coil, 500k is too high for good volume and tone from the single coil setting, which sounds best through a 250k pot.

    If you use a 250K pot, then the humbucker sounds dull.

    I'm not a huge fan of coil splitting, because both positions require different amp settings to be usable.
     
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  16. PsychoCid

    PsychoCid Well-Known Member

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    I don't remember where I found it but there does exist a double potentiometer with a 250k on top and a 500K on bottom with a push-pull to switch between, precisely so that you could coil split and match your output needs.
     
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  17. dabbler

    dabbler Well-Known Member Supporting Member+ Gold Supporting Member

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    I agree with most of the points made about splitting regular buckers. But I do find them useful with a boost. But best of all is a set of SD Prails in triple shot rings. You get real rail tone, real P90 tone and good bucker tone. The only negative, and it's a bit for me, is that the series tone (did I mention that triple shot rings allow you to have the pup be series or parallel) is quite dark. That's the only seeing I don't use, but the parallel is good fit what I do.
     
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  18. dbrian66

    dbrian66 Well-Known Member

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    I'd love to put p-rails in it. Unfortunately, they are a bit pricey to be putting in a $65 guitar. :)

    If I get this put together and it blows me away with the way it plays, maybe I will consider putting some money into the pickups. For now, it's just a fun/learning project.
     
  19. dabbler

    dabbler Well-Known Member Supporting Member+ Gold Supporting Member

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    So what, I put a pair in a $100 guitar! It was an experiment to see if the pups really make that much of a difference in tone... they do. I probably should mention that both of my LP copies were b-stocks and one was even an alder body with a bolt-on neck. That one does better single coil tones, but I love them both.

    So the lesson I learned is: If the wood is good and the strings are good you can make it a player
     
  20. PsychoCid

    PsychoCid Well-Known Member

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    Yeah it seems to me that a low-cost guitar is the ideal platform in which to install expensive pickups. You saved money on the guitar so you could spend it on the bigger parts that influence the sound, right?
     

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