I just had a long discussion with other guitarist friends, who were completely unaware of the fact. Worst: one of them was about to purchase a guitar with the wrong configuration, based on this misunderstanding. So, as a public utility post, let's get educated about the matter. Coil split Coil splitting applies to humbuckers. A humbucker is a pickup made of 2 single coils (2 magnets) with opposite polarity, which cancels the "hum" of a single coil. This also produces a higher output. When you split the coils, you effectively break the connection of 1 of the single coils, leaving only the other one in the circuit. So, coil splitting transforms your humbucker into a single coil. It's the most common configuration. Coil tap Coil tapping applies to single coils and humbuckers. It means to take the signal from somewhere within the coil wire (usually the mid-point), rather from the end of it. This way, you have your signal flowing through less windings of the coil wire. Since less windings mean less output, it's a way to tame a high output single coil, for example. Effectively, you shorten the coil wire. So, that's important: a coil tapped humbucker will not sound like a single coil. It will sound like humbucker with less output. You may want this or not.