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Coil Splitting the HB on a HSS Strat? Results?

LJD

Member
Messages
1,034
I'm getting ready to help a friend mod his HSS strat. Anyone coil splitting with that setup? What does the 2 position sound like full vs split?
 

TheFlyingBear

Member
Messages
875
I'd definitely split it. It gives more of a true strat quack, and it will be hum cancelling if the right coil is chosen.
 

cratz2

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
11,301
I've heard a few Duncan and Dimarzio HSS combos that sound great on the #2 position with the bridge split. I have two other guitars that have a #2 position with a split bridge that sound great. One is a Yamaha Pacifica PAC604 which is a mid-level guitar and one has the HSS Tex Mex set.

The Tex Mex set isn't my favorite set but they sound very decent and that #2 position sound exactly like it would on an SSS strat with Tex Mex pickups.

The Yamaha is a little unusual in that the bridge humbucker is literally two single coils next to each other. The bridge humbucker run full doesn't sound really great but definitely serviceable. I like to say it's an HSS strat for someone that really wants an SSS strat but occasionally wants to have a bridge humbucker tone.
 

vbf

Member
Messages
4,931
I have a stock HSS Strat and split the humbucker. It's a nice mod and offers more tonal options.
 

Lewguitar

Senior Member
Messages
5,663
Between the sound of the middle pickup combined with a split bridge humbucker or the bridge humbucker not split, I like it better not split.

But split, it'll sound a little more like a regular three single coil Strat.
 

buddastrat

Member
Messages
14,689
I hate them split, BUT have a strat with low output, mismatched singles that sounds very good, with the middle single. It's a very good notched tone and I think it's due to mismatched coils. which give the bucker a single coil kinda thing.

My new thing is a custom bucker wind, low output, mismatched coils with one coil wound to be a true vintage output. I'm going to wire for auto split so i have full bucker, and then notched with only the strong coil going and it's 6K ohm. Can't wait to check this out.
 

el supermanny

Member
Messages
569
It comes down to the output of the humbucker. A low output humbucker when split is very weak sounding and I don't think it sounds like a true strat in the #2 position. A medium to high output humbucker when split can get the "normal" single coil output and when blended in the #2 position it sounds just like a true Strat.

I have a George Lynch Screamin Demon in my Strat with some higher output "rock" wound single coils. The #2 position sounds like a true Strat. My favorite Strat humbucker!
 

stevel

Member
Messages
15,140
A little advice: The sound or "amount of quack" is adjustable! A Neck and Middle, on together, will sound different depending on the relative heights of the two pickups. Leave the neck alone and adjust the middle and you'll see what I mean - there's a point where you'll get maximum quack. Sometimes, when doing so though, one of the pups by itself may not be at it's optimum.

I used to adjust my guitars so the neck and bridge were balanced in volume, and had the tone I liked, then I'd adjust the middle to get as much quack in pos 2 and 4 as possible. This made the middle pup unusable by itself though.

My guitar now has a HB in the bridge that's set up to split when combined with the middle. It also bypasses the tone pots in that position. The middle is not RW/RP so combining it with the opposite coil in the bridge I have two humbucking positions (Bridge and Bridge/Middle). Again, I can make it as "spanky", "thin" "quacky" or whatever I want by adjusting the middle but right now I have it set up so that each pup - N, M, and B, sound like I want them by themselves. So I've sacrificed a bit of quack on N+M and M+B but both positions 2 and 4 now sound more similar to each other and to the individuals as a whole. I've really got 5 different tones, but a nice variety and "gradation" from mellow SC to mid-heavy HB and neat things in between.

I have another HSS with a split on the HB which sounds good on it's own, but not in combination with the Middle. I never used M+B on that guitar and went straight for the coil tap instead. I never really played with pup height like I should have in that guitar though, so there may be some possibilities I didn't explore.

In other words, dial in your tone with pickup height or a lot of the stuff most people do (pup swaps, pop value swaps, splitting, bypassing pots, etc.) aren't as effective as they could be - or even necessary!

Steve
 

hawes

Member
Messages
455
It depends on the pickup. Another vote here for splitting the sd screamin demon...good stuff!
 
Messages
1,371
I have a strat with Zhangbucker pickups and I used the Suhr HSS wiring method.

Zhangbucker winds his humbuckers with mismatched coils. This allows stronger output when using the higher winding coil when split. He writes on his website that this also allows more high frequencies from the pickup.

The Suhr wiring uses a super switch to allow the single coils to "see" 250k pots and the humbucker to "see" 500k.

I've been very happy with this setup!
 

vashuba

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,701
i have the fender big apple set up with pearly gates and 59 split in the 2&4 positions. i like it.
 

Lucidology

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
27,342
It comes down to the output of the humbucker. A low output humbucker when split is very weak sounding and I don't think it sounds like a true strat in the #2 position. A medium to high output humbucker when split can get the "normal" single coil output and when blended in the #2 position it sounds just like a true Strat.

I have a George Lynch Screamin Demon in my Strat with some higher output "rock" wound single coils. The #2 position sounds like a true Strat. My favorite Strat humbucker!
There's a lot of truth in your words here .. high output pickups often make for a better sounding split…

However a lot of folk don't realize that just simply removing pole pieces from one line of a hum-bucker with the turn of a screw will make for a very good sounding single coil hi-fi pup … & with NO HUM!!
 

smolder

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
14,492
I have a couple of three pickup guitars... both have split humbuckers in the middle position. One is an SG, the other an HHS strat. I find the coil split very useful for different types of rhythm work or for switching to full coil of a a quick boost, like for a short solo.
 

crhfish

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
1,577
To me the most important thing on an HSS is what you use for the vole control. The 500k is great for the humbucker but makes the singles sound harsh, the 250k is great for the singles but make the humbucker sound muddy. All of it depends on what kind of pickups you have but to answer your question there is nothing wrong with splitting the HB. With the right set if pickups it can sound pretty good.
 






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