Splitting a Humbucker vs wiring in Parallel

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by Macaroni, Feb 15, 2008.


  1. Macaroni

    Macaroni Member

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    I've got a Les Paul with Lollar Imperials, and like many others, I've got push/pull pots to switch each pickup into single coil mode. They sound great split, but of course, there's some noise.

    I recently learned about wiring a humbucker with the coils in parallel, vs just splitting the coils to get single coil tones. Apparently it still sounds like a single coil, but is noiseless. I've heard about wiring them out of phase, but I think this is different.

    Any comments or experiences?
     
  2. GuitslingerTim

    GuitslingerTim Member

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    Running the coils of a humbucker in parallel mode will provide a brighter, cleaner tone, without any noise, but it will not be the same sound as a single coil, or a humbucker than has a coil tapped/grounded.
     
  3. RvChevron

    RvChevron Member

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    The output/volume would be lower with parallel wiring.

    The tone is not really the same especially on the wound strings. In single mode the attack is more defined and sharper.

    Since you have a push/pull, why not try wiring it for either parallel or single so you can hear the immediate difference and then decide.
     
  4. Macaroni

    Macaroni Member

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    Good idea RV.

    Thanks guys!
     
  5. Jon Silberman

    Jon Silberman 10Q Jerry & Dickey Gold Supporting Member

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    FWIW, I love the tone of most HBs in parallel.
     
  6. Mattbedrock

    Mattbedrock Silver Supporting Member

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  7. stratrat2000

    stratrat2000 Member

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    I use three way mini toggles for series/split/parallel. The parallel is similar to the split, but doesn't sound quite the same. I find it's handy to have to use in noisy venues in place of the split setting.
     
  8. Macaroni

    Macaroni Member

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    Could you describe what the differences are between split and parallel?
     
  9. Trebor Renkluaf

    Trebor Renkluaf I was hit by a parked car, what's your excuse? Gold Supporting Member Silver Supporting Member

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    A humbucker is made up of two coils that are reverse-wound/reverse-polarity with each other and are wired together in series. When you split a humbukcer you are only using one of the coils, the other coil is out of the circuit. When they are wired in parallel, the coils are wired in parallel - this is similar to a strat with a rwrp mid pickup in the notch positions (neck/middle, bridge/middle).
     
  10. Macaroni

    Macaroni Member

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    Thanks Trebor. I understand the electronic differences.

    What I'd like to hear are descriptions of the tonal differences.

    BTW, I just had Michael Tuttle do some fretwork on my Strat and he's working on my P90 guitar now. Then I'm getting new SS frets for my Les Paul. Excellent work - your reviews of his work helped me.
     

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