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Switching choice



Need some advice from the experts. I'm almost finished with the guitar I've been building with the help from a couple of builders here in town over the past year. I've chosen a Tom Anderson H1 for the neck and an H2+ for the bridge, both with coil taps. I'm debating on either a series switch or a phase switch to add to tonal choices. Which one would give me the MOST USEABLE tone variation IYO? I'm so grateful for the help my fellow tone freaks have offered in the past, from the Cannabis Rex speakers to the Snake Oil Strings. These two things alone have done so much to improve my tone I knew I couldn't go wrong asking for more advice.


what would you be wanting the series or phase switch to do exactly? change both HBs between series/parallel? have on coil from each in series? (that would be pretty cool...) change the phase of the HBs when used together, change phase of the two coils in one HB?...

or are those the kind of things you were hoping to get suggested?

PS. I am NOT an expert ^_^


TGP Tech Wrangler
Staff member
I have a guitar that has both series/parallel switches and a phase switch. IME running a pickup in parallel gives it a more "peaky" response, kind of like the in-between positions on a Strat. Running a couple humbuckers out of phase yields a tone more like that of a cocked wah.

Which is more usable is a matter of personal opinion. When I was playing that guitar a lot, I ran it with the pickups out of phase and only used the parallel switch when I was looking for a spanky neck tone.

YMMV and probably will.


I'm not really sure what I'm looking for tone wise. As far as lead playing I think the HB in the bridge position pretty well covers my distorted lead stuff, though I sometimes like to fatten it up with sc/neck + hb/bridge setting. Lately I've found myself playing more clean/jazz type stuff with different sc/hb settings like hb/neck & sc/bridge for a Stern type sound or just a sc/neck setting for Gollub like stuff. The way I have my effects set up I usually get a nice warm clean sound when finger picking or apply a light pick attack, then nice and edgey with modest amount of breakup when playing harder. Maybe I should just nix the phase/series switch thing altogether and go for a simpler approach. A "more is less" kind of approach. Just thinking out loud and looking for some input before I start drilling. Thanks for the advice.
Tracy C.


Here's a good showcase of combinations (no out of phase sounds though) you can have with two humbuckers, in this case a DiMarzio Air Classic (N) and Air Norton (B) on my friend Harry Jacobson's Godin Flat Five (4th guitar down):


It's a complex wiring with a 5-way superswitch, 3PDT toggle and one push-pull, but you could of course choose fewer combinations and keep it simpler. Personally I think the 3 coils in series is very cool, great for clean, warm, full-bodied jazzy leads (I've got it in a Warmoth LP-cloner with Benedetto pu's), and I like also the inner coils in series in my PRS, as John said it's really good for bluesy distorted leads. Of course it all depends on your style, taste, etc.


Wow! Most informative. I agree that the 3 coils in series sounds good, to my ears at any rate. Will keep this in mind as decision time draws nearer. Thanks.
Tracy C

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