Wiring Single Coils Backwards...

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by JubileeMan 2555, Feb 15, 2012.

  1. JubileeMan 2555

    JubileeMan 2555 Member

    Dec 12, 2005
    Minneapolis, MN
    Just curious if there is any change in tone by reversing the pos and neg wires in a single coil pickup?

    I mixed two kinds of single coils in my strat, and I found out the if I wired it normally, the 2 or 4 positions where out of phase and the sound got smaller. SO to compensate, I flipped the wires on one of the pickups and it works fine now.

    But I'm wondering if there is any possible side effect to having them wired backwards.
  2. David Garner

    David Garner Member

    Aug 12, 2009
    Yorkville, Georgia
    My recollection when I did this with my Strat bridge pickup is the 2/4 positions sounded awful, and all positions had an excess of noise (not sure why that was).

    Based on my limited experience, I sure wouldn't recommend it.

    EDIT: When I first read it, I thought you were just curious as to whether there might be any problems. Now I see you're wondering instead if you should leave it wired "backwards." Duncan pickups, as one example, are supposed to be wired "backwards" from your standard Fender pickups. My problem was I wired mine "right" per the wire color, which is "wrong" per the polarity of the pickup. And no, there is no problem with it -- it sounds like you have them wired correctly now.
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2012
  3. Jim Collins

    Jim Collins Member

    Jan 4, 2002
    Pleasanton, CA
    Nothing to worry about, since you really have no choice. If this pickup does not have a sleeve around the pole pieces (vintage pickups do not), and the coating on the inner wrap of the wire failed, the pickup could short. Clearly, you are not experiencing this, right now, so don't worry about it.

    Try this. Plug the guitar into the amp, and select the pickup that is connected "backwards." Touch one of the outside pole pieces of that pickup. You might hear some ground hum, when you touch the pole piece. That is about as bad as it will get.

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