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Making coil splitting work

Dunconia

Inspired
Does anyone know how to actually make a split coil sound good? I would love to get some good single coil sounds out of a split humbucker but it ALWAYS sounds paper thin and lifeless. I'm thinking part of this is because of the volume drop. Perhaps, it needs some type of eq, filtering, boost or something? Is anyone making good use of a filter block or anything for this?
 

Dunconia

Inspired
It’s a newer PRS. I was recently looking at the wiring and couldn’t figure those two extra resistors out but that’s what it is. A partial split. I found a thread on this on TGP and those that are having success with it are doing so with a lot of gain with the humbucker on. I think I might try setting the amp up for split mode and rolling back the volume on humbucker mode. Thanks!
 
I have a 2003 Paul Reed Smith Custom 22 Artist with Dragon II pickups and and a 2004 Paul Reed Smith Custom 22 with HFS and Vintage Bass pickups and don't have a problem splitting the coils.
What model PRS do you have and with what pickups?
 

savaitti

New here
Hi,

the guitar is also a big part of the sound. I've always struggled to get a good single coil sound with HB PRS's. Part of it is that I, too, find most coils splits thin and weak. The other part is the woods; a mahogany/maple guitar will never sound like an alder strat.

I've always liked Tom Anderson pickups for the coil splitted sounds, but then again I find their HB sounds sometimes a little too dark. Joe Barden is another brand that I think sounds fairly good splitted (and are noiseless).
 

Dunconia

Inspired
I have a 2003 Paul Reed Smith Custom 22 Artist with Dragon II pickups and and a 2004 Paul Reed Smith Custom 22 with HFS and Vintage Bass pickups and don't have a problem splitting the coils.
What model PRS do you have and with what pickups?
Newer CE24 with 85/15's, but soon to be Duncan Pearly Gates. I haven't really jived with the 85/15's for lower/medium gain stuff. Love the PRS look and functionality though. I think as long as the amp is compressing, it's not as big of a deal.
 

Dunconia

Inspired
Hi,

the guitar is also a big part of the sound. I've always struggled to get a good single coil sound with HB PRS's. Part of it is that I, too, find most coils splits thin and weak. The other part is the woods; a mahogany/maple guitar will never sound like an alder strat.

I've always liked Tom Anderson pickups for the coil splitted sounds, but then again I find their HB sounds sometimes a little too dark. Joe Barden is another brand that I think sounds fairly good splitted (and are noiseless).
I think that's the problem, I want it to sound like a strat. Which makes me come back to why I own multiple guitars. I just wish there was one to rule them all!
 

∞Fractals

Forum Addict
I have a PRS P24 Artist (2014?) w 57/08s in pos 2&4 sound great - not strat quack, but their own clean split coil sound with no Vol drop.

For the best Strat sounds, I love my Ron Ellis customs in a custom build. Amazing. Cannot be replicated in HBs.
 

savaitti

New here
I know what you mean. For years I had the vision of the one "do it all" guitar, but now I've realised that it's never gonna work. I always loved the quality, looks and playability of PRS's, but never really liked the sound of Customs. I've given up with them, but I love my HBII and CU22 soapbar as they are. Also the case with my starts, LP's etc. Actually I've stopped hunting the "perfect sound", and rather enjoy the guitars as they are. After all, with every guitar or amp, it always sounds like me. Just different shades. I like some guitars better than others, though.
 
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Dunconia

Inspired
I know what you mean. For years I had the vision of the one "do it all" guitar, but now I've realised that it's never gonna work. I always loved the quality, looks and playability of PRS's, but never really liked the sound of Customs. I've given up with them, but I love my HBII and CU22 soapbar as they are. Also the case with my starts, LP's etc. Actually I've stopped hunting the "perfect sound", and rather enjoy the guitars as they are. After all, with every guitar or amp, it always sounds like me. Just different shades. I like some guitars better than others, though.
Definitely true. I still like using features that are there though. I just need to figure out how to set things up so that it doesn’t sound like a toy poodle in split mode.
 
I have a Tele with a splittable humbucker in the bridge, and I love the sound of the neck and bridge pickups together with the bridge split (both parallel and series). I almost never use the bridge pickup “split” by itself though.

Just curious: are you setting up your amp tone with the coil split, or are you setting it up with the humbuckers, and then splitting and finding that it sounds lifeless? The former always works better for me, even if I have to use a different amp channel for certain pickup configs.
 

bshaw92

Inspired
Have you tried making an A/D channel on your amp so when you change from humbucker to split you push a switch and the volume equalizes so the only change is hum to single? I have a PRS P245 and use both Hum/Split and another input (2) with the piezo for acoustic. Works very well.
 

Dunconia

Inspired
I have a Tele with a splittable humbucker in the bridge, and I love the sound of the neck and bridge pickups together with the bridge split (both parallel and series). I almost never use the bridge pickup “split” by itself though.

Just curious: are you setting up your amp tone with the coil split, or are you setting it up with the humbuckers, and then splitting and finding that it sounds lifeless? The former always works better for me, even if I have to use a different amp channel for certain pickup configs.
I set up with the humbuckers.
 

Dunconia

Inspired
Have you tried making an A/D channel on your amp so when you change from humbucker to split you push a switch and the volume equalizes so the only change is hum to single? I have a PRS P245 and use both Hum/Split and another input (2) with the piezo for acoustic. Works very well.
Yeah, using a different channel sounds like it might be the best solution and good use of using the AFX3
 

bshaw92

Inspired
Channels or Scenes depending on how you set it up. I am setup using stomps & presets so I went with channels and couldn't be happier. Well I could be happier, but not much..
 

RoshRoslin

Veteran
I would suggest, unless you're using high output humbuckers, split coild won't sound that great. You'd have to be 14k and up to get to a low output single coil when split.

I would suggest actually having the humbucker go in parallel instead. Still has some of the qualities of a single coil (sparkle, bite, snap), but without the reduced output of a split coil. I have all my humbucker guitars "split" this way.
 

Joe Bfstplk

Inspired
I would suggest actually having the humbucker go in parallel instead. Still has some of the qualities of a single coil (sparkle, bite, snap), but without the reduced output of a split coil. I have all my humbucker guitars "split" this way.
I do this on one of my Strats that has a bridge HB. Works really well, a bit less volume drop than a split.

Another possibility is to do a split with a 10nF to 47nF cap (try a few different ones in that range) instead of a straight wire. This retains a bit of the hum cancelling and bass/low-mid punch while delivering the narrower sensing window of the single coil for the mids and trebles, if that particular aspect of splitting is what you listen for most.

For me, sensing window width is a parameter I hear, but I am more looking for the tonal shift coming from the lowered inductance (more highs and low end depth, less midrange focus) than the width of the string sensing area, so series/parallel switching works great for me, and retains hum-free sound....
 

Dunconia

Inspired
I would suggest, unless you're using high output humbuckers, split coild won't sound that great. You'd have to be 14k and up to get to a low output single coil when split.

I would suggest actually having the humbucker go in parallel instead. Still has some of the qualities of a single coil (sparkle, bite, snap), but without the reduced output of a split coil. I have all my humbucker guitars "split" this way.
It's not really a true split. It's wired like the DGT.
 
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