• We would like to remind our members that this is a privately owned, run and supported forum. You are here at the invitation and discretion of the owners. As such, rules and standards of conduct will be applied that help keep this forum functioning as the owners desire. These include, but are not limited to, removing content and even access to the forum.

    Please give yourself a refresher on the forum rules you agreed to follow when you signed up.

Making coil splitting work

GreatGreen

Forum Addict
You basically have these options:

Coil Split - remove one of the humbucker's coils entirely from the circuit for a true single coil sound. Along with this, I'd also suggest switching in a 250K resistor to the circuit when you coil split to convert your humbucker-compatible 500K volume pot into a 250K volume pot so the single coil doesn't ice pick you to death.

Coil Tap - different from coil split. Coil splitting as mentioned above removes one of a humbucker's coils entirely from the circuit. Coil tapping actually "taps into" the humbucker's copper windings somewhere in the middle of the winds to give you a brighter but quieter sound. So basically it gives you your humbucker but with less windings.

Parallel - Humbuckers work by routing the circuit directly into one coil, then straight into the other coil, then out the other end. Parallel wiring splits the circuit, routes it through both coils individually, then the circuit rejoins after that, basically giving you two single coils placed right next to each other.

Partial Split - Like Joker III mentioned in the thread earlier. Probably the option I'd go with, personally. Instead of entirely removing one coil from your humbucker to create a single coil, only remove that extra coil mostly from the signal chain. This will give you the brightness of a single coil but with some extra bassy fullness to stop things from getting too thin. Solder the humbucker like you would to make a coil split mod, but instead of sending the extra coil entirely to ground, wire a resistor between it and ground with a value of around 15K or 20K (not a typo).

Spin-a-Split mod - Attach a pot to the coil to be split so you can roll the extra coil in and out of the signal however you like and smoothly blend between single coil and humbucker modes. I did this to one of my guitars and it's really fun, but if you have a carved top guitar it's really tough to source the 50K long shaft pot you'll need. They're almost impossible to find. If you're attaching the pot to a pickguard then you won't need a long shaft you'll have a much easier time getting the parts you need.
 
Last edited:

JoKeR III

Inspired
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.
May want to consider checking the values of the resistors. From your description of the tone, you could double their values. The "correct" values (for the guitar and pickups) can accomplish what you're looking for without having to compensate with your presets.
 

Dunconia

Inspired
May want to consider checking the values of the resistors. From your description of the tone, you could double their values. The "correct" values (for the guitar and pickups) can accomplish what you're looking for without having to compensate with your presets.
Cool. I’ll get the Pearly Gates pups in first and see what it does. I dropped it at the shop today. I tried swapping them myself but I couldn’t get the lead attached to the toggle switch loose. My soldering skills are limited.
 

Kamil Kisiel

Veteran
Some models of Fishman Fluence pickups, like the Tosin Abasi set, have one voice which is a single coil and another that is a humbucker. Best of both worlds :) Otherwise I've found that using an HSH configuration works best, you split the humbuckers and combine them with that middle pickup and it sounds like a strat in 2 or 4 position. With an HH setup I prefer to have the inner coils split and in parallel, like on the John Petrucci Music Man guitars. It's a really nice clean sound, but doesn't really sound like a single coil...
 

Johan Allard

Forum Addict
I've been experimenting quite a bit with different coil splits and parallel wirings and similar. I like parallel wiring in the bridge and splitting the neck pickup, when available. I'm also a big fan of PRS guitars and with their stock pickups you cannot do parallel wiring as you need 4 conductor wiring and PRS pickups only come with 3.

The PRS DGT partial split works really well to me. They use 1.1k (for the neck pickup) and 2.2k (for the bridge pickup) resistors to partially split the pickup. You can obviously experiment with these values. I have experimented and found the PRS values work well for a very usable single coil sound with the sort of pickups I like to use, slightly hotter PAF style pickups. These resistor values would be depending on the pickup used. If you have an evenly wound pickup that's 10k resistance, that would be 5k resistance on each coil. If you then ground one of the coils with a 5k resistor, the resistance from ground or from the pickup would be the same so 50% of the pickup would be used. If you use a 2.5k resistor, twice as much would be grounded and 33% of the pickup would be used and so. The less resistance, the more of the pickup would be grounded and the less of the second coil would be used. If you had a 15k to 20k resistor, most of the second coil would be used and for me that would be too much to sound anything close to a single coil. But you should definitely experiment what sounds best to you.

I also like using a capacitor in series, that works as a highpass (or low cut) filter, especially on a muddy sounding neck pickup.
 

Dunconia

Inspired
Some models of Fishman Fluence pickups, like the Tosin Abasi set, have one voice which is a single coil and another that is a humbucker. Best of both worlds :) Otherwise I've found that using an HSH configuration works best, you split the humbuckers and combine them with that middle pickup and it sounds like a strat in 2 or 4 position. With an HH setup I prefer to have the inner coils split and in parallel, like on the John Petrucci Music Man guitars. It's a really nice clean sound, but doesn't really sound like a single coil...
I started looking at videos and I really like the FF Classics. For some reason, I can’t find video of someone splitting the coil though so it must be kinda meh. Still, I would love to explore fitting some in my JP15. It looks like a definite maybe. :confused:
 

Josh_Shoe

New here
I started looking at videos and I really like the FF Classics. For some reason, I can’t find video of someone splitting the coil though so it must be kinda meh. Still, I would love to explore fitting some in my JP15. It looks like a definite maybe. :confused:
Make sure you check out the Fishman Fluence "open core". They're the ones with the single coil voicing your after. These have 3 voicings (one being the single coil) unlike the regular classics. They also include on the bottom side a solderable jumper to use either the north or south coil in single coil mode.

I have had the Devin Townsend, Tosin Abasi, and now the classics, and I cant be much happier! The other two I named also have single coil modes but I would say Tosin's single coil modes are closer to a tele. While Devin's are a modern sounding single coil neither leaning towards a strat or tele voicing is unique. While the classic are more to a strat single coil.
 

Dunconia

Inspired
Make sure you check out the Fishman Fluence "open core". They're the ones with the single coil voicing your after. These have 3 voicings (one being the single coil) unlike the regular classics. They also include on the bottom side a solderable jumper to use either the north or south coil in single coil mode.

I have had the Devin Townsend, Tosin Abasi, and now the classics, and I cant be much happier! The other two I named also have single coil modes but I would say Tosin's single coil modes are closer to a tele. While Devin's are a modern sounding single coil neither leaning towards a strat or tele voicing is unique. While the classic are more to a strat single coil.
That sounds really cool actually. What kind of volume drop do you get from splitting? Would the classics do well in a PRS CE24?
 

Lkdog

Veteran
I've been experimenting quite a bit with different coil splits and parallel wirings and similar. I like parallel wiring in the bridge and splitting the neck pickup, when available. I'm also a big fan of PRS guitars and with their stock pickups you cannot do parallel wiring as you need 4 conductor wiring and PRS pickups only come with 3.

The PRS DGT partial split works really well to me. They use 1.1k (for the neck pickup) and 2.2k (for the bridge pickup) resistors to partially split the pickup. You can obviously experiment with these values. I have experimented and found the PRS values work well for a very usable single coil sound with the sort of pickups I like to use, slightly hotter PAF style pickups. These resistor values would be depending on the pickup used. If you have an evenly wound pickup that's 10k resistance, that would be 5k resistance on each coil. If you then ground one of the coils with a 5k resistor, the resistance from ground or from the pickup would be the same so 50% of the pickup would be used. If you use a 2.5k resistor, twice as much would be grounded and 33% of the pickup would be used and so. The less resistance, the more of the pickup would be grounded and the less of the second coil would be used. If you had a 15k to 20k resistor, most of the second coil would be used and for me that would be too much to sound anything close to a single coil. But you should definitely experiment what sounds best to you.

I also like using a capacitor in series, that works as a highpass (or low cut) filter, especially on a muddy sounding neck pickup.
I have a DGT with the resistors as noted above with the PRS values and it is pretty good. Especially with some Austin Buddy presets designed for Strats.

I have tried this resistor mod for partial splits on another dual humbucker guitar that has two separate VOL push pull pots and that gets pretty interesting in the middle pickup position. Can get a variety of Fender like tones depending on how I set it up - the volume levels, one or both split, etc.

I do have to say that nothing sounds quite like a Strat though except a Strat, Kind of like nothing sounds quite like a Les Paul but a Les Paul.
 
Last edited:

Dunconia

Inspired
I have a DGT with the resistors as noted above with the PRS values and it is pretty good. Especially with some Austin Buddy presets designed for Strats.

I have tried this resistor mod for partial splits on another dual humbucker guitar that has two separate VOL push pull pots and that gets pretty interesting in the middle pickup position. Can get a variety of Fender like tones depending on how I set it up - the volume levels, one or both split, etc.

I do have to say that nothing sounds quite like a Strat though except a Strat, Kind of like nothing sounds quite like a Les Paul but a Les Paul.
Another justification to keep all my guitars. Lol. I should collect these for my wife.

BTW, I never thought about trying out coil splitting with the AB single coil presets! This is a must try!
 

Perdikament

Forum Addict
One thing I didn’t see discussed here which can be an easy solution in some cases is simply adjusting your pickup height. If the single coil split is sounding weak & ya have room, just raising that pickup up a bit closer may be all it takes. I think a lot of people, (in general) would be surprised at how much of a difference pickup heights can make, especially if you’ve never really sat down and experimented with moving them around.
With that being said, obviously you’re going to throw the balance off between your other pickups so you may have to raise your other pickup(s). And then you’re going to have to decide whether you want the single/mid or neck (2nd position) as your more main sound or if you prefer the full HB/mid-neck as your main (then you would lower it back). I personally have a fantastic setup (for me) & love the split sound, so I use that as my main, which leaves the full HB as a built in Boost for leads, or I can always just lower the guitar vol to match the other pickups output in HB mode. There’s going to be a compromise somewhere, either both modes a little bit, the single will be too weak or the HB will be too hot, I personally feel like the HB being hot like that can be utilized as an advantage in most real world situations. YMMV.
 
Top Bottom