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Stacked humbucker wired as a single-coil Q

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  • Stacked humbucker wired as a single-coil Q

    When wiring a stacked humbucker as a single-coil, does it make a difference if you ground both ends of the unused coil vs. only grounding one end? If so, does make a difference which end of the coil is grounded when only grounding one end?

  • #2
    Originally posted by Matt T. View Post
    When wiring a stacked humbucker as a single-coil, does it make a difference if you ground both ends of the unused coil vs. only grounding one end? If so, does make a difference which end of the coil is grounded when only grounding one end?
    Well assuming the coils are in series, one end is grounded already. So just ground the connection between the two coils, as long as that turns off the bottom coil... you probably don't want to turn off the top coil.

    Now my question is, why do you want to turn off one coil? It wont sound as different as a split humbucker, and will it will hum.
    It would be possible to describe everything scientifically, but it would make no sense; it would be without meaning, as if you described a Beethoven symphony as a variation of wave pressure. Albert Einstein


    http://coneyislandguitars.com
    www.soundcloud.com/davidravenmoon

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    • #3
      David,
      Thanks for responding. I won't lie...I did it because Eric Johnson claimed to have a DiMarzio HS2 wired as a single coil in the 'Virginia' Strat (i.e. the '54 Strat he used in the 90s, the one that he got many of his best tones with IMO). That Strat got dropped and then EJ didn't like it anymore so he sold it.

      I don't even know what it sounds like as a humbucker. When wired as a single-coil it sounds pretty darn close to a regular single-coil but has reduced noise (I assume due to the other coil) and a firmer/meatier bottom.

      A few years ago I wired it like I said in the op and just went with it. I pulled it out but recently wondered if I ever heard the full potential of it (wired as a single that is) due to not grounding both ends of the unused coil or by grounding the 'wrong' end of that coil.

      I would just try it if I didn't have to remove the neck to remove the pickguard to...you get the idea.

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      • #4
        Eric also kept the tone control all the way off all the time! Probably because the pickup sounded pretty thin that way.

        DiMarzio made Strat sized pickups for the original Guild version of Brain May's Special Red guitar. I had a set of these once, and they were just the top coil from the HS2's.

        The HS2's and HS3's I've heard sound pretty much like single coil pickups.
        It would be possible to describe everything scientifically, but it would make no sense; it would be without meaning, as if you described a Beethoven symphony as a variation of wave pressure. Albert Einstein


        http://coneyislandguitars.com
        www.soundcloud.com/davidravenmoon

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        • #5
          With all due respect David...I don't think so. Eric plays a lot of chimey clean echo-y stuff using the bridge p'up alone and it's very bright with lots of sparkle. He's said that he does roll the tone back but he usually says to '6' or so. At least that's what I'm seeing in the videos and DVDs that I have.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Matt T. View Post
            With all due respect David...I don't think so. Eric plays a lot of chimey clean echo-y stuff using the bridge p'up alone and it's very bright with lots of sparkle. He's said that he does roll the tone back but he usually says to '6' or so. At least that's what I'm seeing in the videos and DVDs that I have.
            Well this is what he said in an interview in Guitar Player some time ago. He had said he rewired his Strat so the tone control worked on the lead pickup, then he disconnected the bottom coils on the DiMarzios and played with his tone tuned down. You have to realize that the lower the DC resistance of a pickup, the less effect the tone control has. I'd guess he didn't use that setting all the time, but that was his lead tone at the time.

            I'm only casually familiar with Eric's music, so I don't pretend to be an expert! I just remember what I read, and it seemed rather odd at the time.
            Last edited by David Schwab; 10-20-2006, 10:04 PM.
            It would be possible to describe everything scientifically, but it would make no sense; it would be without meaning, as if you described a Beethoven symphony as a variation of wave pressure. Albert Einstein


            http://coneyislandguitars.com
            www.soundcloud.com/davidravenmoon

            Comment

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