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Tapped coil pickup build technique

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  • Tapped coil pickup build technique

    I need a bit of instruction here from someone with experience.
    I have been building pickups for some time but have never wound a tapped coil before.
    Can you tell me what the proper way to do it is?
    Do you wind the coil part of the way and then solder a lead wire on and then continue to use the same wire to finish the wind, then at the end solder the usual finish wire on the end of the coil.
    What is the proper procedure? After soldering the tap wire on the coil wire, do I tape off the coil and then continue winding on to of the protective tape. How do I keep the tap wire from not getting in the way of the rest of the wind? I don't want to mess it up by doing it wrong.
    Sorry of this sounds like a stupid question but I jus want to do it correctly, the way the pros do it.

  • #2
    I've made a few tapped single coils.
    I used strat, or tele flatwork, and installed a third eyelet.
    Put the start lead in first eyelet, wind and connect your tapped coil to the 2nd middle eyelet.
    Then start second outside coil, with start lead in 2nd middle eyelet, wind and connect to 3rd last eyelet.
    Connect 3 hookup wires, (Black red, white, or Black yellow, white, etc) to the eyelets, to go to switching.
    I never tried it, but some use a blend pot on tapped pickups.
    The 3 eyelet method works fine, but will not allow isolated coils.
    If you want isolated coils, it would require 4 eyelets, and more elaborate switching.
    Also like to add, that the eyelets, make for a cleaner pickup build, than actually tapping inside the coil.
    Both will work, but eyelets, IMO look best, and eliminate the possibility of shorts.
    **If anyone else would like to add anything to tapped coils, please feel free to jump in!
    Last edited by big_teee; 03-24-2019, 07:02 PM.

    "If Wishes Were Horses, Beggars Would Ride!" Scottish Proverb 1600s


    • #3
      yes Big Teee is spot on three eyelets is clean! You could do it the way you describe too but of course you would get a lump in the coil- it would take more skill to make a clean tapped coil that way- eyelets make it alot easier IMO


      • #4
        Thanks for the good info. This gets me closer to figuring this out.
        Just to be clear, is it one continuous coil, which has a lead wire soldered on it partially through the wind or is it two totally separate coils? Can it be done either way with the same result and tone or is one way wrong?
        Has anyone looked at the Duncan Hot Tele bridge pup? It is a tapped pickup and would love to know how they do it.
        I was thinking of winding the coil par of the way, then soldering a lead wire on but not cutting the coil wire. Then just continue the rest of the wind with the same wire. This will give me 3 lead wires. Start, middle of coil and finish of coil.
        I was mainly thinking of a P90 platform.
        For a Tele or Strat I can see the 3 eyelet method being logical but if the coil is not cut, after winding the middle of the coil to an eyelet, one would have to carefully continue the rest of the wind using the same unbroken wire. Kind of finicky work.
        Becoming a brain surgeon pays a lot better.
        I wonder how someone like Jason Lollar does tapped coils.


        • #5
          just like Tee- use a third eyelet, doesnt matter if the wire is continuous as you will solder the eyelet eventually. You could use 4 eyelets and have two completely separate coils but it would have limited application with questionable results.


          • #6
            Maybe this pic will help, source credited - Ingo from MK Guitar.

            Click image for larger version

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