Coil Split for ACH-1 & 2? - Jemsite
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 04-02-2015, 05:57 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Middleville, MI USA
Posts: 34
Coil Split for ACH-1 & 2?

Hi All,

I have a 2005 Artcore AS83 which has the ACH-1 and ACH-2 pickups in it. I admit that I thought they sounded a bit harsh at first, but then I realized how good they sound (IMO) for playing classic rock... so I have decided I like them. I still keep toying with the idea of doing a coil split on them, just to get some varied sounds (I'm not afraid of doing the "surgery" required to split 2-conductor pickups). I would probably just make 2 of the knobs into master volume and master tone, then make the other 2 into spin-a-splits for each pickup.

Has anyone tried splitting the ACH-1 or 2? What did you think of the result?

Thanks a bunch!

BriGuy1968 is offline  
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 04-02-2015, 09:02 PM
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Northern California
Posts: 2,511
Re: Coil Split for ACH-1 & 2?

I think you should have 4 conductor.

The Ibanez Artist 220 uses stock ACH humbuckers (ACH1, ACH2, but the new 2015 Artist 220s now use Super 58s) and has coil tap option and parallel/series options, too.

The two mini toggles stretches out the sound of the ACH pickups. I use ACH and they are fine for rock and roll. The ACH humbuckers don't have the intensity to do extreme metal but it can handle almost anything else. My guess is that these are around 8K or 9K ohm resistance around the territory of a 1950s PAF. For comparison the Evo would be a 13.8K ohm and a Seymour Duncan Black Winter would be a 16.6K ohm.

From this ad, the ACH pickups in the simpler AS73, which I have, are four conductor wiring:

When I am practicing, I will use the AS73 with ACH pickups and swap out to stock Les Pauls with PAFs and I don't have to change settings on big amps. Last time I used 90s Standard and 1976 Les Paul with Tim Shaws in them. All the guitars basically read the same only the Gibsons have a fuller sound on clean with Shaws being hotter than PAFs all around.

But if I use my hotter (metal) guitars with EMGs then I can't go back and forth to stock Gibsons or ACH humbuckers without having to jack up volume quite a bit on the amp. The only guitar I can use that works with same settings on amp is a Jackson RR with stock Jackson humbucker (probably very hot). So if you had your stock ACH, they would sound like a Gibson PAF in volume but against somethhing like an EMG 81, the ACH will sound like its plugged into a pillow. Too many people complain that an ACH, or any vintage spec'd humbucker sounds like it's under a pillow but that's because they are comparing it to something like an EMG 81 or 85. You can get almost any good sound with the ACH pickups but you have to fool with amp to bring out enough of the treble and midrange.

Last edited by 63Blazer; 04-02-2015 at 10:13 PM.
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 04-02-2015, 10:47 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Middleville, MI USA
Posts: 34
Re: Coil Split for ACH-1 & 2?

Hey 63Blazer, thanks for all the great info!

I haven't dug into it yet to actually see how many conductors these pickups have, but the diagram I got from the Ibanez site indicated 2-conductor pups... it would be awesome if they had 4! I was just planning on attaching a split wire to the wire between the coils and sending it to ground when tapped, but with 4 conductors I would consider putting in series/split/parallel switches instead of just the spin-a-splits. Hmmm... sounds like a good little weekend project to dig into it and see what's really there.

I agree wholeheartedly with you about the ACH's suitability for rock and roll, but not extreme metal... which is perfect for me because I'm not into extreme metal anyway! I really like the tonal character that this guitar has compared to my solid-bodies... but I also know what you mean about having to change amp settings for it.

I play through a POD HD400, and I've found that I've had come up with "adjusted" versions of the settings I like in order to keep it even with my RG3EXFM1 or my Westone Spectrum LX (those two actually have similar output to one another). Using the POD, though, allows plenty of space for being able to quickly move between guitar settings without a lot of fiddling around... now that I've got it figured out anyway!

Thanks again for the feedback... it was really helpful!

BriGuy1968 is offline  
post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 04-03-2015, 12:06 AM
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Northern California
Posts: 2,511
Re: Coil Split for ACH-1 & 2?

Your welcome.

The ACH1 and ACH2s in my AS73, similar to AS83, now have Ibanez Classic Elite humbuckers. They are ceramic like the ACH ones but I haven't heard them side by side.

If I did change the AS73 down the line I would put an alnico humbucker in bridge to fatten it up. The ceramic ACH can stay in neck because the more focused sound of ceramic pickups work well for full sized humbuckers in necks. Sometimes the standard alnico humbuckers can be too bassy sounding in neck.

Some Ibanez solidbodies use the ceramic humbuckers for neck adding note definition and alnicos in bridge to add warmth. That hybrid magnet setup whether it's INF or V pickups does the job.
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