Pickups "tap" principle... - Jemsite
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-23-2003, 11:34 AM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2003
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Pickups "tap" principle...

Hello guys !

Just a maybe stupid question... to be sure that I understand this principle... I will try to be clear (it's not easy to explain in french, so in english... I'm not sure...)

With Ibanez 5 Ways sw., On position 2 and 4 (Humbuckers are tapped), the tap is the result of placing a coil of the pickup to the ground, am I right ?

For example, with Di marzio's colours wire:

-On position 1 or 5 (full Humb), the power past from the Red to the black (first coil), to the white (soldered with the black) to the green (second coil). Here, the 5 way sw has no effect to the black+white wire.

- On position 2 and 4 (tap), the power past through the first coil (red to black), but the switch put the black and white (soldered together) to the ground. So in this case, the second coil is completely to the ground.

I wish that I am clear...

Am I right ??? thanks for your help.
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-23-2003, 12:32 PM
 
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bonjour!

first of all, a coil "tap" is not when you split a humbucker into single coils. some rare old single coil pickups were made with three wires, a hot from one end of the windings and a ground from the other end [like the wires on a normal single coil], and a third wire that "tapped" the pickup windings at some point halfway through. using this extra wire "tap" off the middle of the pickup would give you less output and a different sound.

i've never seen a humbucker with the windings tapped halfway through. to avoid confusion, most people call splitting a humbucker "coil cutting."

since you don't say what 5-way switch you are talking about [JEM/RG570?], i can't answer your question directly, but i can explain a little about coil cutting. there are two ways to wire a coil cut, depending on which coil of the humbucker you want to be on.

using the DiMarzio wire colors you mention, the white soldered to the black is called the "series link" [because it links the two humbucker coils in series]. if you connect the DiMarzio series link to ground, you activate the "slug" coil of the humbucker, the coil without screw head pole pieces. on a bridge humbucker, this is the coil farthest away from the bridge, the inner coil.

if you connect the DiMarzio series link to hot, the guitar output, you activate the other coil, the "screw" pole coil. on a bridge humbucker, this is the coil closest to the bridge, the outer coil. these two coils do sound very different from each other, mostly due to their distance from the bridge.

on standard JEM and RG's with HSH pickups, the 5-way switch is wired to automatically activate the "slug" pole coils, the inner coils, of the two humbuckers in the 2 and 4 positions. this is possible with a stock 5-way because the switch has an extra set of poles that isn't used in normal Strat-type wiring. in the full humbucking positions 1 and 5, the coil cut is not active.

for some neat coil cut schemes that i've designed, check out http://www.his.com/sha3u/gear/wiring.html . for more info on wiring humbuckers, see http://www.stewmac.com/wiring101/ .
Scott of Actual Time is offline  
post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-23-2003, 01:11 PM Thread Starter
 
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Ok scott thanks for your expainations...

To resume, my guitar is a RG550LTD, and more simply, my question is:

If I remove the "series link" solder (as you said; black+white solder together on DiMarzios) from the switch, will I have on positions 2 and 4 the sound of full humbuckers+middle pickups ?

I think it's more understand-able ...

Thanks

Mick
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-23-2003, 07:00 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mick90
If I remove the "series link" solder (as you said; black+white solder together on DiMarzios) from the switch, will I have on positions 2 and 4 the sound of full humbuckers+middle pickups ?
yes, you will get full humbucker + middle if you unsolder the series links from the switch. that combination will not be hum canceling like the cut coil + middle is, and it won't sound as "chimey" like a Strat, but give it a try and see how you like it.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-23-2003, 08:02 PM Thread Starter
 
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Ok, thank you very much Scott !!!

now, I think I have completely understand guitars wirings (The basis...) !!! :P

I will try this, just to ear how it sounds like...

Bye.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-22-2003, 07:34 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott of Actual Time
bonjour!



i've never seen a humbucker with the windings tapped halfway through.

Joe Barden HB two/tone
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-27-2003, 03:06 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott of Actual Time
first of all, a coil "tap" is not when you split a humbucker into single coils. some rare old single coil pickups were made with three wires, a hot from one end of the windings and a ground from the other end [like the wires on a normal single coil], and a third wire that "tapped" the pickup windings at some point halfway through. using this extra wire "tap" off the middle of the pickup would give you less output and a different sound.
I've heard you say this a few times, and you're right. But I understand it like this: A tapped pickup originally referred to the third wire "tapping" into a single around half way. In other words, "Tap into the middle of the pickup and just give me half the output." That's essentially what you're doing to the humbucker. You're just getting half the pickup. It just so happens that the halfway point in a humbucker is between the two coils. I don't mind the term "coil tapping" when I justify it like that. It could also be justified as in "tap into one of the coils"

The two tone looks like a great idea by the way! It would be neat to see that done where you take a Fred, but bring taps out at the PAF Pro level for example. Or take something like a Gibson 500T but bring taps out at the PAF level. Or do a Tone Zone/Norton. You know, take two pickups that have the same magnet base, but that you wind differently, and make a 2-in-1. You could charge 1.5x the price for just a couple more wires and people would buy them. My mind is really going now.....
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-29-2003, 08:43 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott of Actual Time
I've heard you say this a few times, and you're right. But I understand it like this: A tapped pickup originally referred to the third wire "tapping" into a single around half way. In other words, "Tap into the middle of the pickup and just give me half the output." That's essentially what you're doing to the humbucker. It could also be justified as in "tap into one of the coils"
except you're not tapping _into_ one of the coils, you are isolating a whole individual coil. you could wriggle the semantics that way, but the old single coil coil taps i'm familiar with were always more than halfway. a tap at say 80% on a really hot SRV-style single would then give you a mellow vintage style single coil, but tapping much below that wouldn't give useable output levels. just like your Fred tapped at PAF Pro level idea; you'd have to tap the Fred at way above 50% to get a decent signal. and, of course, you always want your keg tap to go all the way down to the bottom.

you'd also have to tap the two Fred coils at the same point in order to have the coils still hum cancel each other. i wonder if the Barden design does that.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-29-2003, 05:56 PM
 
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I know you're "not tapping _into_ one of the coils," but if you look at the pickup as a whole unit and not two individual coils mounted together on one baseplate, you are "tapping the pickup" half-way, right? Also, I know that some taps were at more than 50%, but if you check out Duncan's numbers you'll find all of his taps are at or essentially at half-way points.

All I'm saying is that you don't have to be anal about the grammar of it all, (like Seymour is in his catalog glossary) because it is a widely used and justifiable term. I used to correct people too, now I've just joined them. Its easier.

And coils wouldn't have to be tapped at the exact same point to cancel hum. Hum-cancelling is a degree equation, not a yes/no. If the coils are mismatched, as in so many Dimarzio "dual resonance" patented pickups, they will just cancel hum to a slightly lesser degree. A lot of the hum-cancelling comes from the magnet reversal, regardless of the coil resistance. I have an old Megadrive with one coil in the "4k's" and the other in the "10k's" and it still cancels pretty well.
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bridge hum , bridge humbucker , coil pickup , coil tap , coil tapping , inner coils , paf pro , standard jem , tone zone

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