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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I've been dabbling more into electronics and setting my next plans for guitar pickups and it's been Alot of fun, altho an uphill battle at some points.

For now, I feel pretty comfortable with the idea of splitting 4 conductor pickups like Duncan's or DiMarzio's.

The concept seems simple enough, you send one coil to ground by taking it out of the circuit, and which coil is sent out depends on how it's wired by swapping some of the north and south ends in your plans.

However.. I don't seem to fully understand how the older ibanez guitars, or maybe even some newer ones, I've not worked many newer ones, are achieving a split coil with only 2 conductors and a ground.

I've done some detailed diagrams and switch configs to try and understand it and I just simply thought that Ibanez 5 way switches sent part of the signal to ground from the second wires.

But it seems Alot of people online are saying that no pickup can be split without 4 wires.

What makes Ibanez pickups or maybe the switch special to allow this when it was deemed impossible?
 

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Keep in mind I'm no expert on passive electronics, but I've been a medical electronics tech my whole life... A 3-wire pickup has a ground, a hot, and a "common" center tap that is really two coil ends tied together. This "common" point can be grounded out for coil tapping. A 4-wire pickup has a ground, a hot, and the other ends of the two coils have separate wires so you can flip polarity for coil splits, etc. This link to a diagram on StewMac shows the 3-wire coil tap the way I believe it to work.

https://www.stewmac.com/video-and-i...ctronics-and-wiring/golden-age-humbucker.html
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Everything on paper in the Ibanez pickups seems like what the 4 conductor pickups do on average.

A Duncan invader for example, black is hot to switch, red and white are the commons, and they get wired together for the splits.

But then we have the end of South coil getting grounded out.

In this case each opposite end goes to either switch or ground, with the common being the variable that splits.

However the common literature online seems to say that a 2 conductor pickup isn't actually the same.

They seem to say that the second conductor is the end of the South coil and there isn't actually a common between them.

The ground seems to just be a ground and not the end of the second coil.
 

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I see... A 2-wire pickup with a "shield" ground, as opposed to a 3-wire pickup with a wire to the common coil ends. Run an ohmmeter across each coil to tell for sure... Measure from one conductor to ground, then the other conductor to ground. If you get like 5k on both measurements, you'll know it is the common coil ends and can be coil tapped. If you get 10k on one conductor and a dead short on the other you'll know it was just a shield ground.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I don't have them on me at the moment, but I know the original v1 and v2 pickups work that way.

Just didn't know how Ibanez got away with it when everyone else said it was impossible.

When I get home Saturday I'll test their resistance.
 
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