D.I.Y. Coil Split Project

A guitars pickup is what takes the vibration of the string and makes it an electrical signal that can be amplified. Origianlly guitars had one single coil pickup. These single coil pickups, like those found on a Fender Strat or Telecaster, are noisy. Along with the guitar strings, they amplify electrical disturbances, which creates a hum. Gibson came out with Humbucking pickups, which are just 2 single coil pickups that are run at opposite polarities, which help to cancel out electrical noise.

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Humbucker Pickups

Sometimes, the sound of a single coil pickup is wanted, so if you have a guitar with humbuckers then you have 2 single coil pickups per humbucker already. Coil splits”, which allow the pickups to act as “pseudo-single” coils by either short-circuiting or bypassing one coil. The electrical circuit of the pickup is reduced to that of a true single coil so there is no hum canceling effect. Usually, this feature is activated using a miniature toggle switch or a DPDT push-pull switch mounted on a potentiometer.

DPDT Switch

There’s hundreds of ways to wire you guitar depending on if you want to go custom with switches, push pulls, toggles, or something completely new. GuitarElectronics.com is a great site for all kinds of schematics, tho they didn’t have one for what I was trying to accomplish, it still has more info than you can want. They also have damn near all the parts you can need for pretty good pricing too, I bought my Push/Pull switch for 8 bucks and had it to my house in 2 days!

The knob closest to the girl is the Push/Pull split.

The knob closest to the girl is the Push/Pull split.

I decided to install a coil split switch in my guitar over the weekend. I wanted to keep it stock looking so I went with the push/pull switch. I was thinking of going with an On/Off toggle for each coil but with the modification I would have had to had done, it would have taken a lot longer than a weekend. My guitar has 2 humbucker pickups, a 3 way toggle switch that selects one, the other or both, a volume control and a tone control. The Volume and Tone control both pickups, but I found that I rarely ever change the tone, so it was basically unused. I decided to rig up the original Tone potentiometer with a Push/Pull Voume. Now I have a volume control for each pickup allowing me to choose the humbucker or single coil and dial them in as a mix for a whole new amount of tone control.

Here ya go for your own info in case you decided to give it a try.

Schematics to wire 2 humbuckers each with volume control, 3 way toggle switch and push/pull coil tap.

Schematics to wire 2 humbuckers each with volume control, 3 way toggle switch and push/pull coil tap.

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