Author Topic: Humbucker with separate coil volumes and master  (Read 2165 times)

Aentons

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Humbucker with separate coil volumes and master
« on: September 16, 2019, 11:56:25 AM »
Let me preface by saying that, I like lots of options...

I've been toying with some ideas for revamping the wiring in my SG. Just wondering if anyone has ever done independent coil volumes on humbuckers, and if so, what did you think?

I have a 4 wire 490r/498t set and in the past have had them in a 4 knob, all push/pull type setup where pulling the volume knob grounded one of the coils. Pulling the tones did in/out phase and parallel/series.

I don't want to do push/pulls again since I learned the hard way that they tend to just keep on pulling out when you try to remove the knob.

I could prob get away with larger concentric pots for the coil volumes and lose the master, but I like the idea of a having a master if possible.

So... (I think) What I'd like to do is give each of the 4 coils it's own small volume control in the form of a trimmer or thumbwheel in order to balance the volumes against each other and maybe turn down the overall output (when the master is at full) and the have all the in-between, not quite split tones. I have seen this refered to as a "spin a split'. But.. it's usally only implemented for one of the coils. I'd like to do it for both coils AND keep the 2 larger stock volume controls as master volumes.

At the same time, I plan on having the option to series/parallel switch the coils as well as the 2 humbuckers. I'll likely put controls on the back cover. Anybody have any experience with anything like this?

Another thing that I'm not sure of that I want to take into consideration before I start wiring is the series wiring order of the coils and humbuckers and if that even really matters much.

timbo_93631

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Re: Humbucker with separate coil volumes and master
« Reply #1 on: September 17, 2019, 07:37:07 AM »
It works fine on the coil you normally shunt to ground for coil splitting, but wont work for the other.  The first coil has the start of the coil wire grounded, the finish is tied to the finish of the second coil in the middle of the two, and the start wire of the second coil is the hot lead.  Both coils are wound the same direction, normally ccw, and by reversing the leads on the second coil you get the reverse wound part of the RWRP/humbucking equation.  The other half is of course that the ccw coil sees the south side of the bar magnet, the cw (reversed ccw) coil sees the north side and you have the reverse magnetic polarity that completes the humbucker.  When you split the humbucker you are shorting the first coil, but as you shunt the second coil you also affect the first, this is your standard master volume control for the whole pickup.  If you had the coils in parallel instead of series then you could do what you propose, treating each half as an individual single coil, but you'd want each coil to be wound a lot hotter to make a good sounding pickup, or a much stronger magnet.  It is probably worth considering to have the master vol, first coil dial a split setup per pickup, or to get pickups that have a voice that you like and experiment with a PTB tone control for more tone manipulation.
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Aleph Null

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Re: Humbucker with separate coil volumes and master
« Reply #2 on: September 17, 2019, 09:00:43 AM »
I know that Danelectros were wired in series and managed two independent volume and tone controls. It might be worthwhile to look into how the Danos did it.

Aentons

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Re: Humbucker with separate coil volumes and master
« Reply #3 on: September 17, 2019, 01:08:10 PM »
I know that Danelectros were wired in series and managed two independent volume and tone controls. It might be worthwhile to look into how the Danos did it.

I found the attached wiring diagram. It looks like the bridge pickup is being blended/balanced with neck pickup thru one side of the neck volume pot... hmm. That's more parallel than series, right? I thought about doing something like that but would want a center detent on the pot and availability tends to be limited. Would also be concerned about the taper and limited half travel.

Looks like they used concentric pots.

The tone arrangement is also quite interesting.





timbo_93631

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Re: Humbucker with separate coil volumes and master
« Reply #4 on: September 17, 2019, 01:16:25 PM »

That'll do it.
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Aentons

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Re: Humbucker with separate coil volumes and master
« Reply #5 on: September 17, 2019, 01:39:57 PM »
When you split the humbucker you are shorting the first coil, but as you shunt the second coil you also affect the first, this is your standard master volume control for the whole pickup.
That makes too much sense... and it did not occur to me for some reason. Thanks.


Quote
If you had the coils in parallel instead of series then you could do what you propose, treating each half as an individual single coil, but you'd want each coil to be wound a lot hotter to make a good sounding pickup, or a much stronger magnet.
I measured my set as:
490R = 7.8k
498T = 14.2k

I think these are on the hot end of the range for these models. When I had them split before they sounded fine for pseudo-single type sounds. Are they not hot enough? I have never done a parrallel coils, so not sure what to expect when they are so close.


Quote
It is probably worth considering to have the master vol, first coil dial a split setup per pickup,

But what if I wire them to switch which is first? Kinda goes back to my curiosity to switch the coil series order and if it matters which goes into which. I was thinking it maybe mattered more on the bridge because the coil is so close to the bridge.

Quote
or to get pickups that have a voice that you like
Sounds like you are not a fan of the dreaded pair or whatever they call them

Quote
and experiment with a PTB tone control for more tone manipulation.
Sounds kind of like the TBX control. I hadn't heard of this one tho. Thanks, I'll check it out

Aentons

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Re: Humbucker with separate coil volumes and master
« Reply #6 on: September 17, 2019, 02:04:36 PM »
That'll do it.

Cool..  Looks very similar to the other diagram.

Anybody ever tried these?
« Last Edit: September 17, 2019, 05:02:48 PM by Aentons »

timbo_93631

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Re: Humbucker with separate coil volumes and master
« Reply #7 on: September 17, 2019, 08:14:52 PM »
I've played a 2 lipstick Dano when I was younger with the concentric pots, but that was 25 years ago and I had no idea about pickups then!  I hadn't considered what was going on.  Neat to see it.  PTB is passive treble and bass, G&L tone control with a traditional treble cut, but also a bass cut.  Allows a lot of fine control.  As far as more tone options out of humbuckers goes I've really been into not going for a full split but keeping part of the second coil.  PRS is doing this with some pickups too.  Basically with this setup you have all of the first coil just for example lets say 4k (screw coil on my pickups and the overall hotter wound coil of the two), and a tap at 1k5-2k of the second coil, then the finish of the coil.  You set up the switching for either/or, so you have the full humbucker or a more convincing and fatter single coil tone than a straight split, and it also has quite a bit of hum reduction.  A nice compromise.  I find that for my purposes I'd rather have great sounding presets so to speak than constantly dialing in sweet spots with knobs.  If I can run through a 5 way switch and have five great and unique tones, not matter how they are achieved, then that is more useful to me than being able to fine tune to a perfect tone by knob twiddling.  Nothing wrong with that, mind you, I'm just more into instant access to the best tones, and if that can be had without a ton of output drop in the twangier settings then I'm really into it.
« Last Edit: September 17, 2019, 08:16:26 PM by timbo_93631 »
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