Before You Start
In this article, we assume that your guitar is already wired up and working correctly, and that you have at least one Lindy Fralin Modern PAF installed. If you need help installing your pickups, please check out our article titled Lindy Fralin Modern PAF Wiring Diagram.
What is Coil-Splitting?
Coil-splitting is a somewhat inaccurate term for what is happening in this modification. A humbucker is wired with two coils, so one coil runs into the next, creating one long one. When we coil-split, we essentially put a switch between the two coils. When the switch is in one position, one coil will go into the next, the way it normally does, but when the switch is in the other position, the signal will go to the Ground instead of the second coil, essentially, shorting out half of the pickup.
To perform your coil-split, you will need the following:
- A Lindy Fralin Modern PAF pickup with at least three wires. The Modern PAF is available with one, two, three, or four colored wires. You will need one with at least three wires.
- A push-pull pot or a mini-toggle switch to turn the modification on and off. If you use a mini-toggle switch, you will need to drill a hole in your pickguard to install it.
- 7k resistor.
- Soldering iron and a small amount of solder.
Converting the Tone Knob to a Push-Pull Pot
We recommend using a push-pull pot instead of a mini-toggle switch because you can revert back to the original scheme if you want. If you use a mini-toggle switch, you will need to drill a hole in the pickguard to mount the switch, so it’s a permanent modification.
The push-pull pot closely resembles a standard volume or tone control with an added switch section. Example 1 is what it might look like before and after you convert to a push-pull pot.
Example 2 is what it might look like after you convert it.
Once the push-pull pot is in place, you can attach the pickup.
You will need to attach either the red or the red and green wires to the switch, depending on which version of the Lindy Fralin Modern PAF you have. You will also need to install the 7k resistor and the ground wire, as we see in Example 3.
Most pickup splitting modifications don’t require the extra step of installing the 7k resistor. Lindy Fralin recommends the 7k resistor to compensate for the medium output power of the Modern PAF. Usually, pickup splitting low output humbuckers can result in a thin and quiet tone, but adding the resistor helps balance things out.
With the completion of this modification, pulling out the tone control will result in shorting out the second coil and splitting the pickup, creating a single-coil sound. Pushing in the tone control will allow the signal to travel into the second coil as it usually does. If you have experience soldering, you can complete this modification in an hour or two, and it is 100% reversible.
If this guide has helped you coil-split your Lindy Fralin pickup and you’ve found it informative, please feel free to share this on Facebook and Twitter. For more articles on guitar electronics, visit humbuckersoup.com.