Mini Toggle Switch FAQ – Coil-Split a Humbucker Pickup

mini toggle switch faqIf you have ever thought about using a mini toggle switch to split a humbucker guitar pickup, you may have a few questions about how to go about it.

Coil-splitting humbuckers

Many of our mini toggle switch FAQ begin with an inquiry into whether or not you can coil-split just any humbucker. Theoretically, any humbucker can be split, but in practice, it’s dependent upon the way the manufacturer has built the pickup. To split a humbucking pickup, you need one with four lead output wires, because they are actually the beginning and end — or positive and negative — of each coil. Humbuckers are designed to connect the end of one
coil to the beginning of the second.

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Pickup Parts Needed – Building Your Own Electric Guitar Pickups – Part 3

pickup partsLearn about all of the tools and parts you'll need to build your own electric guitar pickup.

Hello again, and welcome to our ongoing series of articles discussing how guitar pickups work and how you can build your own. In the last article we discussed how the magnets and coil work, and how they work together to create the sound that you hear. This time around, we are going to look at the tools, pickup parts, and other things that you will need to build your project from scratch.
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Windings and How They Affect Tone & Output – Building Your Own Electric Guitar Pickups – Part 2

windingsLearn how windings change string vibrations, thereby affecting the tone and output of a guitar pickup.

In the last article we discussed all of the different guitar pickups available to the guitar player. So, we should now have a good idea why we would use each type and we should also have a rough idea of how each type works. And from that last article, we probably also remember that the most popular kind of guitar pickup is the passive type, and that it uses a magnet and the windings of a wire coil to create your sound. Continue reading “Windings and How They Affect Tone & Output – Building Your Own Electric Guitar Pickups – Part 2”

Understanding How Pickups Work – Building Your Own Electric Guitar Pickups – Part 1

how pickups workIf you would like to learn more about guitar pickups, what the different types are, how they are created, how they work, and even how to build your own, then this is the place to get started.

This is the first in a series of articles in which we will detail every aspect of the guitar pickup. We’ll discuss, with as much detail as possible, how pickups work, the different types, and when to use each. So, let’s get started. Continue reading “Understanding How Pickups Work – Building Your Own Electric Guitar Pickups – Part 1”

The Seven-Sound Strat Modification

seven-sound strat modificationDo you want to add a 'Tele' sound to your Strat? How about all three pickups at once? Try this Seven-Sound Stratocaster Modification.

The Seven-Sound Strat Modification is an easy mod that you can make to your guitar to give you more tone versatility, and despite its name, you can make this mod on any type of guitar that has three pickups and a five-way switch.

The five-way switch gives Strat players plenty of versatility in tone. Position 1 is the Bridge pickup, Position 2 is Bridge + Middle, Position 3 is just the Middle pickup, Position 4 is Middle + Neck, and Position 5 is Neck. What the five-way switch does not provide is a way to select the Bridge + Neck pickup, or a way to select all three pickups at once. This is exactly what the Seven-Sound Strat Mod (also sometimes referred to as the Gilmour mod) provides for us.

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Single Coil and Double Coil Pickups – What Are the Differences?

single coil and double coilLearn not only the technical differences between single coil and double coil guitar pickups, but also why they sound so different.

In order to understand what we are talking about when we say single coil and double coil, we’ll first take a look at the different parts of a pickup and see how they work together to produce a guitar signal. Then we’ll examine single coil and double coil pickups, the differences between them, and why you would want to use each type. We’ll discuss the single coil first because it’s the original type and it has a simpler design. We’ll start with the parts, then move into the ways the single coil and double coil pickups actually work.

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Mini Toggle Switch (DPDT) – Use This to Coil-Split a Humbucker Pickup

mini toggle switchYou can use any kind of switch, but since the mini toggle takes up very little space once it's in place, you might agree that it's the best choice for this kind of project.

Why a Mini Toggle Switch?

A humbucker pickup contains two coils, and with a simple modification we can use a switch to “shut off” one of the coils, causing it to sound and act like a single coil pickup. The choice to use a mini toggle switch is purely aesthetic; you can use absolutely any kind of switch that you want to but you will need to modify your guitar to hold it. A mini toggle requires drilling a hole that is less than 1/4 inch and takes up very little space once it is in place.

If you have the type of guitar that requires you to drill a hole through the wood, into the electronics compartment to add a toggle switch, then I recommend taking it to a pro, unless you really know what you are doing. If you’re lucky enough to have a Stratocaster or another type of guitar with those large pickguards that give you access to the electronics by removing them, then you can probably drill a small hole in the pickguard and add the toggle switch yourself if you are very careful and have the tools.

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Coil-Splitting a Humbucker Pickup with a Push-Pull Pot

push-pull potHave you ever wanted to turn off one of your humbucker pickup coils?

Well, here we’ll talk about how to wire a humbucker pickup so that it can be split into a single coil pickup using a push-pull pot. For the split you need a four-wire humbucker; you cannot split a two-wire without first modifying the pickup itself. Each coil has a Hot and a Ground, and a determination must be made as to which is which before we get started.

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Guitar Pickup Wiring: Phase, Series, and Parallel

guitar pickup wiringHere's a look at guitar wiring, and how to make sure your pickups are in-phase with each other. Here, also, is an examination of polarity and how to wire pickups in series, or parallel.

So we’ll start with the basics of guitar pickup wiring by examining what it means when guitar pickups are wired in-phase, out-of-phase, series, or parallel. The first thing we’ll need to do is understand a little about how our pickups are made and how they work.

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Rock Telecaster Bridge Pickups — Which Ones are Best?

rock telecaster bridge pickupsHere are some excellent Fender Telecaster replacement bridge pickups that have been designed for their high quality and great gain.

Rock Telecaster Bridge Pickups

The Fender Telecaster is actually a great guitar for Rock. The twangy sound fattens up nicely when run through some overdrive or a fuzz pedal. Even though many people consider the Telecaster to be a country guitar many great Rock players, including Jeff Beck, Mike Campbell, John 5, Richie Kotzen, Alex Lifeson, Jimmy Page, Keith Richards, and Bruce Springsteen often use a Tele. One way that you might be able to help your Telecaster deliver a more Rock tone is to change the pickups. So, with that in mind, let’s talk about some of the best Rock Telecaster bridge pickups around.

The ones that we’ve listed here are of very high quality, and they were designed for Rock and for the great gain that they produce. So that means that we’ll be looking at humbucker pickups, which will allow us to run through overdrive or fuzz while keeping inherent noise to a minimum. We’ll be looking at pickups that fit into the bridge position of a Tele without having to modify the guitar, taking into account the slanted nature of its bridge pickup. So, if you’re looking to get a heavier rock sound, this list of the best Rock Telecaster bridge pickups should help you narrow down your choices.

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