FDP Home Page / FDP Forum / FAQ's

The FDP is made possible by the following companies and individual members like you.
Please use the links below to show them we value their sponsorship.

Yellowjackets Tube Converters

WD Music

Antique Electronics Supply

Jensen Loudspeakers


Amplified Parts

Apex Tube Matching


* God bless America and our men and women in uniform *

* Illegitimi non carborundum! *

If you benefit and learn from the FDP and enjoy our site, please help support us and become a Contributing Member or make a Donation today! The FDP counts on YOU to help keep the site going with an annual contribution. It's quick and easy with PayPal. Please do it TODAY!

Chris Greene, Host & Founder



Find musicians
in your area!
  Search the Forums  

FDP Forum / Guitar Mods, Repairs, and Projects / Coil splitting covered humbucker opinions

Mick Reid
Contributing Member


American-made in Oz!!
Jul 26th, 2019 09:40 PM   Edit   Profile  

Would you have a preference over which coil to split? Exposed screw coil or covered slug coil?

Do you reckon the increased capacitance of the cover would colour the single coil sound adversely?

I know there's the whole covered vs open HB camps, and people that say the cover on a tele neck pickup is what makes them (some of them) muddy ...

So I'm chucking this out there...

(This message was last edited by Mick Reid at 11:41 PM, Jul 26th, 2019)



Jul 27th, 2019 09:05 AM   Edit   Profile  

"Would you have a preference over which coil to split?
Exposed screw coil or covered slug coil?"

I don't think that you mean to split an individual coil, but rather you want to split the pickup and select only one of the coils. (Just for clarity, I think that we all get your intent.)

I don't know if you can do this on a covered HB, so someone else will need to chime in. However, I'd think that you should be able to do it. A quick view of the Dimarzio web site shows a few covered HBs with 4 conductor wiring.

As far as the screw versus slug coil selection, I'd think that what matters more is the inside versus outside coil.

There are a couple of things that you may want to consider, if you haven't already.

One is keeping both coils active versus splitting and selecting only one.
The "normal" HB wiring is the coils in series.
If you put them in parallel, correctly, you end up with a slightly thinner tone, but it is still noise cancelling.

The other is: Is this for a Strat style guitar?
Does it have two HBs?
If so, dig around on the Dimarzio web site and have a look at their wiring diagrams.
The MM Axis, which should be there, is a 2xHB guitar with a 5 way switch.
My el cheapo MM/Sterling SUB AX3 is a 2xHB with a 5 way switch, and it gives 5 usuable combinations of splits and series and parallels.
I don't remember what they are off the top of my head, but could dig it up if you're interested.
However, it is a special switch, even though it looks like a normal 5 way.
You would either need to buy a Megaswitch, or maybe contact Sterling and see if they'd sell you one.

Contributing Member

U.S. - Virginia

Jul 27th, 2019 11:17 AM   Edit   Profile  

I think the important thing is what part of the string length is being sensed. When makers design humbuckers they usually consider an unbalanced coil set. This isnt as good at hum cancelling as each coil needs to be identical for maximum noise reduction. However there are tonal benefits. Many old PAFs were this way.

So on the neck pickup, the theory is if you put more turns on the coil closest to the fretboard, you get more of that deeper lush sound. On the bridge you can put extra turns on the coil closest to the fretboard to avoid excessive highs, or accentuate them by adding turns to the coil closest to the bridge.

Mick Reid
Contributing Member


American-made in Oz!!
Jul 27th, 2019 04:41 PM   Edit   Profile  

Thanks Aaron, that's good information (as always). The pickup in question is an Iron Gear "Dirty Torque" HB.

I'll measure each coil just to see how they balance, but in this application I've decided just split to the screw coil and be done with it (not my guitar).

If I had time and the motivation, I'd experiment with both options to see if there were any significant tonal advantage of one to the other.

@ejm, I should have said "split to".



Jul 28th, 2019 09:57 AM   Edit   Profile  

Years and years and decades ago........

Jeff "Skunk" Baxter was writing a monthly column for Guitar Player magazine.

I remember one issue where the topic was balancing the coils of a HB. He went into measuring each coil for resistance, then unwinding one of them to make them match.

I don't remember any of the reasons as to why this was so important at the time.

Contributing Member

If irritation occurs

discontinue use.
Jul 28th, 2019 11:21 AM   Edit   Profile  

When I split a humbucker, the single active coil is never the 'inside' coil. I want tonal separation and flavor from each pickup, and splitting to the inside coil provides less sonic difference between the two pickup.

Mick Reid
Contributing Member


American-made in Oz!!
Jul 28th, 2019 05:33 PM   Edit   Profile  

That makes sense P.

Interestingly, Ibanez seems to regularly split their HH guitars to the two middle coils. I'm sure someone in R&D had a reason for it or maybe it's 2 cents cheaper doing that way, who knows.

FYI the guitar I was enquiring for is a single HB strat. I'm going with the screw coil and be done with it.

FDP Forum / Guitar Mods, Repairs, and Projects / Coil splitting covered humbucker opinions

Reply to this Topic
Display my email address             Lost your password?
Your Message:
Link Address (URL):
Link Title:

Moderators: Chris Greene  Iron Man  reverendrob  

FDP, LLC Privacy Policy: Your real name, username, and email
are held in confidence and not disclosed to any third parties, sold, or
used for anything other than FDP Forum registration unless you specifically authorize disclosure.

Internet Application Development

Copyright © 1999-2019 Fender Discussion Page, LLC   All Rights Reserved