Coil Tapping?

Discussion in 'Sevenstring Guitars' started by Prophecy420, Aug 12, 2004.

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  1. Prophecy420

    Prophecy420 BEADGBE

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    I don't know how this works, but I'd like to put a coil tap on my seven string. Do I need a special pickup? Or can any be wired to do it with the right knob?
     
  2. jacksonplayer

    jacksonplayer The Fusion Guy! Contributor

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    Any pickup with four-conductor wiring can be tapped. The only modern humbuckers I know of that cannot are most EMGs and the DiMarzio PAF (I think--or is it the Duncan 59, I mix those two up a lot).
     
  3. Digital Black

    Digital Black SS.org Regular

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    Coil tap and phase reverse work awesome for clean sounds.
     
  4. Chris

    Chris Forum MVP

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    Agree. My C1 has it - awesome for cleans. It's also the de-ballsifier for disto tones. :D
     
  5. Metal Ken

    Metal Ken Hates the Air Contributor

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    And the only reason a EMG cant tap (aside from 89, and whatever other tappable ones they have, even though they're a minority) is because its not its a really big bar magnet with a coil wrapped around it, as opposed to a traditional humbucker, right?

    My question is what does reversing the polarity do?
     
  6. Leon

    Leon {##[====:::. Contributor

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    i've wondered about this too. but, i know less about it than i'd like to admit.

    what is it? how does it change your sound?
     
  7. Drew

    Drew Forum MVP

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    I just had a three way selector and a coil tap push/pull tone knob installed on my 7620. Here's the idea.

    Single coils rock- great, dynamically responsive, clear tone. Problem is, though, they're horribly prone to 60-cycle hum- those of you with guitars with both single coils and humbuckers have noticed how when you're on the 'bucker and switch to the single coil, suddenly you hear this backgroudn static, especially if you're close to your amp or around a tv or neon light?

    So, in an effort to eleminate this, Les Paul wired two single coils together in series, but 180 degrees out of phase, idea being that any noise picked up by the circuit that wasn't being fed in from the guitar strings would be cancelled out, due to the phase reversal- it'd be 180 degrees out of phase and thus net to zero. Smart chap (he called this new pickup a "humbucking" pickup- electrical wiring ability, and not linguistic creativity, appears to have been his forte) However, this also drastically changed the sound of the guitar- it gave a darker, thicker, bassier, more compressed, and significantly louder signal being fed into the amplifier. Which was kinda cool in it's own way, too, though.

    So, fast forward a bit- Humbuckers are gaining popularity in the rock crowd for their meaty tone and massive output, allowing amps to be driven into heavy distortion. however, single coils sound nice, too. So, some other creative chap realized tha, if you had individual circuits wired for each coil of the pickup, it'd allow you to use the pickup as a conventional humbucker, but at the flip of a switch, take one of the coils out of the circuit, giving you a pickup that functioned as what was effectively a singlecoil. That's a coil tap.

    I LOVE the sound of single coils- they kill for lead, as they have phenomenal dynamic response, but at the same time you need to hear them to believe them for rhythm on those low strings- great impact, presence, and "growl." My 7620 seems like a whole new guitar now that it's wired this way- all the great humbucker sounds i was using before (i almost never used the parallel humbucker modes), plus some great new alternatives. I'd never confuse it with my strat- alver vs. basswood makes a big difference- but it's an awesome sound, all the same.

    -D
     
  8. Jerich

    Jerich Contributor

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    I really enjoy playing with both in the studio they are a valuable tool for getting nice woody tones or belly ring like tone (clean) and you can almost get a Strat scalloped tone with careful tuning in...But....Playing live and you hit one of those switches your distortion goes south and so do you...you will think you fried your head...I had a guy I just redid his 5150 he was playing it for two days and right before his gig and Praising me :D ...ten minutes into his set He was Cussing me saying his head was blown. :mad: ..I know I know..he was a Novice at Tube heads and playing live but I seen his two switches were down and should have been up (Coil tap and Phase switch) I walked out onto stage flicked his switches :nuts: and BAMM :agreed: he was rocking and he tipped for 100.00 :lol: ...can I beat it...no way....
     
  9. Drew

    Drew Forum MVP

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    Funny story about the guy with the 5150 (and congrats on the tip :D ) but as for singlecoils making your "distortion go south" for gigging? Hardly... There's only a slight (noticeable, but slight) decrease in gain for lead playing when I pull my tone pot to tap the humbuckers, and I think the added impact actually HELPS the rhythm tones cut, live, as does the reduced gain. sure, you have to deal with the hum, but unless you're doing lots of stop/start riffing where there's a lot of silent spots, it's really not that big a deal... I personally love how singlecoils sound distorted.

    -D
     
  10. Virtue

    Virtue Prog Nut

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    Likewise on all counts.
     
  11. Drew

    Drew Forum MVP

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    yeah... anyone who says you can't get some SERIOUSLY heavy sounds out of single coils needs to grab a copy of Devin Townsend's "Terria." Most of that was cut with the silver strat you see him with in the liner notes, and there are some PHENOMENAL tones on that disc ("Canada" springs to mind).

    oh, and the music/guitar/singing/production's not too bad either. ;)
     
  12. Jim Soloway

    Jim Soloway Soloway Guitars

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    The Dimarzio PAF 7 does split. That's what I use in the neck position on my 7 string. A lot of the boutique pickups are availabile in both 2 wire and 4 wire versions.
     
  13. Drew

    Drew Forum MVP

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    Jim- how's the PAF7 sound split? how does it compare, in terms of tone and output, to an Air Norton 7 split? I like my AN7 in singlecoil mode, and it's not bad as a humbucker either, especially distorted, but I'm running such a dark amp anyway (Mesa Nomad) that I'm kinda itching to try something with a bit more high end cut and a slightly clearer midrange, and I'm wondering if a PAF is the way to go. Thanks man!

    -D
     
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