Difference between coil split and coil tap

Craig Jordan

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Hello,

Can anyone offer an accurate description of the differences between a pickup with a coil split versus a coil tap?
 

bodia

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Hello,

Can anyone offer an accurate description of the differences between a pickup with a coil split versus a coil tap?
Basically, a coil split is "removing" one set of coils from a Humbucker pickup in order to replicate single coil tones. In a split, noise and hum are reintroduced to the tone.

A tap has a switch point in the coil to mimic single coil tones. However, in a tap both portions of the Humbucker remain in operation to minimize hum and noise.

That's as basic as I can put it. Besides, my understanding doesn't go much beyond that. Some one else can surely add more.
 

gush

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A coil tap leaves one coil active and the other coil partially active to give single coil like tones but the noise cancelling characteristics of both active or "humbucking"
 

Craig Jordan

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Thanks for your insights-I brought this up after watching a video posted on the McCarty 594 thread where the reviewers were unsure if the 594 offered a coil tap or split-coil. The specs I read were that the 594 offers a coil tap.
 

Guitarsan

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Thanks for your insights-I brought this up after watching a video posted on the McCarty 594 thread where the reviewers were unsure if the 594 offered a coil tap or split-coil. The specs I read were that the 594 offers a coil tap.

Yeah, that's the Anderton chaps. I don't agree with their conclusion that the 594 is coil split based on their "noise" test. A coil tap will still exhibit some noise compared to humbuckers because, well, you've removed some of the hum-bucking when you tap the coils. If they compared the 594 with a coil split humbucker, the coil split would have been noisier still. So the presence of some noise does not necessarily mean "aha, split".

In general coil-tapped is preferred. (Which is what PRS says the 594 is.)

Better than I could explain it:

http://jbepickups.com/coil-tapping-vs-coil-splitting/
(skip the "why the distinction" paragraph, it's not relevant)
 

justmund

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Both terms are frequently used incorrectly, and I don't believe that PRS uses coil taps in their regular HB equipped guitars (except for the 408 equipped guitars and maybe the 513).

As said, a coil split is cutting off one coil of a humbucker completely, so you're left with one coil active.

Coil tapping involves an additional wire (or 2) connected to the windings of the pickup coil/s, so you can "tap in" to the windings at that point.

PRS up until about 2010(?) used plain ol' coil splits, where they would ground the split wire with a switch, shorting one coil to ground, and leaving one coil active (path of least resistance). They then started doing "the resistor mod", which involves putting a resistor (1.1k neck, 2.2k bridge) between the switch and ground, so when activated the coil isn't completely shorted to ground and you're left with a partial signal from that coil in the circuit. The result is less of a drop in output, slight hum cancelling and a change in tone.

You could say the split wire is "tapped" into the wire that joins the coils together, but strictly speaking, I believe that to be incorrect.

I also have a theory (which I've posted about recently) that the 408s both split and tap (splap), one coil tapped in humbucker mode, then untapped (adding 1500 winds) and split in single coil mode. I think there's 5 conductors coming off a 408 and the mini-toggles are DPDT so it kinda backs up my theory.
 

clasbtenn

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This is the definition of coil tapping:
"Coil tapping involves an additional wire (or 2) connected to the windings of the pickup coil/s, so you can "tap in" to the windings at that point." from Justmund's post.

Coil splitting is when a humbucker pickup, with two coils, has one taken out of the sound, leaving only one active coil active.
 

Guitarsan

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I stand corrected, the 594 is coil split. (Even thought it's interesting, on the 594 web page it refers to both coil split and coil tapped in different places. Might be corrected to reflect only coil split soon, since I've pointed this out.)
 

garrett

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Split - One entire coil of a humbucker is sent to ground
Tap - A set portion of the windings of a coil is sent to ground

When talking humbuckers, whether someone says "split" or "tap" they are almost always talking about a split (even PRS marketing is guilty of calling splits "taps"). The only exception I know of is the "splap" used on the 408, in which one of the coils is tapped in humbucker mode and when you flip the switch the coils are split and the tap is taken out of the active coil.

Tapping isn't very common and is usually done on a Tele bridge pickup or a P-90. This way you can have a hot, powerful single coil, and then activate the tap to ground some of the windings and turn it into a sweeter, lower output pickup.
 

BlueSky

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Does the S2 22 Custom with the #7 humbuckers have coil split or tap?
 

BlueSky

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Thanks for clarifying that. Split with resistors is what I wanted to hear. I modded my SE24 that way with a Seymour Duncan hot-rodded HB set. No volume loss and no hum when split. It's perfect.
I'm planning to get a S2 22 Custom and would like to keep it stock. Perhaps off topic but how are the #7 humbuckers?
 

garrett

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Thanks for clarifying that. Split with resistors is what I wanted to hear. I modded my SE24 that way with a Seymour Duncan hot-rodded HB set. No volume loss and no hum when split. It's perfect.
I'm planning to get a S2 22 Custom and would like to keep it stock. Perhaps off topic but how are the #7 humbuckers?

I liked the #7s just fine when I tried out an S2 Singlecut, but I wasn't fond of them at all in my S2 Singlecut Standard. I feel like they're better suited to a maple top, so they probably work well in the Custom.
 
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