The 408 system

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Erik, May 26, 2018.

  1. Erik

    Erik New Member

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    So i was wondering, Do you need certain pickups that are made for this kind of wiring?

    As far as i know the only one that prs makes for this system is 408 pu, 85/15MT, 58/15MT.

    So yeah, could you hook up the 408 system to a pair of dimarzios or whatever, if you wanted?
     
  2. toothace

    toothace Zombie Thirteen, DFZ

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    I would think as long as the pickups have the appropriate wires for splitting...
     
  3. Herr Squid

    Herr Squid I was severely impressed

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  4. garrett

    garrett knows just enough to be dangerous

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    The 408 system requires specially wound and wired pickups.

    When in humbucker mode, the slug coil is tapped. When you split the humbucker to single coil, it cancels the screw coil and engages the full wind of the slug coil. I think Paul has said split mode adds 1500 winds to the slug coil. That's why I like to call them splap switches, it is a unique mix of split and tap wiring.

    It is an ingeniously simple way to get a dual sound pickup, but if you want to replicate it, you will have to find a winder who can custom make you something.
     
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  5. Michael_DK

    Michael_DK New Member

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    I think there are other pickups out there that do the same thing - at least for bass there is.
     
  6. Rider1260

    Rider1260 New Member

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    I did a 408 style switching on a NF3 project guitar worked really well, not as seamless as the real 408 but better that many tapped set ups, used 5909s and a PRS vintage rails in the center

    [​IMG]IMG_2736 by
     
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  7. dmatthews

    dmatthews Dave's not here...

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    This is a very cool project!
     
  8. gush

    gush She said "huge bag of dibs".

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    Visit my wiring thread I started a couple weeks ago. John Beef ND Garrett were really helpful and provided a simular schematic.

    It's push pulls on both Vol and tone pots. The main difference is you won't get the extra 1500 winds. It will give you 8 different combos.
     
  9. Matte82

    Matte82 New Member

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    There are "tap-able" pickups out there. I've found them before but can't remember who it is that makes them. I'm sure you could get them custom made also. Definitely works better than coil splits.
     
  10. garrett

    garrett knows just enough to be dangerous

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    The terminology gets mixed up all the time. Splits are often wrongly called taps.
    Tap = Some winds of a coil are bypassed
    Split = One entire coil of a humbucker is bypassed

    You typically will only find taps on single coil pickups, most commonly (though it's not really common at all) on a P-90 or Tele bridge pickup so you can have a hotter wind with the full coil engaged, but then tap it to bypass some of the winds to get a lower output.

    Humbuckers typically split, but do not typically have coil taps. There may be some out there I don't know of, but I'm only aware of the PRS humbucker pickups doing this: 513, 408, and MT models. They are unique in that they both split AND tap.

    With the 408 in humbucker mode, you have the screw coil + tapped slug coil. In single coil mode, the humbucker is split and the tap is disengaged, so you have the full wind of the slug coil.

    If you wanted to, you could also wire it to be split and tapped at the same time for a lower output single coil tone. You could also wire it to have both full coils in humbucker mode, which might be interesting, because the slug coil will be quite a bit hotter than the screw coil.

    AFAIK, you cannot do the above with any other pickups. You certainly cannot do this with your typical off the shelf humbuckers. What you CAN do is the next best thing, which is to do a partial split like many other PRS guitars. By connecting the split coil to ground via a series resistor, some of the signal from the cancelled coil is allowed to pass through, which beefs up the tone.
     
  11. Michael_DK

    Michael_DK New Member

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    My old bass had a splappable EMG humbucker ("music man") pickup in the bridge - switching to single coil did exactly what the 408s do.
    Don't know if any of their other pickups do this.
     
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  12. Matte82

    Matte82 New Member

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    So the 408 doesn't use the entire humbucker even in humbucker mode? I thought it did, and in "single coil" mode used one coil and 1500 winds of the other. I could very well be wrong. And I wasn't sure how the 513 worked. I figured it was both full coils in heavy mode, both coils tapped for clear humbucker, and then a full coil for single coil mode. But yes the terms tapped/split have been overly misused and are now misunderstood by many. Kind of like phase and polarity.

    Anyway one of the companies doing a two voice humbucker is JBE pickups. I believe that's Joe Borden's company. Their two tone humbucker uses actual taps for the single coil mode. Not sure exactly their method. I've also read about using a resistor when splitting to keep some of the second coil working. Seems like a cool idea. I've even seen diagrams that used a volume pot to turn the volume up and down on just one coil.

    I've also been intrigued by Fishman's new Fluence Classic open core pickups. Like the others they have two HB voices, but then a single coil mode also. So 3 pickups in one. May have to try them out sometime and see what I think. I've been tempted to build a 513ish HSH guitar. With either the Fishman or JBE pickups you could probably get close to the versatility. I just know the playability probably wouldn't be as good.
     
  13. Michael_DK

    Michael_DK New Member

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    Well... Think of it as having a "regular" humbucker, but with an additional 1500 winds on one of the coils that are ONLY activated when that coil is in single coil mode. So: In humbucker mode, normal number of winds for a humbucker - and when in cingle coil mode: normal number of winds for a single coil.

    See eg. here (table toward the end): http://www.stewmac.com/freeinfo/i-2105/i-2105.pdf
     
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  14. toothace

    toothace Zombie Thirteen, DFZ

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    Is the OP after a 408 switching system(ala the Custom 24-08) or is he looking for a full 408 experience without using 408 pickups(which IIRC, use 1 coil and 1500 winds of the second coil in "split" mode to eliminate the volume lost from a normal coil split)?
     
  15. garrett

    garrett knows just enough to be dangerous

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    The full pickup is never engaged on the 408 style. I just got a narrow 408 bridge model this weekend. I need to go back and record the measurements, but with factory wiring, humbucker mode was something like 9.4k and single coil mode was around 6k. The tap wire measured around 1.4k, which makes sense: Split the 9.4k to get 4.7k, add in the 1.4k that was tapped and you get 6.1k. It isn't stealing that extra resistance from the other coil because when I measured it right, I got something like 10.8k.

    I'm not an expert on the 513, but my assumption on how it works is the same as Matte's.

    Thanks for the tip on the Barden pickups. The Two Tones seem to have a unique thing of their own, since it says they're hum cancelling in either wiring.

    I think the Fluence pickups look pretty cool. I thought it would be especially fun to drop one into an SE One (or other single pickup guitar) to get the three variations. I'm just very hesitant to deal with batteries.

    Yes!
     
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  16. Matte82

    Matte82 New Member

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    Okay. That makes sense too. I knew they used extra windings in single coil mode. I just thought they were taking them from the other coil. Tapping into it around 1500 winds. So basically the 408 has one over wound tapped coil. Learn something new every day. :)
     
    #16 Matte82, May 29, 2018
    Last edited: May 29, 2018
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