Out of Phase & Coil Tap

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Out of Phase & Coil Tap

Postby ®ëv. ßïll¥ © on Sat May 17, 2008 2:45 am

I've had several inquiries into how to 'flip a magnet' for out-of-phase humbucker operation, as well as how to convert a 2-conductor pickup to allow for a coil tap, so I thought I would take some photo's & explain how to do both modifications.

DISCLAIMER:
This will absolutely void any warranty on the pickup(s) you perform these mod's on, so experiment & learn on cheap pickups that you have no worries about.


Have fun!
Last edited by ®ëv. ßïll¥ © on Tue Jul 08, 2008 4:37 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby ®ëv. ßïll¥ © on Sat May 17, 2008 2:46 am

Flipping the magnet for Out-Of-Phase operation


You'll need:
  • a phillip's-head screwdriver
  • a small flat jeweler's screwdriver
  • a small hammer
  • a small chisel
  • a Sharpie®

  1. Gotta get the cover off (If you don't have a cover, skip this step). A small chisel and a small hammer should do the trick. Strike right along the solder joint. Take care to let the chisel only go through the solder joint and not shooting down into the pickup. :Doh:

  2. Once the cover is off, flip the pickup over, and loosen the 4 small brass screws that hold the pickup together with the philips screwdriver. Don't take them out, just loosen them a turn or two.
    Image



  3. Examine the pickup to find which side has the gap to where the magnet is inserted. The other side will have the tape at the same point. Using the small flat jewler's screwdriver, insert it gently on the 'Tape' side, and push the magnet out, but not all the way yet! Take care that you are not pushing on any wires! If your pickups are potted with wax, you'll have a tougher time than un-potted pickups. You may have to wiggle them a bit with the small jeweler's screwdriver to loosen the wax.
    Image Image

    Image Image
    ...push gently but firmly...watch out for little wires!!!...don't take the magnet out yet!



  4. Pull the magnet out a little more, keeping it face-up until you can label it.
    Image

  5. Get a Sharpie®, and mark the "In Phase" side with an 'X', and mark an arrow towards the side of the magnet facing the SCREWS.
    Image


  6. Spin the magnet 180º, so that the arrow you marked on it before faces the SLUGS.
    Image

  7. Push the magnet back in, flip the pickup back over, and tighten the 4 screws again. DO NOT OVER-TIGHTEN.


  8. Re-install the cover. Clamp the cover on the pickup, and re-solder the cover onto the base of the pickup.
    Image



This will give you the great out-of-phase sounds of Peter Green & Jimmy Page (and alot of others!) when the both pickups are selected on a 3-way switch.

Image
Last edited by ®ëv. ßïll¥ © on Sat May 17, 2008 2:50 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby ®ëv. ßïll¥ © on Sat May 17, 2008 2:46 am

Coil Tap



You'll need:
  • a small hammer
  • a small chisel
  • electric tape
  • a 25w-40w soldering iron & solder
  • 'pickup tape' (but you could use masking tape or electrical tape in a pinch)
  • a single-conductor piece of wire with a cloth/rubber/vinyl/plastic shield long enough to reach from the pickup to the controls in your guitar.

  1. Gotta get the cover off (If you don't have a cover, skip this step). A small chisel and a small hammer should dothe trick. Strike right along the solder joint. Take care to let the chisel only go through the solder joint and not shooting down into the pickup. :Doh:

  2. We're looking for the 2 little wires that connect the two coils of the humbucker. Here's a quick graphic of a pickup & the wires we're looking for:

    Image


    They tuck the wires in between the coils, so you'll have to fish them out very carefully.

    Here's what the wires look like in reality, after you get done wire fishin':
    Image

    Note that we are after the two wires that join the coils (marked "Coil Wires")...the wires on the lower-right of the pickup are the 'hot' (marked "HOT" :wink: ) of the pickup, and are connected to the lead running out of the pickup. LEAVE THIS WIRE ALONE!


    ...here's what the wires look like after you get the tape off:
    Image

    We are going to splice our piece of single-conductor wire to the wire that connects the 2 coils on the pickup. When the the new wire's signal is sent to a ground, the 2nd coil of the pickup is turned off, thus resulting in single coil operation of the pickup. You can use a mini-switch, or a push/pull pot, preferably in the 'Tone' control position---that has less effect on Tone.

  3. Take the tape off the sides of the coils of the pickup. Take care not to just yank it off the coil, but gently pull it so that if any of the pickup wire has stuck to it, you can get it off the tape before unravelling all the wire of the pickup.

  4. Time to take the tape off the coil wires...it should be wrapped with a bit of electrical tape. Very carefully remove the tape. Remember, leave the "HOT" wire alone!
    Image

  5. Next, get your single-conductor wire ready by tinning (or pre-soldering) the end.
    Image


  6. What you will do is solder the end of the yellow single-conductor wire (pictured above) to the end of the small coil wires on the pickup. First, get some solder on the end of your iron (40w or less)...

    Image


    ...then hold the 2 different wires together, and run your soldering iron along both (quickly) so the solder melts and the wires all join, like this:
    Image

  7. Before we get going on to re-assembling the pickup, let's make sure we didn't kill the pickup. Grab your voltmeter, set it to Ω's, and take a measurement...:fingersx:
    Image
    8.3KΩ's... :thumbsup: :highfive:

  8. Now, get a small piece of electrical tape and tape off the newly formed solder joint, very carefully!
    Image


And now, for the fun part... :mrgreen:

  1. We are going to keep everything nice & neat by running our newly-formed coil tap wire in between the coils so that it is out of the way and is safe from being harmed. To do this, we need to loosen the 4 brass screws on the bottom of the plate.
    Image
  2. Very gently, separate the coils, and run the coil tap wire between them...start by pushing the wire in between the coils...
    Image

  3. Work the wire in between the coils until it's seated firmly...
    Image

  4. The goal at this point is to feed the wire in between the coils, and aim for the small hole that the lead of the pickup goes through already, like this:
    Image

  5. Depending on what kind of wire you have (I used "standard" cloth-covered hook up wire that you'd see in a Tele), it'll take a little 'English' to get it into & through the hole, but you can make it... :wink:
    Image

  6. So, we've ran the wire into & through the coils, and fished it through the hole in the base plate, and here's what it should look like:
    Image

  7. Once the new Coil Tap wire is pulled firmly through the base plate, we need to re-tape the coils with the pickup tape (again, electrical tape will do, but the pickup tape is cheap and the perfect width)...
    ImageImage
  8. Tighten the 4 brass screws on the base plate to secure the pickup.

  9. The whole point of going through the hole in the base plate is 2-fold:
    • To keep it out of the way in a place where it won't get harmed, and...
    • To enable us to put a cover back on without tearing up the wire, if we are going to put a cover on at all...


    • With a cover...
      Image


    • ...or without...
      Image

  10. If you're going to put the cover back on, clamp it tight with a mini-clamp, and solder on either edge. You should be able to re-use the old solder when you took off the cover in the first place...
    Image



Now, you've got a coil-tapped pickup! :D
Image


"How do I hook it up?" you ask...


You'll need a mini-switch or a push/pull. Here's a diagram from Seymour Duncan. In the place of the red & white wires in the diagram, use our yellow wire from the example above. Use the metal shield from our pickup iin the place of Seymour's green & bare wires, and the center wire of our pickup's main hot wire for the hot connection on the Volume pot, in the place of Seymour's black wire.
Last edited by ®ëv. ßïll¥ © on Sat May 17, 2008 3:03 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Steve Gambrell on Sat May 17, 2008 2:56 am

Rev., you missed your calling! You shoulda been a sensei!
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Postby ®ëv. ßïll¥ © on Sat May 17, 2008 3:08 am

Thanks... :naughty:
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Postby ®ëv. ßïll¥ © on Sat May 17, 2008 3:09 am

One more thing...Nickel covers are non-magnetic---the give a pickup more string-to-string definition than Chrome-covered pickups---why?

Because Chrome covers for pickups are magnetic...thus, when a chrome cover is on the pickup, it turns the pickup into one giant bar-type pickup. Loss of definition, muddy bass & mids...blah... :flu:
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Postby zaxxon on Sat May 17, 2008 4:35 am

Aren't the covers chrome plated stamped steel or brass or nickel plated stamped steel or brass? How can you tell for sure what kind you've got? I've bought nickel covers off ebay(seymour duncan and no brand) and they're so shiny they look like chrome.
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Postby ®ëv. ßïll¥ © on Sat May 17, 2008 11:58 am

zaxxon wrote:Aren't the covers chrome plated stamped steel or brass or nickel plated stamped steel or brass? How can you tell for sure what kind you've got? I've bought nickel covers off ebay(seymour duncan and no brand) and they're so shiny they look like chrome.

The only way to be sure is to buy solid nickel covers--a magnet won't be attracted to them.
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Postby madjackhatter on Sat May 17, 2008 4:53 pm

Thanks Rev, I've got a few no name pups I've wanted to experiment with. How difficult is it to reduce windings and power with a humbucker? I was planning to try the out of phase mag trick already but one of the pups reads 15K (eeeek!) Waaaay too hot for my taste...

Remember, these are no harm - no foul pups. I can afford to be fearless in my education.... :wink:
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Postby ®ëv. ßïll¥ © on Sat May 17, 2008 5:38 pm

madjackhatter wrote:Thanks Rev, I've got a few no name pups I've wanted to experiment with. How difficult is it to reduce windings and power with a humbucker? I was planning to try the out of phase mag trick already but one of the pups reads 15K (eeeek!) Waaaay too hot for my taste...

Remember, these are no harm - no foul pups. I can afford to be fearless in my education.... :wink:


IMHO, I think it's futile to try to reduce the resistance of a pickup by unwinding half of it--try a different magnet in it, like an Alnico II, III, or IV.
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Postby madjackhatter on Sat May 17, 2008 7:02 pm

Cool Billy, that's why I ask these things.... :wink:

On the other side of the coin, I'm sure that uber hot pup will have a decent chance at having strong single coil tone and I'm sure that cheapie is sporting ceramic, so a swap I will do.

Also are the replacement mags indexed somehow so you know what the actual direction of install should be? Slap me for my retardation if you must, but atleast I admit to my wannabe geek status.... :oops: :P

Great thread.... 8)
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Postby welshman on Sun May 18, 2008 6:06 pm

a great subject AC , i first got into coil tapping and phase reversal etc back in `83 when i picked up a book by Adrian legg about customising the electric guitar, i got to meet him a couple of years later and suddenly found out what a great guitarist he is .
i have not bothered too much with coil taps on regular humbucks as i feel they don`t give a good enough tone to warrant the work, but i do do it on a lot of hot pickups sometimes as a partial tap by using the tone pot if user does`nt use pot (which a lot of guys dont) but i did find one pickup which i thought was the best coil tap /humbucker tone etc when i fitted a seymour duncan little `59 to a tokai strat and it sounded great.
out of regular sized H/B`s i thought the seymour duncan invader pickup coil tapped well (though i didn`t like its regular sound) :?
what pickups do you think sound best for tapping options ?
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Postby zaxxon on Mon May 19, 2008 6:23 am

If you have a single coil in the neck and a HB in the bridge, can you wire them out of phase/polarity with each other? Does it need to be two SC or two HB together to work? SC and HB in series no problem?
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Postby ®ëv. ßïll¥ © on Mon May 19, 2008 11:07 am

zaxxon wrote:If you have a single coil in the neck and a HB in the bridge, can you wire them out of phase/polarity with each other? Does it need to be two SC or two HB together to work? SC and HB in series no problem?

You should be able to switch the leads on the single coil at the switch and that would do it...
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Postby ®ëv. ßïll¥ © on Mon May 19, 2008 11:10 am

welshman wrote:what pickups do you think sound best for tapping options ?


I don't know, hadn't experimented with that many... I was just putting the info out there... :)
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