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GMC Forum _ Marcus Siepen _ Comment About My "changing Pickups" Lesson

Posted by: Marcus Siepen Jan 27 2010, 04:32 PM

I just found out something very interesting about the way I connected my new pickups in that lesson. If you remember I connected them to the controls of my guitar in a way that allows me to control the volume with the volume pot (big surprise wink.gif) and to blend them into a single coil with the (former) tone pot. This way of connecting pickups was not invented by me, actually it is shown on the Seymour Duncan homepage and since I liked to have that options I decided to give it a try back then. Well, it works, but it has a flaw...
I have two guitars using those pickups, the blue one that you can see in the lesson, and a nice gold top in which the pickups work as humbuckers only (so no mod on the pots, 2 volume pots and two tone pots, business as usual here). When I compared both guitars I realized that the pickups sound different, not really concerning their sound itself, but to their power and volume. The ones that I could blend into single coils had less power, less output, less gain, and this got me curious. I checked the soldering work, but everything was fine, the pickups themselves were fine too, and both guitars are standard Les Pauls, so I couldn't really see why there was this difference in the sound (and the difference was NOTICABLE for sure!)
Yesterday I took that guitar to my tech at the local Gibson Custom Shop and he enlightened me... As I said above, this way of connecting the pickups works, you can blend away one coil and like that turn the humbucker into a single coil, but for whatever reason it doesn't work perfectly. What happend is that you NEVER have the full power of both coils when you run the pickup as a humbucker, just like you NEVER only have one coil when you run it as a single coil! The coil that is affected by that modded pot is never 100% there or 100% gone, and that of course explains the lack of power and sound. (By the way, this is not grey theory, my tech checked it by measuring the two coils, he even already contacted the guys at Seymour Duncan about it, he never got an answer though wink.gif)
Is there a solution? Of course there is wink.gif In the moment my volume pots are changed for a push/pull version and my former tone pots will be reborn. Like that I can use the tone controls again as usual, and when I keep my volume pot pushed down I run the pickups as humbuckers, only when I pull them up I get the single coil...

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