If you have only one pickup in your guitar, feel free to ignore this article and live your life in blissful ignorance, unhampered by phase and polarity issues. Everyone else, pay attention! This is important stuff, and it might save your sanity some day, or at least your tone.
The original humbucking pickups designed by Seth Lover for Gibson in the 1950s were elegantly simple. By combining two pickup coils instead of simply using one (with pole piece magnets of one coil oriented in the opposite direction to the other), Lover’s design cancelled out the buzz and hum that plagued existing single coil designs, leaving in its place a fuller, rounder tone which changed the future of guitar.
Here’s a brand-new video of the Greenie Set from the Seymour Duncan Custom Shop.