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Thread: What's the proper way to split humbuckers? Screw or slug coils?

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    Tone Ninja Xeromus's Avatar
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    Default What's the proper way to split humbuckers? Screw or slug coils?

    The entire question is pretty much in the title. Is it standard practice to split humbuckers to the inside or outside coils?

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    Default Re: What's the proper way to split humbuckers? Screw or slug coils?

    Ive wondered this as well. My guess is you would split in such a way as to be using the screw side so you could adjust them? Not sure though so looking forward to others replies!

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    Default Re: What's the proper way to split humbuckers? Screw or slug coils?

    The most common way listed by Duncan is slugs. However, you can do whatever you want to get slightly different sounds. The screws sound slightly more complex. And also the distance from the bridge affects things. The easiest thing to do is split to the neck screw and bridge slug. That way middle position is hum cancelling without adjusting the mags and wiring. And you get a more complex neck tone and a less harsh bridge tone.
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    Default Re: What's the proper way to split humbuckers? Screw or slug coils?

    Clint 55 is right the way every diagram seems to be is red/white (seymour duncan) for slug coils. Both do sound different so see what you like more. Personally I like the screw coil more myself. But all my guitars have both options as well as parallel across both pickups. One sounds more like a P90, one sounds like our typical single coil.

    This is for reference of how to split to either coil. To get hum cancellation you'd want to mix and match both coils like Clint55 suggested. I just drew something similar out for another forum post on here and it's how I achieved the setting.
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    Default Re: What's the proper way to split humbuckers? Screw or slug coils?

    I agree that they sound pretty different, so it is worth it to experiment with splitting to either coil. Triple Shots make this easy, too. Things get a little more complex if you want to split it in conjunction with another split pickup and want it to remain humbucking, though.
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    Mojo's Minions dystrust's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's the proper way to split humbuckers? Screw or slug coils?

    Quote Originally Posted by Clint 55 View Post
    The most common way listed by Duncan is slugs. However, you can do whatever you want to get slightly different sounds. The screws sound slightly more complex. And also the distance from the bridge affects things. The easiest thing to do is split to the neck screw and bridge slug. That way middle position is hum cancelling without adjusting the mags and wiring. And you get a more complex neck tone and a less harsh bridge tone.
    This is how I wire my guitars, but I find shadowfire90's bottom diagram a bit complicated. The easier way to split to the screw coil is to connect the red/white pair to the output instead of ground.
    Quote Originally Posted by crusty philtrum View Post
    And that's probably because most people with electric guitars seem more interested in their own performance rather than the effect on the listener ... in fact i don't think many people who own electric guitars even give a poop about the effect on a listener. Which is why many people play electric guitars but very very few of them are actually musicians.

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    Mojo's Minions ItsaBass's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's the proper way to split humbuckers? Screw or slug coils?

    Standard practice is to split to the slug coil, which tends to have a slightly higher output than the screw coil. But it's not too odd to split to the screw coil, as a slight mod to the standard way. I like splitting to the screw coil, because it has better string to string volume balance (due to the adjustable poles).
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    Default Re: What's the proper way to split humbuckers? Screw or slug coils?

    Quote Originally Posted by dystrust View Post
    This is how I wire my guitars, but I find shadowfire90's bottom diagram a bit complicated. The easier way to split to the screw coil is to connect the red/white pair to the output instead of ground.
    Neither way is any "easier" than the other or more complicated. In those respects they are exactly the same. They are just two different ways to wire a switch to get exactly the same results.
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    Default Re: What's the proper way to split humbuckers? Screw or slug coils?

    The bridge slug coil is almost twice as far from the bridge as the screw coil, which gives it a little more string energy, output and warmth when split. With the PAF PU's I prefer, splitting the bridge to the screw coil isn't particularly appealing.
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    Ultimate Tone Member audiocheck's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's the proper way to split humbuckers? Screw or slug coils?

    My philosophy on splitting at this point is this:

    1: Bridge position single coils are way too thin, so leave as a humbucker. How many Strat or Tele player use their bridge by itself?

    2: If you are going to split a Humbucker, it's not going to sound like a Single Coil. If you want true single coil tone, use the StagMag or P-Rail. Otherwise it's really just a drop in volume and cleanliness that you will get.

    So as stated by mechanic1908, it's best to split to the neck side of the Humbucker. If you prefer the tone of the screw coil, flip the bridge pickup around.

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    Default Re: What's the proper way to split humbuckers? Screw or slug coils?

    I don't mind splittling to the screw side of the bridge humbucker if it is conjunction with a neck screw coil. They can also be humbucking if it is wired properly.
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    Default Re: What's the proper way to split humbuckers? Screw or slug coils?

    I like screw coil because you can tweak the screws to make adjustments to the split sound. With a little fooling around you can get it much closer to a regular single coil than the slug ever will be.
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    Mojo's Minions blueman335's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's the proper way to split humbuckers? Screw or slug coils?

    Actually, spin-a-split is far more versatile, it makes coil split obsolete.
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    Default Re: What's the proper way to split humbuckers? Screw or slug coils?

    Quote Originally Posted by audiocheck View Post
    1: Bridge position single coils are way too thin, so leave as a humbucker. How many Strat or Tele player use their bridge by itself?
    A metric ton of players. Especially Tele. Me personally, I love a Tele bridge pickup. That’s how Teles were originally designed (no neck pickup). As far as a Strat, not so much for me. But I do like to split a bridge humbucker when I play into a Big Muff. Also, in some cases, it can sound Tele-like.
    Last edited by Chad; 10-15-2019 at 02:37 PM.

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    Default Re: What's the proper way to split humbuckers? Screw or slug coils?

    As others have said, slug coil for bridge to give a bit more oomph. And screw coil for neck. That way is closer to the neck position of a Strat pickup. Also, if wired correctly the combined position is hum cancelling.

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    Mojo's Minions dystrust's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's the proper way to split humbuckers? Screw or slug coils?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chad View Post
    As others have said, slug coil for bridge to give a bit more oomph. And screw coil for neck. That way is closer to the neck position of a Strat pickup. Also, if wired correctly the combined position is hum cancelling.
    This. And here is the diagram I used in my Explorer.
    Quote Originally Posted by crusty philtrum View Post
    And that's probably because most people with electric guitars seem more interested in their own performance rather than the effect on the listener ... in fact i don't think many people who own electric guitars even give a poop about the effect on a listener. Which is why many people play electric guitars but very very few of them are actually musicians.

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