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Can I wire 2 single coils together to make a humbucker?


 roka
(@roka)
New Member
Joined: 12 years ago
Posts: 3
Topic starter  

Hello, I have 2 single coils from a Mako Exotec that I'd like to fit into the neck position of my faux flying v. My friend who gave them to me said it would be easy to wire them together like a humbucker but I haven't found anything on the web that explains how to do this. If anyone here can help me I would greatly appreciate it!


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(@greybeard)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 5899
 

Yes, it can be done - witness the PRS 513, which builds 4 SC pickups into 2 "humbuckers" with a 5th as a single coil middle pickup.

Although, unless I'm mistaken, you will need to have them reverse wound and reverse polarity to get a humbucker effect.

I'm not sure that the result will sound exactly like a humbucker, because of the different construction, but you'll certainly get hum cancelling.

I started with nothing - and I've still got most of it left.
Did you know that the word "gullible" is not in any dictionary?
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(@blue-jay)
Noble Member
Joined: 12 years ago
Posts: 1638
 

Hello new person.

I recently posted a possible troubleshooting explanation for another newbie, and I used a Guitarfetish (Company) link, on their P-90 in which they made an error, but I didn't point it out. I didn't want to be a pinhead and declare that Guitarfetish themselves do not know what they are saying, by hyping their stuff and telling customers that a single coil wired together with another reverse wound single coil would make a humbucker. Ooooh, their bad! That only makes quiet hum cancelling, or partial hum cancelling, like you get in positions 2 and 4 on the Strat, because it combines 2 opposite-wound pickups, in PARALLEL. Yes, only the middle pickup on 99.999% of Strats is RWRP, or Reverse Wound/Reverse Pole/Polarity.

So please don't be misled by anything I posted from Guitarfetish, or by that company themselves.

To make your two single coils into a humbucker, first they must be "like", or similar. Then you wire them in SERIES. That combines their poower, or adds it to a sum total.

You can check this with a multimeter first, to watch the sums add up. Say, a single that meters at 5.9 K ohms plus one that measures at 6.1 K ohms will give you 12 K ohms as a humbucker, if wired in series or tandem.

To get series, you solder down the lead of one pickup where you want it. Then either by switching or going direct as you probably want in your "V", you attach the negative of the first single coil to the positive of the second single coil, then solder down the ground of that last single. As I've cautioned, test first with a multimeter.

What you're doing when it is in play, again, is to add up both pickups, stacking or combining their power, istead of going parallel, or side-to-side where power level (resistance) doesn't change, and neither does the sound, much.

Here's a guy who has it all together, and I'll just link to the page where my favorite Strat switches are at - yet he could help answer your question also about making a humbucker from 2 singles for your "V" and possibly make you a custom switch for very little cost. So, I might as well add his Flying "V" page. Check out the home page, and stay with it for hours, or years if you like.

http://www.deaf-eddie.net/fat-customs.html http://www.deaf-eddie.net/guitars/flying-v.html

Now, all you have to do, is git 'er done, and please stick around, and enjoy the forum together with your guitar. :D

Like a bird on the wire,
like a drunk in a midnight choir
I have tried in my way to be free.


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 roka
(@roka)
New Member
Joined: 12 years ago
Posts: 3
Topic starter  

Thanks Greybeard and Blue Jay, I'll try wiring them in series as you said as soon as I can borrow an ohm meter. I doesn't matter to me if it doesn't sound like a real Gibson humbucker, I'm usually more of a Fender guy anyway. This V is pretty much a spare-parts guitar; I've spent exactly $60 on it so far so I'll use whatever is cheap or free.

I have another question:
This V originally had 2 humbuckers plugged into a dpdt switch, only one pickup worked so I ditched it along with the switch and instead, wired it direct. Now that I'll basically have another pickup, how do I use this dpdt switch? Once again, I can't find specifics on the web. It looks like dpdt's are used for coil tapping or phase reversal's and things like that, but can I use it like a regular spdt switch? I just want to keep things as simple as possible while getting close to the typical V diagram (maybe boring, but I just want to play this thing!) I Wish I would have taken a photo of the way it was wired before but I really don't know if it ever actually worked.
Thanks again.
Roka


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(@hyperborea)
Prominent Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 833
 

Now that I'll basically have another pickup, how do I use this dpdt switch? Once again, I can't find specifics on the web. It looks like dpdt's are used for coil tapping or phase reversal's and things like that, but can I use it like a regular spdt switch?

A DPDT switch is essentially two SPDT switches ganged together so that they switch at the same time. You can just wire up one set of poles and have a SPDT switch. Now, what you need for switching between 2 pickups in guitars is not just a SPDT but a SPDT switch which has center on. Does your switch have 3 switch settings or just 2? If it's 2 then you'll not be able to get one of the choices that you normally get with pickup switching.

Pop music is about stealing pocket money from children. - Ian Anderson


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 roka
(@roka)
New Member
Joined: 12 years ago
Posts: 3
Topic starter  

The switch has 3 positions so it should work. Do I need to bridge or ground the unused pole pieces?


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(@blue-jay)
Noble Member
Joined: 12 years ago
Posts: 1638
 

The switch has 3 positions so it should work. Do I need to bridge or ground the unused pole pieces?

No. The unused lugs or terminals on the switch can stay as-is.

Like a bird on the wire,
like a drunk in a midnight choir
I have tried in my way to be free.


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