Coil tapping pickups muddy?

Discussion in 'Pickups' started by Mr Insane, Jul 15, 2017.

  1. Mr Insane

    Mr Insane Senior Member

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    Dec 8, 2008
    I had a humbucker equipped Les Paul Junior with coil tapping. At first I was alright with it, but then I noticed full humbucker mode was just too "undefined" or muddy for me. I eventually replaced it with an Arcane PX100 and fell in love with the guitar again.

    I now have an Epiphone Explorer Pro, with coil tapping pickups. Same deal. No amp settings or pickup adjustment have satisfied me.

    Are the coil tapping pickups Gibson put in those models to blame, or does coil tapping naturally do that to a guitar?
  2. ARandall

    ARandall Senior Member

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    Apr 16, 2012
    Splitting the pickups simply removes 1 of the 2 coils from working. You can do it to any humbucker. It changes nothing about the pickup's construction that would make it different if that option wasn't available.
    You have simply found several pickups you don't like.
    C_Becker likes this.
  3. C_Becker

    C_Becker Dat Gibson smell

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    Jul 7, 2015
    ^^This. And most Epiphone pickups are the definition of "muddy"
  4. cooljuk

    cooljuk Transducer Producer Premium Member

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    Mar 12, 2009
    I was basically going to say what ARandall said. I'll just add that most any typical humbucker is going to sound MUCH brighter with only one coil operating. It takes a very specific design of humbucker to not loose half of its volume and bass when you split the coils, and that design has compromises in other areas.

    So, like others suggested, it's probably not that your pickups are sounding normal split, but that they area sounding dark in full. It's much more likely that those pickups are dark and muddy to begin with and splitting them is the only way to get any brightness out of them.

    Once you try some high quality unpotted pickups (assuming your style can handle unpotted pickups) you'll undoubtedly be surprised how clear and detailed they are, while still sounding big and fat at the same time, all without having to split them. It's not just the potting that chokes most modern stock pickups, but that's a part of it.

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