Series/Parallel Question

Discussion in 'Pickups' started by sirep, Jul 10, 2017.

  1. sirep

    sirep Junior Member

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    I recently set up my Les Paul with series/parallel push-pull pots. I switched it over from coil splits to test it out. I noticed with both setups, switching to either a split coil or parallel has a noticeable decrease in volume on a clean channel. With the neck pickup in parallel, I've noticed that some strings, particularly the A and D strings are really hard to hear. An example would be Love Me Two Times by The Doors - bouncing around that E chord is really hard to hear. Is this normal? It's like they get scooped out. The low E is more audible and the treble side is clear.

    And I'm not sure if my mind is playing tricks on me, but it seems that the neck pickup in series is more muddy now. I don't think I damaged anything and the connections are good. No cold solder joints that I can see. I'm using a Duncan Jazz neck and JB bridge. I like the bridge in parallel, but the neck seems really scooped. I also have 50's wiring with independent volume controls for what it's worth.
     
  2. Zoobiedood

    Zoobiedood Senior Member

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    It almost sounds like something is out of phase. Split coil and parallel are certainly thinner and quieter, but it doesn't seem to be the extent of what you are describing.
     
  3. cybermgk

    cybermgk Singin' the body lectric Premium Member V.I.P. Member

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    When I did a Parallel option on an HB, it was not as loud a series, but still a bit more than just one coil, split. Never had the scooped thing (though try adjusting the pole pieces on those strings.)

    The muddy when back in 'hb mode' I suspect is just your hearing playing tricks after listening to the, in theory, two sing coils.
     
  4. sirep

    sirep Junior Member

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    I'm attaching the diagram I used. It doesn't sound nasally like an out-of-phase pickup would, just scooped out. Since re-wiring, I've yet to play on my real amp - I'm stuck using my little practice amp with headphones since I live in an apartment. Sometimes those middle strings sound like I'm playing acoustically (again, practice amp in apartment so low volume).
     

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  5. Kuttlefish

    Kuttlefish Member

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    Try wiring the black wire to the switch first and then to the volume pot. I don't know enough about electrical engineering to know if that will make a difference, but it will make your diagram look more like other diagrams I've seen.

    The way you have it creates a weird loop that might the source of your problem. In parallel mode, you want the black and red to end at the volume pot and green and white to end at ground, right? The way you have it, black hits the volume pot first, then the switch, while red hits the switch then the volume pot, creating a loop that doesn't end. I'm thinking that might create some weird phasing issue where black is essentially cancelling itself out.

    Smarter people than me can feel free to disagree.
     
  6. sirep

    sirep Junior Member

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    Shoot, disregard that photo I posted. I'm attaching a new one. The one I posted earlier was a work-in-progress scheme I was drawing up. Here is the real scheme I used.

    Also, where the green + bare attach to the ground on the switch (and also the two black leads), I couldn't fit the wires in the little lug on the switch. I was using push-back cloth wire and it was too thick to get multiple wires into those little lugs. What I did was attach one wire to the push-pull switch as a pigtail and twisted the wires needed, soldered, and put shrink tube around them.
     

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  7. ARandall

    ARandall Senior Member

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    Parallel gives a different tone to split. Like any parallel coil sound there is cancellation. It why the 2 and 4 positions of the strat are so good for funk as a lot of the body gets combed away.
     
  8. Kuttlefish

    Kuttlefish Member

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    OP, can you get DC readings on your pickups when they're in both series and humbucking modes? You should take the reading from the middle lug of the volume pot and ground. When in series they should be at the full 8k (neck) and 16k (bridge) or whatever the specs are for a Jazz and JB. In parallel mode, the numbers should drop to about 2k (neck) and 4k (bridge) or 1/4 the full spec.

    Now that I think of it, the problem could just be the small amp. Maybe you're not getting enough volume to fully hear what the switch is doing. It's still weird that some strings seem fine and others are cancelled out...
     
  9. Zoobiedood

    Zoobiedood Senior Member

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    Try this through your normal amp, and report back. I am curious to what is going on.
     

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