Gibson “Coil Split”

moff40

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Hello fellow LPers. It’s been a while since I’ve posted here, but I have a question concerning what Gibson advertises as “coil splitting” on the LP Classic.

I bought a Classic a year or so ago, and while I love the feel of the guitar, I just can’t bond with the BB zebra ‘61s, even in regular ‘bucker mode. I find them brittle on top, with a definite upper-mid honk - not that distictive “LP” middy growl we’ve become used to, but something much more offensive - especially when compared to my PRS with 57/08s. Some of it may come down to the difference between AlNiCo 2 and A5 magnets, but that “coil split” wiring HAS to go. Has anyone else noticed that they’re not “single-coil” sounding at all, and in fact get less bright, and less focussed? It’s completely unusable.

On a whim, I decided to try the old trick of touching the tops of the coils with a screwdriver to see which coil is active at a given setting. On every other guitar I own that has splittable coils, the slug coil gets shunted to ground, and removed from the circuit - AKA “turned off”. Not on the LP Classic. Both coils remain active. Is Gibson advertising a series/parallel switch as a “coil split”? Whatever it is, it doesn’t work for me.

So, in the next few days (whenever the parts arrive), I’ll be gutting this Classic, pulling out the PCB and the ‘61s, and installing a new set of 57/08s, hand-wiring a correct coil-split, and installing a 181pf cap for treble bleed, too.
 

gevalt

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They use a resistor to only shunt most of the slug coil to ground, lowering noise from 60 cycle hum.
 

jaqueh

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It's a coil tap, I've heard it's a special filtering circuit that makes it sound like a humbucking p90. to me, the coil tap always makes it sound like an even muddier pickup, I have no idea what gibson is thinking with this.
 

Gar

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I think I remember Gibson saying it was to get a more p90 type single coil sound than a strat type single coil sound. I happen to love the sound of the classic in all positions, really like the humbuckers in it. It's totally subjective thougg and if it's not got what you're looking for then go ahead and mod it to suit your needs.
 

gball

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They should really stop calling it a coil split.

Its for sure subjective and not going to be for everyone, so if you have a preferred pickup then by all means change them. Personally, the '61 pickups are some of my favorites. I really like them a lot and they excel with high gain. And I find that the "split" is useful on the neck pickup or to take a tiny bit of edge off the bridge. Overall I am with Gar - I really like every sound in the Classic (expect the bridge pickup blow switch, that's just too over the top).
 

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