Questions about out of phase pickups

Roxy13

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I have a 3 pickup singlecut custom that I'm planning to rewire. I've done this on my 3 pickup SG where I used the neck tone pot to be a volume push/pull for the middle pickup to be brought in at any time for more options.

This time though I would like to keep the middle and bridge out of phase when used together, which I did not do on the SG.

Should the resistances of the middle and bridge pickups be the same?

Reversing the hot lead and ground on the middle pickup will put them out of phase, correct?
 

cooljuk

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Resistance doesn't matter to get the out of phase effect (but how similar two pickups are to each other in voice will have some influence on the overall result).

You can't swap ground and hot, though. Otherwise, the pickup cover and pole screws will be hot, creating a ton of noise, and the ground lead will short out against all the others in the channel and mute the guitar.

Ground has to be ground. The baseplate, cover, pole screws, outside braided shield of the cable - those all have to be ground in any situation.

If you want to electrically and "permanently" reverse the phase, and you have a typical braided shield pickup lead, you'll have to swap the leads coming off the coils (the ones that are not tied together and tapped off) with each other. That's kinda pointless though, as once you are taking the cover off it's easier to just flip the magnet, which will give the same result.

If you want to do phase reversal on a switch, you need four conductor wiring, in which case ground still always stays ground but you swap the two coil finishes with each other for in/out of phase.
 

Roxy13

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See I had talked with someone on whether I could just flip the magnet instead and he told me that wasn't the same as out of phase and that it had to be done electrically by reversing the ground and hot wires.

I also found this this morning with 50s Gibson wiring diagrams and they actually used to use 3 normal pickups and then let the fact that 2 were close together be that effect that I thought was out of phase?


So now I'm not sure how I want to do this.
 

cooljuk

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It's the same sound electrically or magnetically.

Some vintage Gibson guitars, particularly Varitone models, came with intentional factory magnetically out of phase pickups. Not all. Some other vintage Gibson guitars sipped with a magnetically out of phase pickup. This was not the norm.
 

jlee

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I’ve read of 2 vintage ‘59 Les Pauls having stock out of phase pickups. I suspect Peter Green’s guitar may also have been a factory slip up...but that’s another thread...and another can of worms.
 

Dazza

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In many trials with my 3 pickup 57 Custom I found having the middle out of phase with either neck or bridge didn't give the best OOP results. I think it might simply be because the pickups are so close together that their frequency cancellation is more extreme than the more typical neck and bridge OOP. That can be a magical sound. Of course this will also depend on the similarity - or lack of - between any 2 pickups played together. If each pickup has its own volume then there is some control over their interaction, but in a typical 3 pickup Gibson the bridge and middle pickup are on the same volume pot. That leaves only the relative heights between the 2 pickups to effect how they interact.

My Custom has very rarely had its back plate on since I got it in March hehe. Thanks to James at Rewind it now houses a trio of Jimmy Page pickups and a new harness is currently being wired in. I'm very much looking forward to gigging with this guitar.

Daz
 

ARandall

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See I had talked with someone on whether I could just flip the magnet instead and he told me that wasn't the same as out of phase and that it had to be done electrically by reversing the ground and hot wires.
Well, that is totally reverse to reality. It is without question the same electrically between swapping leads and reversing magnets.

Where some difference might lie is physically, where if you have strong magnetic field of opposite polarity intersect with pickups close together - then you might get a little flux line alteration.......
From all the times this effect has been discussed, its resolved into a nebulous argument with very little to no absolute measurement done IIRC.
 

Roxy13

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Ok James (@cooljuk ) I bought a set of your pickups used in the classies yesterday (set of 3) for this guitar. He didn't flip the middle magnet. I'm going to start by using them as they are and then we will see if I want to experiment more. And I believe I'm going to wire it the same way as my SG with the neck tone pot being a volume pot for the middle pickup and having a master tone.
 

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