Tone effect of humbucker coil direction?

ashbass

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I'm wiring in some 57 Classic pickups that came with 4-conductor wiring.

To make them work I connect the "middle" two wires and then use the outside wires as hot and ground. I can use either wire for hot and the other for ground. What changes is the direction that the string's signal passes though the pickup. In one case, the slug coil will be first and feed into the adjustable coil and the output of the adjustable coil will be added to the output of the slug coil. In the other case, the adjustable coil will be first and feed into the slug coil and the output of the slug coil will be added to the output of the adjustable coil.

Does which coil feed into the other affect tone? Sure, the effect might be so small that we cannot hear it, but is there any effect at all?

 

ARandall

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None at all according to my wisdom.

The way i see it is that the signal generated is based on the wire, the magnet, and the position of the humbucker under the strings.
Simply soldering two wires differently in the cavity will only change the phase of the signal, not the current or the voltage or the frequency response. And the signal is generated from all parts of the wire effectively simultaneously.
 

ashbass

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the signal is generated from all parts of the wire effectively simultaneously.

If the pickup is wired in parallel I agree that the signal is simultaneous from both coils. But the nature of series is that one follows another in a straight line. One must come before the other. Right?

parallelseries.jpg
 

ARandall

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The whole length of wire is what generates the signal. More wire, more signal. What you are proposing is that the entire signal is generated in the first fraction of the coil then travels through the rest. Technically speaking, an electrical signal is an electron moving from 1 molecule to the adjacent one.
 

ARandall

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Oh dear. I think I'll leave this go.

Ive already answered your question, you know all that is needed.
 

ashbass

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Thanks for your answer AR. It's not my intention to pester.

I'm still more curious than convinced, that's all.

I hope others will chime in with their answers too. Hate to leave this alone.
 

geddy

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None at all according to my wisdom.

The way i see it is that the signal generated is based on the wire, the magnet, and the position of the humbucker under the strings.
Simply soldering two wires differently in the cavity will only change the phase of the signal, not the current or the voltage or the frequency response. And the signal is generated from all parts of the wire effectively simultaneously.

This....plus the signal is AC not DC. Therefore the direction of current through the coils constantly changes. Signal is induced in each coil at the same time and summed where the wires join. No difference
 

rabidhamster

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no change. 1+1=2, or swap em and try 1+1. Or take red and add blue you get purple. Now add blue to red instead. Oops still purple.

bc5385_091499bca89e42de9f961830af4b14a1~mv2.jpg
 

johnh

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Flipping hot and ground will change the phase which will be important if you combine with another pickup. But if only this pickup is engaged, then there is no change and there cannot be, unless we also conclude that we know nothing of electrical tneory and all electrical devices must be witchcraft.
 

ashbass

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unless we also conclude that we know nothing of electrical tneory and all electrical devices must be witchcraft.

Funny?
IIRC electronic theory concludes that 50s wiring should have no effect on tone either.

Does the direction of the signal through both coils have an impact on the pickup's tone? As I perceive it, the difference between parallel and series connecting of the coils comes from how the two coils are connected, from how the signal of one coil proceeds to the other coil. Series wiring produces the standard humbucker sound we are most familiar with where parallel wiring produces a much thinner/weaker sound. So the direction of how one coil is connected to the other coil matters to the entire pickup's output.

But based on what I think that you all are saying above, the direction in which Hot proceeds to Ground doesn't matter, as both coils are doing their business at the same time. So when the coils are combined, the pickup should always sound the same regardless of how its coils are connected. But since the pickup doesn't sound the same between series and parallel connections in the pickup, how can that be so?

Thanks for the replies. I've wondered about this for some time.
 

Shortscale

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Funny thing is if you look at old photos of Peter Green his neck pup is turned around (pole pieces towards bridge)
but that's not what gave him his famous out of phase sound.
 

ashbass

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Funny thing is if you look at old photos of Peter Green his neck pup is turned around (pole pieces towards bridge)
but that's not what gave him his famous out of phase sound.

Right. A magnet was flipped in the pickup.
 

ARandall

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Series is connection with addition, parallel is connection with cancellation....hence the different sound. In these cases you are actually changing the way the coils are connected between each other.

With simply flipping the ends in the cavity the internal connections have remained precisely the same.

And the direction of the signal.....well its alternating current, so at all times the signal travels first one way and then the other. Thats what alternating current means.
 

ashbass

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In these cases you are actually changing the way the coils are connected between each other.

Right, I think. One is going around the block and the other is taking an alley in the middle of the block. But while both directions do get you from point A to point B, the directions from point A to point B are different.
 

edguidry

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Right, I think. One is going around the block and the other is taking an alley in the middle of the block. But while both directions do get you from point A to point B, the directions from point A to point B are different.

Doesn't matter. It's an ALTERNATING current signal. The signal is constantly changing direction.
 

ashbass

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Doesn't matter. It's an ALTERNATING current signal. The signal is constantly changing direction.

OK, it's AC. But the route that the ac is constantly reversing itself through is still different for Series and Parallel wirings. Just because the current flows back and forth doesn't change that it is flowing back and forth in different directions based on how the coils are connected. I don't mean different directions as in opposite directions, but different in that point A arrives at (and leaves, because it's AC), point B by different routes depending on the coil connections.
 

TheWharfRat

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Both of my parents are retired union journeyman electricians, Locals 21 & 134, respectively. The pickup wiring schematics that I showed them from here and other sites, AshBass's mostly, literally made their heads hurt, caused them to cough up bloody sputum & spike fevers of 102.7° & 102.6°! That's the damage that complicated wiring schematics and messing with your pick-ups can cause …
OK, OK, those are my SARS-CoV-2 (Omicron variant) induced COVID-19 symptoms. Not fun but hopefully funny . Cut me some slack here. I am really spitting up blood, running a 102.7° fever & my head feels like it's going to split open.

Back to the pickups. My parents really are retired electricians and almost all of this goes over their heads because they have never played.
There is 1 Master electrician, that my Dad worked with, who had recorded and released several compositions. He was mainly a guitar and keyboard player. He's the guy that I'd expect to understand all of these different wiring pick-up/switches schematics. I wish I would have picked his brain more when I had the chance.

Bottom line : If this is something any of you want me to try to get answers to, from a guy with 1st hand knowledge as an electrician & musician, just let me know. Msg me, email me or post here and I'll hunt the guy down.

I'm looking to build or rebuild a guitar and I want to tap coils, split coils, reverse polarity, run in series or parallel, have the option to switch from passive to screaming active with the flip of a switch, etc. The easy stuff, lol

@ashbass : Were it not for me finding the 'SuperStrat' pickup/switches wiring schematics and instructions on your web site I'd never have considered building/rebuilding a guitar. I was just looking for pictures of my old Ibanez & Les Paul Studio Lite to relive some old memories. Those pages of different ways to wire pickups into switches opened up a whole new world of possibilities to me.
BTW, I'm 90% sure that 540R-1989-Pearl_1 Screenshot_20220115-021328_DuckDuckGo.jpg is the Ibanez model that I had, but mine came with a case that's identical to the one pictured in 540R-1988-JewelRed_2(540r-1988-case). Screenshot_20220115-021130_DuckDuckGo.jpg
If you still have that Pearl 1989 540R or come across one that you're interested in selling lmk
@ashbass
 

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