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Coil Shunts vs. Splits vs.

Taps _______________________________________ ___________


Ah, the vocabulary! I THINK I have a handle on what MOST of us mean when we use these terms:

COIL SHUNT: refers to playing only one coil of a humbucker's pair, accomplished by
routing a umper from the connection !N"T brea#ing it$ between the two coils to ground !or hot$ though a switch, which allows the signal to bypass (shunting) one coil out of the voltage potential% The resulting tone is thinner and brighter than that of a humbuc#er, with less output% This is probably the &"'T ("&&"N way to get a single coil tone out of a humbuc#er%

COIL SPLIT: Also refers to playing only one coil of a humbucker's pair%
Technically, this would be done by brea#ing (splitting) the connection bet een the t o coils, and routing the hot lead of the coil that is grounded straight to the volume pot or switch,
whichever% Again, the resulting tone is thinner and brighter than that of a humbuc#er, with less output% &ost modern humbuc#ers come with a four)conductor option, allowing you to utili*e either the +shunt, or +split, scheme to get that !sin"le#coil! tone $%o& a hu&buc'e%% -ersonally, I can N"T hear a difference, but there are those who will say they can, I.m sure% I will confess that I believe the 'H/NT seems to retain some '&A00 measure of noise)cancellation, whereas a '-0IT does not% 1ut again, perhaps that.s ust me% (onsider my handle%%%

'o many people IN("223(T04 use the terms 5coil)shunt5 and 5coil)split5 as interchangable,
that it has become "K to do so% Not me% I thin# we should all use the same terms, and as correctly as possible 6 it7s less confusing that way! 8hich brings us to%%%

COIL T(P: Is a completely different idea% This /'/A004 refers to 5tapping into5
the windings of a SINGLE COIL) cutting out !bypassing or shunting$ a number of windings to
decrease the impedance of the pic#up% 8hen a SIN*L+ COIL pic#up is wound, an 5e9tra5 hot lead is spliced on to the coil windings, part way through the winding process !usually at about the :;< point$, and that e9tra lead allows the player to bypass the remainder of the windings% The /'/A0 result of playing a pic#up with the 5COIL T(P5 oconnected is a brighter tone, with less output%

A number of custom)wound SIN*L+ COIL Tele bridge pups use this coil#tappin" scheme 6 ,on
Ma%e comes to mind 6 to get the big modern +hot, and vintage +bite, tones out of the same pic#up%

-OTTOM LIN+: 'hunting with a

umper wor#s because electricity always see#s the path of least resistance, where splitting actually brea#s the connection between two coils% A coil)TA- can be wired as a shunt)type connection, leaving the full)coil lead connected, or it can be switched between the full)pic#up lead and the tap lead% 3ven though all three of these terms result in the same #ind of change in a pic#up.s sound, I don.t thin# we should be using them interchangably% 0et7s A''/&3 that the popular convention is that a COIL T(P means something entirely different than a COIL SHUNT% "r, maybe it.s ust me, again%%%

Anyway, by this vernacular convention, you can coil)SHUNT or coil)SPLIT a humbuc#er=


you could connect a coil)T(P on a pic#up that was manufactured or rewound with that 5spliced halfway through the windings5 tap)option% 'o, you would N"T coil#tap your standard four)

conductor humbuc#er ) the proper terms for your options there would be a shunt or split%