What is a Coil-Splitting pickup and how does it work?

Author: Rory W  Date Posted:23 May 2022 

What is a Coil-Splitting pickup and how does it work?

So, you’ve read our post about the difference between a humbucker and a single-coil pickup, but what is a coil-splitting pickup? You may have noticed this term is used frequently in the descriptions for some of our Signature Series guitars, and the answer is really quite simple. 

As you know, a humbucker pickup is made up of two single-coil pickups. With the correct wiring, this can be switched from full humbucker mode to just one of the two coils, effectively making a single-coil pickup from the humbucker. Most guitars with this kindArtist TL69BNDL with Coil-Splitting Humbuckers of coil-splitting capability generally use a push/pull control on the control knobs, however, depending on the guitar this can be wired a number of ways using switches etc. for even more variety! 

Generally, the output of a split humbucker pickup is slightly lower than that of a genuine single-coil, and this can be used to your advantage when driving amps harder or switching to play clean! Some examples of Artist Guitars that include coil-splitting pickups are:

What about Coil Tapping?

Coil Tapping and Coil Splitting are very similar, and although tapping is slightly less common, it is important to note the difference between the two. Where a coil-splitting humbucker will only use the signal from one of the two coils, a coil-tapped pickup actually splits the winding of a single-coil.

Pickups are made up of hair-thin copper wire wound many thousands of times around the pole pieces, thus creating the coil. A “tapped” coil provides a connection from this wire part-way through the winding, and then the winding continues to complete the coil. This means you can effectively use the full winding of a pickup for a certain output, and then switch to the tapped part of the coil, with fewer windings, which changes the character and reduces the output of the pickup. This can make for some very versatile pickup combinations, meaning you can mix vintage and modern outputs from the same pickups, expanding your tonal range even further! 

Thanks for reading this blog! For even more great content, check out these pages: 

I hope this article has helped. if you need any assistance please email:

sales@artistguitars.com.au or call us on 1300 489 816


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