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Coil Tapping A Guitar Pickup


How To Coil Tap A Humbucker Guitar Pickup | Coil Splitting



Coil Tapping Guitar Pickup | Coil Split a Guitar Pickup

Page Update 3/7/2016

  • What is a Coil Tap or Coil Split?
  • How to Coil Tap a Humbucker Pickup on a Guitar?


Coil Tapping is a procedure that makes a Humbucker pickup on your guitar have single coil capability.  For the purposes of this discussion we will refer to coil tapping as being the same as coil splitting.  Many guitarist refer to coil tapping as being the same as coil splitting.  Coil Tapping will give your guitar more total sound options.  For example, if you have your lead humbucker pickup coil tapped, it would give you the option of using only one of the pickups within the humbucker to get a single coil sound.  Usually, a switch is used to engage the coil tap option on coil tapped guitars so you can switch back and forth (toggle) between sounds.  Either a Push/Pull Pot (Knob) can be used or an actual switch can be added to the guitar.  More than one pickup can be coil tapped on a guitar too.  So if you have two hum bucker pickups on your guitar, you could coil tap both to get only the single coil pickups to engage.  Tapping the Bridge and Neck pickup to single coil sound may actually give a Telecaster type sound (Single coil bridge and neck position used together).   Also, depending on the switch that is used, you could potentially use different combinations of sounds on the guitar.  Try combining coil taped pickups with other pickups if you have a five way or three way switch on your guitar.  It can get confusing as to which pickup is actually engaged, but you can tap your guitar pick on the each pickup very lightly and listen to hear which pickup is actually engaged. 

The Coil Tap is a great option for gigging guitarists.  Lets say your playing some Led Zeppelin at a gig and need a humbucker sound, but the next song is a Pink Floyd song that calls for more of a single coil pickup sound.  Flip the switch to engage the coil tap and you have both of the sounds that you need with one guitar.  A Coil Tap is usually for more experienced guitarists who can recognize the need for different pickups sounds.  It's an invaluable option for guitarists playing a diverse selection of live music.  It's also a great option to allow your humbucker guitar many unique pickup combinations.

How to Coil Tap a Guitar?

The easiest way to get your humbucking guitar coil tapped is to take it to a professional guitar tech.  Most local guitar shops have very capable professionals that will Coil Tap guitar pickups.  It usually doesn't take very long for a guitar tech to do this functions, unless a switch needs drilled into the body of the guitar.  Just be aware that some switches may have to be added to the body of your guitar.  Also, changing your guitar or adding a coil tap could affect future value of the guitar.  For the most part the more original the guitar is the more valuable in the future.  So as long as your not a collector who is concerned with future value a coil tap is a great option for gigging guitarists.

Another option is to add a push/pull pot to one of you tone or volume knobs.  This will eliminate the need to have your guitar body drilled to add a coil tap switch.  Also, be aware that drilling the body of your guitar for a switch could negatively affect the value of your guitar.  Below we will give you some Coil Tap links to check out.  Good Luck on your Coil Tap Search.


Coil Tap Links, Coil Splitting Links








Media Web Source does not endorse the above websites, we are just give you an opportunity to check out different websites on coil tapping.  Always consult a guitar professional when coil tapping a guitar