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Thread: 305 pup's vs coil tapped McCarty, 57/08's etc.

  1. #1
    Large Member Kine's Avatar
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    Question 305 pup's vs coil tapped McCarty, 57/08's etc.

    Got a DC3 coming in to check out. One of the reasons I leaned in this direction was to get a different sound going... and price (and see below). However, after the smoke has cleared from my impulse buy, I'm wondering if the coil tapped humbucker will hold it's own against the 305?

    You see, I've never really been a fan of single coils. Another reason I decided on the DC3 is for a bit of a project where I need a bit of space in between the bridge and the bridge pickup to insert a midi pickup. Turns out that the DGT is actually perfect for this and no pickguard to deal with...

    So, I'm wondering if there really is a huge difference in tone between the 305 and a tapped McCarty or DGT pickup for example? I'm beginning to think that the 305 may be a bit noisy for me... Also, I have my eye on a beautiful DGT that's not that much more expensive than the DC3...

    Regardless, I'll know very soon... I'll make sure to update the community as I proceed.

  2. #2
    I think you will hear a very significant difference between a real single coil guitar and a coil-tapped humbucker, for several reasons.

    Most humbuckers tap coils by turning off one or more coils using two pickups in some combination; that is, you have two pickups combining for one sound.
    While this does thin the tone out, to simulate a single coil, what's at work are differences in phase between the two pickups. Phase cancellation tends to affect the high frequencies a bit, but also warms up the bottom end. So you have a different sound than a true single coil.

    In fact, phase issues are why humbuckers have a characteristically warmer sound than single coils, as the coils are wired out of phase to cancel hum.

    That isn't to say it's a bad sound -- it can be wonderful to have coil tapped humbuckers -- but it's a different sound.

    A true single coil senses a very narrow piece of the string, and there isn't the phase cancellation. So you get a brighter, clearer sound in most cases.

    The 408 pickups are exceptions; they switch into something closer to true single coils.
    Last edited by LSchefman; 04-26-2013 at 11:10 AM.
    If something is too hard to do, then it's not worth doing. You just stick that guitar in the closet next to your short-wave radio, your karate outfit and your unicycle and we'll go inside and watch TV.
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  3. #3
    Large Member Kine's Avatar
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    Thanks LS! That's the answer I was lookin for. I'll give the DC3 a good go. I'm pretty fired up on it!

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