Four wire pick ups?

Registered User
Joined: 08/10/01
Posts: 882
I'm planning on bullding my own guitar soonish, and I'm looking into pick ups and wiring at the minute, I know what four wire pick ups do (basically you can turn two sing coil pick ups into a humbucker at the flick of a swith), you get these options:
1)inseries/ out of phase
2)in parralel/ in phase
3)In series/ in phase
4)In parralel/ out of phase
5)Either coil alone (split)

but there was a guitar that had this kind of set up, and you could switch between either coil alone or only two of the other four (i think it was the in phase ones)...
I was wondering could you set your guitar up so you could chose between all five?
Is that nasal sound you get out of some guitar due to the pick ups being out of phase (as i'm not really sure what out of phase pickups mean sound wise)?
# 1
Joined: 08/09/01
Posts: 37
If you want some cool ideas for guitar electronics set-ups, check out - they are presented as modifications to Fender Strats, but you could take the ideas and use them to build your own pickup configurations.

From what pitifully minute knowledge I have of electronics in musical instruments (actually, electronics in general), out-of-phase translates to noise reduction. Apparently, in a Fender Strat, pickup switch positions 2 (neck & middle) and 4 (middle and neck) are out-of-phase as a result of the way Fender wires their pickups. And you'll notice that those two positions produce less hum than positions 1, 3 or 5.

(Or maybe I mean in-phase, not out-of-phase?)

Where's Jon68 when you need him?
excuse me, but i must kiss the sky
# 2
Gear Guru
Joined: 01/18/01
Posts: 6,242
For some technical background, take a look at:
Guitar Tricks Moderator - Home of Online Guitar Lessons
# 3