Guitar Pickups 101 Series: Part 6 - Coil Tapping Explained

Guitar Pickups 101 Series: Part 6 - Coil Tapping Explained

Don’t get it confused, coil-tapping is NOT the same as coil-splitting, make sure you get it right. Coil-splitting is something that is done to humbuckers, coil-tapping is done to single coil pickups.


Seymour Duncan Antiquity for Strat has option for coil tap

When the single coil pickup is being made, as the coil is being wound, an output is tapped into the coil halfway up, and an additional output is tapped in at the top of the pickup. What this does is make it so that one coil actually has two different levels of output (half of the total, and the total ). You could also think of it as, fifty percent power and full power.

To be able to access these two different outputs, you need a switch to jump between the two. This practice of coil-tapping allows you to have a bigger, darker sound when at full output, but also to switch to a brighter more vintage sound at half the output.

Essentially it turns each single-coil pickup into two very different pickups, greatly increasing the versatility of your sound, without having to switch pickups or guitars.

If you want to buy coil tapped pickups, Seymour Duncan offers most of their Stratocaster and Telecaster pickups with coil taps. For more information on their coil taps click here: What is a coil tap?

Remember Coil-tapping is not the same as coil-splitting! Now you know! Check out the video for a review of Coil Tapping Explained!

Check out the other parts of our Guitar Pickups 101 Series below, and stay tuned for the next section!

Guitar Pickups 101 Series Part 1

Guitar Pickups 101 Series Part 2

Guitar Pickups 101 Series Part 3

Guitar Pickups 101 Series Part 4

Guitar Pickups 101 Series Part 5

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