As I'm no longer posting in the main area if the forum I thought I'd set up a little area here to answer general pickup questions free from some of the 'aggravation' present in other areas :-)
Hopefully one of the very knowledgeable people can answer this:
When a pickup has a coil tap (genuinely meaning a coil tap, not a split) - when it is in the tapped setting, would it act exactly like as if the pickup only had that much wire to begin with?
Or does the fact there's extra wire on there, even if it's disconnected, affect the signal in some way, even if subtly?
I.e. is a coil tap always a compromise or can a hot pickup with a tap give the same sound as a lower output pickup (if it happened to be otherwise made the same)?
Right, everything you do to a pickup affects things subtly ... and adding a tap wire is no exception. The unused part of the coil is shorted out when a tap is engaged, but the 'primary coil' is then wrapped in a jacket of copper, so is a touch less susceptible to interference. There is a slight increase in inductance and there may be some effect on eddy currents in the pickup, but the overall effect is very negligible indeed.
Let me give you an example from my own range: My Thames Delta alnico 5 medium/low output Tele bridge pickup is the core wind for my 'Diesel Tap' tapped high output single coil. In other words I wind a Thames Delta, then take out a wire ... then carry on winding to produce the secondary coil that makes the pickup a Diesel Tap. I've tried both pickups side by side many times ... and there's no discernible difference between my Thames Delta and my Diesel Tap on low power.
In answer to this:
I just acquired a nice 1980s 335 in a trade with a friend which has a changed bridge pickup. My friend believes it's possible it could be a later sixties paf patent sticker number with the sticker missing. Wonder if any of you eagled eyed experts on here can tell with any degree of certainty from the pics I have.
Pics to follow
The Bobbin mounting screws look wrong if the first illustration is supposed to be a late sixties 'Patent' Gibson ... they should be cross head not flat blade of course they could have been changed. The flat blade screws fitted remind me of seventies DiMarzio screws.
Professional pickup winder, horse-testpilot and recovering Chocolate Hobnob addict.
Formerly TheGuitarWeasel ... Oil City Pickups
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