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Mod Garage: How exactly to Execute a Spin-a-Split Wiring

Fig. 1

Hello and welcome back again to Mod Garage. As a follow-up to the Tapping and Splitting: Whats the Difference? column in the October 2021 issue, this month well have a closer look at variable splitting of humbuckers thats also referred to as the spin-a-split mod. This mod could be put on all humbuckers with a 4-conductor wiring because we are in need of access to the beginning and end of both coils. You cant do that mod to humbucker pickups with a typical 2-conductor wiring. Most humbuckers could be converted from 2-conductor to 4-conductor wiring; however, you should open the pickup because of this, which may be a delicate job. That job is most beneficial left to a guitar tech, because destroying the pickup is simple to accomplish.


The essential notion of this mod is simple. With a switch, it is possible to split the humbucker to a single-coil pickup leading to two completely different tones: 100 percent humbucker or 100 percent single-coil. The variable coil-splitting mod runs on the pot rather than a switch, and that means you dont have only two given tones but additionally anything among, providing you precise control over the quantity of split.

This is simply not nearly balancing tone, but additionally balancing hum-free operation. The more humbucker you have, the less hum and noise will undoubtedly be present and vice versa. With the pot fully opened you have 100 percent humbucker, sufficient reason for the pot fully closed you have 100 percent single-coil. But its an easy task to dial in virtually any tone you need, for instance, 70 percent humbucker plus 30 percent single-coil, gives an excellent proportion of hum-free operation.

Another cool bonus is that if you have an excessive amount of bass or overdrive completely humbucker mode, you may use the spin-a-split to instantly clear things up.

So, youll have quick access to an enormous selection of tones from only 1 humbucker pickup by mixing single-coil and humbucker sounds. You may also mimic other pickups with this particular mod, such as for example P-90s or FilterTrons. Another cool bonus is that if you have an excessive amount of bass or overdrive completely humbucker mode, you may use the spin-a-split to instantly clear things up.

The theory isn’t new. It first arrived in the mid 1970s and Hartley Peavey may be the person to whom all of the credit must go. A lot of people think that is a straightforward mod, which only partly hits the nail, and Ill explain why in only an instant.

Lets take a look at the essential configuration and how this mod works (Fig. 1). You will need a spin-a-split pot for every humbucker pickup you would like to install this wiring into. As usual, I find the Seymour Duncan color code to show the mod because its the quasi-standard in your guitar world. In order to transfer the colour code to humbucker pickups from another company, you may use one of the numerous color code transfer charts on the web.

As usual, the green and the bare wires head to ground so theres nothing new here. The black wire may be the output, likely to a pickup-selector switch or even to the input lug of a volume control. The red and the white wires are likely to the center lug (lug #2) of the spin-a-split pot as the bottom lug (lug #3) is grounded. Once the pot is turned completely down, the red and white wires will undoubtedly be connected right to ground, that is a normal coil-split setup for single-coil tone. Once the control is turned completely up, the red and white wires aren’t linked to ground at all, this means normal humbucker mode and tone.

The theory isn’t new. It first arrived in the mid 1970s and Hartley Peavey may be the person to whom all of the credit must go.

That’s where the difficulty starts. The truth is, both wires remain slightly linked to ground but with a big resistance, based on what pot you utilize for this. This can drain an excellent part of volume and tone to ground. An ideal and easy fix to eliminate this lingering link with ground is utilizing a no-load pot, which removes the bottom connection once the pot is turned completely up.

In order to work with a tone pot as a spin-a-split pot, youll look for a 500k or 250k audio pot. Its necessary to replace that one with a no-load pot or convert the prevailing pot right into a no-load pot by breaking the bond internally. If for just about any reason this is simply not possible, you need to use a 100k pot, but finding them in guitar-friendly configurations is really a challenge. Linear pots work best because of this mod, so with just a little luck youll look for a 500k linear tone pot in your humbucker guitar, that is a perfect base because of this mod by rendering it a no-load pot.

Fig. 2

As you can plainly see, its much less easy since it seems, so when always, the devil is in the facts.

To summarize, heres an illustration (Fig. 2) of the spin-a-split mod as well as a volume pot for exactly the same pickup. Rather than connecting the wire to the input of the quantity pot, it is possible to connect it to a pickup-selector switch should you have several pickup in your guitar.

Thats it! The following month well execute a mod for Stratocaster guitars called the Ricky King mod, so keep tuned in. Until then … continue modding!

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