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Series Parallel switch

You may have heard of Series Parallel wiring in guitars, here’s how to do it.

There are numerous ways to wire a humbucker. The standard way is in series, its the sound we all know, with that pushy lower mid tone.

Some players like to coil tap their humbucker to get the option of a thinner more Fender type tone. That is essentially switching one coil off.

A less well used way to thin the sound is with a series/parallel switch. A humbucker in parallel is more single coil like than in standard wiring, there’s less volume drop than coil tapping and it still hum cancels. I much prefer it.

So what is Series/Parallel all about?

The standard way of wiring a humbucker is in series. PAF’s are wired this way and it gives the traditional full sound with plenty of mids and bottom end. Its simply one coil following the other, the end of one coil connected to the beginning of the next.

Wiring a humbucker in parallel is quite a different sound. It’s much more similar to a single coil sound but the pickups is still hum cancelling. There is a drop in volume though not as much as with a coil tap (switching one coil off).

This humbucker wiring diagram shows how to do it with a push/pull switch. With the switch down and the humbucker is wired in series (normal), pull it up and it’s in parallel. The wiring colour code is for Mr Glyn’s Pickups (I use the same colours as Seymour Duncan).

Series Parallel diagram

Series Parallel switch for guitar pickups humbucker

Not such a hard diagram to follow is it. I’m not sure why this modification isn’t more popular. Maybe it’s a little harder to understand than coil tapping, maybe it’s because its a little more complicated to wire up. I certainly prefer it in my guitars to give an extra tonal option without taking anything away from the original sound.

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I’m going to be posting a few more wiring diagrams in the near future. Keep an eye on this blog or my social media:

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Series Parallel switch

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