SG CUSTOM MIDDLE PICKUP

Discussion in 'Gibson SG' started by Smooghead, Oct 19, 2019.

  1. Smooghead

    Smooghead New Member

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    This may be a dumb question but I'm going to post it anyway.

    I have a '73 3 pickup custom which has been wired lots of different ways - the current preference being standard 2 pickup wiring and the middle pickup brought in via a pull switch. It gives the "thin" sound associated with the original wiring if I ever want it (which is rarely), and leaves the standard 2 pickup sound fully accessible.

    Simple question - has anyone flipped the middle pickup around (so the screws are at the bridge end rather than the neck) and if so, what does the blended bridge/middle sound like ?

    Thanks

    Smoog
     
  2. cerebral gasket

    cerebral gasket Well-Known Member

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    Rotating a Humbucker 180 degrees so that the coil with screws will face the bridge instead of the neck is not going to change the sound as long as the Humbucker does not have the coils split. Most Humbuckers are going to have fairly even output from both coils.
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2019
  3. Smooghead

    Smooghead New Member

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    Thanks. Not coil split - and as these are original tarbacks there is zero chance of me trying it ! I thought it may change the phasing and so fill the combined pickup sound out a little.
     
  4. cerebral gasket

    cerebral gasket Well-Known Member

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    Changing the phasing would require swapping the hot and ground leads on one of the pickups that you are pairing it with. Maybe one of the pickups is wired out of phase since you mention the guitar has been re-wired in the past.
     
  5. Derald

    Derald Member

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    Typically for a Gibson 3 pickup model the middle is out of phase with the bridge. That’s how they used to wire them.
    You could rewire it such that the middle is in phase with the bridge but in a lot of cases that makes the bridge + middle combo muddy.
    The 3 pickup models from Gibson were made strictly for cosmetic reasons. They ‘looked cool’. Sonically, from the factory, the middle pickup wasn’t all that useful.

    A lot of people have since rewired a 3 pickup LP or SG such that the guitar has three volumes (one for each p/u) and a master tone. This allows you to blend in whatever combo of pickups suit your taste.

    Once with an epiphone 3 pickup SG, I put low output pickups in the neck and bridge position and a hot pickup in the middle with a push-push pot. I had three volumes and one tone. But the middle was set on the push-push such that hitting that pot would short the neck and bridge to ground and only have the middle pickup on. Pretty clever if you asked me! It was like a boost and change of tone when activating it.
    I eventually sold that guitar..
     
  6. Tony M

    Tony M Well-Known Member

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    I would use 3 volumes and a master tone.
    Wire the bridge and neck pickups to the toggle
    and use the third volume to blend in as much of
    the middle pickup "out of phase" sound as you want.
     
    dub-setter likes this.
  7. Rick330man

    Rick330man New Member

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    I've got two of the 1998 three mini-humbucker SG Deluxes. I love them. Great guitars with a darker tone than what I typically think of with SGs. They have a "chicken head" selector to let you choose your pickup combinations.

    Excellent guitars. I wouldn't touch the wiring on them.
     
  8. Smooghead

    Smooghead New Member

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    Thanks to all who have replied. The current wiring is my preference - I did previously try the 3 vols and one tone but prefer the "standard" 2 vol, 2 tone options which is why I've wired it that way. I do use two tones quite a lot. Sounds like I'm stuck with a great looking 3 p/u custom which can sound like a 2 pickup or 3 pickup model, so quite happy. Cheers :)
     

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