Out of phase pickups

Discussion in 'Gibson SG' started by Scott Hutchens, Oct 29, 2020.

  1. Scott Hutchens

    Scott Hutchens New Member

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    Question about 2007 1963 reissue 3 pickup SG Custom: Does anyone know if the middle position on the selector switch (bridge and middle pickups on together) was wired “out of phase or just in standard parallel?”. Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Huntroll

    Huntroll Active Member

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    Once upon a time, I had a 3 pickup SG, it worked like this -

    The NECK and BRIDGE pickups were wired to their respective volume controls then to the pickup selector switch.

    The MIDDLE pickup had its own volume control, (located where the lower tone control usually is), and its output connected to a master tone control, (located in the upper tone control position), along with the output of the selector switch then to the output jack.
    Basically the MIDDLE pickup was on all the time.

    As always, the wrench in the gears was EACH PICKUP'S MAGNETIC POLARITY .

    AFAIK, Each pickups magnetic polarity affects the assigned wire colors of 4-wire Gibson pickups.

    You'll need a small magnet with the N & S poles defined on it, or you can get a handheld magnetic polarity tester for pretty cheap. Alarm system sensor magnets work well. Remember opposite poles attract.

    What gets me is the magnetic order is different between Gibson Les Paul's and SG's.

    Starting at the neck, stock configuration of two coil humbuckers are as follows -

    LES PAUL - neck - NORTH SOUTH , bridge - NORTH SOUTH .

    SG - neck - NORTH SOUTH , bridge - SOUTH NORTH .

    On SGs where I've transplanted a 4-wire Les Paul pickup set, I found that turning the bridge pickup around 90 degrees sounds best, when connected how it was in the Les Paul.

    I don't know for sure but in your case, due to the extra magnetic pull from the additional pickup, the order would be - neck - NORTH SOUTH, middle - NORTH SOUTH, bridge - NORTH SOUTH , to create a magnetic cancelling affect.

    You wouldn't want 2 like poles adding together, effectively deadening the string vibration.

    Please post how Gibson setup the magnetic order in your stock 3 pickup SG.

    Along with the wiring details would be awesome !

    Thanks .
     
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  3. Scott Hutchens

    Scott Hutchens New Member

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  4. Scott Hutchens

    Scott Hutchens New Member

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    Thanks for your reply. I actually don't have a 3 pickup LP/SG Custom. I have a vintage '61, '62, and 2 '64s, all
    standards. I wish I did--ever since seeing pics, videos of Hendrix and Glenn Buxton using them back in the day. This was a question on the Gibson SG Owners Facebook page. I said I thought the bridge/middle together were in phase (since the tones I always heard sounded like it). Obviously out of phase would be thin sounding and one I tried in a store 20+ years ago were in-phase. People on the page both agreed and disagreed and said they owned them both ways. If I was going to own one, I would use one of the tone controls for middle pickup volume and have only one tone and make sure all pickups were in-phase.
     
  5. Huntroll

    Huntroll Active Member

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    Speaking of 3 pickup SG's . . .

    Check this out !

     
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  6. Huntroll

    Huntroll Active Member

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  7. Scott Hutchens

    Scott Hutchens New Member

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    I like Terry Kath really a lot. I liked it more when he used Gibsons. He switched to a Tele the more pop they got.
    This is a great video.
     
  8. Goldtone

    Goldtone Member

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    Standard Gibson wiring is all in phase

    There is a proximity effect of the pickups being so close together where they interfere with each others magnetic field giving a tone that resembles out of phase wiring. That “quackiness” and it can be adjusted with great effect by adjusting pickup height

    A truly out of phase pickup (both wiring and magnet) will be far more of a pronounced tone effect
     
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  9. Huntroll

    Huntroll Active Member

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    . . . Sustained !
     
  10. Scott Hutchens

    Scott Hutchens New Member

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  11. Scott Hutchens

    Scott Hutchens New Member

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    Thanks!
    Right now I have three Duncan '59 pickups pickups on a Strat pickguard that I have adjusted to correct height and have no problems with.
     

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