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Author Topic: what is an out of phase pickup  (Read 11787 times)

chris o'donnell

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what is an out of phase pickup
« on: April 12, 2005, 11:29:57 AM »
what is an out of phase pickup. Can my humbucker with 4 conducter wire be modified to be out of phase. Can this be done without installing a switch. What kind of sound will be produced.
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TwilightOdyssey

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Re: what is an out of phase pickup
« Reply #1 on: April 12, 2005, 03:24:44 PM »
Quote from: chris o'donnell
what is an out of phase pickup. Can my humbucker with 4 conducter wire be modified to be out of phase. Can this be done without installing a switch. What kind of sound will be produced.

I suppose you could wire a humbucker out of phase, but why would you want to??
Generally speaking, you would wire a single coil out of phase so that when you combine it with one coil of a humbucker you basically have a very large humbucker.

chris o'donnell

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what is an out of phase pickup
« Reply #2 on: April 12, 2005, 03:44:40 PM »
Sorry, but I still don't know what an out of phase pickup is. I didn't know that it was unusual for a humbucker to be out of phase because I'm only starting to get into the technical side of all things guitar.

Cheers

Chris
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TwilightOdyssey

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what is an out of phase pickup
« Reply #3 on: April 12, 2005, 03:53:49 PM »
The best way to hear phase and what it does is to take one of your stereo loudspeakers and reverse the (+) and (-) wires. One speaker will now be out of phase with the other, and you will notice a hollow-ish sound with no defined center image.

The reason for this is because when you wire one loudspeaker out of phase with the other, one set of drivers is moving in while the other set is moving out ...

Now apply that to guitars:
Imagine the sound coming from your pickup like a wave ... it goes up until it hits its highest point, and then goes down until it reaches the lowest point.

If you take two of these signals and combine them, the waves will be twice as big ... if you reverse the phase of one, just like the louspeaker, it will go down instead of up ... the signals will cancel each other out.

In something as complex as a musical note, where there are lots of tiny signals, when you take the sound of two pickups and reverse the phase of one of them, some of these will cancel each other out, creating a kind of wishy, hollowed out sound.

Hope that helps! :)

chris o'donnell

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what is an out of phase pickup
« Reply #4 on: April 12, 2005, 04:36:20 PM »
Thanks for that. Good explanation.

Chris
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Tim

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what is an out of phase pickup
« Reply #5 on: April 12, 2005, 06:02:43 PM »
You can wire your Mule out of phase by swapping the green and red wire over or black and white. The other option is to flip the magnet for out of phase tone but your Mule is covered so it's not an easy option.

Out of phase tone is most associated with Peter Green(2  humbuckers out of phase with each other)-it's certainly an acquired taste :wink: -try it out, it won't take long to do. The tone will get really thin and brittle.

A nicer compromise IMHO is parallel tone, this is where both coils are run together(both start wires together and both finishes)so that the signal runs through both coils at the same time. As with out of phase, you'll notice a volume drop but the tone is more useable.

Have fun :) !
Tim
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FELINEGUITARS

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what is an out of phase pickup
« Reply #6 on: April 12, 2005, 09:28:53 PM »
Chris- you didn't state whether you were using 2 pickups and just wanted one pickup to be out of phase with the other- kind of like the Peter green sound that Tim speaks of. This means that when both pickups are opn the sound will be thinner than it was before because of frequency cancellation.
I believe that Gary Moore has used this sound here and there as he has Peter's old LP guitar)

However - it is possible to reverse the phase within a humbucking pickup and this results in a truly horrible sound.

In fact I have often done it by accident when wiring in a Dimarzio and still thinking of Seymour Duncan colour codes for wiring (this would apply to a BKP as well)
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HJM

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what is an out of phase pickup
« Reply #7 on: April 12, 2005, 09:30:43 PM »
between all of us we'll answer this one!
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TwilightOdyssey

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what is an out of phase pickup
« Reply #8 on: April 12, 2005, 09:57:27 PM »
Quote from: HJM
between all of us we'll answer this one!

LOL!
Well, it's a complicated issue and we're only guitar players, after all.

Tim

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Re: what is an out of phase pickup
« Reply #9 on: April 12, 2005, 10:38:13 PM »
Quote from: chris o'donnell
what is an out of phase pickup. Can my humbucker with 4 conducter wire be modified to be out of phase. Can this be done without installing a switch. What kind of sound will be produced.


 A normal  humbucker works by having two coils of wire wound around bobbins which feature poles screws or slugs either side of a bar magnetic.
The coils are wired in series and  have opposing electrical polarity, they also have reversed magnetic polarity as one coil is south and the other north (usually screw coil south polarity, slug coil north).
This means that 60 cycle hum is  magnetically out of phase whilst the pickup signal itself is in phase.
Reverse the electrical polarity of one coil and the pickup becomes out of phase as the electrical polarity of the two coils is now the same but the magnetic polarity is reversed.
The resulting tone is weak and brittle, alot quieter and with all the mids lost.

The same problem can occur with two single coils switched on together-as long as their electrical polarity and magnetic polarity is the same, they'll be in pahse with each other. Swap over either one-out of phase.
so for two single coils to be humcancelling both magnetic and electrical polarity has to be reversed in one coil, ie one coil south up and clockwise wound, the other north up and counter clockwise wound.

Sorry this is a bit longwinded but you did ask :twisted:
Tim
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Re: what is an out of phase pickup
« Reply #10 on: April 13, 2005, 01:12:05 AM »
Quote from: Tim

This means that 60 cycle hum is  magnetically out of phase whilst the pickup signal itself is in phase.


Just a little note for anyone wondering:
In the USA and certain other countries the AC electrical supply is a 60HZ supply whilst here in the UK and the rest of the world it is 50Hz.

(yes that does mean that single coil hum in USA is higher in frequency than here in the UK - but both equally annoying to some)

I put this note for those that may have felt confused by differing references to the different frequency values on various websites.
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what is an out of phase pickup
« Reply #11 on: April 13, 2005, 08:14:44 AM »
Well done J, strictly speaking we should refer to it as 50/60 cycle hum although most people commonly refer to it as 60 cycle regardless of where they come from. Either way it's a pain :x !
Tim
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chris o'donnell

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what is an out of phase pickup
« Reply #12 on: April 13, 2005, 11:11:16 AM »
WOW!. My head has just exploded.

Thanks guys. My plan was to use both pickups with one out of phase (Peter Green style). I have a Les Paul Studio which I want to fit out with BKP's and use this as a second guitar. I might want to fit hotter pickups than my LP Standard( Stormy Mondy Neck, The Mule Bridge) which will give me more sounds at my disposal. The out of phase thing was just an extension of this, something to play about with and see what happens. I now know how to get the out of phase sound.

Tim. Any suggestions for alternative Humbuckers. My LP Standard sounds fabulous, as you know, maybe something like an Emerald set.

Chris.
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HJM

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what is an out of phase pickup
« Reply #13 on: April 13, 2005, 04:01:56 PM »
Emeralds are very nice, quite hot - how about a VHII, great hot paf type tone - very open, great low end!
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chris o'donnell

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what is an out of phase pickup
« Reply #14 on: April 13, 2005, 05:17:31 PM »
I Have been thinking about the VHII, though I would like to hear a sound clip. could anyone give me an example of a players sound, Other than EVH, that the VHII would produce.

I know that a verbal description of a sound is difficult to give, but could any one compare the VHII to my Mule (Bridge).

Cheers

Chris.
a good riff beats them every time!