The Gibson SG With Coil Splitting. The Gibson SG with coil splitting is one of the most sonically versatile guitars ever. Its screamin’ humbuckers let you go from warm and thick tones down to spanky and bright single-coil sounds.
Coil tap and coil split circuits offer a variety of different tones, which is great for mixing your sound up when you’re on stage. It’s a great idea to try both out to see which works best for you.
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The Gibson SG With Coil Splitting
What is Coil Splitting?
Coil splitting is a wiring modification that allows guitars with humbucker pickups to function as single coils with the push-pull tone knob. Essentially, it changes the dynamic of your guitar from a ‘warm’ & ‘beefy’ sound to a ‘crisp’ & ‘thin’ sound with just one pull or switch of the tone knob.
Coil splitting allows you to switch between different pickup output levels to achieve a variety of tones.
It can also help you achieve a more vintage-like sound or a hotter, more modern voice. This can be especially useful when playing through a tube amplifier as it can allow you to quickly back off the gain without having to roll down your guitar’s volume knob.
A coil tap is similar to a humbucker’s ‘half-hum’ mode but instead of ‘taming’ the low end by cutting out the signal between the other humbucker coil and the magnet, it cancels out the signal by taking it from a shorter point in the wire.
This means that the ‘tap’ will have a lower output level than the full humbucker, which makes it ideal for use in guitars designed for old-school music genres such as blues and rock. You can use this setting to get a more traditional tone, then use the full humbucker output for a more modern, high-gain voiced sound when playing the lead.
What is Coil Tapping
Coil tapping is a pickup feature that can be found on many electric guitars. It can be activated via a switch or a push-pull pot.
In guitars, it’s most commonly used on single-coil pickups. A single coil pickup consists of a magnet that’s wrapped with a coil of wire several thousand times. The more windings, the higher the output.
The tone of a single coil pickup is affected by the number of winds it has, so high-output pickups tend to sound brighter and thinner than low-output ones.
However, some high-output single coils can have coil taps to lower their output and produce a tone that’s closer to the output of a standard single coil. This can be helpful if you’re playing with a tube amp and want more control over the sound of your pickup without using the guitar’s volume knob to reduce the level of output.
How Can Coil Tapping Be Useful?
Coil tapping is a feature in electric guitar pickups that allows you to access a different tone. It’s similar to coil splitting but a little bit more complex.
Standard single-coil pickups consist of a spool of wire wound around a set of magnets with a start and finish. The “hot” wire is usually connected to the end of the winding.
With a tapped pickup, however, the hot wire is connected to a point in the middle of the winding, or close to the end, essentially “tapping” into the coil to access a different voltage, changing the tone.
This can be useful for guitarists who want more control over their output than can be achieved by simply using the volume knob to lower the level of output. It’s also a good way to achieve more precise heat-of-the-moment control of your pickup’s output when you’re using a tube amp that is particularly sensitive. It’s an especially good option for guitarists who want to experiment with effect devices such as envelope filter pedals.
The Gibson SG With Coil Splitting
Solid Mahogany Body
Gibson SGs are one of the most popular guitars in the world. There’s a good reason for that: they’re solid, comfortable to play, and capable of producing all sorts of tones.
The SG is a model that is synonymous with hard rock and metal, as well as blues. It’s been around for nearly a half-century and has remained one of the most popular models Gibson produces, thanks to its versatile sonic range.
A key aspect of a great SG is its solid mahogany body. This is a wood that goes through the same rigorous selection process as all of Gibson’s other woods. It’s also personally inspected and qualified by Gibson’s skilled wood experts. This process ensures that the mahogany is properly dried and maintains moisture at a low enough level for tight-fitting joints and no expansion, which in turn helps to control the machinability and finishing properties of the mahogany.
Once the mahogany is selected, it is then machined in Gibson’s rough mill and cut by hand, meaning that each SG will have a distinct, time-honored neck profile. The earliest SGs had a “SlimTaper” neck profile, and it’s still prevalent on many of today’s models.
Another characteristic of a quality SG is a rosewood fretboard, which has become Gibson’s standard. Some SG custom models have ebony boards, but most modern SGs are made with rosewood boards. These boards are then PLEK-treated before being put on the guitar, so you can be sure that they’re level and polished to the best degree possible.
During the 1960s, Gibson designed the SG to be thinner and lighter than the Les Paul, focusing on making the guitar easier to play. By removing excess material from the body, they were able to create a thinner, more comfortable guitar that was still very powerful and capable of delivering gut-punching humbucker tones.
In addition to improving the player’s experience, the SG was intended to be more aesthetically appealing than the Les Paul. It also featured a larger “batwing” style pickguard. This design has been used on SGs through the sixties and is still found on many of the reissue and special edition models today.
The Tune-O-Matic Bridge is one of the most important parts of a guitar. It provides a firm seating for the strings and enables players to adjust intonation within minutes. The design was first introduced by Gibson in 1953 and has since become standard on all Gibson models.
The classic Tune-O-Matic style features individual saddles that can be adjusted with Allen set screws. They can be used to move the saddles closer or farther from the nut for more accurate intonation.
They are more stable than wrap-around bridges, which can make them easier to re-string when removing all the strings at once. Nevertheless, the sound and intonation of both styles are similar and can be used to create a wide range of musical styles.
When setting up a Tune-O-Matic bridge, it is important to get the strings positioned in an arc that matches the curved radius of the fingerboard surface. This will ensure proper intonation and reduce string buzzing.
In addition, the bridge should be positioned such that the distance from the nut to the end of the strings equals the scale length of the guitar. This is to avoid string vibrations bouncing off the fingerboard and into the pickups.
Another important factor when setting up a Tune-O-Matic guitar is to be sure that the threaded posts supporting the bridge are straight and not bent. Bent posts can cause the bridge to lean out of position, which affects intonation and tone. Bent posts also tend to interfere with turning the adjustment screws on the back of the bridge.
The Tune-O-Matic Bridge has stud-mounted “stop” tailpieces that help hold the strings in place when you re-string the guitar. These tailpieces need to be properly installed and positioned so that the adjustment screws on each side of the bridge face the neck and pickups.
Glued Neck Joint
Glued necks have always set Gibson guitars apart, and this SG model is no exception. The gluing process ensures that the neck and body are in contact with each other, avoiding air gaps between them and allowing maximum resonance. This gives the SG’s necks a tighter, smoother tone that also helps to sustain the guitar.
The glued neck on this SG is made of solid mahogany that’s been through the same rigorous selection process as all of Gibson’s woods. This means that it’s been personally inspected and qualified by Gibson’s skilled wood experts. The result is a solid, tight-fitting mahogany that’s strong and machinable.
A glued neck joint is a robust and long-lasting construction that’s ideal for high-quality instruments. It’s not for beginners and requires expert woodworking skills to build properly. However, it’s a good choice for repairing historic wood instruments that might require some work in the future.
Another type of neck joint is a bolt-on neck, which is more common on electric guitars. It involves inserting the neck into a pre-routed “pocket” in the body and then bolting it to the neck with screws.
Bolt-on necks are usually a better choice for players who want a sharper tone and ease of maintenance. They can also be a great option if you’re looking to quickly and affordably replace your guitar’s neck joint.
Although there are pros and cons to both of these neck types, it is important to consider the specific demands and preferences of each player before making a decision. The best way to decide which neck joint will suit your playing style is to experiment and compare them to each other.
The tonal difference between a glued and bolt-on neck can be quite significant. A glued neck tends to yield more juiciness and depth of voice, while a bolt-on neck tends to give more ring and girth. The difference can vary greatly depending on the type of wood used, as well as its density. In addition, the scale length of the neck will play a big part in its tone.
22-Fret Rosewood Fingerboard
The Gibson SG has long been a favorite of many rock guitarists for its sleek looks and streamlined body design. Its double-cut body and neck offer excellent access to all the frets in the fingerboard. The guitar is also much lighter than a Les Paul, making it easy to handle for all types of players.
The SG’s overall tonal character depends on the quality of its components and materials, and how it is constructed. Generally, an SG will have a blend of lows, midranges, and highs. A good guitar will be able to produce a variety of tones in these ranges, depending on how it is played and what pickups and other hardware are installed.
Some SG models feature coil splitting, which allows a player to split the output from a single humbucker into two separate pickups. This allows players to create a wide range of tones from clean and warm to metal and bluesy.
Often used by blues guitarists, these pickups can produce a more open sound, with a brighter top end. Typically, they are made with an alnico magnet for a traditional humbucker tone or a ceramic magnet for a brighter, hotter sound.
In the past, many SG models have included active pickups. These are electronic pickups that use a Moog circuit to provide additional tonal options.
This type of active pickup was introduced in the 1980s and is rarely seen on an SG. These pickups can be tuned in either series or parallel and can be stacked with other pickups for a wider range of tones.
Other SG models feature a more vintage-inspired design, such as the ’57 Custom or Junior Tribute. These hark back to a Junior/Special type design with bound mahogany fretboards and P-90 pickups, with a thin ’60s neck profile.
Gibson’s SG models are handcrafted by master luthiers at their Nashville Custom Shop and feature the finest woods, electronics, hardware, and embellishments available. These guitars are highly collectible and coveted by many professional musicians. They come in a variety of finishes, including nitrocellulose lacquer, full gloss, vintage original patina, and lightly to heavily aged treatments. Some are meticulous recreations of vintage models or instruments associated with renowned SG players.
Adjustable Tuning Keys
Gibson SG guitars with coil splitting are a great option for players who want the classic Les Paul sound but want more control over their tone. The pickups on these guitars are adjustable for wire wraps, magnet strength, and treble enhancement.
These models are highly collectible and feature single-piece mahogany bodies with nitrocellulose lacquer finishes. Some are a meticulous recreation of vintage models or instruments used by renowned SG guitarists.
These guitars are produced in smaller numbers by Gibson’s Custom Shop to vintage-accurate specs. They incorporate the finest woods, electronics, and hardware available.
Gibson SG guitars with Coil Splitting can be a great choice for guitarists who want the classic feel and sound of a traditional SG, but also want to add modern electronics and performance features. These models are a nice blend of the old and new, with features like a G-Force automatic tuning system and Grover Rotomatic tuners that have enclosed, permanently lubricated machine heads.
The chrome hardware on these SGs is metal core plated with a thin chromium veneer that will not rust. However, it can get tarnished and dull with age if the surface is exposed to water.