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SSL-5T - Dialling-in a tapped single-coil

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  • SSL-5T - Dialling-in a tapped single-coil

    Okay, I have an SSL-5T on its way, and after scouring the Seymour Duncan site, I found their suggestion for using an unused tone pot as a coil tap control. Comparing that to their regular diagram for a tapped single-coil, how would I rearrange the wires to achieve the same effect? Black on the single coil is ground, but it's the hot lead on the humbucker.

    Any thoughts?

  • #2
    Re: SSL-5T - Dialling-in a tapped single-coil

    Like this:



    You can use the spare pot, but a 1 meg linear will work better. Also, you may want to make that pot a no-load pot so that its completely out of the circuit when on "10". Even more important if you use the current 250k pot.

    Edit: Deleted the part that wasn't relevant.
    Last edited by ArtieToo; 01-05-2008, 01:20 PM.

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    • #3
      Re: SSL-5T - Dialling-in a tapped single-coil

      So which would be better, a 250k 'No-Load' pot, or a 1 Meg linear pot? How much difference would there be between the 1 Meg on 10 and the 'No-Load' all the way up?

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: SSL-5T - Dialling-in a tapped single-coil

        I'm not really sure, because I've never actually done this mod. But since my Strat is sitting on my bench with the pickguard off, and I have a tapped SSL-5 sitting here, and all the other parts - I could check it out and tell you for sure.

        Give me 'til tomorrow, (maybe, later tonight), and I'll let you know what the differences are.

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        • #5
          Re: SSL-5T - Dialling-in a tapped single-coil

          Ok, just finished playing with this. I used a DPDT switch so that could instantly go back and forth between a 1M and a 250k. There were some unexpected results.

          1. With the pots on "10", which is at full output, I couldn't hear any difference between 1M, 250k, or no-load. So, I guess the no-load pot isn't critical.

          2. With both pots dialed to "tap", there was a slight EQ difference between the two, but its hard to say which was better. I believe I like the sound of the 250k better. The 1M seemed to have a smidgen more "ice-pick" to it. But it was subtle.

          3. Here's the unexpected part. As you transition from one setting to the other, the volume and treble both dip dramatically. If you called the tapped mode "5" and the full mode "10", it dips to 2 or 3 as you turn the pot. On both pots. It wasn't a smooth transition from tapped to full at all. So much so, that I wouldn't even bother with this mod. I'd just use a switch, myself.

          I'm thinking that Zhangliqun had good luck with this. I wonder if he might chime in and tell us how he wired his.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: SSL-5T - Dialling-in a tapped single-coil

            I tried "Spin-A-Tap" with a tapped Quarter Pounder once. The tap (pot at zero) sounded fine but the full-on (pot dimed) sounded kind of weak and squishy, nothing at all like the QP sounded full-on with just a switch for the tap. It was a 250k pot, stock in my Strat, FWIW. In other words, I don't think this concept works that well with a tapped single coil, only with standard or stacked humbuckers. But your mileage may vary...

            Spin-A-Split (as used on a humbucker) is a great mod but I think it has to be refined by choosing just the right pot -- not so much in terms of the overall value but the taper. Most pots have a very uneven taper, which you can see if you use a multi-meter on the guitar's jack (or patch cord plugged into the jack) and measure the DCR as you turn the pot up and down. I had a 10k bridge pu with the SAS mod and the DCR changed very little, maybe 0.3k, from 10 to 7, but then dropped off the table to about 7.5 suddenly from 7 to 6, then another plateau until about 4 where it dropped off from 7 to 5 or so.

            Have not tried a bunch of different pots with varying values and tapers on SAS so I have no advice to give there but it would be a pretty easy experiment for somebody like...I don't know...say, ARTIE?
            Generic signature line.

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            • #7
              Re: SSL-5T - Dialling-in a tapped single-coil

              Originally posted by Zhangliqun View Post
              Have not tried a bunch of different pots with varying values and tapers on SAS so I have no advice to give there but it would be a pretty easy experiment for somebody like...I don't know...say, ARTIE?
              I'll try that next.

              I guess the spin-a-tap just wasn't meant to be. Maybe someone else will have better luck with it.

              Thanks for popping in Dave.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: SSL-5T - Dialling-in a tapped single-coil

                Hmmm...I definitely wouldn't have expected such a fluctuation, especially with linear taper pots. I wish I had more spare parts around to experiment with, but the pickup hasn't even arrived yet, let alone the handful of parts I ordered to do a few mock ups.

                I appreciate the brainstorming, both of you. Back to the drawing board, perhaps? What about a blend pot? Full on in the center....I'm not sure what would happen when it's turned the other way...any thoughts/hypotheses?

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                • #9
                  Re: SSL-5T - Dialling-in a tapped single-coil

                  Let me try a couple more experiments first. I'm still perplexed by my first results. You should be able to transition smoothly from one level to another.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: SSL-5T - Dialling-in a tapped single-coil

                    I noticed that Griblin Engineering sells 250k and 500k custom taper pots:

                    "Made by Ernie Ball. Extremely smooth taper as it is built for guitar players who want absolute control over their guitars. Great for use as volume or tone controls."

                    The only Ernie Ball pots I've ever dealt with are the volume pedal replacement pots, which are very consistent and smooth.

                    Any thoughts?


                    I put an email into Ernie Ball, since Griblin's website is so crappy, so hopefully they can tell me what's what and I can get them from there.
                    Last edited by ZiggyZipgun; 01-06-2008, 08:20 PM. Reason: Update

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                    • #11
                      Re: SSL-5T - Dialling-in a tapped single-coil

                      I don't think anything will translate the mighty Spin-A-Split mod to Spin-A-Tap but maybe Artie will come up with something. Don't think he will, but I sure hope I'm wrong...
                      Generic signature line.

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                      • #12
                        Re: SSL-5T - Dialling-in a tapped single-coil

                        Bros/gentlemen, I would like to point out something to you involved :

                        This one : http://www.neighborhost.com/images/spin-a-tap.png shunts TAP to a HOT,

                        and this one : http://www.seymourduncan.com/pdfs/su...1h_1v_1sas.pdf shunts SPLIT to a GROUND.

                        While I never personally tested tapped SCs and I'm not sure this would make significant difference in overall result with tapped SCs, I would suggest testing spin-a-tap by shunting it to a ground instead. It may be less thin on "full-tap" this way, and it could also be shunted with some tiny cap ( <200,300 pF ) instead of a plain wire in order to keep some more lows of the part being shunted in tapped signal. Also, when shunting to a ground instead to a hot, I'm positive that value of a pot plays significant role and no-load pot is the one to be used.

                        my .02$

                        My excuse to those whose comments were based on their experience of shunting SC's tap to a ground.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: SSL-5T - Dialling-in a tapped single-coil

                          Sorry, mea culpa, I missed it. The problem with http://www.neighborhost.com/images/spin-a-tap.png is that it puts pots res value between hot and dismissed part of the coil instead of connecting them directly like split and ground are connected here http://www.seymourduncan.com/pdfs/su...1h_1v_1sas.pdf.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: SSL-5T - Dialling-in a tapped single-coil

                            Originally posted by korus View Post
                            Bros/gentlemen, I would like to point out something to you involved :

                            This one : http://www.neighborhost.com/images/spin-a-tap.png shunts TAP to a HOT,

                            and this one : http://www.seymourduncan.com/pdfs/su...1h_1v_1sas.pdf shunts SPLIT to a GROUND.

                            While I never personally tested tapped SCs and I'm not sure this would make significant difference in overall result with tapped SCs, I would suggest testing spin-a-tap by shunting it to a ground instead. It may be less thin on "full-tap" this way, and it could also be shunted with some tiny cap ( <200,300 pF ) instead of a plain wire in order to keep some more lows of the part being shunted in tapped signal. Also, when shunting to a ground instead to a hot, I'm positive that value of a pot plays significant role and no-load pot is the one to be used.

                            my .02$

                            My excuse to those whose comments were based on their experience of shunting SC's tap to a ground.
                            Actually, I don't think that will make a difference. Let me explain why. On the spin-a-split, it doesn't matter whether you go to hot or ground other than simply determining which coil you want to use. Split to ground for the stud coil. Split to hot for the screw coil.

                            On the tap, its not much different. Here's how I first tried the "tap":



                            This allowed me to tap-to-ground or tap-to-hot. There was a very subtle difference between using the inside or outside coil. I believe the outside, (tap-to-hot), was a smidgen brighter.

                            So, if we go back to the diagram I made above, when the pot is all the way in one direction, we have this:



                            When its all the way in the other direction, we have this:



                            Both of those work exactly like using a switch, with one small difference, which I'll come back to. The problem is, with the pot somewhere in the middle, we have this:



                            So we have attenuation on both sides of the coil-half, and thus, we get a reduced signal from either extreme. The first time I used the pot, I wired it like this, which should have aleviated that problem:



                            But it didn't. It has some weird "other" symptom. I'm suspicious that I had something wired wrong. I'm going to retry that one.

                            As for that "other" difference, I used a DPDT switch to go back and forth between a 250k pot and a 1meg pot. At full on, there was no difference between the two. AT the "tap" position, the 1 meg was a little brighter, but not in a good way. I liked the 250k better.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: SSL-5T - Dialling-in a tapped single-coil

                              Artie, quick question: were both the 250k and the 1M 'no-load' pots, and what program are you using for your diagrams? Just curious.

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