Desirable Coil Combinations

Most people look at which mods they can make to a guitar rather than starting with the end in mind.  I mean, out of all the possible combinations available to a guitarist (see this page to give you an idea of how many are possible), why not just make a list of which coil combinations are the most useful to you?  I did that here for the most common configurations of pickups.




Note that you might not be able to get all of these coil combinations (and maybe you don't really even want a lot of these), but this is a checklist of what's most-desirable so that you have a checklist for when you're adding mods to see how inclusive your new configuration is now.  Even these lists are somewhat subjective because some people know they aren't going to use certain combinations.  For example, I never use tapped pickups on their own, only in hum-canceling combinations.  Feel free to use these as starting points and adapt these lists to your preferences.

Key:
N = Neck
M = Middle
B = Bridge
(s) = Series connection
(p) = Parallel
(t) = Tapped
* = Not a hum-cancelling option (Everything else listed on this page is hum-cancelling.)

HH = Two humbuckers (e.g., Les Pauls and most other Gibsons, as well as most modern two-humbucker guitars; will also work with SSH guitars such as super-Strats since those also have three coils)

N+B (p)
N+B (s)
N (s)
N (p)
N (t)*
B (s)
B (p)
B (t)*
Outer coils (s)
Outer coils (p)
Inner coils (s)
Inner coils (p)
N+B (p) (out-of-phase)
N+B (s) (out-of-phase)
North coils (s) (out-of-phase)
North coils (p) (out-of-phase)

Total = 16


SSS =  Three single coils (e.g., Strats, some Teles, and even guitars with three P-90s; will also work for a SH guitar such as some '80s super-Strats or HS or SH Telecasters since those also have three coils)

N
M
B
N+M (p)
M+B (p)
N+B (p)
N+M+B (p)
N+M (out-of-phase)
M+B (out-of-phase)
N+B (out-of-phase)
N+M+B (out-of-phase)
N+M (s)
M+B (s)
N+B (s)
N+M+B (s)
N+M (s) + (B)
M+B (s) + (N)
N+B (s) + (M)

Total = 18


HSH = Super-Strats (e.g., most modern Ibanez models, Jacksons, etc.)

N (s)
N (p)
N (t)*
M
B (s)
B (p)
B (t)*

N(t)+M (p) (can be achieved by auto-tapping 5-way switch)
M+B(t) (p) (can be achieved by auto-tapping 5-way switch)

Outer coils (s)
Outer coils (p)
Inner coils (s)
Inner coils (p)
North coils (s) (out-of-phase)
North coils (p) (out-of-phase)

N+B (p)
N+B (s)

N+M+B (p)
N+M+B (s)

N+B (p) (out-of-phase)
N+M (p) (out-of-phase)
M+B (p) (out-of-phase)

Total = 22


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