WT. Foster Guitars Tech Tip of the day April 3, 2015
Difference between coil tap and coil splitting pickups
Most people use the terms interchangeably. Technically there is a difference within guitar pickups, “coil split” is the breaking of a connection between the two coils in a humbucker pickup so that one is disabled and the other coil functions as a single-coil pickup.“Coil tapping,” refers to taking the signal from a location within a single-coil pickup’s coil of wire, rather than at the end of the coil. This is done to reduce the output of the pickup, the more turns of wire the coil has, the higher the output. Tapping the coil somewhere in the middle reduces the output. This feature is commonly found on higher-output single-coil pickups, which can be tapped to produce an output more similar to a vintage Fender style single-coil.
Coil tapping could also be used to tap off the signal from a humbucking pickup from somewhere within one of the coils but this is not so commonly done.
We hope this helps to understand the difference with coil tap and coil splitting of pickups…