Make Your Own Split Pickup?

I've experimented a little bit with a much more "quick & dirty" approach to the split pickup idea as a possible replacement for the Copeland hex pickup; I just took a regular humbucker and removed some of the polepieces. The "bass" coil has its Hi E, B, G, and D polepieces removed, and the "guitar" coil has it's low E and A polepieces removed. Wiring the coils separately produces a split pickup. My initial experiments with this have been really promising. Using the original bar magnet, the isolation between the pickups appears not to be as good as it is on a full-blown hex pickup like the Copeland, but it seems to be good enough that the octave divider thing will work. I have yet to build a permanent version of one of these, but the approach has several advantages:

  1. No battery required.
  2. No esoteric hardware required.
  3. Probably better tone.

With this setup you lose the hum-cancelling properties of the pickup, although it's probably possible to wire it for hum-cancelling when you are not in split mode. If you really wanted hum-cancelling, you could have a three-pickup setup like a Les Paul Custom, one full modified humbucker for bass and one for guitar.

I've ordered some small magnets from which I intend to try in place of the large bar magnet inside this pickup to see if I can improve the isolation. These magnets are so small they will fit inside the pickup in between the coils and the outer shell.

I'll keep this page updated as I experiment some more with this. If anyone out there tries this out, let me know how it goes.