I've been playing with a cheap Fender Squire Strat. It has 3 single coil pickups and a 5 position switch. Position 1 is the bridge pickup, 2 is bridge and center pickup, 3 - center pickup, 4 - center and neck pickup and 5 - neck pickup.
When using any single pickup, it has the clear sound you would expect from a single coil. When using either combo setting, it has the softer sound of a humbucker (and yes, actually "bucks the hum").
Can pairing any two single coil pickups create the sound of a humbucker? Specifically, if I use two single coil pickups, one near the bridge and the other near the neck, wire them to a three position switch where one position is the neck, second position is neck and bridge, and third position is bridge; will I in essence have a guitar with two single coil pickups and one "humbucker"?
The Middle pickup is wound in reverse polarity of the Neck & Bridge pickup, so a combo of the two create a humbucker in theory. So, one of the coils has to be reverse wound from the next to make a humbucker? One wound clockwise & the other counterclockwise? I could go on & on , but google is your best bet to learn about humbuckers, good luck?
Hmmm... so I can do it but I'd have to find a pair of single coils, one of then reverse wound. I'll have to google that.
A kool experiment, but Humbuckers are cheap enough these days to where you can just by them for $20 or less? You can wire a Humbucker as a split coil to get a single coil sound too?
Do those humbuckers have 4 leads, 2 for each coil? That way you could switch them from single coil to humbucker.
Yes 4 leads (though occasionally some have a 5th bare screening wire in which case this 5th wire gets soldered to ground).
If you can get a mini toggle switch of the dpdt on/on/on type (note the on/on and on/off/on type are more common and look very similar) you can use this one switch to get the two coils wired series/split/parallel for 3 different sounds.
If you don't want an extra visible switch you can use volume or tone pot of the "push pull" type which has a dp/dt on/on switch. A single push pull pot can be used for coil splitting or series to parallel but if you want both options you need two push pull pots.
Note that all the different pickup makers (and all the different cheap Chinese ones which I love) all use different colour codes for their pickups. If you have a multimeter search YouTube for how to determine pickup coil polarity and there are several showing how to work out pickup wiring. If you don't have a multimeter they are really cheap on eBay and if you get one with a continuity checker it can be used to check solder joints are good when you wire your circuit up.
If you wire them in parallel(both signals together and both ground together) they will buck hum, but have less fat tone/have more thinner single coil sound. 2 pickups together that are RWRP of each other.
If you wind them in series(signal to hot - ground of 1st pickup to hot of 2nd pickup - ground of 2nd pickup to ground) then you'll have humbucking with a fatter/more midrange tone. 2 pickups doubled that are RWRP of each other.
RWRP means Reverse Wound Reverse Polarity
A common Strat wiring mod is to add a Series/Parallel mini-toggle switch to have series or parallel tone in positions #2 & #4 of the blade switch. There's about a gagillion wiring mods for Strats and the series/parallel mod is one of my favorites along with a simple mod of changing the 2nd tone pot from the middle pickup to the bridge pickup. It tames the thin/shrill tone of the bridge pickup.
Hey, Thank you all for the great information. I now have a whole new rabbit hole to go down!