Common Connection Point Humbucking Circuits with Odd and Even Numbers of Matched Single-Coil Pickups

  • Donald L. Baker


This chapter shows a simplified set of humbucking circuits made of 2 or more matched pickups, where one phase of the hum signal is connected to a common point, and the other is connected to either the high or low output. If the outer windings are connected to the common point, it can be grounded to give electrostatic shielding and a differential output. So long as each output terminal is connected to at least one pickup, every switching choice will be humbucking. This sacrifices a number of more complex humbucking circuits in exchange for switching simplicity. For 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 matched pickups, there are 1, 6, 25, 90, and 301 different no-load tone circuits for each pole configuration. Over the respective 2, 4, 8, 16, and 32 different pole configurations for pickups with reversible magnets, there are a total of 2, 18, 92, 540, and 1640 different no-load tone circuits. The switchable humbucking output selections over all the pole configurations can have many duplicates and number 2, 24, 200, 1440, and 9632, respectively. All the numbers tend to rise exponentially with the number of pickups.


Common point connection circuit Common-connection Tone circuit Electrostatic shield Differential output Lesti, USPat 2,026,841 (1936) USPat 3,290,424 (Fender, 1966) USPatApp 15/616,396 (Baker, 2017) USPatApp 16/139,027 (Baker, 2018) Pole configuration Output selection Hum signal String signal Series-parallel circuit Simplified switching Humbucking pair Humbucking triple Humbucking quad Humbucking quint Humbucking hex 


  1. Lesti, A. (1936). Electric translating device for musical instruments, US Patent 2,026,841, 7 Jan 1936. Retrieved from
  2. Baker, D. L. (2017a). Humbucking switching arrangements and methods for stringed instrument pickups, US Patent Application 15/616,396, filed 7 June 2017, published as US-2018-0357993-A1, 13 Dec 2018, granted as Patent US10,217,450, 26 Feb 2019. Retrieved from
  3. Baker, D. L. (2018b). Means and methods for switching odd and even numbers of matched pickups to produce all humbucking tones, US Patent Application 16/139,027, 22 Sep 2018, published as US-2019-0057678-A1, Feb 21, 2019, granted as U.S. Patent 10,380,986, 08/13/2019. Retrieved from
  4. Fender, C. L. (1966). Electric guitar incorporating improved electromagnetic pickup assembly, and improved circuit means, US Patent 3,290,424, 6 Dec 1966. Retrieved from

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Donald L. Baker
    • 1
  1. 1.TulsaUSA

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