This post is my honest Seymour Duncan Cool Rails Review. The Cool Rails is part of the series of rail pickups by Seymour Duncan that they designed for the Fender Stratocaster or any Stratocaster type of guitar. The three are Hot Rails for the Bridge position, Vintage Rails for the middle and Cool Rails for the neck position.
The Seymour Duncan Cool Rails Pickup is designed to replace a single coil pickup in the neck position. It is a humbucker pickup, meaning dual coils, but the size is small to fit the Stratocaster pickup mounting. The main objective is to eliminate the guitar hum, being a humbucker pickup. They designed it as a small humbucker to make it a drop-in replacement for the stock pickups.
This pickup is good, and it really does the job of eliminating the hum while retaining the Strat look. It is a very nice sounding pickup, and I have installed it on one of my Mexican Fender Stratocasters. They also sound like a real single coil pickup minus the hum. It was one of my earlier projects, and I was happy with it until I was into coil splitting.
Is This Pickup Good for Coil Splitting?
I would like to offer information based on my experience that this pickup is not good for coil splitting. It sounded good in full humbucker mode as it was designed to function that way. When you split the coils, you will get a very tiny sound which in my ears is not acceptable.
If you need to split a pickup, you should use a full sized humbucker or the Seymour Duncan P-Rails. As you can see, one part of the P-Rails pickup is also a rail but I would like to stress the point here, that this rail coil is designed for coil splitting. This will do the job, but not the split coiled Cool Rails Pickup.
Does This Pickup Sound Like A Single Coil Pickup?
If you need a drop-in replacement for a single coil pickup without the hum, this is the pickup you need. It sounds very much like a single coil without the hum because it is a humbucker.
The Seymour Duncan Cool Rail Pickup is a direct replacement for a single coil pickup minus the hum. It is a single coil sized humbucker. Although it comes in four wires, I do not recommend this for coil splitting as it will sound tiny. You have to wire it as a full humbucker meaning coils wired in series as it was designed to be used as such.
This is the default wiring. I have also experimented wiring it in parallel mode but I did not get good results. To sum it up, this pickup should be used as per its intended use. Rewiring or coil splitting will not give good results.
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