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Weird wiring idea (UPDATE update: problem solved)
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BluesmanDave



Joined: 17 Nov 2008
Posts: 2816
Location: Sacramento CA

PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2016 9:29 am    Post subject: Weird wiring idea (UPDATE update: problem solved) Reply with quote

I have a partscaster Strat that I'm converting to dual humbuckers. It's going to have a phase switch, and I want a way to balance the two out-of-phase pickups for my preferred version of that sound, which is always the bridge pickup slightly lower than the neck pickup, right at that sweet spot where the bass starts to come back, but the honk is still there. I also want the ability to raise and lower that perfect balance together. So what I'm imagining for the standard Strat 3-knob setup is this:

1. A master volume in the usual place for a Strat
2. A bridge pickup only volume control
3. A master tone control w/a push-pull phase switch
... and a 3-way Tele switch.

I'm fine with the neck pickup being controlled only by the master volume, since there's never a time when I need the bridge pickup to be hotter than the neck pickup when they're combined.

To achieve this, I'm imagining wiring the master volume, tone, and pickup switch exactly like a Tele, and then adding the bridge volume control inline with the bridge hot lead before it gets to the pickup switch. And, of course, the phase switch, although I guess it doesn't matter which of the two pickups get wired to that. Is that gonna work how I think it's gonna work?

*edited for clarity
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Last edited by BluesmanDave on Sun Apr 17, 2016 10:00 pm; edited 6 times in total
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Mr. Clevername



Joined: 08 Dec 2006
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2016 10:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sounds to me like it will work. To thoroughly nit-pick, if only the neck pickup is controlled by the master volume it's not a master volume. You're describing a setup with a volume control for each pickup, and why not, I say?
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BluesmanDave



Joined: 17 Nov 2008
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2016 12:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mr. Clevername wrote:
Sounds to me like it will work. To thoroughly nit-pick, if only the neck pickup is controlled by the master volume it's not a master volume. You're describing a setup with a volume control for each pickup, and why not, I say?


Nope, it's not a volume control for each, it's a master volume with an additional subservient volume control for the bridge pickup as well. In other words, the master volume changes the volume of BOTH neck and bridge, with a separate volume control that changes the bridge ONLY. The idea is to find the balanced sweet spot between neck and bridge, and then adjust the volume of the balanced two together with the master volume.

That's what makes it weird, and why I want to make sure it will work.
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Kregg



Joined: 22 Apr 2008
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2016 3:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A blender might work to balance the volume between neck & bridge.
Take a look at this diagram (scroll down): http://www.guitar-mod.com/rg_dialatap_11.html
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Mr. Clevername



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PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2016 10:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I stand corrected. So the master volume is after the switch as usual, and the bridge volume before the switch, right? Huh. Certainly worth trying. Sounds like it should work, though it might dull the bridge pickup a bit with the extra resistance(?).
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BluesmanDave



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PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2016 12:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mr. Clevername wrote:
I stand corrected. So the master volume is after the switch as usual, and the bridge volume before the switch, right? Huh. Certainly worth trying. Sounds like it should work, though it might dull the bridge pickup a bit with the extra resistance(?).


Yep, you're exactly right. To add to the potential dulling, I'm using 250kΩ pots. They're Ralph's PAF-style pickups, so they're going to be bright in the first place. I run my amp on the bright side anyway, so it should be an interesting balance.

I started knocking it together last night - further bulletins as events warrant. Rolling Eyes
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ajeffcote



Joined: 09 Nov 2009
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2016 7:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm curious if it will work. But I think the volume, tone and blender will work better.
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BluesmanDave



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PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2016 7:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I want a switch more than a blender, and I think they're mutually exclusive.
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Mr. Clevername



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PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2016 12:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A little off-topic, but I've tried quite a few blenders (with single coils) over the years, and the "blend" function really only worked within a very small slice of the pot travel, even with those detented ganged pots, so I use switches. Maybe humbuckers blend better or I don't play with enough gain or something.
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BluesmanDave



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PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2016 9:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm stumped. Help!

So I wired it following the Duncan Tele wiring diagram, except the bridge pickup goes through a phase switch and a volume control before hitting the switch. Outputs from the switch go through a master volume and a master tone. For reasons I can't fathom, the bridge volume control (which comes BEFORE the switch, remember) is acting like another master volume. I'm going crosseyed staring at this thing. HELP!
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marksound



Joined: 15 Aug 2005
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 16, 2016 3:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

BluesmanDave wrote:
I'm stumped. Help!

So I wired it following the Duncan Tele wiring diagram, except the bridge pickup goes through a phase switch and a volume control before hitting the switch. Outputs from the switch go through a master volume and a master tone. For reasons I can't fathom, the bridge volume control (which comes BEFORE the switch, remember) is acting like another master volume. I'm going crosseyed staring at this thing. HELP!

For separate volume controls, make sure the signal going into the pot is on the middle lug instead of the outer, like this:


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BluesmanDave



Joined: 17 Nov 2008
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 16, 2016 6:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

marksound wrote:

For separate volume controls, make sure the signal going into the pot is on the middle lug instead of the outer


Now that's interesting. This is the Les Paul 'decoupling' mod, right? I can see how that'd keep one from grounding out the other at the 0 position, but why should they both act as master volumes now?

I won't be able to fire up the soldering iron until this afternoon - I'll post the results.
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marksound



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PostPosted: Sat Apr 16, 2016 7:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

BluesmanDave wrote:
marksound wrote:

For separate volume controls, make sure the signal going into the pot is on the middle lug instead of the outer


Now that's interesting. This is the Les Paul 'decoupling' mod, right? I can see how that'd keep one from grounding out the other at the 0 position, but why should they both act as master volumes now?

I won't be able to fire up the soldering iron until this afternoon - I'll post the results.

I don't know why it works, but it does.

When I first built my Brent Mason Tele I wired the pots like normal, and I couldn't get a signal from the middle pickup without the master being on. I beat my head against the wall for days, then asked Terry Downs. He sent me the diagram above. Once I swapped the wires it worked as designed.



I got this diagram from Gibson when they were still making the Valley Arts Brent Mason.


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tnt



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PostPosted: Sat Apr 16, 2016 8:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You know, that's interesting, and brings to mind an incident I never understood....this must have something to do with it, though I still don't know why....

Here's what happened:

- At a gig, had a friend sitting in.
- At the time, we used an A/B switch on my amp so bandmate and I could easily trade out bass and guitar. His and my guitar were always wired into the box, but we would only use it on A or B channel - never both. Worked fine.

- Buddy sits in - we plug him into the A/B box and switch it to both, so his and my guitar are going through the box to the same amp.

- I'm playing a two HB two volume guitar.

- All is well for first tune.

- Second tune, mid song, sitting in buddy is soloing, song doesn't need me at this point, I turn my volumes all the way down to off.

- This kills my soloing buddies signal as well.

- He looks at me, I turn my volumes back up and sure enough his signal comes back.

Strangest thing.....
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BluesmanDave



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PostPosted: Sun Apr 17, 2016 9:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mark nailed it. I swapped input and output on the volume controls, and hey presto, everything works the way I intended it to.

...except I discovered that 250kΩ pots really don't work well with humbuckers. I figured PAF-style pickups were going to be bright enough that it would make a pleasing difference. Wrongo! Time to go pick up a pair of 500kΩ pots and do it again. At least I know what works this time!

By the way, I conferred with Doug, who helped me do something similar on my Daylighter, and we remembered that we'd wired the bridge-only pot so that it was ONLY engaged when the phase switch was engaged (essentially it's wired into one leg of the X of the phase switch).
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