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mistermikev

strat wireup - 5way + 4p3t

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so... all comments ideas thoughts etc welcome.  I have a strat with a push/pull to do series vs parallel... love the sounds but can never remember what I'm using when I pull and go to series mode.  Building a new strat and wanted something that would ultimately be more straight fwd afa use.  Here's what I've come up with...

3 position mode switch: normal, series, tele/other

series mode will employ two dummy coils in the normally singe positions.  I've removed poles before and while it probably sounds more like a single, I don't think it sounds as good as simply leaving the poles in so my dummies will have polarity and phase.  pos 5 will be parallel...

tele/other mode is just kind of a 'leftover'.  Ultimately I wanted to get bridge + dummy with neck + dummy but I don't want to remove poles, not sure it'll be an improvement if I connect rev to rev wound dummy.  don't really want 3 dummy coils!  there is some redundency in this mode (4 and 5) so not sure if I'll revisit... but it's hard to do anything in mode 3 without adverse effects on modes 2 and 1 which I'm quite content with.  Any ideas here would be welcome... but my constraints are these controls. 

Ultimately I like the idea of a simple 5 way switch with series vs parallel modes that are similar and hence why I'm not going to use the strat deluxe s1 or nashville s1 scheme.

circuit is unverified at present, but I've been over it many times and will verify/update once I get to that point.

thanks for looking!

Superstrat.jpg

as an afterthought... this is a rear route strat so I've got plenty of control room space.  will mount my dummies there.  also, cap is missing from the master tone at bottom between tone lug 2 and vol lug 2.

 

UPDATE: so today I finally got around to reversing the wires on the dummy coils (D1/D2 above) in my superstrat.  apparently the chinese pickups I bought were different wind/polarity to my texas specials/seymour antiquity.  I can tell you the above drawing is absolutely verified (with respect to two things) - there is one 'mis-label' and that is on the drawing the "D1W" label should be "D1Y" to correspond to the notes above.  Also as mentioned the tone pot is missing the cap from lug1 to ground and lug 3 should not be grounded. 

This wireup gives you a standard strat with mode 1.  Mode2 is all hum canceling in series.  It is the perfect thing for going to a 'metal' or 'high gain' sound.  In M2 pos 1/3/5 the output is observed as the same but there is a small loss of highs.  M2 pos 2/4 more lows result in a perceived vol increase.  Mode3 is not hum canceling but has some really nice sounds - more output and great for both clean tones and bluesy as there is a lot more bass with 3 pickups on. 

I removed magnets/poles for the main wireup but did a 3rd dummy coil in parallel on a pot with poles left in tact - I don't think the poles/magnets made much of a difference.  Dialing in that parallel coil in M1 (compared to M2 pos1) results in quite a cut in output.  It really mellows out the single coils and is a nice sort of 'gain trimmer' while cancelling hum.

Verdict:

dummy coil in series - less output loss but some highs loss

dummy coils in parallel - more output loss but less loss in highs

at least that was my perception with these dummy coils on this guitar on the 33rd of june under a pale moon while drinking absynth.

Edited by mistermikev

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Your wiring diagram hurts my eyes :lol:

Your scheme is a good example of why I hate the universal use of wiring diagrams to describe what a circuit does, and why schematics should be used more often in guitar circles than they are. A schematic diagram would assist a lot in analysing and commenting on your scheme. Historically, wiring diagrams are provided to the manual labourer on the shop floor to build the circuit who doesn't need to understand how it works; they just need to know how to put wire A in terminal B. I can make out and re-interpret (by prior knowledge) how your 5-way blade switch works, but I've got no way of verifying the contact/switching pattern of your rotary switch.

That said...

Adding dummy coils to existing pickups is an interesting idea, although if the dummy coil does not 'sense' the strings I'd imagine it would behave more as a filter than an enhancer. Eg, a single in series with a (non-sensing) dummy is unlikely to sound like a humbucker, but possibly more like a single with less output and a darker tone, although with careful selection of magnetic polarity and winding direction it may have similar hum-cancelling properties. Fender did a similar thing with one of their weird early-80s anniversary Strats, whose name/model escapes me at the moment.

Your scheme offers a lot of options. As a studio/noodling tool I can dig that kind of schtick, but my suggestion is to make sure you're not making it complex beyond practicality. Having done the 5-way-plus-mini-toggles thing years ago, I now prefer to keep it simple, particuarly when in a performance situation where I don't want to think about how to switch from bridge to neck without performing fingertip gymnastics.

Don't take this as some kind of negative. Given the extremely complicated nature of your scheme and my inability to decipher the finer details of the key switching components in the 10 minutes I've spent looking at it, I can only comment on the way it appears and your descriptions of the modes. At any rate, it sounds like a fascinating scheme and I'd be keen to hear sound clips of some of these left-of-field pickup combos you've proposed.

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curtisa - thank you for what I can only guess is a 'mercy post' in that it didn't look like I would get a response!  I appreciate.

my original notes did have a hand drawn depiction of the pulls and throws much like you would find on a schematic.    this is really the diagram I will use to make sure I don't make mistakes at wire-up - so basically exactly what you said.  notes are attached.

afa dummy coils... I've been very happy with the results on another strat with the pickup placed right next to the neck pickup and wired in parallel to a pot.  parallel does cut the output a bit - sort of becomes a tone control with hum cancelling.  Def more mellow.  Some like, some don't.  The one thing it does GUARANTEED is cancel hum just like pos2 and 4.  Series should boost the output at the cost of some highs... I will probably do a no load tone pot to compensate. 

I hear ya on the 'keep it simple'.  My hope is this will be pretty straight fwd in modes 1 and 2 where it is essentially the typical 5 way setup but in series and with dummies to hum cancel in mode 2.  mode 3: well all I'll remember later is that pos1 is my pseudo tele option.  the rest is fluff. 

All very good points.  I may have to build a washer with label so I know what mode I'm in.  AFA performing... I just record a lot.  never play out any more.

I very much appreciate your thoughtful comments.

SuperstratWireUp.pdf

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oh, also, although this is a ways off as my new neck is still 5weeks out and I have some 'work' to do on this one... I will eventually post some recordings for your and others' curiosity.

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7 hours ago, mistermikev said:

Series should boost the output at the cost of some highs...

Assuming you're talking about series dummy coil with regular single coil, unless the dummy coil can sense the strings' movement, series connection won't increase output. The key to humbucking pickups with their hotter output is that the two coils both contribute their output of the strings' motion. The two coils signal output summate to provide (roughly) 2x the output of an equivalent single coil. If one of those coils doesn't output anything, all that is left is the output of one single coil pickup. As the dummy coil is still connected in series with the sensing single coil pickup, the resistance and inductance of the dummy coil just hangs there and slugs the total output down.

You can put two engines in your car to increase horepower if you want, but unless both are getting fuel, one engine is going to be doing all the work trying to move all the extra dead weight around :)

Parallel connection, as you've discovered, also reduces output but with a different tonal effect.

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Hello again... so flat tire this morning resulted in vacation day today... was going to do another demo so figured I'd toss up a vid of my current dummy pickup setup while there may (or may not) be some interest.  Hope you like it!

 

 

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sorry, just saw your last post now.  while everything you said is accurate and I'm not in any way disagreeing... and although I have yet to try the series dummy... I've read there is a perceived (slight) volume increase due to the increased focus on highs - keeping in mind that this is a subjective possibility.   Ultimately, we'll see.  I'd be really happy with slightly less of a drop in vol compared to parallel... I suspect there is a good chance of that. 

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1 hour ago, mistermikev said:

I've read there is a perceived (slight) volume increase due to the increased focus on highs - keeping in mind that this is a subjective possibility.   Ultimately, we'll see.  I'd be really happy with slightly less of a drop in vol compared to parallel... I suspect there is a good chance of that. 

I suspect you'll get a darker tone (less highs) with a dummy in series with the working pickup. The quick-and-dirty math of what you're proposing is the equivalent of adding an inductor (maybe ~2H) and resistor (maybe ~7Kohms) in series with a normal pickup, which should result in an attenuation of highs, and a slight reduction in overall output.

Adding the dummy in parallel effectively reduces the pickup's winding resistance and inductance by half, but at the same time only one coil is actually doing the legwork. As you've found already the output will drop dramatically compared to running a humbucker (or even two singles) in parallel, and become noticeably brighter.

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right on... I'm not expecting a huge difference from parallel: but like series vs parallel without using dummies... I would expect the output of series to be higher than parallel.  you say 'less highs' - yes less than a single by itself but more than a parallel dummy at least in theory.  When I get to that point - it will be interesting to do a video of series in the light of this video.  although it will be different pickups/wood/etc,  Perhaps even one comparing magnet vs no magnet.

also, theory vs practice - It's interesting to me that although I loose highs w parallel - there is a certain 'sparkle' that is not there without the dummy engaged. It sounds to me like - while there is a loss of highs that happens - there is a (perceived) gain of the very top of the highs - if that makes any sense.  I say it "Sounds" like that because I know I'm not gaining highs with a pickup mounted under the guard.  I suspect that it is the loss of highs below that they make the very top end stand out a little more.  Would have to get it on a scope to actually verify and probably not worth the effort but I'm curious: anyone else hear that?

anywho, thanks for humoring me and I appreciate your insight.

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2 hours ago, mistermikev said:

there is a certain 'sparkle' that is not there without the dummy engaged. It sounds to me like - while there is a loss of highs that happens - there is a (perceived) gain of the very top of the highs - if that makes any sense.  I say it "Sounds" like that because I know I'm not gaining highs with a pickup mounted under the guard.

'Sounds brighter' is probably a misnomer on my part. What is actually hapenning is the inductance of the parallel coils lowers, which weakens the bass response of the pickup. So 'sounds brighter' -> 'has less bass' or 'sounds thinner'.

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