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5 Way Megaswitch; Rewiring


jt85
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Hey, I'm new here. I could use some help =]

I have an ESP LTD H-301. 2 humbucker guitar, 1 tone, 1 vol. 5 way megaswitch

The current config is like this:

esph301positions-1.jpg

1. Bridge series

2. Bridge outer, neck outer parallel

3. Bridge coil and Neck coil series

4. Bridge inner, neck inner parallel

5. Neck series

I'd like to change it to this:

1. Bridge series

2. Bridge outer coil split

3. Bridge coil and Neck coil series

4. Neck outer coil split

5. Neck series

I was wondering if I could follow StewMac's wiring guide for my HH guitar. It's for the "E-model megaswitch."

http://www.stewmac.com/freeinfo/I-3484.html

However, my 5way megaswitch isn't the one they sell. Basically I'm just asking, do all 5 way megaswitches work the same and can I just follow SteMac's instructions?

Edited by jt85
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No, they're not all the same. The link you gave in the first post shows different switches - E model and P model for example.

What you will need to do is check out which switch contacts are connected in different switch positions, and work out whether the switch you have is suitable for what you want to achieve. There are many possible combinations of coil connections with 2 humbuckers if you take into account all of the serial and parallel combinations. Some will make better sounds than others.

Try and experiment - you aren't going to "blow up" your pickups by trying different options. If you can follow wiring diagrams, try and analyse some of the wiring drawings from books or the 'net to give an idea of what others do.

You can "analyse" your switch with a multimeter (if you have one) to work out which terminals are connected in different switch positions, and determine the best way to wire your pickups to it to achieve the combinations that you want.

If you are experimenting with different options by trial and error, keep notes of what you are doing along the way so you can go back to that Killer sound you found yesterday!

Steve Exton.

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Dammit, okay thanks. :D

If all else fails I'll just wire it the way it's wired now.

Could you describe how to analyze the switch with a multimeter in depth?

A "standard" 5 position single pole switch will have 6 terminals, 1 to 5 "inputs" and a common "output". Position 1 will connect terminal 1 to common, Pos 2 will connect 2 to common etc. A multimeter is used on ohms range to see which terminals are connected together in any switch position. When the terminals are connected, they will have a very low resistance close to 0 ohms. When not connected, they will be an open circuit, or an infinite resistance.

The common terminal can usually be identified visually (if the switch is not enclosed), by the contact fingers extending to a ring on the rotating disk in the switch. The ring usually has a tab which sticks out from the ring. As the switch rotates, the tab connects to the other terminals fingers one by one, making a connection from the common terminal to one of the other terminals.

There may be another set of these contacts on the other side of the switch wafer, which duplicate this operation, making a second 5 position switch. This is termed a "pole", and this switch is then a 2 pole switch. Larger switches can include several wafers, giving multiple poles of switching contacts all operated from the one switch lever.

To use the multimeter to check the switch, set the switch in one position. Use the meter probes to test the resistance between each pair of terminals, writing down which are connected (low resistance or low ohms reading on the meter). When you have tried all pairs of contacts, move the switch to the next position and repeat the process, until all positions have been recorded.

Write the results up on a table, and you should be able to see a logical pattern, identifying 5 "inputs" and one "output" per switch pole.

A more complicated switch may have several internal poles, and be internally wired to provide more input combinations, but writing out a table of connections should eventually make some sense - see below:-

Position Connections

1 1 to 2

2 1 to 3

3 1 to 4

4 1 to 5

5 1 to 6

From this, the common terminal is terminal 1 which is used for output. Terminals 2 to 6 are inputs 1 to 5 respectively.

Cheers,

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I'd like to change it to this:

I was wondering if I could follow StewMac's wiring guide for my HH guitar. It's for the "E-model megaswitch."

http://www.stewmac.com/freeinfo/I-3484.html

However, my 5way megaswitch isn't the one they sell.

Exton is right--your Megaswitch is the P model, and it won't do the combination that the E model will. so you either need to replace it with the E model, or replace it with a 24-pole superswitch. that switch can do anything, but you'd have to draw up your own diagram.

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