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Quick Noob Question

Ryan D

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Hey guys.

I'm about to embark on the journey of building a Strat, and I'd like to add in my own version of the S-1 switch onto it.

I see this potentiometer on Stewmac that is capable of doing the series/parallel switching: http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Electronics,_p...-Pull_Pots.html

However, I'm not entirely sure how I'd go about wiring this. Everyone tells me it's simple but they can never actually explain what the wiring looks like, so I was hoping one of you smart dudes could help me out here. Thanks, any help is very appreciated :D

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I think the reason that you still have not got any response to this is because its not entirely clear what you need help with.

Series/parallel is mostly used on humbucker, to get a more single coil-ish sound (in parallel) from it but still retaining more or less the same output as in “normal” humbucking mode (series). For that there are several circuit diagram available, and the topic has been covered a few times. Have a look here:


Duncan has a lot of diagrams so have a look there. If that is not what you are looking for/trying to achieve, please be more specific and we’ll see if we can help.

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For strat wiring ideas, check out the Guitar nuts forum, especially the schematics section (but don't post there!).

The S-1 switch is a 4pdt switch, you can do this with a 4pdt toggle switch for same wiring as an S-1. The actual S-1 switch can not be bought and goes for big money on ebay. These push pull switches are dpdt, so half the switching capacity of an S-1 or 4pdt switch. I made my own super S-1 switch whch used two mini toggles in a frame and a push pull pot on all three pots ona strat. A surround rotary switch is discretely hidden below the knob for 4pdt consisting of two mini toggles that switch together back and forth making a 4pdt S-1 like switch, plus, it has a dpdt function on pulling the knob. I have yet to wire it and am thinking of simplifying it. Basically, I needed a fair amount of switching power for my sustainer and this strat also has a HB in it. I also intended having a piezo system eventually...but I think I may have gone overboard on the whole switching thing (although for a guitar with 3x4pdt, 3xdpdt and a super switch, none of these things are visible. The idea of the S1 is to take a strat and switch between series and parallel options.


These were not very easy to make and I wouldn't advise it, but they actually work very well!!!

A more basic and perhaps better approach, depending on what you are after is to use a push pull to turn the neck pickup on in any position. This means you can get the neck and bridge and all three combinations with the addition of the one switch and a standard selector. Another cool idea I did once was having a control to mix in amounts of middle and a phase switch on it. This means you can dial in the middle, as much as you want by losing one of the tone controls. but perhaps only suitable on that particular guitar with a three way selector now that I think about it. There are a lot of options, but it depends on exactly what you want from a guitar. If you want to go crazy with switches, do like I do, and practice on cheap guitars then take the best of those ideas into a good one later. Remember, we all seem to concentrate on getting versitility from guitars and seem to ignore the much greater power for tone shaping in the amplifier tone controls or digital preamps most of us use.

In order to get the most from such switching strategies, you need really to play with raw clean tones. If you use bags of distortion or heavily compressed preamp sounds, you are likely to be disappointed with a lot of the effects possible with switching. That said, a switch-o-caster can be a lot of fun to mess around with... :D

good luck... pete

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OMG Pete. That was some clever hiding of the mini switches.

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