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3 Pickup Blend Idea


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I had this idea to have a sort of blend pot to go between the three (single coil) pickups in a strat, but then I read this...


...And decided against it.

THEN, I had a different idea, which seems much more doable if the parts necessary actually exist.

My idea would be to use a 3 way toggle switch for a single blend control pot. The switch would select 3 different combinations of PUs: neck+middle, bridge+middle and bridge+neck, so the blend pot would only blend two pickups at a time. Keep in mind here that I don't know a whole lot about electronics.

So if the switch is selected as bridge and neck, the blend pots two extreme ends correspond to these two pickups, and now you can select any of the possible combinations of these two pickups. The three way toggle (on-on-on) could even be positioned at the same angle as the regular 5-way blade switch in its place.

Is there a way to evenly blend between two pickups? Maybe the pot could even have a center detent. Is there a pot in existence with enough lugs for this kind of wiring?

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I think what you are asking is a little tricky...is this three way selector a gibson style?

I did a lot of test wiring on an old pawn shop (I said "pawn", don't report me!) strat that was a test bed for a long while for wiring ideas till it turned into the sustainer strat and is now retired...


Before the sustainer stuff was added (the two knobs at the back. switches and LED above the jack and the modified neck pickup) it was wired in an interesting way that proved very effective with lots of cools sounds.

In the selector slot I fitted a phase switch for each pickup. A gibson style three way is located near the lower horn. This selcts neck bridge or both combined. The sound of the combined setting is detirmined by the positions of the phase switches (neck and bridge in the same direction, normal, one a different direction and they are out of phase.

The middle knob is what may interest you. I wired the existing tone knob to be a volume for the middle pickup. This means in any position of the 3 way I can add any amount of middle pickup to the selection. So N/M...N/M/B...B/M. The effect of this also differs greatly depending on the phase...in a two pickup combination the normal sound on a strat is sometimes called "out of phase" but is not actually the case (although it sounds a lot like it). The N/M and B/M give the classic strat quack sound, reversing the phase tends to fatten up the midrange instead of hollowing it out...so a kind of reverse quack..or mid range boost. That means the middle pickup adding volume control gives a very effective tone shaping and pickup adding function. The only combination not possible is the middle alone with this wiring.

Just a thought...there are lots of options...it depends on what you are after. This was a test guitar...so the idea was to go crazy with wiring ideas...a real guitar maybe not. You might get a good set of sounds with a five way and a phase switch (maybe on a push pull pot) on the middle pickup.

What is it lately with these blend pot things?


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I think you could do this with a tele-type 3 way, wire the pickups to the selector then wire that to the blend pot, easy peasy. Not going to happen with a standard LP switch though!

If you'd like a diagram I'd be happy to do one.

There are blend pots with centre dents available, where to order them from will depend on where you are! :D

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