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A Real Cool Wiring Mod For Single Coil Strats


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I needed to replace a scratchy volume pot and faulty selector switch so changed the volume pot, selector switch and put a push/pull pot for the bottom tone pot.

I was originally just going to make the bridge and neck switch in with the pot pulled up. I found this cool wiring schematic mod which works perfectly and puts the p/ups in series for a fat humbucker tone in many of the selector positions. There are two different diagrams which are very similar but give slightly different results. I used the first and it gives a fat sound and I love the bridge and neck in series very Les Paulish sounding. I gues this is similar to what the S-1 switching does on a Strat but a lot cheaper and probably more reliable from what i have read.




Edited by Acousticraft
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Deaf eddie has some great ideas and a good way of explaining them and the advantages...

There are a lot of schemes that go further and some hidden sounds from a strat.

I recomend guitar nuts 2 forum and their list of tried and tested schemes...some are over the top, but others are very practical...for the series and parallel thing, this one and others similar are cool...

I'm planing on doing a variation on this one for instance...LINK...but there are others...

This provides the 5 parallel selections plus 5 series selections on the normal selector by the addition of a 4pdt toggle...that means you can go from a standard strat to a series strat lead sound with one switch over.

Additional flavours can be added with phase switching.

Something I "discovered"...well, I still have found little mention of it...was with playing with phase switching. On a strat, the inbetween postions 2 and 4 are often refered to as out of phase. In fact, they do sound a bit like that, but they are in phase, it is the distance that creates that effect. SO...what is the effect if they were out of phase...the opposite, a mid boost that can also sound very much like an HB in character.

Now...with the series and parallel with phase switching on a strat you can get a whole wealth of sounds...if you want to go that far!

Also...if wondering what series singles might sound like...consider brian mays guitar is series wound...so a unique, not strat of HB but very worthwhile effect that clearly works for him...

good call... :D


ps...a switch to add all three and neck and bridge combinations is a good sound too and easy to acheive...recently I post a schem for a tele with series parallel and phase combinations with a five way super switch in two pickup tele guitars...all the combos with a stock looking five way...very cool!

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I've used the 1st scematic on a few guitars. Its a great variation of sounds. On my own guitars I just wire them in series. 3 on off switches. Basically the red special wiring without the out of phase switches. Most often I just have the bridge pickup on while chording or riffing. For solos, to fatten it up and get a LP type sound I use the bridge and neck in series. For maximum sustain I'll run all 3 on in series. Gets that fat Alvin Lee or Gary Moore tone I love. Yet with one pickup on at a time I get good strat sounds. It works for me and is even simpler than having series/parallel wiring.

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I recently reconfigured my stratclone by moving the middle coil down next to the bridge coil and wiring them together as a 'slantbucker'. I call it the Coyote Dancer;


It basically does what a strat with a HB in the bridge position does, but by using the stock single coils the strat-ness is preserved and tonally expanded. I used that tele wiring scheme with the 5 way super switch and an on/on/on 2P3T mini toggle to switch the slantbucker to series, single and parallel. The resulting 13 combinations (! and no dead spots) include all three coils in series or just the neck and bridge, which literally are sounds you can't live without once you try them. The pickups in my clone are 5.3k-5.5k-5.7k with alnico 5 polepieces so they sound very sparkly and 'vintage' by themselves or in parallel combinations, but when switched into series combinations they gain considerable oomph and fatness so the various combinations are quite distinct from each other. I don't know from experience, but I suspect that hotter pickups might not reconfigure with so much tonal variation as these. For one thing, when all my singles are switched in series, the impedence is already in the 15k range and sounds dark, loud and even a bit compressed like a humbucker. I'm not sure if a darker more driven sound would be that useful, at least for me.

One of my friends is a fearfully shreddy metal dude and when he picks up my axe he usually dials it to the slantbucker alone with both coils in parallel which has very low impedence (2.75k) but good drive and midrange fatness, great pick sensitivity and very bright clear sound. All in all, the 13 sounds are very 'strat like', but since I moved the stock bridge coil even closer to the bridge, the only sound which is technically stock is the neck coil alone, which could be the main weakness of my design. The upside is that the neck pickup alone was the one sound I couldn't possibly live without, and I think a fair amount of other strat players would agree. It's only been six months since I built it, and I'm not primarily a guitar player so I need to wait for more ligit players to weigh in too, but at this point it seems like an amazingly versatile axe. My metal playing friend recently made me a video of it, which I'll upload to youtube as soon as I get it, for those that want to hear the sounds.

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