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Strat Hss Wiring Diagram - Please Review


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Hello all. I have a build going and I'm to the stage of planning out my controls. I'm going for something different here so I could use some input on my circuit. My concern is how the tone controls are being fed. I'm not sure they will react to the appropriate PU.

It's HSS, 1 vol, 2 tone (bridge and neck), 3 mini on/off/on switches.

Bridge: HB/Off/Coil Cut

Middle: Normal/Off/Phase Reverse

Neck: Full/Off/Tap

Comments and corrections much appreciated.


Alternate tone setup.


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In both cases your tone controls are completely in parallel with no isolation between them, so you will always have all pickups with the same tone setting which will be determined by the rolloff of the two filters in parallel. I can't think of a better arrangement for what you are trying to do off the top of my head, but I would think there has to be a better way. Then again, guitar wiring is not my strongest suit when it comes to electronics.

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Thanks for the input Ripthorn. That's why I was doubting my setup. I couldn't see any isolation between the 2.

I went back and studied the 5-way setup that's standard on Strats. Looking at the switch as 2 separate banks with 3 inputs and 1 output each, I was able to see that the tone controls are fed from the input portion of the switch...not output as I was doing in my original layout.

So, I created a path for each tone control (green traces) from the input side of the respective PU. The north coil of the bridge PU is always in the mix when the PU is in use so I took signal from it before the mini switch. The second pole on the neck tap switch was unused so I jumped input from full and tapped states and then used the output of the switch to feed the neck tone. The middle PU is not connected to a tone control.

So, in either active state of both the bridge and neck PUs, their respective tone control should be active and isolated from the other filter. That's my theory anyway. Please advise if I'm off here.


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you need a 5 way switch in there other wise all those switches arnt gonna do much, since all the pickups will be on all the time. if your worried about having a guitar full of swiches get some push pulls, then throw you 5 way in it will look like a standard strat then. plus im not even sure you can make the two tone controls work without a 5 way.

also i found it much more effective to use a master tone then i had a extra slot so i did Ansil's blender mod.

http://www.projectguitar.com/tut/blendmod.htm thats basicaly a bass knob on your guitar i find dialing in a certian tone much easier with both a base and treble on deck. good luck.

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you need a 5 way switch in there other wise all those switches arnt gonna do much, since all the pickups will be on all the time.

Thanks for the input. The center position on each switch turns the PU off. I have this setup on my Strat-Tele hybrid with single coils and it's fantastic...all the combinations are awesome! I can get B/N, and B/M/N that a 5-way doesn't do. Plus the single coils all have phase capability.

I'll take a look at the bass control...interesting. I had considered using a master tone but had no idea what I would put in the other hole of the PG.

Thanks again for your comments.



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I have made some changes to the electronics design. With the help of some very knowledgeable folks, I've corrected some major design flaws.

First, I decided there would be functionality in 2 volumes and a master tone. So, I have a volume on the bridge PU and a shared volume for the mid/neck PUs.

Here's the first revision of this approach.

The biggest issue I had was the 2 volume pots were inteacting to the point that if one was turned all the way down, the other would be at zero also...not good...guitars are supposed to make noise. :D


Second revision... The bridge volume pot was placed before the switch to eliminate the interaction with the other pot.


Next issue: the way the tone is connected, it was shorting the volume pots together. So, the tone is now fed from the output jack which is after both volume pots.

Other than the possible addition of a treble bleed on the HB, I think this is the final revision...Of course, now that I said that, I'll get some bad news. Fingers crossed.


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