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Lookiing for HSS Strat wiring scheme suggestions


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A while ago (ok, 20+ years) I started refinishing a strat copy I had (actually my first guitar). The project stalled as, being a teenager, sanding was too much like hard work, Fast forward to 2011 and I picked the project up again only for a change in circumstances to halt progress. So, here we are almost exactly 7 years later, restarting, again...

Anyway, I'd previously cooked up some crazy wiring scheme (see my forum post here) and modified the scratchplate with two additional switches. I'm now looking for suggestions on the best way to put this all together. I think the coil tap on one switch makes sense, but what to do with the other?

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6 hours ago, mistertaylor said:

but what to do with the other?

Have you gone off the original idea of the selectable tone caps? Could still be done quite easily if it was still on your list of things to do; just need to tweak your diagram a bit.

Other easy options for the 2nd switch:

  • bridge pickup 'add' function (enables neck+bridge or all 3 pickups on)
  • boost switch (bypasses all controls and sends selected pickups direct to output jack)
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I think my original idea was basically to have “all the switches” and “all the tones”... having gained a few extra years, I can see it’s probably completely unnecessary (in fact nowadays give me a clean amp, a telecaster and a splash of reverb and I’m a happy chap). But... having already modified the scratch plate for two extra switches, I’d like to make use of it, only without all the unusable and duplicated tones I’d get from my original diagram.

I still like the idea of switchable tone caps (not sure when I’d use the boost switch as I never play live), but the bridge+neck combo sounds cool.


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If I were to add some extra switching it would probably a phase reversal switch for the middle pickup.

I actually wired one strat with a blend pot (instead of the second tone knob) that blends the middle pup in- or out-of phase (depending on which way you turn it), and the 5-way just controls the different combinations of neck/bridge + coil-tap. While that is probably on the overkill side a little, a possibility to phase-reverse the middle pickup could give you some funny tones (though when wired in parallel they can be a bit quiet and possibly of little use unless you really crank the gain).

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