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Blender/fader instead of 3 way switch?


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As the title says...

For the Tele I'm currently building I got the idea of using a center detented slide blender pot instead of a three way switch. That would allow me to visualize which pickup is dominant but it would also open a whole new can of worms! It seems I'm not the first one to invent this but I couldn't find any schematics or other images, the links I found to those were outdated.

A couple of questions:

  • Is there any known major issues?
  • Would a low ohmage pot be better than similar to the tone and volume pots?
  • Linear or logarithmic?
  • Wiring?

Thanks in advance!

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32 minutes ago, norm barrows said:

the effect of a single pot would not be 100% bridge, then 100% neck and 100% bridge, then 100% neck.  it would be 100% bridge, then down to 50% bridge and up to 50% neck, then down to zero bridge and up to 100% neck.   i assume this is NOT what you want.

That's what I'm worrying about: Will the signal strength weaken in the mid position? With a three-way switch in the mid position both pickups are 100%, aren't they? So what type of a pot should I get?

Oh and one more question: Will such blender make a humbucking effect since the other pickup will always be a little "on" - unless I find a pot with zero at both ends.

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I was watching a demo of a local (to me) builder that had made a guitar with 2 humbuckers and a blend pot yesterday. It sounds great tbh so I wouldn't worry about both pickups remaining in the circuit at all times. I'm sure a 500k blend pot will work just fine. I'm using a 250k blend pot on the bass I'm working on, but that is because they're single coil pickups.

But... in the unlikely even that it all goes horribly wrong, there is nothing stopping you reaming out the pot hole to make it big enough for a 3-way toggle.

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As noted by @Bizman62, the above scheme will suffer from cross-bleeding of each pickup at either extreme of the pot's position. You will not get 100% of one pickup/0% of the other at each end. The correct way to do it is with a dual-gang pot with one element controling each pickup independently, each pickup wired for contra-rotation so that as one pickup raises in volume the other decreases.

Stewmac sells (or used to sell as far as I know) a pot dedicated expressly for this purpose. It even came with a custom taper for each element so you wouldn't get the both-pickups-blended-50/50-signal-weakening effect at mid rotation.

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