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Dimarzio Rails D Activator X, Cruiser B Chopper 5 way super switch help


daft.dude
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I'm not educated in electronics and I've posted it in some other places with little help.  Google said this place was the one for diy electronics, hear my plea.

HSS Strandberg boden standard trem

1. Bridge Series
2. Bridge and Middle Parallel
3. Middle in Parallel
4. Neck and Middle in Parallel
5. Neck in Series

1 meg push pill volume to put positions 2, 3 and 4 out of phase
500k tone pot
iron gear no led killswitch
1 x 5 way 4 pole superswitch 

No idea on brands for pots etc

Pickups white Dimarzios with black blades

Bridge D Activator X
Middle Cruiser Bridge
Neck Chopper

With solutions I looked as much as I could for ideas and correlations with what ideas I could see with what I wanted and guessed at putting something together.  Two versions so far and I have no real idea if anything is right other than knowing some symbols and interpreting what I remember in HS science.  

The differences I tried to make were more logical (?) thoughts on what wiring in parrallel might mean and making the white wires go to the right places where everything is in parallel?  I also adjusted how I connected onto the volume pot from the killswitch.

I've looked at a bunch of things for the push pull and I get some ideas but redirecting the differences between this and the five way switch has me lost.

My local techs don't seem to understand this sort of stuff, just set ups at shops and a replacement pickup here and there. One guy wants to charge me $140+ to do the wiring which I'd rather avoid as I have a soldering iron from years ago just doing general replacements where I coppied what I saw in the cavity and comparing the colours of brands for type. No real thinking there. 

As for what's below, I just knocked it out on Publisher and once the schematic is right I'll still need to ask questions on where I think I need extra wire to make this all work.



image.thumb.png.217918a1646a4a0f7c671b71533f9c27.png
image.thumb.png.b87767d3f39b9e6b56524a45b534f9be.png

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6 hours ago, daft.dude said:

1. Bridge Series
2. Bridge and Middle Parallel
3. Middle in Parallel
4. Neck and Middle in Parallel
5. Neck in Series

Re, positions 2 and 4: splitting the coils isn't mentioned here. Is this something else you were wanting to consider, or is the intention that these 'in-between' positions to remain as full humbucking on each combined pair of pickups?

Re, position 3: a dual rail pickup with the coils in parallel configuration is an odd request (will likely sound extremely weak in comparison to the other positions). Is this intentional?

 

6 hours ago, daft.dude said:

1 meg push pill volume to put positions 2, 3 and 4 out of phase

I assume you mean you want to the option of putting the middle pickup out of phase on the push-pull. Note that this will only have an audible impact on positions 2 and 4. Position 3 out of phase will not be audible as there's nothing to put the pickup out of phase against.

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14 hours ago, curtisa said:

Re, positions 2 and 4: splitting the coils isn't mentioned here. Is this something else you were wanting to consider, or is the intention that these 'in-between' positions to remain as full humbucking on each combined pair of pickups?

Re, position 3: a dual rail pickup with the coils in parallel configuration is an odd request (will likely sound extremely weak in comparison to the other positions). Is this intentional?

 

I assume you mean you want to the option of putting the middle pickup out of phase on the push-pull. Note that this will only have an audible impact on positions 2 and 4. Position 3 out of phase will not be audible as there's nothing to put the pickup out of phase against.

- 2 full humbucking pickups on the middle positions, no splitting

- It is intentional to make the three middle positions quieter with the middle the quietest

- I want positions 2, 3 and 4 to be quieter with more top end and the out of phase switch for lots of different clean voicings.  

A lot of guitars with three pickups have the middle one super low, often unable to raise and a low output pickup too.  The reason is the dynamic volume changes of the output make the voice of the amp change.  I have the volume on my overdrive and compression pedals 100% on the dirty and clean channels respectively so the pickup changing downscales from a loud signal which a big impact.  Changing between pickups can be the tonal difference of a singer belting or not and it changes their vowel shape.  Parallel gives more chime and reduces output by another 30% on positions 2, 3 +4  so you're getting a great clean experience and awesome dirty ones too.  If you go to the middle positions with this sort of config you get more classic tones on distortion as well.

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I'm not educated but I'm trying to think of the signal path.  I'm guessing that the parrallel wires for the Cruiser B to be taken first to the push pull. Then I would need to add more wire to direct the outputs from the push pull to the 5 way switch?  In my head the switch is a filter straight after the pickup to alter from parallel to out of phase.  Flipping (if I'm right) what's there out of phase as an exit to the five way where it carries on unimpeded just different?

Cruiser B > PP Switch (converts) > five way selector > Pots > Kill Switch > Jack Output        This seems to be the logical order of things?

I'm really trying!

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9 hours ago, daft.dude said:

- 2 full humbucking pickups on the middle positions, no splitting

- It is intentional to make the three middle positions quieter with the middle the quietest

- I want positions 2, 3 and 4 to be quieter with more top end and the out of phase switch for lots of different clean voicings.  

So just clarifying, the switching patterns you're after are:

  1. Bridge standard (series) humbucking
  2. Bridge series humbucking + middle parallel humbucking
  3. Middle parallel humbucking
  4. Middle parallel humbucking + neck series humbucking
  5. Neck series humbucking

Plus a phase invert for the middle pickup on a push-pull?

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12 hours ago, curtisa said:

So just clarifying, the switching patterns you're after are:

  1. Bridge standard (series) humbucking
  2. Bridge series humbucking + middle parallel humbucking
  3. Middle parallel humbucking
  4. Middle parallel humbucking + neck series humbucking
  5. Neck series humbucking

Plus a phase invert for the middle pickup on a push-pull?

Sorry no

1. Bridge series
2. B +M both in parallel
3. M parallel
4. N + M in parallel
5 . Neck Series

Pull the volume pot and then you would ideally get

1. B Series
2. B+M both out of phase
3. M out of phase
4. N+M out of phase
5. N Series

I don't know if this is possible.  I also don't know what a bridge in series mixed with a middle in parallel does.  Are you just mixing those pickups or does the series or parallel dominate in some way?  If need be I can take a picture of the wiring in one of my guitars that's a little different and someone can tell me what I'm exactly hearing on positions 2 and 4.  Series + parallel or does it all become parallel after the switch?  I don't know enough about these principles of wiring.

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51 minutes ago, daft.dude said:

1. Bridge series
2. B +M both in parallel
3. M parallel
4. N + M in parallel
5 . Neck Series

I think there's a bit of confusion as to what series and parallel means here. When you combine two pickups in most cases (say a Strat with positions 2 and 4, or a Les Paul with the pickup selector in the middle position) the two selected pickups are connected in parallel. Think of it more like two people standing side-by-side. Two pickups can be combined in series, but it's less common. The two-people analogy becomes more like one guy standing on the shoulders of the second.

Humbuckers add an extra level of serial- and parallel-ness to the mix. The pickups themselves are two independent coils (or two independent pickups, if you like, built into the same package). The two coils can essentially be connected in series or in parallel. For most people the humbucker will be wired with the two coils wired in series. The two coils in the pickup can be wired in parallel if you like, but the sound is generally accepted to be significantly weaker and thinner than a traditional series-connected humbucker. Stylistically that's entirely up to you.

So.

For positions 2 and 4 in your case the question becomes:

Quote

2. B+M both in parallel

^^ do you want the bridge and middle humbucker coils to be wired in parallel and the pickups also combined in parallel, or do you want the two pickups to be wired with coils in series and pickups combined in parallel, or some other series/parallel combination of coils/pickups?

Hint: any pickup selection that dynamically/automatically reconfigures the series/parallel connection of the humbucker coils themselves from one position to the next (ie changing from positions 1-2 and 4-5) is much more difficult to achieve - this may help steer your decision a bit.

Quote

4. N + M in parallel

^^ ditto but for the middle/neck pickup combinations?

 

1 hour ago, daft.dude said:

Pull the volume pot and then you would ideally get

1. B Series
2. B+M both out of phase
3. M out of phase
4. N+M out of phase
5. N Series

Again, I think the use of phase-reversing might be getting confuddled a bit. Reversing the phase of one pickup and only selecting that one pickup (position 3) will be inaudible. Consequently reversing the phase of the combined selection of two pickups (position 2 or 4) will have no audible effect either. However reversing the phase of one pickup and combining it with another one will be audible (that's part of the reason why the in-between positions on a Strat have that characteristic 'quack' sound).

Phase-reversing a sound source (aka, pickup) needs to be combined with another non-reversed sound source for the effect to be audible. To that end I think what you're really after is a phase-reverse option on the middle pickup only.

Sorry if this is a bit long and wordy.

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As an example, the diagram below will give you what I initially thought you were after. I've added the required wiring alterations in blue:

image.png

That gives you:

  1. Bridge standard (series) humbucking
  2. Bridge series humbucking + middle parallel humbucking
  3. Middle parallel humbucking
  4. Middle parallel humbucking + neck series humbucking
  5. Neck series humbucking

Plus a phase reverse on the middle pickup using the push-pull pot.

There is a way of implementing an auto series-to-parallel reconfiguration of either the bridge or neck humbuckers for positions 2 and 4 as per your request (if I understand what you are after correctly), but not for both humbuckers. There aren't enough switching elements on the 5-way selector to do it. You could configure the bridge humbucker to auto series/parallel when changing from position 1 to 2, but you'd have to add another push-pull or mini toggle switch to support series/parallel of the neck humbucker for position 4 and 5. And even then you'd have to manually switch the neck humbucker yourself if you needed to go from parallel neck+ middle on position 4 to series neck on position 5.

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On 8/5/2021 at 12:50 PM, curtisa said:

I think there's a bit of confusion as to what series and parallel means here. When you combine two pickups in most cases (say a Strat with positions 2 and 4, or a Les Paul with the pickup selector in the middle position) the two selected pickups are connected in parallel. Think of it more like two people standing side-by-side. Two pickups can be combined in series, but it's less common. The two-people analogy becomes more like one guy standing on the shoulders of the second.

Humbuckers add an extra level of serial- and parallel-ness to the mix. The pickups themselves are two independent coils (or two independent pickups, if you like, built into the same package). The two coils can essentially be connected in series or in parallel. For most people the humbucker will be wired with the two coils wired in series. The two coils in the pickup can be wired in parallel if you like, but the sound is generally accepted to be significantly weaker and thinner than a traditional series-connected humbucker. Stylistically that's entirely up to you.

So.

For positions 2 and 4 in your case the question becomes:

^^ do you want the bridge and middle humbucker coils to be wired in parallel and the pickups also combined in parallel, or do you want the two pickups to be wired with coils in series and pickups combined in parallel, or some other series/parallel combination of coils/pickups?

Hint: any pickup selection that dynamically/automatically reconfigures the series/parallel connection of the humbucker coils themselves from one position to the next (ie changing from positions 1-2 and 4-5) is much more difficult to achieve - this may help steer your decision a bit.

^^ ditto but for the middle/neck pickup combinations?

 

Again, I think the use of phase-reversing might be getting confuddled a bit. Reversing the phase of one pickup and only selecting that one pickup (position 3) will be inaudible. Consequently reversing the phase of the combined selection of two pickups (position 2 or 4) will have no audible effect either. However reversing the phase of one pickup and combining it with another one will be audible (that's part of the reason why the in-between positions on a Strat have that characteristic 'quack' sound).

Phase-reversing a sound source (aka, pickup) needs to be combined with another non-reversed sound source for the effect to be audible. To that end I think what you're really after is a phase-reverse option on the middle pickup only.

Sorry if this is a bit long and wordy.

Hi there, sorry for the slow reply.

In my head I wanted two pickups, both wired separately in series for those in between positions.  So if it's a unique phrase, parallel combined in combined in parallel.   On my Ibanez I have similar pickup configuration.  Except I have two push pulls and two switches.  So everything on that guitar starts in series and you switch on for 2 or 4 separately for the parallel or out of phase thing.  i.e. position 2 and four each have a separate way of engaging out of phases or parallel.  I know this parallel/OOP starts with either the neck or bridge pickup. 

What I'm trying to do with this new guitar is reduce the amount of switches.  As there are tones I don't use.  As for what you've said, you've been really helpful and I've followed you well.

It's a shame that you can buy something like the Gigrig and you can switch between a bazillion pedals in a bunch of different configs, but with pickups people are far less experimental.

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On 8/6/2021 at 11:21 PM, curtisa said:

As an example, the diagram below will give you what I initially thought you were after. I've added the required wiring alterations in blue:

image.png

That gives you:

  1. Bridge standard (series) humbucking
  2. Bridge series humbucking + middle parallel humbucking
  3. Middle parallel humbucking
  4. Middle parallel humbucking + neck series humbucking
  5. Neck series humbucking

Plus a phase reverse on the middle pickup using the push-pull pot.

There is a way of implementing an auto series-to-parallel reconfiguration of either the bridge or neck humbuckers for positions 2 and 4 as per your request (if I understand what you are after correctly), but not for both humbuckers. There aren't enough switching elements on the 5-way selector to do it. You could configure the bridge humbucker to auto series/parallel when changing from position 1 to 2, but you'd have to add another push-pull or mini toggle switch to support series/parallel of the neck humbucker for position 4 and 5. And even then you'd have to manually switch the neck humbucker yourself if you needed to go from parallel neck+ middle on position 4 to series neck on position 5.

This looks like the best compromise I can achieve.  I think this option should give some great in between sounds at lower pickup outputs.  Even if the bridge/neck are always in series the combination of parallel or out of phase with the middle should be a lot of fun!  What might even be cooler on some guitars in a blend knob then between the two.  I'm too nerdy.

Thank you for the help on the alteration, I'm really excited to try this all out.

Now for some other noob questions if that's okay?

- When you are grounding at the various points (x4 on this diagram)  Is it all going to the bridge or the back of the volume pot? 

- Is there a typical sequence or rule for grounding?  ie. in my head that's done first is it?  

- Where the killswitch connects, I'm guessing it's okay to just solder it straight onto the same lug for the jack output?  I've gone for a gold arcade switch, it's going to look pretty cool.

Tesi DITO Metallic 24MM Momentary Arcade Button Guitar  Kill Switch Gold

- With capacitors, is there a particular one I should be using with this setup and a 1 meg pot?

- With regards to areas that need extra wire, is there a particular grade or brand I need to get?  Below I've put green dots where I'm guessing I need to place, cut to size, extra wires? 11 in total?

image.thumb.png.5aa921513cfa6abcd69d78f07ab42475.png

Thanks for all the help.

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Btw when looking up pots on the strandberg website I have the details pasted below 

image.png.4b903fd2c8679c1fec0aa5bbf80dd287.png

This is the pot I've researched
https://www.tubeampdoctor.com/en/fender-style-push-pull-potentiometer-a1m-pc-mount-d-shaft-004-1512-000?c=335

Is this correct and will the shaft length be okay?  As far as I can tell with googling they use short shaft pots?  Not a lot of 1 meg push pull pots available in the UK.  People also seem to think it's important to use good parts even down to the caps so I'm making sure it's all sterling.  

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5 hours ago, daft.dude said:

- When you are grounding at the various points (x4 on this diagram)  Is it all going to the bridge or the back of the volume pot? 

- Is there a typical sequence or rule for grounding?  ie. in my head that's done first is it?

Ground to wherever it's more convenient. As long as everything that should be grounded is grounded, and that the ground is solid and reliable (ie, not likely to wiggle loose or break off), you should be OK.

No real hard and fast rules to worry about, other than chosing a grounding scheme that is practical to implement. It's no good deciding to make the back of the volume pot the only point you are going to wire all 10 ground connections to if you have no way of manhandling ten bits of wire onto the shell of the pot without them all springing loose everytime you approach it with the soldering iron, or reducing the pot casing to a molten, bubbling pile of metal in order to try and heat it up enough to attach that last ground wire.

BTW, you don't need the top-right '0' terminal on the 5-way switch grounded. It's connected to nothing and does nothing, so save yourself another ground wire.

 

5 hours ago, daft.dude said:

- Where the killswitch connects, I'm guessing it's okay to just solder it straight onto the same lug for the jack output? 

Should be fine.

 

5 hours ago, daft.dude said:

- With capacitors, is there a particular one I should be using with this setup and a 1 meg pot?

Your tone pot is marked 500k, not 1 meg?

Value-wise, something in the order of 0.022uF to 0.047uF will work fine (the bigger the cap value the duller the tone will be as you wind the tone pot down).

Type-wise, use whatever makes you happy. Most production guitar companies (and regular hoomans) would probably just chose a greencap or Orangedrop-style cap. If you want to use some kind of exotic, vintage, paper-in-oil, new-old-stock, delivered in the beak of a white dove, presented to you on a velvet cushion capacitor, that's also OK, but be aware that their correspondingly overblown price makes them less attractive and their much-larger physical size makes them downright annoying to fit inside a guitar cavity.

 

5 hours ago, daft.dude said:

- With regards to areas that need extra wire, is there a particular grade or brand I need to get?  Below I've put green dots where I'm guessing I need to place, cut to size, extra wires? 11 in total?

Whatever wire you can get your hands on will work fine, as long as it's easy to work with. Stranded wire is easier to deal with than solid-core. You might find it easiest and cheapest to cut up something like an old RCA video lead and pull out the centre conductor from it, or the power lead from an old phone charger. Wire like that can be free if you look in the right places.

 

4 hours ago, daft.dude said:

It will function OK, but it's going to be a pig to work with. The solder pins are designed for a printed circuit board and it's going to be difficult to get wires to solder to it, particularly if you have to make more than one connection to a pin. The threaded portion of the shaft is supposedly only 1/4" long, which is less than Strandberg's claimed 3/8", so there's a chance that the nut will not reach the threaded section of the pot once its installed through the face of the guitar.

Something like this is better, but you'll probably have to replace the volume knob as the shaft is designed for a push-on splined knob:

https://guitarpartscenter.eu/en_US/p/BOURNS-1M-push-pull-audio-pot-std/5135

 

 

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