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I have a cool idea but need help with the delivery...


Logan2
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My wiring knowledge is very basic and I drafted an idea for a guitar with 5 pickups that can be in phase, out of phase, series, parallel, split and all have individual on/off switches. It would have one volume pot and a bass cut acting as the tone knob. I would be grateful to anyone willing to look at my diagram to see if anything wouldn't work. It uses Seymour Duncan wire colors. https://photos.app.goo.gl/ZYCg2wLRnHDGDXnc8

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In principle, the idea is comprehensive and should work fine. Like many complex circuits such as this you end up with redundant or unusable combinations, so on a practical level it might be a good exercise to experiment with as many of these tones as possible and maybe weed out one or two that aren't valid or useful. Immediately I can see that you could lose one of the phase switches, however that would be the difference between flipping up to four switches to reverse the phase against what would otherwise be flipping one.

I'm not too au fait with lipstick pickups, however if they are configured similarly to Tele neck pickups, they may need modifying the same as how one would do so for Tele 4-way switching. No big deal, but a consideration. Have a look on YouTube for Breja Toneworks 4-way Tele switching for that one.

Looks fun!

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one thing I noticed... admittedly not spending a lot of time verifying but it looks like you are planning series/parallel on the singles/lipsticks.  if in series and one of these singles is in "off" mode with the on/off switch - both won't work which may be a bit confusing because the other single will look like it's "on" but "no worky".  

further, one issue i see is the volume of these pickups not intermingling well.  the p90 is a big fat loud pickup, and the humbuckers too.. so even with over/underwound examples they should pair ok... but lipsticks are incredibly low output pickups, and have a very small freq range... at least typically/comparatively.  there will be a huge volume gap mixing those in.  that may or may not bother you.  just pointing it out in case you didn't consider it.

being a big fan of variety, and complicated wiring, and trying to do complicated things via simple controls... I have become hyper aware of how important it is to simplify things.  for now, when you are building it... you'll know what's going on... but if you are like me... 12 months from now when you pickup this guitar it will all be foreign and almost useless to you unless you do some sort of labeling.  ymmv.  for example - swap positioning of your phase/para-seri switches for the humbuckers so all phase switch are in a row, and all para-seri switches are in a row.  this makes the wiring less clean... but the interface more clean.  

I would advise you to go get diylayout creator.  this way when you make a mistake it's easy to fix without having to do "chickenscratching".  It's (no offence meant) kind of hard to read.  Further, in a wiring this complex... if you don't think about how these wires are going to translate into a pick guard layout... you are going to have a rats nest... and something that almost no one would be able to help you troubleshoot should something go wrong.  If you have a diagram that matches your layout... then wiring it up is simply "paint by numbers" and all the thinking is done long ago, and troubleshooting should be as simple as troubleshooting the diagram.

just some thoughts.  

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3 hours ago, Logan2 said:

Thank you too! I do plan on making the interface more clean when I put it in the pickguard and I wasnt really planning on using the p90 with lipstick pickups but still is nice to know the volume difference.

my first 6 string build (my avatar) I wanted to go cheap so went with artec lipstick tubes on evilbay.  the dcr reads about 4.4k.  They don't sound half bad surprising... but if I build another similar I'd go with something a bit higher quality.  I also have some gfs lipsticks leftover from an old build that has long since been sold off.  Those were in a guitar with two chandler mini humbuckers which are pretty low output for humbuckers... but they were super over-powering.  the min u turned on the mini hum (dcr of 7?ish) you couldn't hear the lipsticks at all.  that said... lipsticks def have a cool sound.  anywho, take that for what it's worth.

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4 hours ago, mistermikev said:

one thing I noticed... admittedly not spending a lot of time verifying but it looks like you are planning series/parallel on the singles/lipsticks.  if in series and one of these singles is in "off" mode with the on/off switch - both won't work which may be a bit confusing because the other single will look like it's "on" but "no worky".  

Ditching the grounds on each of the pickup on/off switches will fix that (they serve no real purpose). The only real foible is that when in 'series' mode the 4th pickup on/off switch will do nothing - the two series'd pickups will be controlled as a combined unit by the 2nd switch. You get individual pickup on/off functionality back when you go back to 'parallel' mode.

The section for the two single coils is actually quite a nifty little circuit. Confusing and complex, but I think it will work.

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