Basically i'm just wondering if someone can check this over for me before i go and buy all the parts and build it.
Basically i'm wiring a strat. Three humbuckers, three tone pots(Push pull pots too to act as coil taps), one volume pot and a neckon switch. Otherwise just using the normal 5 way switch.
A very helpful person from another forum made me a diagram but i just wanted to ask a few questions and thought i may as well get this checked too.
I also wanted to ask about shielding, i'm not sure exactly how it's done, Is it just stickyback foil tape in the cavity and back of the scratchplate or is there more to it than that?
Also are there any other minor mods anyone would recommend adding, what i'm really going for with this guitar is a wide range of tones. Also are there any other precautions i should be observing besides the usual electrocution risks
Your diagram is clear, and would work. The parts are fine but I think the wiring can be inproved:
1. The best thing to change is to get the middle pup, so that when set to coil-cut mode and combined with other coil-cut pups, gives you a hum-cancelling combination, which currently it would not do. To do this, with the design that you have, on the middle pup, swap red and black wires, and swap green and white wires
2. The tone controls are shown unconventionally, where turning clockwise will cut the treble. To fix this, connect the caps to the right lugs rather than the left lugs.
3. When you turn down the volume on most guitars, the tone changes and high treble is reduced. To correct this, put a 1nF capacitor and a 220k resistor in parallel between centre and left lugs on the volume pot. This cap is a 'treble bleed capacitor', it bleeds extra treble from the pups to compenaste for loss caused by capacitance in the cable to the amp. The values are subject to personal taste. In addition to a 1nF cap, you might try a 470pF cap instead, and maybe without the 220k resistor. I'm suggesting getting both values so you can try them.
4. Put a wire from the ground to the metalwork of the bridge
BTW, the wiring colours are consistent with Seymour Duncan pups. If you have DiMarzio or another make, colours may need to be adjusted to suit.
With your design, you have the chance to use different tone caps for different pups, you may want to experiment.
The next changes are not so dramatic, and may not even be noticeable.
5. On this forum, we try not to cause shunting of pickups, by short-circuiting coils. The risk is that this induces currents that suck tone. Your diagram does coil cuts by this method, as do 99% of coil-cuts in the world. But there is a better way to select the coils that you want without short-circuiting the other coils. It's the same switches required. Someone may be able to point to a diagram of this on the forum.
6. The final change would be to take all ground points to a central ground at the volume pot, to avoid ground loops, for the purpose of reducing noise. This would mean not soldering to the back of all the pots, only the volume pot. It would need a redraw of the daigram.
The shielding is important, it can be copper foil, or even kitchen foil glued with contact glue. But it needs to be electrically continous, and grounded once at the volume pot (which will happen automatically by contact with it's case). Cover the back of the pickguard, and the rear of the cavity, folded up over the top slightly so that it contacts the pickguard shielding when screwed down
For grounding and shielding, it is worth reading the original 'GuitarNuts' site, see link at top of this page. Look for the article in the wiring section on 'Quieting the Beast'
There you go - and hey, this is the place for guitar wiring!
Basically the guy who did it did the pots backwards as he took them from a different perspective ie. Top down/up and he explained his wiring colours and such.
You said the values of the capacitors 1nF and 470pF were up to personal taste, whats the differance between them tone-wise? Also how would i go about only soldering to the volume pot, I'm a tad confused there about what you mean.
For the grounding, i'm thinking of using kitchen foil for the body and stickyback foil for the pickguard, I can get more foil for the body so should i?
Thanks for all the help, i'll post pictures and clips when i'm done (probabily next month) and i'll scour this site for information about coil tapping. Thanks very much for all your help.
as far as the caps go, everyone has a different perspective on a certain tone. your best chance is to just try each and decide which you like best. notice that your ground is looped from pot to pot. it is best to take all grounds to one pot. you would just solder them all to the pots shell. the caps and what not being soldered to the shell of each tone knob is fine, just take the ground wires all to the volume shell.
as far as the shielding goes. copper is better, but kitchen foil will work. you dont need to get more unless you feel that you need. it.
also, the coil tapping....
here is a schem of a guitar that i did a while back w/ the help of john and unk. not extactly the way you have it wired, but it does have the coil taps.
I'm surprised that no one has yet pointed you to the article that started it all: "Quieting the Beast" Therein, you'll see adhesive backed copper foil being used, but as already noted, some folks get along just fine with regular kitchen aluminum foil. (Not for the ham-handed like me, it tears too easily.
There are no 'one-size-fits-all' mods here, only a lot of things that people have done for themselves, then shared with the rest of us. Many circuits have been used over and over, and are popular. They lead to still other mods, so the options are almost endless.
Since you have a Strat with a full-face pickguard, I might offer one bit of advice: Buy a cheap pickguard, and cut it apart such that the pickups can be held steady, but the controls are exposed - you can pick the control portion out and turn it over to work on it, yet the pickups will stay under the strings. This will let you make mods without having to unstring your axe every 5 minutes. ;D Afterwards, toss out the cut-up pickguard, or set it away for future other modding adventures.
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Hi Tog - Ill hunt down a diagram for that coil tapping later when I get home, or draw one if I cant. THe differnt treble bleed values sound the same at full volume (they dont function then), and the higher the cap value, the more treble is kept as your reduce volume. Too igh and the treble becomes too dominant. Some folk like to have a brighter tone when you turn down, but I like to pick them to be a constant as possible. It also depends on your pickups and your cable.
Here is how I'd suggest wiring the pickups to the push/pull tone controls:
This represents the bridge and neck pups. As noted before, for the middle pup, swap red with black and swap white with green, for hum-cancelling single coil combos.
Note that there is no soldering to the tone pots, and the only wires that come from it are the ground wire (solder to back of vol pot), and the hot wire, which goes to your 5-way. You only need one half of the 5-way switch. The volume, output, neck-on etc would be as you have it.
Further to previous, if the pups come with an outer bare screen or braid, connect it to the star ground for shielding
Either log or lin will work and will cover the same range of tones from max to min. But I think log is better for tone pots, to get the active part of the range better distributed around the turn of the knob.
BTW - I favour log for single volume pots (as you have), and lin for dual volumes as on a Les Paul
As to values, 500k would be normal in a set-up with humbuckers, for all pots
Alright, We're getting somewhere. All the parts are ordered, just need to pick up a few of the electronics bits and bobs sometime soon, I'll be building in about two weeks (or whenever they arrive) so nows the time for last minute advice, I'd be glad to listen if anyone has any.
edit: Also, Anyone got any info on the non-shunting coil taps?
You would have three of these, one for each tone control. The 'to selector switch' wires go where you currently have the red pickup wires ttached to left side of the 5-way. Ignor eth right side of the switch. For the middle pup, swap red with black and swap white with green, for hum-cancelling single coil combos.
see also previous page - if you update your diagram based on this, I will check it
EDIT just noticed your colours are different - what make are the pups? EDIT EDIT the original diagram looks like Dimarzio colours, while your new pups look like Seymour Duncan colours? If so, no problem, colours need to change though - I can update my sketch if so
A mad man friend of mine wants me to finish the body in that red velvet and spray laquer the hell out of it But i've moved on to my next project which i'll be starting in a few months once i have exams out of the way.
They are a set of GFS Lil killers, Absolutly brilliant. If i ever add them to another guitar i'll use concentric pots however, because i'd like to be able to have the tone knob at 250K as opposed to 500K. Other than that, it's perfect.
I haven't be here in ages with exams and what not, but thanks again to everyone who helped out with the production. My soundcards not the best and i'm playing through a Marshall MG250Dfx (i know, but it was cheap) but you get the feel.