OK, my idea is to use an HHH configuration for a strat(using a full size hum in the bridge and 2 "rail" type hums in the mid and neck, replacing the 5 way switch with 3 3-position on/off/on switches, each one wired to one of the pickups. The switches will switch from humbucker/off/split for each pickup. Can anyone help me with a diagram for this? It seems like it should be fairly straghtforward, but I can't quite seem to find anything quite like this. Thanks.
P.S. Optionally I could do parallel/off/series for each pickup, which may even be preferred. The idea though is to provide an off middle position for each pickup then different sounds in either direction. Thanks again.
So, what I'm wondering is this ... I understand the diagrams relate to the terminals on the switch, but I'm wondering how to determine if you hav the right orientation of the switch, or if it matters. Thanks for your help!
jk - thats a good page of switch wiring, and its mostly OK but there sa few errors on it and some that can be improved.
The switches are various types of mini-toggle, two position on/on or three position on/off/on or on/on/on. Switch orientation does not matter, you can rotae through 180degress with no change.
I was thinking about your scheme with three toggle and no 5-way lever. For a couple of reasons i think the Hb, off, single vsrion will be best, and there is a best way to wire the switches, not as shown on that page. It would need three on/off/on mini-toggles. THese would then lead to a master volume and master tone. If that is of interest, I can draw it in a couple of days or so.
Here’s what I was thinking about for using on-off-on switches to control HHH pups.
The switches are all in parallel with each other and select up for humbucker, off in centre and down for single coil. I’ve shown it wired with normal Strat volume and tone controls, with the tones on the mid and neck, but that is a choice to be made, or alternatively a master tone could be used. The pots would all be 500k log, and I’ve shown a resistor and a capacitor for treble bleed, to keep the brightness as you reduce volume. I use 1nF and 220k for these.
There are some points to be scored in how the pup wires are selected. When in single coil mode, for two of the most used pairs of pups, you can have hum cancelling. This is done by selecting one pup to cut to a south coil, while the others cut to a north coil. I’ve shown the middle pup cutting to south, assuming NM and BM will be the most used single coil combos, but it might be better on the bridge pup. When off, the pup is completely disconnected, along with its tone control.
Also, one can choose which of the two coil positions is used for the single coil option, by deciding which coil faces the neck, As shown, I put the bridge pup to cut to a north coil in the position away from the bridge – all choices to make.
The drawing assumes Seymour Duncan wire colours for reference.
This arrangement will make 26 sounds in theory, although the simple ones are likely to be best. It can do the basic Tele, Strat and LP imitations
I hope that this is at least of some interest. There’s heaps of options with coil mixing on an HHH set-up, in fact too many options and this design only does a small fraction. Another design that I think is quite nice would be to have the normal Strat 5-way, and a single 3 pole toggle to change all pups from Hb to single coil.
But the arrangement shown here is simple enough, and covers some bases.
John, that's great, thank you very much. My idea was to go with one master tone, and one "midrange scoop" like the Rothstien "Voodoo" control, or one of the one's sold by Has-Sound.com. Just out of curiosity, what value tone cap would you recommend? I was thinking a .033 mf or .047 mf. I had also planned on utilizing the treble bleed circuitry on the volume ... thanks for showing that.
I had actually been leaning toward series/off/parallel as opposed to double/off/single switching for hum cancelling reasons ... is there a reason to prefer using the latter as opposed to the former? Is it for more of a true "strat" sound? I liked the idea of using 3 toggles in place of the 5-way to allow for any p/u combo as well as a coil split or parallel option with the least amount of clutter and the simplest design. I like the neck/bridge sound, but with a 5 way, I would either have to add a neck on toggle or elimiate one option such as just the mid. I just have decided I liked the combination of simplicity and variety with the 3 3-way toggles and no other switches.
Thanks again for the awesome diagram! I really appreciate the help.
The reasons I went towrads the single coil rthaer than parallel version were two. First, personal preference, I think single coils have an edge to their sound that two coils in parallel dont have, and as you say, it keeps more of its Strat heritage. But secondly, there is an electrical reason:
You could do the diagram with the toggle switches wired to do series/parallel, as shown on various sites on the net. Using the on/off/on switchs, it would work, but it would not fully disconnect the hot side of the pickup when off. Although no sound would be made. one coil of each pup would have one end permanently connected to hot. Theres a risk that this will pick up noise like an antenae.
It might not be too bad, and if you really preffered it, you could try it that way, ad change the wiring if there was a problem. At least, apart from that, parallel wiring of an Hb is very quiet.
Im not familliiar with a Voodoo control - sounds like fun! For a normal tone control, with Hbs I prefer a smaller cap, say 0.022, but you can choose.
I guess it's not really called a "Voodoo" control ... Andy Rothstien makes one ... here's a link: www.guitar-mod.com/rg_mods_faq.html He also has an album called "Voodoo Tone" If you google that, you will get to his site which has custom electronics for sale. I suppose I mixed the two up.
This page: www.has-sound.com/ also has simiarly wired custom pots. As of yet, I have not experimented with any. I should buy one to see how it sounds on one of my current guitars before I add it in to this project.
Regarding what you said above about the pups acting like an antenna, if they had been wax potted, and/or the guitar had been cavity shielded, would that help reduce the chance of picking up interference?
Shielding will definitely help, and in fact is a recommended pre-requisite for any rewiring.
This issue of coils hanging from hot is one that we mostly try to avoid round here when possible, because it should cause some noise. But it may be less than for single coil hum! I don’t believe it has been fully tested, but with the coils are poking outside the shielding, it must occur to some extent. If you really much prefer the idea of parallel instead of single coil, then Id go for it if I was you. Also, you can wire each pup the same – the coil swapping etc that I described above would not be needed.