Hello folks, I'm stil lpretty new to modding guitars but I have upgraded pickups in two guitars myself now and getting more used to it.
I have a strat-copy guitar that I sanded down/stained and sprayed with polyurethane, and I bought 2 PRS SE custom zebra humbucking pickups (I'll be making a pickguard from scratch for it)... I want to wire it all up from scratch, and I need everything, input jack, pots, wiring, etc. I want to wire them up so that can be split or coil tapped for the singlecoil sound...I play with a lot of high gain so a kill switch or dead toggle position to cut sound would also be desirable, this guitar will have no middle pickup.
I play very heavy music, so anything associated with the pots/wiring that can add extra db, gain, etc would be an asset.
There's lots of info here and around, I just need to be pointed in the direction of links, faq's and where to buy the stuff to do all this. I do have a complete wiring harness and 5 way switch/VTT/pickups/pots from a 2000 american strat, I suppose I could use that for a H-S-H configuration, but I kinda want to leave that intact for another project.
And here's pics of guitars I've customized (custom pickguard), the stained one will be the new home for the pickups mentioned.
Post by michaelcbell on Jul 19, 2007 5:56:57 GMT -5
Well, there are a ton of HH schemes out there (check out the schematics page), so pick which one you like. They tend to fall quite fuzzily into two camps: easy to use and versatile. The best bet for any player is to determine which & how many combinations you want, then search for the most efficient design for those combinations.
There really is no way to passively boost output of the guitar. Your choises are: 1 - Buy hotter pups 2 - find a scheme that removes all pots from the signal path - that'll give you the loudest sound possible. Might I suugest a full-on/normal switch; that way, if you turn the volume all the way down, you can get that nice kill-switch effect. 3 - try active electronics. I know pretty much nothing about them except that JohnH has a thread floating around about a buffer he's all about. You should check it out as it's active and will do a little of what you want.
Well, there are a ton of HH schemes out there (check out the schematics page), so pick which one you like. They tend to fall quite fuzzily into two camps: easy to use and versatile. ...
3 - try active electronics. I know pretty much nothing about them except that JohnH has a thread floating around about a buffer he's all about. You should check it out as it's active and will do a little of what you want.
They tend to fall quite fuzzily into two camps: easy to use and[or] versatile. ...
If that is the classification continnum then there is at least a third node: easy to use and versatile.
You might study those to help you formuate the direction you want to go.
JohnH has a thread floating around about a buffer he's all about. ..
Indeed JH is an advocate for buffer circuitry. While I guess it qualifis as "active" electronics, mostly that term is associated with signal boosting, adding crunch or distortion, eq, etc. JH's buffer is designed to offset the capacitance of guitar to amp patch cords. It clarifies rather than adds to the sound. Interestingly enough, the Warren Haynes Gibson LP is a regular dress LP with a buffer circuit.
Most Strats with HHs are constrained by the 5 way switch slot and the pot array of the standard pickguard. Since you are making your own you are freed from that constraint. You could easily annoy all the Strat cultists by putting, for example, a Switchcraft 3 way as you pup slelecter.
Yes the dimarzio is upside down, the I had the leads going towards the wiring/pots, didn't notice it was upside down, but I have to tear it apart anyhow, I wired the dimarzio wrong, too used to SD wiring, I need to switch the green and black wires.
Runewalker, your diagrams are cool, but may be too complicated for a beginner like me to figure out, but I'm checking them out. So, the 2nd part of my questions, where do you guys buy your components from (I've gotten stuff from guitarfetish.com), and what's the difference between 500K and 250K pots, I heard that 500K have more bass/midrange... if thats true I think I might prefer the 500K ones.
Runewalker, [those] diagrams ... may be too complicated for a beginner ....
Perhaps. Although at the end of finishing one you would no longer be a beginner... The suggestion to look at them was not necessarily to adopt one, but reading through them will give you some passive knowledge about the hidden sounds inside humbuckers, and the enormous range of tones available with just 2 humbuckers. When I first started this quest I probably thought that the ultimate guitar would have maybe 9 pickups. Now having build a number of experiments and prototypes I have come to appreciate that a HH or HSS can get you nearly everything you need, with maybe the exception of a piezo loaded bridge.
That said a more simple approach, but one that would greatly enlarge your palate of tones would be switching that induced a cut-coil function on each humbucker, but as a system chose opposite polarity coils in each humbucker. That way when the two singles are combined you get hum-canceling. This gets close to giving you a phantom middle humbucker. However, the other addition needed to complete the illusion is a system Series/Parallel option. That way the 2 singles would be in Series, like your conventional humbucker.
That approach is somewhat minimalist but gives you (in addition to the conventional Gibby choices) the key options of:
Single or Local Series for each humbucker
ability to combine one single with the other local series humbucker.
Ability to create a phantom middle pickup
Depending on your guitar and the way you orient you pups, a quasi-quack (Strat sound) option for singles in system parallel. System series to have 2, 3 or 4 coils in Series.
This last option is one you will probably enjoy given that you emphasize smack-down overdrive saturated power chords and shredding.
This does not do Out-of-phase (OoP) sounds, which can be very interesting overdriven or clean. And it does not have Local Parallel settings. You might not miss those.
The only thing I would think that is a major loss in the above suggestion, is the lack of an option to select opposing singles in either an inner/inner or outer/outer array. The outer/outer gives a spacious quality to a humcancelling option, more Tele like, but different. But going simple means giving up things. with the above you could choose either inner/inner or outer/outer or inner/outer, but not all three.
I don't know if GN2 has diagram for that because the Nutz tend to go for excess rather than simplicity, but what I describe above is pretty straightforward.
So it becomes a choice of what options are critical to you, what can you give up, and what can you execute.
A middle ground are the Jimmy Page designs. That is one of the first mods I did as a beginner and did not find it too daunting, but actually gives a strong array of options.
Unk's design is also novel, and not too difficult to wire up. It does have a more advanced blade switch than the standard Fender 5-way, but not a big deal. It relies on master vol and tone, so you don't get pup mixing features.
Another choice to make is what kind of visible switches do your prefer, and type (blade or Gibby style 2 way, or minis for that matter), and how many pots. I do strongly recommend separate volumes for the ability to blend pup contribution to the signal and the subsequent tone shaping capacity they provide.
Incidentally if you are going HH you may have to change your name from Strathappy to StratHeretic.
Last Edit: Jul 20, 2007 8:05:55 GMT -5 by Runewalker
Wow, the knowledge on this site is just unreal, I feel like I should just dry up and blow away I'm not a strat purist if you've seen some of my guitars, I have strat-type guitars with H-H, H-S-H, H-S-S, etc.. I like things that are different, in the future I plan on making a guitar with all sorts of strange things like a built in guitar tuner with LEDs inset on the top of the body, built in effects, and other oddities.
Soundwise, I'm really pretty simple...I don't use the out of phase positions much, I use humbucking and single coil tones, and if a middle pickup, I use neck + middle or bridge + middle so that phantom middle you were talking about with a H-H I would probably use..middle pickup is used for rhythm only. A 3 way SG-type switch, a 3 way selector switch, 3 toggle switches, whatever, I'm game for any of them.
PS - I still am waiting for advice on where to buy the components from and if I should go with 500k or 250k (or different) pots.
Post by strathappy on Jul 22, 2007 21:40:37 GMT -5
Thanks, but I was hoping for some feedback on what parts are GOOD, I know of a million sites for parts, but one of the switches I was going to buy from guitar fetish, I saw in a post here and people were saying it's cheap crap.