The problem I find with many series/parallel designs is that it's often difficult to tell exactly what selection you have, particularly as pickup selections for a given switch setting often change between series and parallel modes, and/or they use exotic multipole switches. So, I set about changing that.
Here's my first design, derived from my series strat. A telecaster 3-way switch (SW1) selects the neck pickup, bridge pickup, or both. A toggle (SW3) adds the middle pickup into the mix- think of it more like a tele with an extra pickup. A 4PDT toggle (SW2) selects between series and parallel combinations- exactly the same pickups in each case, just wired in series or parallel. Without any phase switches, this allows for 10 settings- all the series and parallel combinations, and neck and bridge on their own.
So far, so good- the only item which can't be picked up from radioshack is the telecaster switch, which is fairly easy to source anyway.
Here's my second design for the toggle junkies
The same principle as before, except in this case the 3 way switch is replaced by separate toggles for the neck and bridge, the idea being that these be placed with the middle's toggle switch in the slot normally taken up by the standard switch.
This brings the pre-phase total to 11 (middle only now being available) but the main feature is that it's simpler to tell at a glance/by feel which pickups are selected, as each one has its own on/off switch, the series/parallel selector and any phase switches being the only extra controls.
Tone controls need to be wired directly to their respective pickup. Unless you have three separate tones (the volume going on the floor in pedal form) I would suggest having either neck and middle or neck and bridge tone controls. A master tone would be possible, but having individual tones is very useful for the series modes.
Pete - Good intentions with keeping toggle operation consistent in series and parallel, but have you checked every combo?
For the all toggle version: In order for the parallel options to work, I assume N- is grounded. So when in series, the system is making a chain comprising ground-neck-bridge-middle-output. Consider for example, if in series mode, N and M are on but B is off. The signal from the neck gets as far as the lower lug on the bridge switch, but then has no further connection, breaking the chain.
But this can be solved with 3xDPDTs and a 4PDT. I built one named Tonemonster2, which is in the schematics section.
Hmm, thanks for pointing out that one. I thought I'd checked all the combos but must have got carried away somewhere I also worked out that, in parallel mode, switching the neck pickup off in fact kills the whole thing.
Basically, the switching for the blade switch version is sort of like the 4 way switching, with one half of the 4PDT switch turning the middle position into both the series and parallel settings of a 4-way. The second one (attempted to) translate this onto 2 DPDTs...
I'll try and figure this one out, but for now, IGNORE my second design
Last Edit: Nov 9, 2008 5:43:56 GMT -5 by pete12345