Id like to put up for discussion, a switching module for series wiring of three singles:
Its based upon the 'Red Rhoads' notion of bypassing one coil with a cap, using the tone control. On my 'Dual-sound' Strat I have found this to be very valuable, where in a series chain, the pickup nearest the neck gets bypassed by a cap at the max-treble end of the tone control. This cuts the treble from this pup, but actually enhances the treble from the bridge end giving it a more direct route. The result is; as you turn up the treble, it keeps getting brighter, moving to a new voice, but still with added bass weight. Its very natural, just feels like an extension of the tone control, but with tonal action at both ends instead of just treble cut.
This diagram is designed to get all four series options: MxN BxMxN BxN BxM
All settings have this expanded tone control feature. It actually results in 12 sounds since for each of four switch positions, the tone goes from normal treble cut, through the usual max treble position to the treble enhanced cap-bypased position.
The bypassed pickup is usually the Neck, except in the BxM position where it is the Middle.
Most likely, a system like this would be embedded in a larger circuit, maybe incorporated into a super-switch to bring in single and parallel sounds too.
Aha, so you're the guy that owns the stock in the Tele 4-way switch company!
The only issue that I have with this is the shorting of pickups (generators that derive their output from harvesting the vibrating energy of the strings). The more that you load a generator (driving its internal impedance through an external short as a load), the more energy is harvested. This directly reduces sustain and harmonic content.
No one has posted meaningful data as to the effect of this.
The reason I was pleased enough with it to post it was that it solves a puzzle that Ive been grappling with occasionally for quite a while. I really like the tone control extra top-end series feature, but when using this, it always needs to be the bassier pickup that gets shunted by the extra cap, which means usually the neck but sometimes the middle. I wanted this selection to happen automatically without an extra switch functions or fuss, and couldn’t figure it before now.
The circuit is just a partial one. I have a scheme now with a superswitch, in which the fifth series position is used for another option – in my case a series combo of bridge plus just a small amount of neck (which is the only in-between blended sound that I use from my designs with blenders). The other two super switch poles do the usual 5, and a 4PDT switches standard Strat options to the five enhanced series options.
And I’ll keep on coil shunting until someone can prove to me that my guitars sound bad!