Hello. This is my first post and my first guitar electronic project...not my first electronic project...just guitar. I've been researching, studying, scouring these forums to the point of feeling like it's time to post a couple questions about my project.
I have an ephiphone strat wanna be that someone gave me for doing some computer work. Some of the switching inside popped and I only seemed to be able to get good sound out of position 1 and 5 on my 5 way. So... I cut the strings and cracked open the pickguard.
I have ordered the electronics I think I need and made a couple trips to Radio Shack for some switches and caps, but before I get soldering, I'm still scratching my head about a few things.
I know I want a parallel to series switch controlled by a push/pull. I also want to be able to control the bridge tone. The diagrams I'm considering are as follows: The Strat Lovers Strat, 3 single coils and the s-none, strat mod www.1728.com/guitar3.htm, or the Ultra Strat Mod on guitar2.htm same site... I think you get the idea. I like the switching to have a bridge and neck as I think the s-none does (but only with the mega switch?)
here's a photo for reference:
First question: one of the coils has a brown insulator. I've lifted one of the coil plates off, but every coil looks just like this one...red wire coming out of the left, white wire coming from the right side. Does it matter which way the pickups are turned? ie rotated 180...I have them all with the wires coming out the same way.
Here's the hardware that I have: a 2 250 pots, 1 500 push/pull and a 5 way. I have .047caps and .022 caps. Basically...now what. no seriously...I also have a several SPDT mini toggles no center and a DPDT mini no center.
2nd question: with the s-none schematic, there is a 5 way diagram. I guess what confuses me about this diagram is there is a capacitor on two of the three pots...what are there values? and does it matter which pot has the push/pull? and with this diagram and a 5 way switch (not the mega switch) I'd like to get a bridge and neck combo.
I guess that'll get me on my way for now. I'm sure I'll have more questions.
Any suggestions on which diagram to or mod to go with?
If you're shielding, don't just do the pickguard, do the whole cavity for the shielding to be effective. Follow the procedure outlined on the original Guitarnuts site (link is at the top of the page, but the site has been hacked and doesn't run properly- you can still get to the pages you need with a little work).
As far as your other questions:
A push pull pot can be placed wherever you like, the switching functions and the pot function are separate, unless you wire them together as part of your particular wiring scheme.
The 2 capacitors are for the tone pots- classically, Strats "shared" a single tone cap, but many modern clones use separate caps. The usual value is .022 microfarads, but other values can be used depending on personal tastes.
As far as which scheme to use, that's a matter of preference. The "neck on" idea can be used with a regular 5-way switch- you use the neck tone knob to add the neck pickup into whatever is on the 5-way. So if you have it on the bridge setting, you can get N+B.
Finally, your photos disclose that you have the rather strange type of Asian Strat pickups which apparently have a very small coil. We've seen, and discussed these before. The upshot is you may want to consider an upgraded set of pickups to really help the tone of this guitar.
I think I'll talk more about those after you've had some time to look those over.
I agree with you 100% that having a series / parallel switch is well worth the effort of installing. Go to the YouTube video link on this page www.1728.com/guitar3.htm and hear the difference it makes.
Wolf!!! Dood...that video is what made me want to do all of this!! I have read, re-read your site. So far, I think this has been the most helpful resource for me. Thank you for the site and the reply!!!
I like the double DPDT switches on the Wolfs Ultra Strat Mod and the 3 single SPST switches...this is easy to remember what controls what...I can turn on what ever pup I want, in any combination...I think there are some dead spots though that concern me with that setup.
I like the strat mod that you link to on youTube, however, the diagram leaves the volume control out, both tones out and so I'm left wondering what to do with those. Do I want a master volume? (yes I think) Do I want a master tone? (yes but maybe with a SPDT switch to change between caps? and if I go with one, what about the other pot?)
I'd kinda like to experiment with things so I can understand what sounds I like and don't like.
Eventually (and newey hit on it, I'm just not there yet) I want to put a jeff beck jr in the bridge and was hoping the single coils would suffice, but after reading newey's post....am thinking I need to get an entire new set of pups.
I like the mods posted on this site too because they don't alter the appearance of the guitar too much...however, I find my self having to interpret truth tables to understand the functionality I get or don't get so I guess once I settle on something I will have a few more questions. I've also been on craigs site for wiring diagrams.
Question 1 I don't think got answered....does it matter which way the pups go in? why is the one pup have a different color on the insulator? My thought is one of these is reverse wound and I don't want to install it wrong (out of phase?) oh yeah, and which one is + and which one is minus...I think the previous wiring was using white as + except on the oddly colored insulated pup.
Let me re-read your replies and I'll add on if I have any other thoughts. THANK YOU BOTH FOR QUICK ANSWERS!! The soldering gun is ready and so am I!!!!
Newey, do you have a diagram of what you describe with the 2nd tone pot controlling the neck? does it simply become a volume control for the neck pickup?
I don't want to alter the exterior of the strat to a great degree, but also want to keep the switching logical. Like it makes sense to me the the volume pot down is regular strat. volume pot up means series.
I don't mind adding a DPDT switch to give me out of phase options...is this really beneficial?
The strat lovers schematic on this site is confusing me with the caps on all the pots. Why is there a pot on the volume?...and I guess I could take the DPDT switch used on one of those push/pull tone pots and use a on/on DPDT switch right? The switching looks logical too. I like the fact that one pot controls the parallel tone and one pot controls the series tone...
The tonemonster has 4PDT switch which is probably way over my head plus I'd have to go buy a blend pot.
the 3 single coils S-none looks tasty too...its just that I don't understand why the cap is put on the DPDT and with the fender 5 way, I don't have the bridge and neck combo...unless someone can give a little insight.
So...thanks for any feedback on the thoughts running around my head!!!
Newey...me too...so sorry for all the run on sentences and stuff. Running by the guitar store on the way home (need a couple springs for the tremelo...this guitar was someone elses project too it seems)
I will rush home and see if you've posted something new! thanks!
<edit> just checked out the link...I've eyeballed this already and thought this was an interchangable option..just haven't studied enough I guess<edit>
The magnetic field is oriented up and down in the pickups. Spinning them has no impact on their function.
I'd be willing to bet that middle pickup is RWRP. It doesn't really matter which wire you call + and -, as long as you're consistent for all 3. The test for absolute polarity is pretty simple, if you've got any doubts.
I've eyeballed this already and thought this was an interchangable option..
Well, it's capable of being added to other schemes as a module. I mentioned it only because you were grokking on the N+B, and the "Free Neck On" gets you there without any new parts, and without any new holes in your Strat. Quick and easy, and can be incorporated with a more extensive scheme. The downside is that using a tone pot to select a pickup isn't as positive an action as flicking a switch; the operation of the thing may not be to a particular person's liking.
Look again- GuitarTechCraig's scheme doesn't use a dual-gang pot, of the type we normally consider as a "blend" pot- it uses an ordinary 3-lug pot, wired with all 3 lugs. This is very similar, conceptually, to the "Neck On" idea I linked you to.
For real blend operation, the pot is disassembled and the center of the track is scraped clean, so that the pot in a centered position is effectively out of the circuit. JohnH's "Stratocaster Dual Sound" uses the same idea in a different way, and is another scheme you may want to consider.
man! great stuff here! I'm going to sit back, re-read and digest. Thank you ashcatlt...I don't think I've read that anywhere until now. Great info. Newey, your diagnosis of my internal dilemma is right on and good explanation of my concerns. Wolf!!! Thanks!! I like it nice and tidy! Stay tuned!
btw...got the tremolo springs and eyeballed what guitar center had on the wall..checked out their pickups too...seems everything I want is online.