I drew this circuit diagram, based on ideas from another post (http://guitarnuts2.proboards45.com/index.cgi?board=wiring&action=display&thread=1115841151), and from figure 4 of this site (http://www.treblebooster.com/brian_may_pickup_mod.htm), and other collated information.
The problem is that I have no real experience and don't know if I've made a mistake. Can anyone help me?
Last Edit: May 12, 2005 14:41:25 GMT -5 by freddie85
Freddie - very nicely drawn, what did you draw it with?
A couple of issues with the circuit: The three pickup switches look like they would not go off in the center position, the left coils would still be in the series chain. Putting all those coils in series adds a heap of inductance, which cuts down on treble. I havent tried a circuit like that, but it may be loud and wooly sounding (like an angry sheep!). Brian Mays version is just for single coils, and I read that he mainly uses just two coils at a time. I might be a good idea to mock up the combinations with jumper leads to check the sounds first.
Freddie Part of the difficulty could be that to switch a pickup off in a series configuration needs a bypass switch, so that the connection to the other pickups is not broken (tends to need an on-on-on), while in a parallel arrangement you want to disconnect it (so an on-off-on works). but in a circuit with both intentions, it gets complicated! Not saying cant be done though...!
Actually, I think 2 HBs is plenty in a guitar, and there are lots of circuits possible if you want to explore a wide range of sounds. One of the most famous complex(ish) ones is the 'Jimmy Page' version for a Les Paul, which you can buy as a special from Gibson. It has overall series and parralel connections of HB pickups. You can download the schematic from Gibson: (get the pdf version, the giff file has some wires missing!)
Would this be a better arrangement, with single/humbucker/bypass switches? I hope I've got the switches right.
I may well only use two humbuckers, but I decided to keep three in the diagram for the time being.
I also suspect that the series/parallel swicth may only work for the bridge pickup relative to the others - am I right? This probably wouldn't be an issue in a 2 HB system, but with 3 HBs it would limit options. Not that there isn't plenty of options anyway!
Last Edit: May 13, 2005 5:07:11 GMT -5 by freddie85
I think you may have it there! well done. I reckon the switches you want for s1, s2 and s3 are centre off, ie on-off-on, so that in the centre position the switch is not effective, letting the signal go through both coils, switch one way, the pickup is shorted out (bypassed off), and the other just cuts one coil. Wiring would be as you have drawn.
In the parallel mode, if you switch the bridge pup off, it will kill all the sound since it shorts output to ground. But thats OK if you dont mind, because if you wanted to switch the bridge off there'd be no point in also doing the parallel switch. You're right that the parallel switch only works on the bridge.
I can see youve thought about the phasing, with the middle pup single coil mode on the other coil to the neck and bridge. If all pups are the same you should be able to get hum cancelling combos of single coils for middle/bridge and middle/neck in phase, and neck/bridge out of phase. Of course, all the combos of humbuckers will be low hum.
Sorry - I meant to change s1, s2, and s3 to center-off swicthes. :s
Is there a way to arrange a switch so that the neck and middle pups can be arranged in parallel? In an ideal world, I'd like to be able to have a switch to change the whole arrangement between series and parallel wired pups. I can't work out a way to do it.
Heres a version I did for three single coils with on/off and phase switches, and an overall series/parallel switch. The on/off arrangement has to cope with disconnecting the parallel circuit and bypassing the series links, so I think its not feasible to combine it with a coil cut. To do something like this with your Hb's, youd need another single pole switch for each pickup for coil cuts. people.smartchat.net.au/~l_jhewitt/circuits/3xseriesparallel.gif