I want to put 3 hotrails in my strat. I would like them to be each on a separate push/pull so that I can switch them between single coil and HB. The rest of the wiring I would assume would be standard strat wiring. Is there any reason this will not work? If its OK to do it this way, how would I go about wiring this
Sure, you can do this with 3 P/P pots. Each one gets wired exactly the same, and goes between each respective pickup and the selector switch.
Here's a diagram of this for 2 HBs, to split both at the same time. You can use this diagram, just eliminate one HB and its wiring from the switch. (You will only need to use one pole of each DPDT P/P switch.)
(Drawing courtesy of Unklmickey)
Note also that only 2 of the three combinations will be hum-cancelling in single-coil mode. With some forethought, you can choose which ones you want to be hum-cancelling. To have all three hum-cancel would require some additional switching.
Many thanks! That is what I was thinking but I wasn't exactly sure if I was missing a problem with the wiring. Should I still wire the middle PU as out of phase like you would If you had all single coil PUs?
But, assuming they're all the same, and you split to the same coil on each, then no combination of the split pickups will be hum-canceling.
The diagram above shows one of the pickups wired - as we say - "inside out". It's really a rearrangement of the stack, the bottom coil of one is has the same wire colors as the top coil of the other. This allows the one switch to split both by sending the "series connection" to ground. Since the remaining active coils are RWRP to one another, they are hum-cancelling.
If you're doing a standard 5-way, you could wire the middle pickup "inside out" in this manner, but you'd end up with a coil hanging from hot. There's a way to short the top coil to avoid that:
Wire the top wire from the top coil to the top lug of the Split switch. Send a wire from here to the 5-way where the middle pickup goes. Put the "series connection" on the middle lug (common) of the Split switch. Connect the bottom of the bottom coil to ground, but not the Split switch. No hanging hot, no inside out, no hum in positions 2 or 4.
Last Edit: Oct 20, 2010 21:25:57 GMT -5 by ashcatlt
OK, sounds like I need to do some reading. I am over my head at the moment. I also have a 24 lug 5-way and if there is a better way to do this to come up with the most usable combinations I can get out of these pups, that would be great. I would love any direction or input as to what I can or should do.
I also have a 24 lug 5-way and if there is a better way to do this to come up with the most usable combinations I can get out of these pups, that would be great. I would love any direction or input as to what I can or should do.
That would be a Superswitch™. While it opens up lots of different wiring possibilities, it still only has 5 positions. Since you indicated you wanted to keep the regular Strat positions on the 5-way, using the Superswitch won't help you add coil cut settings, unless you lose one or more of the regular settings.
There are other things you can do (you have 6 coils to work with). But your original idea to use push/pulls for the coil cuts does keep the stock look, and the switching is fairly straightforward.
The issue Ash raised (and he's right) is that you may want to think about which coils are split off each pickup so as to maximize hum-canceling. If you wire all the coil cut switches the same, you'll be splitting the same coil on each pickup and the single-coil combinations won't be hum-canceling. You need to be combining the North coil from one pickup with the South from the other.
Now, with standard Strat switching, this is only an issue in positions 2 and 4, and then only when you have both P/Ps "up" for those pickups.
With standard Strat switching, there is no N + Br setting, so no worries if the same coils are cut on the neck and bridge pups, since they can't be selected together anyway. If you have the std Strat switching on the 5-way, the middle pickup would be the one to make opposite of the others to give hum-canceling in positions 2 and 4.
If you look at the diagram from unklmickey, you'll see that one HB is wired "inside out" from the other. Using SD colors (like your HotRails™), we see that the lower pickup on the diagram is wired like a standard SD HB, with the white and red wires joining the 2 coils in the middle. The Upper pickup is wired "inside out", with the green and black wires forming the series junction between the 2 coils.
So, to do this on your guitar, simply wire the neck and bridge pickups to their P/Ps like the left-hand side of the diagram (std wiring), and wire the middle pickup like the right-hand side to its P/P. It doesn't matter which side of the P/P switch you use; you'll only be using one half of the switch on each p/p.
This would then give you the North coil off the N and Br pups, and the South coil off the middle, and positions 2 and 4 will be hum-canceling when in SC mode.
Note that my designation of South and North coils is arbitrary here; we don't know which ones are really South and North without checking the coils magnetically. But it doesn't matter for our purposes here, as long as the middle is opposite of the other 2.
So, you have all the information you need to do what you originally planned, if that's what you want to do.
Now, some folks, when splitting coils, not only want hum-canceling but also want a specific coil to be split. Usually, they want the Br HB to be split such that the coil nearest the bridge is active, as there may be a slight difference in tone due to the positions of the coils. If one wants particular coils to be split, that decision may affect which coils get wired "inside out".
Frankly, on these "dual rail" type of pickups, the 2 coils are so close together that I've never heard a difference with one coil split versus the other. If there is a difference, it would be most noticeable at the bridge position. So, with your proposed set-up, I would just concentrate on obtaining the hum-canceling and not worry about which coil was split on each pickup.
So, that's the wrap on your original scheme. If you're feeling lost, best thing to do is draw up a diagram so we can check it. DOing the diagram will reinforce to you how this all works.
Now, if you want to consider other options to get more sounds, we could look at solving the Strat switching limitations- the fact that the std Strat switching doesn't give you N + Br combos, nor does it allow all 3 pickups at once.
Using your Superswitch plus the 3 p/ps, you can get the other options. One scheme to do so (we have diagrams for this around here somewhere) involves using the Superswitch to control just the Bridge and neck pups, and controlling the middle pup with the p/ps.
On the Superswitch, you would have the following 5 positions:
1) Full neck HB 2) Neck single coil split (north coil) 3) N + Br HBs 4) Br Single coil split (south coil) 5) Full Br HB
One p/p pot is then used to switch the middle pup on/off, adding it to whatever is on the 5-way. Another p/p can be used to split the mid pup coils, as discussed above.
This would give you the N+Br combos, and all 3 pups as well. The limitations are that you won't have the middle pup by itself and you won't have the Br SC + Neck SC option (a Tele-ish sound).
But you still have an unused p/p pot, which could be used to turn off the 5-way, giving you the middle alone, either in HB or SC mode.
Alternatively, the 3rd p/p could be used to put the middle pickup in series with the 5-way selection, giving you some of the series combos (we haven't discussed the series possibilities yet, many options there).
Or perhaps use it to put one of the pups out-of-phase with the others (phasing the N or the Br is probably a better option than doing so on the mid pup, as the N + Br OOP is probably the most useful OOP combination).
Those are just a few ideas if you decide to get away from your original plan. The downside to doing something along the lines I suggest is that it will be more "switchy" to get the regular Strat positions. It is also more complicated to wire.
Don't be afraid to ask lots of questions, we're here to help. We were all newbies once. I still am!
newey's got a much more thorough description of the issues than I gave, and he's got you covered if this is what you want to do. I'll point out again that "inside out" wiring isn't completely necessary if you're willing to shunt "upwards" on the middle pickup, as I described above.
But you can only ever get humcancelling when you're combining an even number of RWRP coils. So you won't have humcancelling in positions 1, 3, and 5 when the P/Ps are pulled (only 1 coil active) and you won't get it in 2 or 4 when only one P/P is pulled (3 coils active). You'll have to decide how much you care about that. Shielding can help.
There is an alternative which would give you humcancelling all the time, and let you ignore most everything newey and I have said here. That would be to use your P/Ps to switch between Series/Parallel for each pickup. The Series is standard HB, while the Parallel is a somewhat quieter and much brighter sound, even more so than an SC. It's maybe a little more complicated to wire, but a pretty standard mod. It also uses both sides of the P/P, and you know how us Nutz hate to see a pole go unused!
Last Edit: Oct 24, 2010 12:56:11 GMT -5 by ashcatlt