I just took a look at that schematic and it does seem complicated. I am working on my own wiring diagram (nowhere nearly finished) which would work in a similar fashion. In other words, with 1 flip of a switch you could go from parallel to series. My design would be different from the tone monster in that it would require 1 6PDT switch (yes those are manufactured) and 3 SPDT switches. No sense going on about that design until it is done.
Anyway, you could have something almost as good if you go here www.1728.com/guitar2.htm Yes that is my website and my design. The parts required are much easier to find and much simpler. (For example, the tone monster requires three 3PDT switches - wow that is pretty complicated.) My circuit requires 2 DPDT switches and 3 SPST switches. If you don't want the out of phase option, you will only need 1 DPDT switch.
This is a good puzzle! For individual pickup controls off/on, and an overall series/parallel switch, you can also do it with a 4PDT for the series/parallel, and DPDT's for the three pup controls. Will post a diagram if wanted.
OK, Im happy to do that. Unfortunately I only have a schematic right now. Thats the only way I can think through what a circuit actually does. But Ill make a wiring diagram showing the back view of the switches, then post both.
Ive indicated the pickups red and blue to show the middle one (red ) being reverse phase and reverse polarity). Theres quite a few connections, so i have colour coded the wires on both diagrams to make it easier to follow (and to check).
The idea for this circuit is to have a very simple on/off operation for each of the three pup switches, which does not change when you flick the series/parallel switch, so it should be very easy to use and hard to confuse. Ive also tossed in a phase reverse switch on the bridge pup, which can be deleted if not wanted. Alternatively, another could be added as well to the middle or neck.
This should be very easy to use (thats the idea of it), but is not the simplest to build. Theres lots of other good options for doing things with toggles and Strats, such as the original tone monster (different operation - eg, to change from bridge/middle in series to bridge/middle in parallel, you would change all 4 switches, with mine youd just flick one switch), Wolfs circuit (versatile and easy to build), or the Dan Armstrong circuit (very clever design, also simple to build - can add a phase switch to it as here: people.smartchat.net.au/~l_jhewitt/circuits/armstrongJH.jpg
I hope these are of interest - at least have a good laugh at all the wires!
ps - I did the digrams with Word 2003 - just upgraded from Word 2000, and you can get 'connectors', so that you can join things together and they stay connected as you move them around - quite useful for diagrams.
pps - having just drawn this, obviously its not tested yet!
I hope this link works as it the first time I have used the service.
I started looking for the 4PDT switch and find a number with 3 positions (on.off.on, on.none.on, on.on.on, etc) but not many with on.on, so I will continue searching.
I have 4 projects where I can use this.
I like Wolf's design, but seems like some options with Neck/Bridge are not there. And, in a playing situation, switch postions with no sound could be disorienting. (Playing means a lot of things are occuring simutaneously with the guitar, amp, various stompboxes, dynamics of the song, and motor execution of the rhythm and lead playing. So simplicity of operation is critical)
Whereas, if I understand your design, all options are available.
A couple of ?
1. Just to make sure I understand, on your non-schematic diagram you have Neck and Mid pot tone lugs going to (I think) A and B designated terminals on the 4PDT. Is that correct?
2. If so, how would it change if there was just a master tone, but a volume control for each pup?
I use volume at the pup more for tone then the tone control, so I will put a master tone. Probably have the mid pot control be a dual concentric going to vol for the mid and bridge pups. If I want more bass I just roll up the Neck, or down for less.
Also, I assume I could use a push pull pot for the phase in/out switch. To bad I can't find a push/pull pot for the 4PDt switch. Crowded control cavity you know.
Hi Runewalker - quick answer first (gotta go to work!)
You are correct about the A and B - I drew it like that to try to make it clearer. The table is nicely done - theres a few points to change to do with humcancelling. Eg neck/mid is humcancelling when in phase, not when out of phase. Bridge/neck is the opposite. Note that as drawn, theres no phase switch for the mid or neck, so these only have a humcancelling inphase combo. You can easily add another phase switch if you really want to though, same arrangemet as for the bridge switch. i dont think I would bother though.
Ill think about the separate vol controls, it may get in the way of the series arrangements however.
The circuit does not have combined series/parallel modes. also, note that, if you switch all the pups off, as expected, no sound! - I reckon you could make some cool effects using that. THeres no unexpected oddball positions however.
Post by Runewalker on May 29, 2005 23:07:30 GMT -5
JH: "...quick answer first (gotta go to work!).."
Who the heck came up with this 'workin' for a livin' idea, anyway?"
JH: "... Ill think about the separate vol controls, it may get in the way of the series arrangements however...."
I set up a 2 humbucker unit with an On/On/On for Series/Parallel/Single switch for each hummer, then a in/out of phase switch on the the bridge. Frankly I am not sure I hear a demonstable difference. Perhaps a subtle difference when playing very clean, which is probably not that often. Perhaps I did something wrong but it was checked several times.
So if it is a choice of timbre control via the volume pots for each pup or in/out of phase, the phase switch will go. All of those parallel combos will probably cover the landscape.
JH "... if you switch all the pups off, as expected, no sound! - I reckon you could make some cool effects using that. ..."
' I reckon...." Now your startin' to sound Texan, at least West Texan. GdDay!
Monday is Memorial Day in the States (a three day holiday, and may just be perfect for some BBQ - smoked delights.
I just assembled two Strats from Ebay parts for my daughter's friend and a teen neigbor down the street. Carved a new nut, switched out some necks, and am about to attack my daughter's red Squire with upgraded pups and a conversion to H/S/H, because she wants to sound like Angus, your countryman.
So the red Squire may be the first victim of your design. Have to order the 4PDT though. Seemingly no local source for the unusual switches.
Runewalker - A master tone is fine, simpler of course. But Im having trouble figuring out separate vol controls for each pup. The problem is that when you turn down volume to say halfway, the overall resistance of the pup/pot together goes up. It works fine in parallel, but joining such arangements end to end in series will not work properly. it may be possible with a dual gang pot (one side for series, the other for parallel), but havent figured it out yet. The bridge pup is the hardest to deal with on that circuit.
The tone controls as drawn will do some interesting things. They will work as usual in parallel, but in series mode they will be bypassing treble from the mid or mid+ neck coils, leaving low notes (and + & - hum) to get through. This could give humcancelling sounds with powerful humbucker style low frequencies, wit the top end of a bridge single coil. Cant be sure, but it would be interesting!
BTW, I have a better way of connecting the bridge on/off switch. Its the same switch, but when off, it will completly disconnect the bridge pup instead of leaving one end of it floating to output, collecting noise. I havent posted the change yet but watch out for it, Ill send a PM when I have.
Finally, noticing cultural diiferences across the oceans; the switches are shown as if you are looking from the back of the scratch plate on a Strat, although not to scale. The on position for the switches is the lever pointing down, as normal in UK and Aus. I have a memory that in the US, up is on? If so, need to flip the wiring diagram upside down!
I will look for the ".. I have a better way of connecting the bridge on/off switch..." change.
On your comment on cultural norms: "...I have a memory that in the US, up is on? If so, need to flip the wiring diagram upside down! ..."
I will probably have to figure some way to invert your drawing with a graphics program, as I am very literal in these wiring exercises.
Ok, that's a lot of Mini Switches if you take the mod through to Option2.
You could reduce these by leaving out the IN/Out of phase switch. That is an effect that I don't really use frequently, especially if you are using any of the modern amp and effect modeling devices ( Pods, GNXs, Vox, etc.). It also seems to only be readily distinguished if you are playing clean, and who does that in rock? (Ok, maybe sometimes for the 'ballads', guess you gotta have 'singer' songs).
If you really need that obscure and a little strange outta phase clink, you can emulate it readily by getting a little extreme on your chorus and EQ bank settings. Really, how often do you throw the thing outta phase? At that point you could turn each of the three pots into Push/Pulls to control the pickups ON/Off. I find push/pulls less ergonomic for quick changes during a song, but it worked for Jimmy Page.
The other switches: 4DDT and On-On-On DPDT do not come as Push/Pull arrays, at least as far as I know. So that still leaves Six Minis if you don’t like the push/pulls and you gave up the In/Out Phase Switch. (At this point I will counter my own argument about the Push/Pulls and will concede that you could use it on a Push/Pull with the other six minis since it is used, at least by me, less frequently.)
Where do you put these? Obviously you gave up the antiquated 5way Strat switch when you decide on this mod. So up to four minis could be put in the 5-way slot, depending on routing. There is room next to the 5-way slot, between the 5-way and the pots for three more if you are meticulous.
IF you were able to put 4 in the 5-way slot, you could position the other two closer to the pots. These positions would be good for the Humbucker ON-On-On switches. That way you have the pickup switches in a line, with probably the Series/Parallel Switch at the bottom providing an intuitive and ergonomic array. Switching the hummers switches is more of a tone decision So putting next to the Vol and Tone pots is also intuitive.
For example, say you are power chording AC/DC riffs with the Neck and Bridge Humbuckers engaged, and decide the tone is a little bassy or muddy, just switch the Neck Hum to parallel for more definition or to single for some clik.
Thanks for working through this design.
I guess until it is tested it is still theoretical.
Thanks for you tone chart - I think that 11,13 & 14 are not humcancelling while 15 is. The combos with three pups on 16,17,18,19 I agree should have relatively less hum than a single coil. Theres no combined series parallel ones on the circuit as drawn.
For you series/coil cut/parralel switch, youd need the special type that wolf decribes on his site at www.1728.com/guitar.htm Youd need the one marked 'diagram D' on the bit about DPDT switches, otherwise with the normal type, the centre postion is everything shorted out so no sound.
As for the diagram, I use Irfanview (free) for basic graphics, and it will do a vertical flip
Post by Runewalker on May 31, 2005 15:29:06 GMT -5
thanks for the feedback on the chart, I will enter and post corrections in the next day or so.
I have used the On-On-On version of the DPDT and it works great, just a little hard to find (locally), and none are inexpensive.
I am trying to understand your comment:
JH: "...But Im having trouble figuring out separate vol controls for each pup. The problem is that when you turn down volume to say halfway, the overall resistance of the pup/pot together goes up. It works fine in parallel, but joining such arangements end to end in series will not work properly. it may be possible with a dual gang pot (one side for series, the other for parallel), but havent figured it out yet. The bridge pup is the hardest to deal with on that circuit..."
Conventional circuits for Les Pauls have the separate volume controls. Is this resistence phenom. you describe above compounded because of the third pickup and Vol control?
If three vols. will not work properly then perhaps a dedicated vol for the Neck (which I roll up or down for base reinforcement) and a master vol for the Bridge and Mid. Is that possible?
IF the bridge was engaged, the vol would work normally for that pup
IF the Mid was engaged, the vol would work normally for that pup.
If Bridge and Neck were engaged, the vol would affect both together.
Then the other combos with the Neck.
Not trying to make things difficult. I am an old Les Paul player, and experimenting with these strat configs have raised some questions, like why be limited to a 5 way switch, and why are there no separate vol/tones for the pups?
I feel the tone alterations with the vol, are more satisfying then the freq rolloff of the Tone control.
Runewalker - the main problem that I see with the separate vol controls is in the series setting.
If you take a guitar with standard tone control, plug in a lead and measure resistance across the jack, at full volume you have a resistance just a bit less that the pickup. But if you turn the volume half way, you get a much higher resistance, since the signal path has to pass through the volume pot. If such an arrangement is put in series with others, all of the extra resistance from all of the pots will affect all of the pickups. So they wouldn't be independent and youd get an electrical mess.
With a series connection, the way to do separate vol controls would be just to wire two connections to the pot, as a variable resistor which more of less bypasses the pickup. Then if you turn it all the way down, the coil is fully bypassed and the signal can pass directly to the next pup in the series chain. This is not good for a parallel arrangemet though, bypassing one pup would also short out all the others. The only way I can see to do it is in a dual gang arrangement. With my circuit, I think this would work on the neck pup, and heres a schematic, clipped from the full diagram (sorry, youll have to try to follow it!)
The pots shown black would be two halves of a dual-gang set (500k each?). The left one works for a series setting and the right one for parallel. They will probably give different effects from each other as you switch series to parallel.
Most vol controls have the wiper (moving) conecction towards the output. This is good for a master control, but can reduce volume on other pups if used for separate vol controls, so for the parallel side Ive shown it reversed, with wiper towards the pup . That way you can have a small boost of neck sound without compromising the sound from the other pups.
Its a good idea of yours to do this just to one pup, with a master vol. i cant get this arrangement to work on the bridge pup, due to the way it is wired in this circuit (not saying its impossible, just cant figure it out).
Of course, if you dont need neck vol control in both series and parallel, a single pot will do.
1. A dual gang pot - one side controls the neck while in series mode, the other for neck while in parallel (thats what the two black pots are in my small extract above). they are ganged to move together on a single knob.
I have been pondering the concentric dual vol for the Neck.
I always wondered about (what seems to me) the ideosyncratic vol/ton/ton array of strats, with no control on the pup wherecb you may need the most adulteration (the Bridge). Most of the strats I have dealt with break glass with that back pup, so I never understood having nothing but a Master vol for shaping it's tone.
That said the dual concentric vol for the neck addresses the electronic issues you identify (too much whacky resistence when ganged). But I am trying to imagine it in live playing situations. I have two vol/tone concentrics set up on an ESP body I customized with new pups, neck, tuners etc. They work well but are not quite as ergonomic in that they require a look down and an index finger/thumb motion opposed to a crooked little finger roll with conventional knobs.
So I was missing that.
Pehaps I could emulate that by putting the Master vol at the top postion, the Neck dual in the middle, and a push/pull tone at the bottom controling the In/Out of phase switch.
Les Pauls just seem to make more sense with their vol/tone vol/tone. Until hearing your discusion on the difficulties of system ganging all those variable resistes I was going to use concentrics in all three hole controlling vlo/tone for each pup. Sounds like that would introduce too much resistence into the system?
I wrote you PM about a stupid question. I have a bunch of DPDT ON/ON. Can these be used for the individual on/off switches for the pups. If so, how.
I will also have to somehow translate your schematic into a layout diagram.
Runewalker - if you have DPDT switches of any kind , with two positions as normal, they sound like they'd nefine for the pup switches. All you have to do is figure ou the connections, usually the poles are in the middle.
I have never seen a push/pull with more than a DPDT switch.
Just to be super clear about the dual gang pot; there would be no difference to the use or appearance as compared to a normal pot. You wouldnt need to have two concentric knobs. Its just like the vol control on a stereo system, one knob controls two pots. It could be a lttle stiffer to operate though, s that what you are concerned about?
If this volume control idea sounds like it will work for you, I can add it to the wiring diagram, with the master volume and tones.
Now for something different
Id just like to check. The circuit that I drew was intended for drawing a great range of sounds from 3 single coils, with switching that is simple to operate. I know that you want to use an HSH arrangement, but that seems to be causing problems because to make use of all the extra possibilities, you are getting too many switches! It is like the Irishman, when asked the way toi Dublin, who replied, "this is the wrong place to start from"
I was thinking about HSH pickup wiring , and if it were mine i would figure that:
1. The 2 humbuckers cover the need for powerful series sounds, so I wouldn't need the switching to combine different pups in series. Adding series humbuckers in series with others could be too wooly sounding 2. The HB's can be cut to single coils for use either separately, or in parallel with the middle pickup, in or out of hase. So I wouldn't really need the parallel wiring of each HB either.
If its based on a Strat, you could have:
1. A simple coil cut switch for each HB (two SPST's), 2. Standard Strat 5-way lever switch 3. A phase switch for the bridge pup, or for the neck as well (one or two DPDT's) 4. A master volume 5. A master tone 6. A pot to blend the bridge and the neck. Turn this all the way to get full bridge/neck combinations, or just a little to add a dose of say, neck humbucker to bridge single coil, or vice-versa. You could also set up a thin phased sound netween middle and bridge (hum-cancelling too), and then dial in a dollop of neck sound. The phase and the coil cut work together to always give you a hum-cancelling mix between middle and bridge SC, in or out of phase
JH: "...Just to be super clear about the dual gang pot; there would be no difference to the use or appearance as compared to a normal pot. You wouldnt need to have two concentric knobs. Its just like the vol control on a stereo system, one knob controls two pots. It could be a lttle stiffer to operate though, s that what you are concerned about?..."
OK, I misread that. I have dual concentrics, not the dual ganged. So, yes, ergonomically that would be prefered. No, I think I can handle the 'stiffness.' n Thanks for clearing that up. I will seach for these pots in the 500K config.
JH: "...If this volume control idea sounds like it will work for you, I can add it to the wiring diagram, with the master volume and tones...."
Yes, please, that would be helpful.
JH: "...Now for something different..."
Yes, I will spend some time thinking about the option you describe. I had a couple of thoughts at first reading:
You first option: with the two Humbuckers and Series/Split/Parallel --- is basically a project I finished a couple of months ago converting an ESP body, upgrading to GFS Fat Paf's (which are incredible sounding, responsive pups) and keeping the 3-way toggle, with the addition of an in/out of phase.
It is a very flexible, toneful setup. The series humbuckers and splits add a distinct set of tones unavailable before, and all are actually usable, not just novelties. The in/out of phase switch is probably a novelty and only useful in recording for texture and punctuation tracks.
The thing it was missing was a true single coil sound. The split humbuckers are useful but not really straty.
So I will do a project like you describe. I assumed that on a conventional 2 humbucker guitar, like as LesPaul or a SG that the middle position on the 3way tog. was both hums in series ... I infer from your comment they are in parallel???
Your second strat notion is intriguing. I was actually thinking of running a blend pot idea past you, with the idea that it would control the neck pup signal, regardless of which of the other pups was engaged.
That is basically how I use the neck pup when in combo with my current two pup config (except when on the neck alone, for jazzier pieces, or fuller, but split coil settings)
Not to cause any reaction from the strat legions (unlikely since this is just you and I) I am not a fan of the 5 way, it's limitations were discussed earlier. I sense its allegience is its ubiquitous presense and familiarity. I just find it well ... limiting.
The more I think about the blend pot the better I like it because it also could affect the mix of the neck pup, which I have not discussed much, but which can peel eardrums if not managed with care.
The config we have been discussing does I guess run the risk of "wooliness" if two many series array are stacked in the circuit. But it also allows Split hums to be put in series with or without the real single coil. Is the sound difference between these series configs and the straight up Humbucker significantly different. Won't know until tested.
Really, these discussions are very helpful to me and I appreciate your patience, since your knowledge is much vaster than mine in this circuitry issue.
I will follow the links and study the concept. I may use it with my daughter's guitar I am currently revising, since she has the dreaded 5 way. She likes the look and comfort of the strat, but wants to sound like Angus. Fine, just as long as she does not start wearing velvet schoolboy uniforms.
On that customization I am putting two splitable hums along with the original Squire RWRP mid single. I was going to abandon the 5 way, but maybe your option allows me to keep it and get it going faster. Finding these 4PDTs has been a scavenger hunt.
OK, no problem! Ill fix up that wiring diagram for the pots. And yes, the middle position of just about every guitar (including SG and LP) with two pups is a parallel combo.
As for the blend pot, I think it is a neat idea in the simple circuit where all pup combos are parallel. In the more complex circuit though, it causes similar hassles as before in the series combinations. So for that one, the dual gang is the best I can think of.
1. A simple coil cut switch for each HB (two SPST's), 2. Standard Strat 5-way lever switch 3. A phase switch for the bridge pup, or for the neck as well (one or two DPDT's) 4. A master volume 5. A master tone 6. A pot to blend the bridge and the neck..."
With the 5-way, are you not missing the capability to engage the Neck/Bridge combo. I have seen the simple on/off mini switch that puts the Neck in the circuit. Wouldn't something like that be needed?
So perhaps a push/pull on say the master vol for the Neck switch, and a push/pull for in/out of phase in the tone pot, then the blend pot at the bottom.
That seems pretty simple to operate and would be easier for me to assemble in my daughter's project.
Not quite sure how to convert the existing two tones (one at neck and one at mid) to the master tone and blend control.
The blend could be set to manage both the Neck and Bridge right? Where at 5 both are maxed, and at say 3 the neck is at oh.. 65% and the Bridge is 100%; at say 8 the Neck is at 100% and the Bridge is at about 45%.
This could be very useful.
What would the effect of the blend control be when the bridge and Mid were engage:
Right then, first, new diagrams for the MONSTER series/parallel circuit.
Latest news is: I think Ive figured out how to use just one pot for the neck volume. It becomes a blend pot when in series mode. As you turn it up, it will fade from the other pups, to the other pups plus the neck, to just the neck. In parallel mode, it will bring up the neck as a volume control. If the neck on/off switch is off, its all disconnected and doesn't affect sounds. So you could set it to, for example fade from ultra thin middle/bridge out of phase, to super deep neck sounds. the worlds most powerful tone control. Hey if im right: THAT IS ONE COOL POT! - took some figuring out though! Its hard to be sure of the best value for it, but my guess would be a 500k log pot (same for the master vol and tone as well)
Youd need to add the your wiring for the series/split/parallel.
I have also taken off the grounding to the pots, other than to the main vol pot. Im assuming youll do a foil layer to the back of the scratch plate/cover plate as per QTB, and that it is grounded to the volume case. that will ground all of the pot and switch bodies, but will not be part of the signal path. If you are not doing this, then just run a ground wire to ground all of the control/switch bodies.
For the simple circuit - because it has a neck/bridge blend pot, you can use it in place of a switch to combine neck middle and bridge. just turn it all the way round to get those combos with the 5-way switch. The other two controls can be wired to be master controls as per the monster circuit. For this blend pot (simple circuit - not monster), I think it would be worth doing the 'no-load' mod where you scape off abit of track (or use nail polish). theres links in another recent post. That way you can take the blend effect fully out. You could probably then use a lower pot value to get a smoother range of blends - not sure what value, but I believe others have gone into this. Im guessing 100k lin would work well.
I spent some time last night (we are about 12 hours apart in time diff.) studying and thinking about this config.
I was glad to see some ALL CAPS animation from you.
I agree this really is turning into a unique and emmently usable config. You Neck Vol to blend array is very flexible.
The nice thing about useing the Neck pup the way we are talking about is that it act more like an onboard EQ, where you dial in or out a range of tones rather than just filtering out frequencies like on a tone control.
I have been working with the wiring diagram to make sure that it is adjusted to the actual configs I will use. There are three configs: S/S/S, H/S/S and H/S/H.
All different mainly by the ON/On/On of the Humbucker switches. Wish these came as push pulls.
I think I will try to revise your diagrams then run the revisions by you to assure that I am on the right track.
You have wires going from the vol and tone pot lugs to a red circle. What is the red circle, a star grounding array?
I am convinced this is a creative and unique design, that is none the less usable and incredibly flexible.
They are wiring diagrams that add the Neck and Bridge Humbuckers with repective DPDT - On/On/ON for Humbucker - Series/Single/Paralle switching.
Of course I am not 100% confident in the translation, so please review for accuracy, and let me know where I need adustments.
I believe you said you were doing the diagrams in Word so I saved it in that format. However I had to make some of the changes in a graphic program, so you will see the drawing are combos of pix and Word drawing objects.
Here's two more offerings. The SSS version I have changed to 'up' = 'on' for the main S1, S2, S3 switches. I just rotated them by 180 degrees on the diagram. The HSH diagram also adds the series/single/parallel switches.
Your diagram makes it look staightforward and easy. In some of the files I posted links to I did some layouts on a pickgard template just to get a feel for the spagetti and realized things may get a little cramped. Just trying to get my stubby fingers into postion on those mini switches is funny enough.
I've ordered the 4pdt's and have everything else so next couple of weeks will hopefully test this beast.
And thanks for inverting the switches the RIGHT way JH!. I think that whole drive on the left, put your switches upside down thing came about because it was useful for right handed swordmen to be able to hold the reins in the left while pummeling their opponents with their sword hand. Heck, I haven'g used a sword in years, so the right head drive, rightside up switch is the future!
Thanks again JH. As I get deeper into the actual wireing I will no doubt have questions.