I'm having a little trouble wrapping my brain around exactly how to wire volume and/or tone pots with two humbuckers and a 6-way pickup selector switch.
At a minimum, I would like to have independent volume controls for each pickup before they feed into the 6-way switch.
The problem (at least with my limited understanding) is that the "normal" way to wire pots is to connect one side to ground (and to the pot casing). However, if I do that, won't it mess up the phase switching in my 6-way switch? My other concern is that the volume controls will "interact" with each other through the ground connection.
I can live without individual tone pots for each pickup, and I'll probably just wire a master tone pot AFTER the 6-way selector, but I really need the separate volume pots.
Can someone point me at diagrams/schematics that show how this is supposed to work with a 6-way rotary pickup selector switch?
It's based on an almost standard LP wiring, with seperate vol and tone for each pickup, then shows 6 different ways of doing the switching, and no.6 is a rotary (5-way as shown, but 6-way is possible).
My build includes coil cuts incorporated into the tone pots, but that is easily omitted, or easily disconnected if built and not wanted.
The guitar has two humbuckers. Each humbucker is connected to a 6-way switch, which gives me 6 options for each pickup by combining the coils within a single pickup in different ways...
north coil only, south coil only, both series in phase, both parallel in phase, both series out of phase, both parallel out of phase.
If you picture it as a block diagram, 4 wires from a pickup (not counting the shield ground) go into a 6-way switch, and two wires come out the other side.
Do this for both pickups and you end up with 4 wires (again, not counting shield grounds) that can go into ANOTHER 6-way switch which gives 6 ways of combining the pickups together...
neck pickup only, bridge pickup only, both series in phase, both parallel in phase, both series out of phase, both parallel out of phase.
Now, I know that I can easily add a "master" volume pot and a "master" tone pot AFTER the 6-way pickup selector switch.
However, I don't know if it's possible to instead have individual volume (and maybe tone) pots for EACH pickup BEFORE the 6-way pickup selector switch.
I'm modifying the guitar for a friend and he thinks that the individual volume controls for each pickup would be important, but he seems to think that a single master tone control would probably be acceptable if individual tone controls weren't possible.
Personally, I think it would be cool if I could have individual volume and tone for each pickup. I'd probably go with two of these to save space...
The problem is that every vol/tone wiring diagram I find is for a *normal* guitar and they connect everything to ground, which my gut is telling me won't work correctly with a 6-way pickup selector switch. There's a good chance I'm wrong, however, as I'm new to this stuff.
Any guidance you can provide would be greatly appreciated.
I see what you're getting at, but I'm still confused. I've made a simplified diagram (by hacking up a diagram from GuitarElectronics.com) that replaces each of the 6-way switches with a black box. I can't figure out how to hook up the volume and tone pots in the middle of the diagram. I assume the problem is the grounds.
You can just seperate all the signal grounds from the pot caseings etc, like this:
So going into your last 6-way switch, you have 4 independent wires as shown. You can configure that switch so one of them is always grounded (blue line through the switch), and the switch will ground others as needed.
Pot cases are grounded seperately, just for screening.
Krick – those are three well known variations. At full volume, they all sound the same, but personally I would only use ‘modern’ wiring. That being said, ‘50’s wiring’ is popular on Les Paul forums because they reckon it keeps more treble as you reduce volume. However, it messes up the action of the tone control and other effects that I don’t care for. Here’s what I worked out about it:
The ‘independent wiring’ lets you turn one pickup right down to zero with both selected, without cutting out both signals (as modern or 50’s will do). But this is a solution to an issue that is not a problem, because if you only want to hear one pickup, you can select it with the switch. Any partial mixes that you may need will occur at higher settings, and as you turn one pickup down, it will fade from the mix long before it starts to reduce the other significantly. In exchange for fixing this non problem, independent wiring will completely wreck the tone at low volume.
So I reckon modern wiring in every case, and particularly on LPs with series/parallel wiring as you are proposing, and I highly recommend treble bleeds (1nF and 150k in parallel) on each volume pot. Apart from helping each pickup individually, they help preserve tone in overall series mixes.
One last thing – with all of that, I would not put another master volume after it all. One more pot, and each one dulls the tone slightly.
That might depend alot on your space and layout. You alredy have 3 knobs for the rotaries. Option 3 is simplest nd is esay to use with no quirks. Option 1 will offer some extra variations which can work very well in series mode, balancing pickup contributions, reducing tone on one pup, adding a bit of neck bass to bridge etc. Its great on an LP but in this case thats 7 knobs in all!
I'm scrapping the strat electronics, and I'm going to have to do some routing on the body to accomodate the two humbuckers instead of the 3 single coils. While I'm routing, I'll make room (if necessary) for the 2 extra switches in the area where the blade switch was.
I'll take a bunch of pictures and document the process as I go.
If any of this experiment turns out to be useful, I'll probably perform some similar surgery on a better guitar.