However Im back, and Its time for me to give my firebird a going over again. Currently I have a 4 wire neck HB, and a 2 wire (hot+shield) bridge HB, currently it has the following switches
PU Selector (parallel) Bridge phase switch Bridge series/Parallel Volume Knob Tone Knob Grestch style Tone switch (well actually its on/on) Tone knob/switch selector (on off on)
So this leaves me with 7 holes in my guitar to play around with, However Im not sure what I want. Im thinking some sort of broadbucker based blow out switch for solos, then a master vol and tone (on off on switch), PU selector. However that leaves me with three holes unfilled, and since switches are cheaper than a new pickguard, I suppose I better fill them.
Do you have any suggestions? maybe a switch that takes the bass from the neck and the highs from the bridge or maybe some sort of varitone? or even a fixed EQ?. Im open to suggestions, and to help making a schematic.
Thanks in advance for yiour suggestions and advice
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I'm a bit unclear on what you now have, and on what you don't like about what you have now that makes you want to change it.
Since you said the bridge pickup has a single wire with shield, I assume this switch puts the bridge pup in either series or parallel with the neck, not internal series/parallel. Even assuming that, series wiring with the "single wire plus shield" HBs often is noisy. Is this a covered HB?
You said you also have a
Grestch style Tone switch (well actually its on/on)
Tone knob/switch selector (on off on)
Not sure what these do.
As far as what you do with the three holes, you said you wanted:
maybe a switch that takes the bass from the neck and the highs from the bridge
This can't be doing a coil cut on the bridge, since you'd need a 4-wire to do that. So, are you meaning a pair of filters, hi-cut and low-cut? One on each pup, then combined?
I don't know as we've had anyone try that sort of thing, at least not on a single switch.
maybe some sort of varitone? or even a fixed EQ?
Well, a varitone is a type of "fixed EQ" . . .
How wedded are you to the bridge pickup? Any thoughts of replacing it with a 4-wire one?
Since the neck pup is a 4-wire, one option would be a series/single coil/parallel switch for the neck pup.
Separate volume controls for each pickup might be a way to go as well, then use a dual-gang pot for a master tone.
Firstly the Bridge humbucker is uncovered, with a single hot wire, and a braided shield.
In the neck I have a Covered humbucker that has the following options, Local Parallel and series, and local phase selection. Going down the chain we then have a typical gibson style Pickup selector. That then leads to a master volume.
Now my tone layout is quite interesting. I have an on/off/on switch that either allows me to have no tone, a standard tone knob, or a tone switch, Let us call this the Tone Stack Selector. Now the tone switch is essensially two capacitors soldered directly to ground, and a spdt to switch between them. Currently I have a .47? and something big there that takes out everything except the bass, and can give a reasonable bass guitar sound at a push.
Now going with what I find useful, I like the tone switch, however I dont like the knob, as I find usually I will either go for a woman tone, or tone at 10. This frees up two spaces in my rig, as I no longer need the tone knob, or the Tone stack selector. Moving up the chain, the pickup selector is obviously useful, and I would like to keep that. However the Local controls on the Neck HB are not so useful, the series parallel isnt used that often, I think it would have been more useful on the bridge, but thats not going to happen without major surgery. I find the phase switch occasionally useful, as it gives it a quieter tone that has an almost stratty quality. This could be good for an 'accoustic' interlude in a rock song.
So this leaves me with the following certainties of what I want on my rig. Volume, Tone switch, Phase shift (maybe) and pickup selector. Since there are 7 holes in my guitar, This leaves me with 3/4 to fill.
Now ideally I would like some sort of Broadbucker, However since I will wire the pickups in parallel, Im guessing a Series 'blowout' switch would be useful, and then a broadbucker on that setting. I think it Should be possible to run it through the same capacitors as in the tone switch with some clever wiring. If you think a variable broadbucker would be useful, and I can run it through the tone circuitry, then its possible my tone switch could become a 'Free woman tone switch'
With regards to 'the switch that takes the bass from the neck, and the highs from the bridge.' You are correct in thinking I meant a Low pass for the neck, and a High pass for the bridge. Would you think It could be a usable tone?
Im quite wedded to my Bridge PU, It has a nice sound, and although It hasnt been played loud for a long time, I would like to keep the current pickups in this guitar.
With regards to my Fixed EQ, I was wondering if a reduction in the Mids could yield a more filtertronny tone for rhythm work, as sometimes I find that two guitars with pafs can make a bands tone sound a bit flabby in the midrange.
Hopefully I will have cleared a few things up, Im still unsure about what I want myself. Im going to try and make a reasonably neat (by my standards anyway) drawing and upload it a starting point
OK, that clears up a lot. If you're going to do a series/parallel switch with your single wire + shield HB, use the shield as the grounded end of the series chain so you're not soldering the braid to a switch.
A while back, I posted a schematic of a fixed tone circuit used on old Framus jazz boxes. This had both high and low pass filters, or no filter, on a switch, although I don't remember if both high and low pass were available at once. Anyway, it might give some ideas so I'll try to dig that up in the basement.
ozboomer also has a post in Modules about his experiments with a modified G&L tone stack, you might find some guidance in there as well.
EDIT: Found it. This does combine the two, but uses a DP4T switch (think Baja Tele switch). I'm unaware of any 4T toggle switches, but a 4T rotary could be adapted. The 4th position is needed so as to have a bypass, plus each filter individually and then together.
If you're just going for the combined, maybe with one or the other filter by itself, and a position for bypass, then a DP3T should suffice.
Might a worthwhile part of this be converting your bridge pup to four conductor? Its not too hard to do, with a bit of care. Ive done it to a couple of sets of Hbs, and not lost one yet. It would open up your wiring options muchly
Hey everyone, ive drawn up a preliminary drawing. (slightly using binary switching)
Now the binary switching tree is obvious (and obviously stolen from chrisk) The SPST gives a switch to turn the broadbucker on and off, meaning you dont have to switch to the tone control for S3, in the up position it works as a standard tone control, however in the down it will work as a variable broadbucker (assuming the binary switching is set up right)
From what I see, in series the broadbucker switches will act in their standard form. With B only it will have no effect unless the volume is down, in which case it Might act as a high pass filter. With neck only, it will allow you to mix the highs from the bridge in with the neck pickup. but will have no effect in series
if a 'free woman tone' switch is inserted to the system, then all of the holes will be filled. (could be a neck local phase switch though)
With B only it will have no effect unless the volume is down, in which case it Might act as a high pass filter.
Hmmm. I could be wrong on this, but I see it acting on the bridge pickup just the same whether the bridge is on by itself, or is on with the neck, assuming the SPST switch is thrown so as to engage the tone pot.
Either way, it is connected from the bridge hot lead, through the pot/cap, to ground.
It would be helpful in discussing this if all four switches were numbered (or designated in some manner).
I am also wondering if the SPST could not be eliminated entirely, or perhaps combined with a "free woman tone"- type switch (using an On-On-On) so you had a choice of two caps, or bypass to the tone pot/broadbucker.