Post by Carlos Sanz on Jul 14, 2018 11:29:15 GMT -5
It’s a long time since my last post. Then, I presented a Stratocaster mod capable of every possible pick-up combination, either in series or in parallel. But that was a rather experimental circuit due to all the specific and weird components.
Now, I’ve designed another modification capable of every parallel combination or every series combination (no mixed parallel-series combinations anymore). It will be made with standard guitar components… (Coming soon, you’ll love it, I promise).
For guitars having 1 Volume and 1 Tone knobs, that’s it and nothing else is to be done. But for a Strat with a second tone knob I don’t really know what to do with that knob. In my design I can’t keep it with the same function as second tone control because it would interfere with the parallel/series feature.
The options I’m considering are:
- Installing a bass-cut: one tone knob would be for bass and the other for treble, like in some G&L guitars.
- Installing a Vari-tone
- Installing a 6-position rotary switch to choose between 6 different tone control options (different capacitors)
I can't make a decision. Every day I see pros and cons of each of them.
Does any of them make more sense to you than the others? Anybody has any other suggestion?
Actually what came to mind first was a no-load pot for the master tone, to keep the series sounds clear, and then one more tone pot hard-wired to one pickup. ie, the tone control cap/pot is directly between the two wires of one pickup. When in series mode, turning down this control should get very interesting, letting bright tones from the other pickups through more strongly, with bass from the turned down pickup.
what came to mind first was a no-load pot for the master tone
Yes. That’s something in which I’m hesitating, but again it’s difficult to make a decision. On one side I want the Strat to go on being a Strat without any compromise. Then Volume and Tone pots should be 250K. On the other side, if I don’t put a No-Load pot the series combinations would be a little muffled. Furthermore, if I use a No-Load pot it won’t be possible to combine it with a push-pull switch without some internal “potentiometer surgery” and that’s against the “keep-it-simple” principle.
Anyhow, I’ll try to document everything commenting all the options.
It's really interesting and I hadn't considered it. But again, I want to keep it simple. Furthermore, I don't want the user to be obligated to memorize anything. Series/parallel switching in one button; neck puckup adding option and that's all. I'll comment your suggestion anyhow in the describing document.
Finally, I think I must apologize for not being more active in the forum. But English language is a barrier for me, especially when it is not academic. It’s difficult for me to follow threads with slang and everyday-use English. I hope you to be indulgent with me.
Again… big thanks to all. The circuit is coming...
I also vote for the PTB tone control (and p'raps a simple 'neck pickup on' switch, probably on a click-out Volume pot, say) which gives plenty of usable, fairly discernible (parallel pickup) sounds.
Most here will attest to my years of fiddling about with circuit options(!)... but I've always been about clean, bright and light sounds... for recording, mainly... and for usability, so that 'colours' what I say, I guess... but I still ended-up with some variation of the above on most of my guitars.
...and I would pose the question: How many different, isolated sounds do you really need when you can overdub, split'n'route through a couple of amps, etc to achieve unique sounds through combinations? I admit my (rapidly becoming senior) ears don't have the selectivity/sensitivity of a lot of folks -- I can't tell the difference between a lot of sounds -- but for what I do, the simplest way is still the best.
As always, YMMV...
Last Edit: Jul 16, 2018 5:51:38 GMT -5 by ozboomer
I'm as free from money as a frog is from feathers RIP John Gibney Snr, 04May1921 - 14Mar2018 ... Always Here
and p'raps a simple 'neck pickup on' switch, probably on a click-out Volume pot, say) which gives plenty of usable, fairly discernible (parallel pickup) sounds.
Thanks. Yep. That's the part of the design I'm more satisfied with: there will be a neck pickup adding switch. The good thing is that it will be added in parallel when the guitar is in "parallel mode" and in series when the guitar is in "series mode".
I reckon 11 sounds. I'm considering a phase shift on a push-pull for the neck pickup as well.
I'm at Mouser right now looking for pots. Since it worth buying more than 50 euros to save 20 euros in shipment, I think I'm going to buy a transformer to try a Varitone as well (very good post, here at the forum about it, by the way). Although I don't think I'll use it, I feel couriosity.
-- I can't tell the difference between a lot of sounds --
Ya know, as much as we babble on about all the subtle differences, I find that once I've adjusted the amp and started playing, I sound about the same a lot of the time. I "forget" to check the switch position and just start playing. Turn a couple knobs on the amp and sort of subconsciously adjust my playing and there's my tone.
The T across the pickup thing that JohnH described is often referred to as "broadbucker" or "half-series". In my experience it's a lot more interesting in theory than in practice. I have a bass with the two pickups in series and the only controls are individual "stepped tone controls". My baritone is very similar, except it has a 4-way "baja" style wiring. I really don't like most of the "in between" sounds on either of those instruments. And yes, I realize that kind of contradicts my previous paragraph....