Here is my guitar, which is a bit different to the Strat related ones that most people seem to have. It is a Shergold ‘Masquerader’, which I bought in the UK in 1978. Shergold was a small but well regarded English maker mainly in the 70’s and 80’s, now sadly not in operation.
The most interesting features are the excellent slim maple neck, and the unusual wiring. The guitar has two humbuckers, and the original wiring included a pickup selector, plus a 3-position switch for each pickup. These switches select; coils series in-phase, series out-of-phase and single coil. In combinations, this provides 15 different sounds. There is a really good informative web site dedicated to these guitars at www.shergold.co.uk. There, you can see the circuit diagrams and hear all of the sounds, as well as read about this make. I’d recommend it, if only to see several different wiring schemes that you will never have seen before.
The guitar features an out-of-phase option in each pickup. Opinions are expressed that this is not a worthwhile combination. I beg to differ. The thin bright sound can be a very useful variation as part of a set up with a wide variety of settings. It sounds like a harpsichord or lightly strummed acoustic (hear it on the site above). Although these out-of-phase settings are not in themselves hum-cancelling, they are so when applied to both pickups in combination. They have a magical property that if you combine say, neck pickup out-of-phase with bridge pickup single coil, the sound is hum cancelling but very similar to the single coil. There is no loss of top harmonics. This is very useful with overdrive or where there is lots of interference such as near a computer. Most other ways of taming single coil hum tend to loose high harmonics.
I have added an extra 3P2T toggle switch, which changes the standard in-phase, out-of-phase, single coil settings to parallel in-phase, single coil (reverse phase) and other single coil. This allows 4 single coil in and out-of phase combinations to be made, all of which are hum cancelling. The parallel settings are also useful, being very low impedance, and low noise — not influenced by long cables. My circuit also makes an optional link between the centre tap positions on each pickup. This is used to add some lower harmonics to the out-of-phase sounds, and also blended single-coil / humbucker combinations. In all there are 30 sounds from the four switches. The circuit is below. The black represents the original wiring, and the blue represents the additional switch. I have also tried a tone/volume bypass switch (shown in red), but did not find this useful and so removed it.
J Hewitt (2007)
Last Edit: Sept 23, 2019 19:24:09 GMT -5 by reTrEaD