Strat - wiring neck and bridge tone together

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner: Guitar & Bass Technical Discussi' started by street, Feb 16, 2007.

  1. street

    street Member

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    Anyone know how to do this, or if it can be done?

    I'm considering wiring the bridge to the neck tone knob so the first tone knob would work neck and bridge and the second tone knob (middle p/u) would stay the same.

    Would adding a jumper from the neck to the empty bridge lug on the pot side of the switch do it?

    I have a 60's RI Strat.

    Any help would be appreciated.
     
  2. brattmoore

    brattmoore Member

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    "Yes" to all your questions.
     
  3. street

    street Member

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    Thanks!
     
  4. street

    street Member

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    Did the mod. For anyone who's interested in an easy way to get a tone control on the bridge PU, this seems to be the least invasive and easiest mod.
    Overall tone hasn't changed and there doesn't seem to be an increase in hum or anything that would affect the basic original tone.

    Don't know why this mod has never been posted on any of the mod sites. I did a search and couldn't come up with anything like it.
     
  5. crbirdx

    crbirdx Member

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    Where does the jumper go on the neck side? to the top of the tone pot or the empty lug or to the wire coming off the switch?
    thanks
    c
     
  6. brattmoore

    brattmoore Member

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    To the empty lug.
     
  7. Jim Collins

    Jim Collins Member

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    The problem with this is that both inbetween positions, neck+middle and middle+bridge, now have two tone controls affecting the tone. This does not result in an individual tone control for each pickup, in those positions. It amounts to too much of a load, in those positions. If you find that the two inbetween positions are too muffled, particularly as you turn the volume down, this is why.

    Ideally, you'd like one, and only one, tone control in each of the five positions. The EJ and JV guitars addressed this condition, somewhat, in the cheapest way possible, while still using two tone controls. By eliminating the tone control for the middle pickup, and using that control for the bridge, the two inbetween positions each only have one tone control. The drawback is that the middle position has no tone control, at all.

    A lot of players simply wire the middle control as a master tone control, for all positions, and leave the outside control disconnected. If the thought of an unused control goes against your grain (it goes against mine), you can replace the outside control with a blender control. (This is a no-load pot.) Now, you get a variety of extra tones, because it is a blender, not a switch, and you still have only one tone control in each position.

    Another approach would be to replace the stock switch with a superswitch -- a true 4P5T switch. With this, you can give each position a single tone control, and you can do it however it makes sense, to you. In fact, if you wanted to, you could set it up so that the two inbetween postions (or even only one of them) has no tone control. This appeals to a lot of folks who think any tone control, at all, robs those positions of punch.
     
  8. crbirdx

    crbirdx Member

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    thanks jim for the info where's the best place for a blender. does the shack have them?
     
  9. Jim Collins

    Jim Collins Member

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  10. Dana Olsen

    Dana Olsen Gold Supporting Member

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    I'm just gonna jump in here and put in my $.02 worth.

    I find that hooking up more than 1 Strat p/u to a tone control sucks the highs - that's on any two pickups. The missing highs are much more noticeable in the split positions.

    For that reason, I'm starting to like the super switches. You can get all combos of pickups with only one tone control on any position.

    I think that helps the highs in all 5 positions on a Strat, all 6 if you include the neck/bridge option.

    As always, YMMV. I just write this because I've spent a lot of time with Strats and tone controls, and I think one can get the best of all worlds this way.

    Dana O.
     
  11. Stratman76

    Stratman76 Member

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    This could be one of the most informative, mis-information breaking posts I've seen in months! This thread is well worth resurrecting.
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2008
  12. Tonefish

    Tonefish Member

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    Man I gotta say...why mess with the best part of a strat, the neck and in-betweeners?
     
  13. Stratman76

    Stratman76 Member

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    In a standard Stat wiring scenario, where tone one is to neck and tone two is to middle, wouldn't the same load condition you describe exist in switch position 4 (neck+middle)? There are two tone controls involved in this position 4 scenario as well. Fender also offers "no load" tone pots.
     
  14. SLBlues

    SLBlues Supporting Member

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    Check out: http://www.deaf-eddie.net/tonecharts.html

    Gives you all the standard pup combinations, plus several more usable combinations. I have the Fat-O-Caster switch, along with a RS Wiring Kit (only need 1 tone pot) and Lollar pups. It is wired for master tone control. I like it a lot for the versatility it offers. A couple of my buddies who play professionally tried it and were impressed with the different tones available from the various combination of pups. The neck and bridge in series is very much like a humbucker.
     
  15. Stratman76

    Stratman76 Member

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    VERY cool stuff! I think I'm going to try the Memphis Fat because it offers a Bridge/Middle in series.
     
  16. walterw

    walterw Gold Supporting Member

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    yes, which is why that setting is the darkest and least popular on a strat. this issue, along with the lack of a tone control on the bridge, are what the no-load pots, the tbx pots and the JV mod all try to address.
     
  17. rockford

    rockford Supporting Member

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    I'm piggy backing on this thread, if you wanted some tone control for a strat bridge pickup , could you not just connect a resistor and a capacitor to the
    bridge pickup ? Anyone ever done this, and know how to hook it up ?
     
  18. Bo Faulkner

    Bo Faulkner Member

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    I like moving the middle tone to the bridge and leave the mid without...
     
  19. Stratman76

    Stratman76 Member

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    Did you otherwise keep it stock? Did you change cap values and/or pickups?
     
  20. Dana Olsen

    Dana Olsen Gold Supporting Member

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    I agree Bo - that's how my Strats are set up.

    What you get: Pos 2 and 4 are slightly brighter and more open sounding, and you get tone on the bridge pickup alone, which is really useful if you like to use the bridge pickup alone; in fact, wiring a Strat this way makes using the bridge pickup alone possible without compromise, IMHO.

    What you lose: No tone on the middle pickup. If you play jump blues and love the middle pickup alone, it's gonna be a little brighter than stock.

    I don't know how to wire Super switches, but I know that you could wire one so that no matter which pickup combo you use, you get only one tone control in the signal path, which would give a lot of flexibility.

    IMHO, the best bang for the buck mod is to switch the bottom tone control from the middle to the bridge - no switching caps or pots, just move the wire. Pos 2 and 4 will be clearer and more open, but you give up tone on the middle pickup.

    Hope this helps, Dana O.
     

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