Become a Supporting Member


Go Back   The Gear Page > Instruments > Guitars in General

Notices


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 10-16-2011, 07:13 PM
straightblues straightblues is offline
Senior Member
Feedback Score: 1 reviews
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: So. Cal.
Posts: 5,597
Help! 3 pickups 3 pots. Do I go with 2 tone and 1 vol; or 2 vol and 1 tone? Why?

I am building a guitar with three single coil pickups. I am going to have three knobs on the guitar. I am going to have a 5 position switch with the following layout.

Switch 1 - neck only
Switch 2 - neck + bridge (tele middle)
Switch 3 - middle only
Switch 4 - middle and bridge (strat quack)
Switch 5 - bridge only

The middle pickup will be wired direct without tone or volume.

I am trying to decide whether to do :

1 master volume and a tone pot for the bridge and neck. Or

Two tone pots and a master tone.

Or I guess I could dump one pot and just go with one tone and one volume.

Which would you choose and why? I have seen it done both ways.

Thanks for your help.

Last edited by straightblues; 10-16-2011 at 07:28 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 10-16-2011, 07:32 PM
walterw walterw is offline
Gold Supporting Member
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 18,993
i don't think we can answer that question.

how do you want it?

do you like to have two volumes, so you can switch from a quiet sound to a loud one, or have two pickups on and change the blend between them? (i.e., gibson-style)

or do you like to have one volume, so you can always control overall output with one knob no matter which pickups are on, and so you can turn a two-pickup sound up and down with one knob? (fender-style, which i like, even on my gibsons)

actually, there's a third detail which many don't think of: are you hip to, and do you like, the "50s wiring" thing? because an arrangement with multiple volumes and one tone requires the pickups to be wired '50s-style, with the tone pot on the outputs of the volumes instead of the inputs.

this makes the pots interactive, where turning down the tone a little makes the volumes drop off faster from "10" than before, while turning the volume down a little makes the tone act like another volume knob for the highest part of its travel.
__________________
Walter Wright
Guitar Repair Gnome
Alpha Music, Va Beach
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 10-16-2011, 08:10 PM
straightblues straightblues is offline
Senior Member
Feedback Score: 1 reviews
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: So. Cal.
Posts: 5,597
Quote:
Originally Posted by walterw View Post
i don't think we can answer that question.

how do you want it?
Well I don't know how I want it that is why I am asking the question. I have played Hamer guitars with three pots (2 volumes, 1 tone) and strats with 1 volume and 2 tones. I've liked both. I have mainly been a Gibson guy with 4 pots and a tele guy with 2. So I don't have a real strong preference for either at this point and could get used to either.

What I am asking is for everyone to answer it for yourself and tell me why you would do it that way.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 10-16-2011, 08:28 PM
HoboMan HoboMan is offline
Silver Supporting Member
Feedback Score: 4 reviews
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: WI
Posts: 9,934
Quote:
Originally Posted by straightblues View Post
Well I don't know how I want it that is why I am asking the question. I have played Hamer guitars with three pots (2 volumes, 1 tone) and strats with 1 volume and 2 tones. I've liked both. I have mainly been a Gibson guy with 4 pots and a tele guy with 2. So I don't have a real strong preference for either at this point and could get used to either.

What I am asking is for everyone to answer it for yourself and tell me why you would do it that way.
I would go with one tone & one volume. That's my personal preference. Simple layout that allows for very fast tone & volume adjustments.
I have two Hamers and HATE the two volumes. I plan on modifying them in the near future to have one tone & one volume.
__________________
Good Deals With

http://www.thegearpage.net/board/sho...&postcount=256
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 10-16-2011, 08:38 PM
NashSG NashSG is offline
Senior Member
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Kentucky
Posts: 1,608
I'd say it kind of depends on what you use the volume knob to do. I don't play the strat setup but with the Gibson style electronics, I think having the volume to be able to blend the pickups in the middle position is a good thing as you can dial in the amount from each pickup.

Now if you play live and want and use the volume knob to do swells etc., it won't be the way to go. I don't really do that, so it isn't a big loss to me, but I know there are some Strat players which that is a tool in their playing.

I'd guess the way some of those Gretsch guitars are wired would be a compromise, as they have that other master volume knob.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 10-17-2011, 08:55 AM
straightblues straightblues is offline
Senior Member
Feedback Score: 1 reviews
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: So. Cal.
Posts: 5,597
Volume swells are a part of it for sure.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 10-17-2011, 11:12 AM
ant_riv ant_riv is offline
Senior Member
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 991
My preference is for two volumes and one tone (or two tones) with humbuckers.

But I have played strats since 1974 and never felt the need to change from the one volume, two tone set-up.

As mentioned, it depends on whether blending two pups together is preferable. On a strat, I control the blend by the height of the pups, and have never had a reason/need to blend them further once I set them for "quack". On a two hum guitar, I prefer having multiple blend options.

IMO and YMMV.

Best wishes on figuring out what you want. You can always try one way, and then switch it to the other if it doesn't work out as desired.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 10-17-2011, 12:46 PM
old goat old goat is offline
Senior Member
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: sacramento
Posts: 446
one volume--when you're changing the volume to solo or backup you don't want to have to guess which knob to turn--and the volume knob should be as close to your right hand as possible. I would wire all three pickups into the volume--if you want to control volume from the guitar I don't see why you wouldn't do it for the middle pickup as well. As far as tone--I like separate tone for all pickups so I can set them and leave them. (Of my three guitars none of them have spearate tone on all pickups--s strat a gretsch and a tele). If you're committed to 3 knobs I'd put one tone on the bridge to tame the treble--I sure wish my stat had tone on the bridge--and one on the neck, to get that mellow jazzy sound. If I only had one tone knob I'd probably just run the bridge through it--I personally don't hear the need to decrease the treble on neck and middle.

If you want to see what can be done with the pots on a guitar watch some Bill Kirchen videos--the guy never stops turning the knobs and switching pickups,, even does a pretty good wah wah with the tone control. Not easy to do--I've tried.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 10-17-2011, 04:29 PM
straightblues straightblues is offline
Senior Member
Feedback Score: 1 reviews
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: So. Cal.
Posts: 5,597
Thanks for the input guys. I think I am leaning towards 1 volume and either 1 or 2 tones.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 10-17-2011, 04:38 PM
kugelblitz kugelblitz is offline
Senior Member
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Central Coast, NSW, Australia
Posts: 1,046
If you are going with one tone, I would wire it to control the bridge only, not the bridge and neck as you mention in your first post. Otherwise you will be constantly adjusting it whenever you switch between these positions. When you play, just set your pedals and amp controls to a tone you like from the neck pickup, and then adjust the bridge tone to tame the highs a bit.
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smgbad View Post
I SAW A MOTHER F#%!#@ PTERODACTYL!
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 10-17-2011, 05:52 PM
fumbler fumbler is offline
Senior Member
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: The Garden State!!!
Posts: 1,487
All my strats get rewired master volume/master tone/blender. Very versatile. I could not do without the neck/middle sound, by the way. And I love the bridge/neck combo AND bridge with a little bit of neck AND also neck with a little bit of bridge that the blender allows.

But that's why they have chocolate AND vanilla. Wire it how you want.
__________________
I have discovered a truly remarkable proof of which key "Sweet Home Alabama" is in which this margin is too small to contain.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 10-17-2011, 05:57 PM
baimun baimun is offline
Senior Member
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 1,269
Depends on the pickups.


I find the tone controls MUCH more useful on single coil guitars.... on Humbucking guitars, I'm fine with volume only... tone knobs are take-em-or-leave-em.


So... three pots with Humbuckers.... Vol-Vol-Tone

Same with Singles - Vol- Tone-Tone (with one for bridge and the other for the neck pickups, ala Eric Johnson.)
__________________
"Oh yeah....you crazy. :-) " - Ron Thorn
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 10-17-2011, 06:18 PM
Distorque Distorque is offline
Member
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 94
I'd do Vol-Tone-Something different.

For example, you could put in a bass cut pot. See this: http://www.metalguitarist.org/forum/...-bass-cut.html
__________________
My site: http://sites.google.com/site/distorque/
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 10-17-2011, 06:31 PM
dshobe dshobe is online now
Silver Supporting Member
Feedback Score: 27 reviews
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Mile High
Posts: 1,589
Volume, tone, blender. All 3 pups at once? Ah yeah! Search youtune for a blender equipped strat, very cool.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 10-17-2011, 06:34 PM
frankie5fingers frankie5fingers is offline
Senior Member
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: OH... no
Posts: 1,394
FWIW. A couple of years ago I built a 3 P90 guitar and drilled 5 holes, 3 volume, 1 tone, and a switch. The original idea was to have the (RW) middle always on, the blend in one or both of the other two as desired, using the switch to move from neck, to bridge, or both....Big mistake.
The middle always on just defeated the Stratty quack I wanted, and the complicated wiring "weakened" the output (I know it couldn't - but I'll call it that anyway). Without reliving the details, I finally wound up completely rewiring to have one tone, a switched middle, and three separate volumes. It's much (much) better that way, (although in the future I"ll go with just one volume and one tone). Simple to wire and more importantly, simpler to use. Like I said, FWIW. If you'd like the diagram, lemme know.
__________________
"Quotation: The act of repeating the words of another erroneously" - A. Bierce
Smooth transactions with 100 or so TGPers, several dozen Ebayers (100% feedback) and hundreds of deals made the old fashioned way ... in person.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 10:40 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright ©1999-2014, The Gear Page, LLC, Brian Scherzer
All rights reserved.
Banner Design: Chris Sileo