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3 pickups, 3-way switch, and a blender pot?

viper jazz

Member
Messages
89
I'm working on a Jazzmaster that's a JM kinda in name only--it has a neck lipstick, middle lipstick, and a bridge minihumbucker.

Furthermore, it has a 3-way pickup switch, and 3 knobs currently. (No wheels or additional switches.)

I'm trying to wire it up so that the neck and bridge pickups operate "normally" w/ the 3-way switch and a master volume and a master tone knob. Then the middle pickup would operate on a 3rd blender knob?

I THINK this is doable? For some reason wrapping my head around the 3-way switch AND the blender knob is proving impossible for me. Any diagrams I can reference that you know of? Thanks in advance!
 

Deed_Poll

Member
Messages
3,091
Yes, that sounds very possible to me. I'd be looking up something like a Nashville Telecaster? Did they have a similar system only with a push/pull or something instead of the blender pot?
 

sfguitarworks

Member
Messages
212
It won't really be a blender per se, but a separate volume pot for the middle pickup only. Just wire it like a 2 pickup Jazz Bass, but have your switch output go to the middle lug of one volume, the middle pickup hot goes to the middle lug of the other volume. The left, non-ground, lugs are joined and then head to the jack. It's pretty simple. Good luck!
 

viper jazz

Member
Messages
89
It won't really be a blender per se, but a separate volume pot for the middle pickup only. Just wire it like a 2 pickup Jazz Bass, but have your switch output go to the middle lug of one volume, the middle pickup hot goes to the middle lug of the other volume. The left, non-ground, lugs are joined and then head to the jack. It's pretty simple. Good luck!
Will this result in the scenario where turning down the middle pickup's volume all the way will result in all 3 pickups cutting out (like Gibson wiring?).

I'm mildly worried that the scenario described here will occur: https://www.thegearpage.net/board/index.php?threads/alt-3-position-strat-wiring.973910/
 

walterw

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
37,580
Will this result in the scenario where turning down the middle pickup's volume all the way will result in all 3 pickups cutting out (like Gibson wiring?).
no.

i actually just finished setting up an ibanez talman that was wired just this way, as far as i can tell stock from the factory!

it works but you do have some trade-offs:
Just wire it like a 2 pickup Jazz Bass
that means sending the pickups to the middle lugs of the volumes instead of the clockwise lugs, in order to allow for turning one volume all the way off and still hearing the other pickup. this "independent" wiring causes significant tone loss and a lousy sweep on the knob when you turn the volumes down compared to the "normal" way. it also leaves residual noise with the knob on "0" instead of actual silence. not a big deal on a bass but with a high gain guitar rig you'll still hear noise even when the knob's all the way down.

that's why gibson doesn't wire their guitars this way.
 
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walterw

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
37,580
my vote if you want to mostly use it as a 2-pickup guitar is to wire it "2-pickup normal" with the main 3-way toggle and a normally wired volume, then use a switch to kick the middle pickup in or out. it could even be a fancy 3-way rotary switch or something, wired to either have no middle, middle added in, or middle by itself.

this has the benefit of zero tone loss from the extra pot resistance in the circuit.

you could also have the middle pickup on a volume that's still wired "backwards" and have that be "under" the main volume (wired normally). this would let you roll off the middle and have the rest still work, then roll it back in an have the main volume affect everything. more importantly that main volume will have the right tone and taper when you turn it down. the drawback there is that you couldn't have the middle pickup by itself.
 

viper jazz

Member
Messages
89
you could also have the middle pickup on a volume that's still wired "backwards" and have that be "under" the main volume (wired normally). this would let you roll off the middle and have the rest still work, then roll it back in an have the main volume affect everything. more importantly that main volume will have the right tone and taper when you turn it down. the drawback there is that you couldn't have the middle pickup by itself.
Thanks much for your clarification! I'd likely go the route you describe above as I wouldn't have to wait and order a switch...

Is this the scenario you're describing?:
https://web.archive.org/web/20071101141053/http://users.adelphia.net/~cygnusx_1/novak_jpeg.html

If so, how would I wire a 3-way toggle instead of the Strat/Tele style switch? Thanks for your patience as this has tied my brain in knots!
 

jvin248

Member
Messages
4,873
.

Nashville Tele

Brent Mason Tele (his original silver one with three pickups has a blender, he's had some other signature guitars that are wired different).

Armstrong Blender Mod - used on Strats with a 5-way and is what I wire all my player Strats with. Probably works with a 3-way but you give up the 'in-between' 2 & 4 options.

 

viper jazz

Member
Messages
89
my vote if you want to mostly use it as a 2-pickup guitar is to wire it "2-pickup normal" with the main 3-way toggle and a normally wired volume, then use a switch to kick the middle pickup in or out. it could even be a fancy 3-way rotary switch or something, wired to either have no middle, middle added in, or middle by itself.
What kind of switch or rotary would I need for this? DPDT, etc
 

walterw

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
37,580
What kind of switch or rotary would I need for this? DPDT, etc
let's step back a little bit:

what sounds are you actually trying to get? what sounds do you find absent from regular strat 5-way switching that you actually want to use?
 

viper jazz

Member
Messages
89
let's step back a little bit:

what sounds are you actually trying to get? what sounds do you find absent from regular strat 5-way switching that you actually want to use?
It's more a case of using the pickguard and materials I have...this was a two-pickup guitar that I'm adding another pickup to!

I'm trying to avoid having a custom pickguard made for a 5-way switch, and I also liked the idea of blending pickups so was trying to get both. But maybe that's overcomplicating things and I should bite the bullet and get a pickguard that would allow me to wire it up like a Strat?
 




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