5 way switch in a Fat Tele?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Guitar & Bass Technical Discussion' started by atomheartmother, Dec 11, 2004.


  1. atomheartmother

    atomheartmother Senior Member

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    I'm putting a humbucker in the neck of my Tele copy and am going to have the guy winding my pickup to do it 4 conductor style. I've heard that you can use a 5 way switch to split the neck humbucker so the positions look like this:

    5th (all the way up): neck hum
    4th: split neck hum
    3rd: hum and bridge
    2nd: split hum and bridge
    1st: bridge


    Anyone have a diagram for this that is understandable? I found one at Mr Gearhead that was OK. I might be able to figure it out with that...maybe.

    Also, do you need a special 5 way Tele switch? Would a 5 way Strat switch work? Where can I get one?

    Thanks.
     
  2. Clorenzo

    Clorenzo Member

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    I guess you mean the "US Fat Tele" diagram in Mr Gearhead.

    That is not a standard Strat switch, it's a 2P5T switch like this one: http://wdmusicproducts.com/Merchant...WMPI&Product_Code=WDE5DL&Category_Code=SWTCHS

    The colour code used in the diagram for the humbucker is:

    - Green is hot
    - Black and white are the two you solder together (as in the red and white in a Seymour Duncan)
    - Red is ground

    Make sure that whoever is winding your humbucker makes the coil closest to the neck rw/rp with respect to the bridge pickup. That way you will have hum cancellation in position 2.
     
  3. bek

    bek Member

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  4. Clorenzo

    Clorenzo Member

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    ...also it's not very clear in the diagram but the thing that you have to "wrap with shrink tubing" (a 270k resistor according to the parts list) goes between where the bridge pickup hot connects to the switch and ground. The pots are 500k, normally used with humbuckers, so what that resistor is doing is making the load on the positions that include the bridge pickup appear as if the pots were 250k.
     
  5. atomheartmother

    atomheartmother Senior Member

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    I've been using 500K pots with this Tele anyway, so I wouldn't need that resistor would I?

    So I need fancy switch like that? Something simpler and cheaper wouldn't work as well?
     
  6. atomheartmother

    atomheartmother Senior Member

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    Anyone else got any suggestions?
     
  7. Clorenzo

    Clorenzo Member

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    Correct, if you're happy with the bridge pickup tone as it is, you don't need the resistor.

    I've given it some thought and it is possible to use a normal Strat switch like this one: http://wdmusicproducts.com/Merchant...e=WMPI&Product_Code=WDE5&Category_Code=SWTCHS

    The only thing is that the order of the positions will have to be as follows:

    5th (all the way up): split neck hum
    4th: split hum and bridge
    3rd: neck hum
    2nd: hum and bridge
    1st: bridge

    I guess that's the reason why Fender used the special switch, to have the full humbucker in position 5 which is more logical. Anyway, here's the instructions in case you're happy with that order:

    As a reference, take the diagram for the Deluxe Nashville Tele, where the switch, a standard 5-way Strat one as above, looks like this (the * are the lugs):

    * <- 1
    2 -> *
    * <- 3
    4 -> *
    * <- 5
    6 -> *
    * <- 7
    8 -> *

    The connections would go like this:

    1 -> Bridge hot
    3 -> Neck hot
    5 -> Neck "middle" wire (the two wires you solder together)
    7 -> To vol. pot
    2 -> Not connected
    4 -> Not connected
    6 -> Connected to 1
    8 -> Connected to 5
     
  8. John Phillips

    John Phillips Member

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    There's another possible scheme using a standard 5-way that goes like this:

    1 - full neck HB
    2 - neck single-coil (coil closest neck)
    3 - both pickups (not quite in normal parallel - the bridge pickup is in parallel with one coil of the humbucker, the other coil is in series with both)
    4 - neck single-coil (coil closest to bridge) and bridge pickup in parallel
    5 - bridge pickup

    ... which is almost exactly what you want.

    5-way switching for humbucker & single coil

    Good range of sounds, and if you arrange the right magnetic polarites for the pickups, you can make all the settings except the two individual single-coils hum cancelling.

    You'll have to work out which coil is which on the neck pickup from the wiring diagram you get with it. The 'coil split' is the junction of two wires as Carlos mentioned above.
     
  9. atomheartmother

    atomheartmother Senior Member

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    So in this configuration, the all the up position (that would normally be the neck pickup in a Strat), would be the bridge pickup?

    Still seems a little confusing to me. Maybe I'll have a tech do it for me and just pay an arm and a leg...


    After looking at the Mr Gear Head diagram again, it seems to list the neck pickup as having 5 wires. I don't understand that.
     
  10. atomheartmother

    atomheartmother Senior Member

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    Is this the switch that I'd need to do the MGH diagram?

    http://www.acmeguitarworks.com/Single-Wafer-Superswitch-Oak-Grigsby-P402C10.aspx

    It's about the same price as a regular switch, so maybe I'll go with this one if this is the right one.

    Again though...what's up with the 5 wires of neck pickup in the MGH diagram (I think they were...yellow, green, red, black, bare). I thought 4 conductor humbuckers only had 4 wires.
     
  11. Clorenzo

    Clorenzo Member

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    John just used the "normal" numbering of positions, which is 1 to 5 going from neck to bridge. Confusingly, Fender numbers them the other way round. Just ignore the numbers, the all up will be neck and the all down bridge.
     
  12. Clorenzo

    Clorenzo Member

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    Yes that's the right one.

    No, usually they have 5. The bare wire connects to the metal casing of the pickup and should be connected to ground.
     
  13. atomheartmother

    atomheartmother Senior Member

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    Final question, are all Strat/Tele switches pretty much standardized in size and dimensions, etc? I'd really rather not buy a $20 switch online and then have it not fit in my Tele copy. The current switch is one of those switches with the little circuit board that you commonly find in import guitars.
     
  14. wooldl

    wooldl Supporting Member

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  15. atomheartmother

    atomheartmother Senior Member

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    In addition to my standardized switch question, I have another question about the MrGearHead diagram. They list which color wire goes where, but they don't say what those color wires correspond to (hot, ground, etc). The pickup that I'm going to get probably won't have color wires that correspond to the same function of those of the Fender wires. For example, the green wire on the fender pickup might mean something different than the green wire on my pickup.

    Also, in the diagrams you guys gave me as well as a few others, you tie two wires from the neck pickup together and solder them to one place. In the MGH diagram, they don't do anything like that, I think. Or is that what they're doing with the red and bare wires?

    http://www.mrgearhead.com/faq/pdf/diagrams/USFATTELE/SD0108000BPg2.pdf
     
  16. Clorenzo

    Clorenzo Member

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    Please see my first message on this thread.

    If you look carefully, the black and white wires are effectively tied together.
     
  17. atomheartmother

    atomheartmother Senior Member

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    Oh I see. You mean there is a little jumper wire from the little connector that the black goes to to the connector where the white goes to.

    So I'll need to buy extra jumper wire? Any specific kind of wire?
     

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