Brian May switching

Discussion in 'Luthier's Guitar & Bass Technical Discussion' started by Gargoyle, Dec 22, 2009.


  1. Gargoyle

    Gargoyle Member

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    Guys, just after some advice on Brian May type switching. I have the layout/schematic ok its just knowing which switches to use.

    I am thinking these
    http://www.allparts.com/On-On-Slide-Switch-p/ep-0260-023.htm

    or maybe these

    http://www.allparts.com/Chrome-Mini-Switch-p/ep-0081-010.htm

    for both the on/off and phase switches. Am i on the right track here? Would welcome any suggestions.

    Also, does Brian have the middle pickup RWRP.
    What capacitor value is recommended?

    Thanks guys and all the best for the festive season.
    Mick
     
  2. Ron Thorn

    Ron Thorn Gold Supporting Member

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    Hey Mick,

    Both of those switches will work for either the On/Off or the Phase switches.

    I believe his Bridge pickup is the reverse polarity one, I'm going off of memory though.

    The boys on this forum can confirm everything, including what color socks Brian is wearing today:

    http://redspecial.freeforums.org/portal.php

    Good luck,
    ron
     
  3. cc9cii

    cc9cii Member

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    Brian May wiring uses specialised switches, 4P3T, half on-on-on and half on-off-on. I'll see if I can dig up a link to the supplier.

    EDIT: this is the switch
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2009
  4. Gargoyle

    Gargoyle Member

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    Ron & cc9cii, you guys are legends , thanks. :beer
    I'll check out that forum, Ron.
    Cheers
    Mick
     
  5. Gargoyle

    Gargoyle Member

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    cc9cii, you have me thinking, ayone out there done the BM switching using only 3 switches instead of the 6?
    If so a diagram would be most welcome.
    Cheers
    Mick
     
  6. cc9cii

    cc9cii Member

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    I suspect you have to be a member to get access to this diagram.
     
  7. Gargoyle

    Gargoyle Member

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  8. Bill Brasky

    Bill Brasky Senior Member

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    I would use a .015 cap. Those mini-switches are tough to work on because all those solder points are so close to each other and they quickly heat up and start to melt the switch if you linger too long in one spot. There used to be a lot of info a Scott's Crispy Creme treble booster site. IIRC, the middle was RWRP because that yielded the most hum canceling pickup combinations though if you're using Trisonics with chrome covers, I found them to be VERY quiet pickups in all positions, even with the gain cranked to the max. The 3 switch method is the way to go IMO.
     
  9. Gargoyle

    Gargoyle Member

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    Bill,

    I agree on the 0.015 cap, especially as the spec calls for 250k pots. Still trying to get as many diagrams as possible for the 3 switch layout. Don't want to get 3 toggles in only to find it doesn't work as hoped.
    Cheers
    Mick
     
  10. Bill Brasky

    Bill Brasky Senior Member

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    There's a cool slightly modified version of the 3 switch layout described on Scott's Crispy Creme site. You just wire the switch for the bridge to be off/on (in series)/on (in parallel). That gives you the Brian May sounds plus Strat and Tele type parallel sounds. I'd really like to try this wiring layout with 3 different types of pickups instead of 3 of same single coils, say a bridge mini-HB, a p90 in the middle and a Strat SC in the neck. Think of all the tone possibilities in one guitar.
     
  11. Gargoyle

    Gargoyle Member

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    Bill,

    I agree, this would add even more versatility.
    I am having trouble getting many wiring diagrams for a 3 switch setup. Scott's site only really has 6 or more switches from what I can see.
    Would be grateful if you have a link to a 3 switch setup taht you could forward to me.
    Thanks Bill.
    Cheers
    Mick
     
  12. Bill Brasky

    Bill Brasky Senior Member

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  13. cc9cii

    cc9cii Member

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    ??? Did you check out the diagram I suggested earlier? It uses 3 toggle switches (the switch link I provided earlier). It is easy to become a member, and IMHO it is a fine place to hang out, anyhow.
     
  14. wavey63

    wavey63 Member

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    Just my $.02 but I tried this setup a while ago. I have been a HUGe May an for over 20 years and when I finally had the guts I wired up an old pickguard to exact May specs with only diff being I used Fender SC's. I was totally dissapointed with the tone of most of the pickup combos. The ones I was most happy with was the ones available with my normal strat mod. Not sure if pickups make that much of a difference but I didn't like it. I hope yours works better for you than me. Good luck!!:banana:thud
     
  15. Gargoyle

    Gargoyle Member

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    CC9Cii & Bill, I have checked them out. Sorry to have not replied, wife has been ill.
    Got another slightly different one from Mark Reynolds at Red Special forum.

    I am going to have to get the switches from the U.S. they seem to be quite difficult to locate downunder.
    Thanks again guys...
     
  16. Gargoyle

    Gargoyle Member

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    Wavey, cheers mate... I am hoping as well
     
  17. pasqualejoe

    pasqualejoe Member

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    Go with the wiring and switches recommended by Mark Reynolds....also, proper cap value for a BM style wiring is 0.022uf (100-400V) oil filled, like a Sprague VitQ or one of the many Russian oil filled avaiable.
     
  18. Chiba

    Chiba Gold Supporting Member

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    Since the BM switches are only 2-position, how can they be on-anything-on?

    Both those switches will do the trick, but the slider is more aesthetically accurate :)

    As far as the switching... there's lots of options. Ron Thorn (posted earlier) made a guitar for me with the Seymour Duncan Brian May pickups. I didn't want 6 switches on it, so he figured out a wiring scheme using a 5-position Superswitch and two mini-toggles. I get most of the sounds you can get with the 6 slider switches, and IMO all of the useful ones. I spent a lot of time with my Brian May guitar deciding which pickup combinations were useful and Ron spent a ton of time figuring out the wiring on my Thorn.

    I toyed around with cap & pot values once I got the guitar and ended up with a pot measuring 330K and a .022 cap.

    Anyway, good luck with your project!

    --chiba
     

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