Strat Mod Ideas, Possible?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Guitar & Bass Technical Discussion' started by got 24 frets, Mar 17, 2005.

  1. got 24 frets

    got 24 frets Guest

    I was wanting to build my own dream strat. Upon doing this I concluded that I wanted to have the 1st tone knob control neck and bridge and have the 2nd knob control the middle pickup. I know the standard op is to have have 2nd knob control both middle and bridge, but I want to be able to get some quacky tones from the middle&bridge that I can fiddle with just as much as when I'm in the neck&middle. Is this at all possible? It doesn't seem that hard to do. Thanks in advance for any help.
  2. angelo

    angelo Member

    Feb 8, 2002
    far west chicago
    yes ---

    I am sorry, I can't help though.

    I have "jumpered" the wiring to have 1st tone do neck and middle and the second do just bridge. And can help with that.

    Someone will be able to help you here. I just wanted to jump in and let you know it is possible.
  3. Jim Collins

    Jim Collins Member

    Jan 4, 2002
    Pleasanton, CA
    Let me ask a question, first. Did you pick this wiring scheme because you want two tone controls active whenever you are in one of the parallel positions? Furthermore, do you expect each tone control to modify its respective pickup? If so, the wiring is quite a bit different from stock Strat, or even the mod you mentioned. In stock wiring, and the mod you mentioned, one of the two parallel positions will have two tone controls in effect, but the tone controls will not operate independently. They operate on the combined sound of the two pickups, with the tone control that rolls off the most, in effect, winning the game.

    I suspect that isn't what you want. I suspect you want, in each parallel position, the two tone controls to operate independently, and each on only one pickup. I believe that is possible, though the wiring is quite a bit different from standard Strat wiring.

    The idea, here, is to wire the middle pickup directly to its tone control, and go from that tone control to the switch. The other two pickups get wired directly to one side of the switch. The output of that side of the switch will go to the other tone control. From that tone control, it goes back to the switch.

    My drawing capabilities on this computer are very limited. I started out with an old Duncan diagram, and erased and pasted, as best I could. I used different colors only to ease confusion when lines crossed. Now, I've never tried this. In fact, I just dreamed it up, but it ought to work.

    Just a clarification. The red line IS connected to that lug on the tone pot.

  4. Clorenzo

    Clorenzo Member

    Jun 16, 2004
    Munich / Madrid
    I don't think it's possible to have two pickups connected together in parellel and have independent tone controls for each pickup. As soon as you select both pickups, there is a common circuit node for the two hot wires and hence for the two tone controls, so each pickups "sees" the loading of both tone controls paralleled.

    Jim, it looks as if your wiring effectively has the first tone control wired as a master tone, since it's directly connected to the vol pot, so it would be active in all positions and the other one will be active too in positions 2, 3 and 4. I think it shoud go:

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

    1 - Bridge hot
    2 - Connected to 7 and to the volume pot
    3 - Middle hot
    4 - Connected to 8 and to the Neck/Bridge tone pot
    5 - Neck hot
    6 - Connected to the Middle tone pot
    7 - Connected to 2
    8 - Connected to 4

    This should give:

    1 - Neck, N/B tone active
    2 - Neck + Middle, both tones active
    3 - Middle, M tone active
    4 - Middle + Bridge, both tones active
    5 - Bridge, N/B tone active
  5. Jim Collins

    Jim Collins Member

    Jan 4, 2002
    Pleasanton, CA
    Clorenzo, you are correct. I thought about this after I posted it, and I realized that the neck/bridge tone control is always in the circuit. I wonder if it would be possible to do this with a super switch -- a 4P5T switch.

    The thing a lot of people do, to avoid having two tone controls in any one position, is to adopt a Jimmy Vaughan style of wiring, where the middle pickup, alone, has no tone control.
  6. Deaf Eddie

    Deaf Eddie Member

    Oct 28, 2004
    Sunny Sandy Eggo
    NO, as it was stated above, once you parallel the pups, then anything attached to either pup is gonna affect the tone of both - so no "this-tone-on-that-pup and that-tone-on-this-pup" is possible while using combinations of pups. Two tones is two tones....

    BUT, YES, with a SuperSwitch you can select a single, specific tone control (or NO tone control) for each pickup combination, and I can draw it up for you, no worries, just tell me what you want.
  7. Greggy

    Greggy Member

    May 8, 2002
    The Antipodes To All That is Sacred and Pure
    Yep, that's what i did. Works well.

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