Tele with humbucker pot/cap question

Discussion in 'Luthier's Guitar & Bass Technical Discussion' started by john b, Feb 25, 2009.

  1. john b

    john b Member

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    I've got a tele with a humbucker in the neck and traditional tele bridge pup. It's routed for a single in the middle and I'm just about to add a 5 way switch and put a strat middle pickup in there.

    Because the humbucker splits, the guitar came with a 500K push/pull tone pot and a .022 cap. This sounds great on the 'bucker but is pretty bright on the middle and bridge position. It's not anything I can't deal with with the tone control. I just have to set it way down.

    I was wondering, especially since I'm about to drop another single coil in there, would the 500k pot and .022 cap be too bright? I know that strats and teles traditionally have 250k/.047 combos, but this is how the guitar came. Would it kill the bucker if I put in a 250k/.047? Or, should I keep what's there and just keep the tone control really low on the soon to be middle and the bridge pups? What would a .033 cap do? For what it's worth, the 'bucker sounds great.
     
  2. RvChevron

    RvChevron Member

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    The tone pot and cap value have much less effect on the overall brightness than the volume pot.

    Since you're gonna put in a 5 way switch, I would use a super 5 way (4pole5way) switch and wire it to switch a 470K resistor in when using single coils setting, out when using neck humbucker.

    The 470K resistor will make the pot "sees" approximatley a 250K load when using single coils. Out of the way when using the neck humbucker alone.
     
  3. john b

    john b Member

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    Thanks for the info, much appreciated. What's a super 5 way? I'm not familiar with that?

    Could I wire a .047 across the lugs on the 5 way that the bridge and middle pup are soldered to and ground it on the vol. pot?
     
  4. RvChevron

    RvChevron Member

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    It's a 470k ohm resistor, not a .047uf capacitor, assuming you referred to a capacitor value.

    Yes you can wire one end to the hot lugs on the regular 5 way and the other end to ground.

    If you use only one resistor and wire one end to both hot lugs of mid and bridge pickup on the 5 way, you will end up having the same mid/bridge pickup combo when it's supposed to be mid pickup or bridge pickup alone. Also you'll get all three pickups in parallel when it's supposed to be just the neck humbucker and the mid single coil together.

    You will need to use two resistors, one for the mid pickup and one for the bridge pickup.

    It will work (two resistors) when you're using either the mid or bridge pickup "alone" and when choosing the neck humbucker and mid single coil together.

    The problem with this wiring is when you are using the mid and bridge pickup combo, there will be two 470K resistors in parallel and the volume pot will end up seeing: (((470+470)/4)+500)/4 = around 183K load instead of closer to 250K.

    That is like having a 183K volume control when using the mid/bridge pickup combo. You will get a even darker tone than using a 250K pot when the in-between positions are already darker than the stand alone positions. How much darker will depend on the pickups.

    You can try and see if you like it since it's much simpler and easier than using a super 5 way.

    If you don't like it, here's the 4 pole super 5 way switch:


    [​IMG]

    and here's a Suhr H/S/S wiring diagram for reference:

    [​IMG]


    With the super 5 way wired according to the diagram, the 470K resistors (R2 and 3) will get switched in and out simultaneously with the respective pickups selection.

    You'll have either 470K resistor in the circuit when using single coils pickup, either combo and alone. The resistor is completely out when using the humbucker alone.

    The diagram is for a bridge humbucker with two single coils in the neck and mid positions. Just reversed the wiring and you'll have the proper switching. Or just follow it and reverse mount the switch.

    The "1" lugs refer to the bridge position and the "5" lugs refer to the neck position and vice versa, in this diagram anyway.

    It also splits the humbucker automatically when choosing both the humbucker and the mid single coil together. This is assuming you're using a humbucker with 4 conductors.

    You see there are two .047uf capacitors(C2 and 3). This wiring will also allow the single coil selections to have a .047uf cap and a .0235uf cap "value" (brighter) when using the humbucker alone as the switch wires the two caps together in parallel in that position. The rest are using just one cap.

    There's also a treble bleed circuit ( the 150K resistor(R1) and 680pf capacitor(C1)) wired to the 500K volume pot to retains high end when it's turned down. Very useful especially with the humbucker.

    :band
     
  5. abadiemet

    abadiemet Silver Supporting Member

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    Another solution:

    Change your 500k pots to 250k pots.

    But, do not connect your humbucker to the tone pot.

    The result is clarity for the humbucker and the great, typical tones from the single-coil Tele bridge pickup.

    Only con is the lack of tone control over the neck pickup.

    I did this in a Tele I have and I'm very happy with the results.
     
  6. dcamp

    dcamp Member

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    I am also pondering this ? and I am consistently appreciative of the support by forum members.Great options.
     
  7. john b

    john b Member

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    RvChevron - thanks for the huge amount of info there. That really helps. I found the super switch on stewmac but the wiring was a little confusing. Much appreciated, you taking the time to spell it out here.

    abadiemet - that's an interesting solution too and one that seems pretty simple. The other thing I'd loose besides the tone on the 'bucker is the ability to split it, correct?
     
  8. RvChevron

    RvChevron Member

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  9. abadiemet

    abadiemet Silver Supporting Member

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    Yes, in the simple configuration I have, you would lose the ability to split the humbucker.
     
  10. john b

    john b Member

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    abadiement - just curious, how'd you wire that up so the humbucker is off the tone control but the other pups are still in the loop of the tone? Thanks.
     
  11. abadiemet

    abadiemet Silver Supporting Member

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    There is a wire connecting the Tone pot to the Volume pot.

    Disconnect that wire from the Volume pot.

    Move that lead to the Switch lug where the Bridge pickup is soldered.
     
  12. Billysgtr

    Billysgtr Member

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    Hi guys,i have a strat. How can i connect my bridge humbucker pick up to the low tone pot"?:horse
     

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