Three-way switch on Strat

Carbohydrates

Member
Messages
3,053
Probably not much. My CS repro strat came with a 3 way switch installed for ~vintage accuracy~ and I had the store pop a 5 way in before I took it home.
 

eigentone

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
9,875
It's useful if you only ever want one pup at a time.

With a 5 way in positions 2 and 4, two of the pickups are wired in parallel. Positions 1, 3, and 5 function identical to the corresponding positions on a 3 way switch. So the 3 way simply reduces your options. It doesn't make for a better tone or anything.

As a bonus on a 5 way: You can hit the hum-cancelling positions if your set is RWRP.
 
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59Bassman

Plank Cranker
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
3,557
I could see it if for some reason you never wanted the option of just the middle pickup, but also wanted all three pickups on at once. You'd wire the neck and bridge to a 3 way and then have the middle connected to another switch or pot to blend it in. Other than that, I can't see any reason for it.
 

Da Geezer

Member
Messages
5,037
On an HH strat, sure.
Even on my HH, I still prefer a 5-way

I have it wired so 1 is the bridge, 5 is the neck, and 2-3-4 are all both pickups.
Since I mostly live in the "both pickups" mode, it simplifies it for me....if the switch isn't to either extreme position, I know both pickups are "on"
 
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C-4

Member
Messages
15,492
As much as I like single coil pickups, I've gotten to the point that I want hum cancelling single coil size pickups only. In a band mix on stage, the slight difference in sound cannot be heard in the mix, but the noise, for me, has become impossible to live with.
 

Chicago Slim

Member
Messages
5,048
I have thought about a 3-way switch, because I would usually wire my Strats so that I can use the bridge and neck pickups, together. Then I started playing HH Strats, with a super switch. That way I can get the bridge and neck outer coils, bridge and neck inner coils for that out of phase sound, and bridge humbucker. Those are the three sounds I use. I almost never use the neck as a humbucker or both humbuckers, together.
 

Chuckracer

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,134
I prefer the feel of a three-way. Five -ways are just a little too fiddly for me...the slightest bump and I'm somewhere else wondering what happened.
The flexibility of a five-way is awesome, though. Like anything there's a compromise and it really depends on your pickup layout.

HH like my Severn? Heck yeah...give me a three-way and a pull-tone to split the coils. HSH? That's what I'm using on my Anderson. Gonna need a 5 way I'm afraid, still with the pull-to-split tone control. Gotta get that "quack".
 




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