Two volumes on a strat?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Guitar & Bass Technical Discussion' started by Zingeroo, Mar 3, 2012.

  1. Zingeroo

    Zingeroo Member

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    I was playing a buddy's Les Paul (i'm a Strat man, myself) and I like how you can set the volume of each pickup separately. Then I was thinking, why not with a Strat? I've got an HSS strat. One volume for bridge, another for neck and middle. One tone pot. Anyone try this?

    Edit: I currently have my strat wired as per the 50s Gibson, adapted for strat: http://www.premierguitar.com/Magazine/Issue/2009/Jul/Gibson_50s_wiring_on_a_Stratocaster.aspx
    I like how it retains treble as I turn down the pot. But can I keep that and still do the two volume scheme?
     
  2. Sensible Musician

    Sensible Musician Member

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    Sure no prob. You do understand that with "50's wiring" the center position on a LP drops to the cumulative effect of both volumes? I.e. it's not a blend.

    There is a real easy schemo for a blend pot where your controls are master vol, master tone, and blend pot. The blend pot brings up the volume of bridge in pos 4&5, or neck in position 1&2. That might be more what you are looking for.

    Here is a schemo for what you describe:
    [​IMG]

    I drew it with a 4-pole switch because they are easy to find. Without drawing it, I believe it would be a little easier using a regular 2-pole strat switch and a dual ganged pot, but I'm thinking guitar stores don't carry those pots.
     
  3. walterw

    walterw Gold Supporting Member

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    you can't use two volumes and a master tone without having "50s wiring"!

    the tone has to be after both volumes, which necessarily puts it on the outputs of the volumes (center lugs); that's all 50s wiring is.

    (personally i don't like it; if you turn one knob down a little, the other acts totally different; backing off the volume makes the tone act like another volume knob for the first half of its travel, while backing off the tone makes the volume knob drop off way more drastically.)
     
  4. fumbler

    fumbler Member

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    My 2 cents: All my strats get wired master volume/master tone/blender(neck-bridge).

    The blender allows you to blend in a little neck with your bridge or a little bridge with your neck (and more); all without affecting the overall volume. Very easy and intuitive to use on stage (without looking!)

    I've never tried it with 50's wiring but it can be done that way. I prefer to use a SUBTLE treble bleed cap/resistor if the guitar needs it.
     
  5. scotchtape800

    scotchtape800 Member

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    IMO (not an expert) you cannot wire this up unless you have some seriously complicated wiring OR have a single volume for each pickup, and have the volumes before the pickup selector.

    On "normal" LP wiring, each pickup DOES NOT have its own volume when the pickup selector is in the middle. BOTH volume pots affect the entire circuit.

    However you can wire it up for independent volume control:
    http://www.stewmac.com/freeinfo/Electronics/Misc/i-4000/i-4000_4.html

    The reason why it works in the Jazz Bass is because the pickup gets wired to the volume first, then to the selector switch. So each pickup gets its own volume pot. If you put the selector BEFORE the volume pots (usual strat wiring), you CANNOT give "each pickup it's own volume" pot. They will both be shared.

    The blend knob is a good compromise. But obviously if you are in positions 4 and 5, it's not going to do anything.
     
  6. fumbler

    fumbler Member

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    A "normal" neck/bridge blender control has an effect in all positions except the 3rd position (middle pup).
     
  7. walterw

    walterw Gold Supporting Member

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    That's not true either;

    with stock Gibson wiring, you absolutely can turn one pickup down; it's just that you can't turn it off without shutting everything off.

    Jazz bass-style independent wiring "fixes" this issue, but at the cost of tone and pot taper (which is why Gibson doesn't do it that way).
     
  8. rumblebox

    rumblebox Member

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    I did this with my dad's strat. The bridge has its own volume, and the neck/middle share a volume.

    On my old strat i had 3 volumes with resistors to simulate tone pots on 10.
     
  9. Sensible Musician

    Sensible Musician Member

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    second post shows a very easy schemo using parts that any guitar player can find.
     
  10. macatt

    macatt Member

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    I like to back off the tone on the bridge pickup but never on the middle or neck pickups. With a master tone I would have to adjust the tone every time I switched between the bridge position and middle or neck positions.

    So to avoid that I wire the tone to work the bridge only. No tone on the other positions. That way I can pre-set the bridge tone and not have to mess with it when I change positions during a song.
    (the tone is still active in position 2 and when using the blender, but you can avoid that too if you use a super switch)

    Master volume
    Neck/bridge blender
    Bridge tone

    S Mac
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2012
  11. Zingeroo

    Zingeroo Member

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    I want separate volumes not to blend, but so I can switch volumes from the neck (cleaner rhythm) to bridge (crunchier lead)
    My amp cleans up well with volume changes, while maintaining a pretty consistent volume, so I wanted to take advantage of this with my guitar.
    Thanks everyone for your input.
     
  12. walterw

    walterw Gold Supporting Member

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    You could do it with a stock 5-way!

    I'll conceptualize, and maybe somebody can draw it up:

    Remove the jumper across the two sides of the 5-way (this is what patches the tone pot side and the pickup side together).

    One side of the switch will now be just for the bridge pickup, and the other side just for the neck and middle.

    The pickups will go to their respective lugs, with the master lug of each side going to its own volume pot.

    The outputs of the two volume pots will then both meet at the tone pot, and then go on to the jack.
     
  13. Zingeroo

    Zingeroo Member

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    Did a little googling and here's what I found... but I want the 50s style wiring, would all I have to modify would move the wire from the tone pots to the volume pots from the left lug of the volume pot to the center lug? If I'm not mistaken, that would be the only change?

    http://guitarnuts2.proboards.com/index.cgi?board=schem&action=display&thread=3157
     

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