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Vintage 1962 Stratocaster Pickups... Positon 2 and 4 woes!

Paulycw

Member
Messages
16
I've got a 62 strat that had original wiring when I got it. I had a 5 way switch put in, and now I'm starting to wonder if something may be wired up incorrectly.

The pickups sound incredible by themselves, but my "tweeners" - my 2 and 4 positions, just don't sparkle the way they should. The pickups have such clarity and punch, but when I get to the "tweeners", they don't get the twang that I know they can (think SRV records...). They get dull, quacky, and lose a fair amount of volume.

Am I missing any tricks involving vintage strat wiring? Maybe something in regard to reverse winding or reverse polarity?
 

Paulycw

Member
Messages
16
I will gladly do so... tomorrow. I've got a gig in a few hours and don't want to tear it apart beforehand. Soon enough.
 

walterw

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
39,221
Sounds like your middle PUP may be wired out of phase.
my first thought too, but "dull" usually implies less treble, while an out-of-polarity middle would be thin, meaning plenty of treble but no bass.

maybe there's something going on with the tone pots? if they're doubled up to where the 2 and 4 each have 2 tone pots loading them, that would make things "dull" while the individual pickups (with only one tone pot at a time) still sounded good.
 

korus

Member
Messages
1,378
what walterw said
check the tone pots whether one of them work on both bridge AND neck (1 and 5), and the other works on middle (3), then both will work on 2 and 4, and kill some treble and volume even when both tone pots are on 10., esp if the cap(s) used is/are vintage correct 0.1 (100nF)
 

Paulycw

Member
Messages
16
It's a real 62 that i resurrected after it sat in a garage for 40 years... It's definitely NOT out of phase. I might be with mc5nrg here, it does still sound good... but there is just no sparkle in the tweeners. It doesn't sound like other earlier 60's strats that i've heard...

I'll get pics and a video so y'all can hear it.
 

Don A

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
6,307
I've noticed there's a little less something in the 2-4 positions on all of them. Same thing with the middle position on guitars with two pickups.
 

walterw

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
39,221
wait, so now we're all just dismissing the M+B setting on a classic vintage strat as not being all that great anyway?
 

Don A

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
6,307
wait, so now we're all just dismissing the M+B setting on a classic vintage strat as not being all that great anyway?
Never! I love it though I've always noted a slight lack of presence compared to the pickups alone.
 

fezz parka

Member
Messages
870
The tweeners are great if you like them (I don't). Strats BITD (until '77) came with 3 way switches, and you had to "find" the tweeners. It was more fun that way. :D
 

FruscianteFuzz

Active Member
Messages
29
I agree with Jerrod. Sparkle isnt the term Id use to describe the inbetween positions. My 56 has a beautifully airy slightly compressed sound with N+M(one of my favorite) and a very typical strat quack in M+B. Take a listen the begining riffs of Soul 2 Squeeze and Snow(Hey Oh) by the Chili Peppers. In my opinion those are beautiful examples of N+M settings. The reason I suggest listening to those songs is to get your opinion on wheather or not this is what your 2nd setting sounds like. Also, he used early 60's strats on BSSM(Soul2Squeeze) and a 62 and 54 strats extensively on Stadium Arcadium[Snow(Hey Oh)]. Hope this helps.
 
Messages
2,221
The pickups load each other down in parallel. I like to add a resistor in series with the middle pickup on the 2 & 4 positions. I use a 10k. It makes those sounds as loud and powerful as the others, but still retains the tone. I think you need a 4 pole switch to avoid having a bit of attenuation on position 3, though. But, if you got the 4 pole switch, you could sort out whatever problem you may have with the tone controls.
 






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