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-   -   Wiring two Humbuckers with two 4-Way Switches (http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1555011)

someone_random 08-03-2012 02:43 PM

Wiring two Humbuckers with two 4-Way Switches
 
Hello people of UG,

I am in the process of building my own custom guitar (Gibson Explorer type) and I am in need of a wiring expert.
Right now my plan is to use the Bare Knuckle Aftermath Pickup set and have two 4-way Tele switches to select them. Now here's the part where I am stuck on:

Each humbucker has one 4-way switch, which selects these things in each position:

- Nothing (No signal from the pickup)
- Closest to neck coil
- Closest to bridge coil
- Full Humbucker

The other controls are master volume and master tone pots.

If this is possible in any way, it'd basically be possible to create every combination of the pickups' coils.


I already searched and found nothing particularly helpful, so if there's someone out there with experience or helpful guidance, help would be amazing and greatly appreciated.

Loki.Foxchild 08-04-2012 01:18 AM

Do you have a particular switch in mind for the 4 way? If I had a diagram of the switch I might be able to figure this out, but I'm not really familiar with any 4 way switches. Do they make 4p4t switches? also you might want to consider having the possibility of making parallel an option.

someone_random 08-04-2012 03:26 AM

The only 4-Way switch I could find is the Fender 4-Way (Tele), all other switches were 3-way or 5-way.
What exactly would parallel do? I'm kinda new to this, had all my soldering jobs done by a guitar tech before.

I found these, maybe they can help.





W4RP1G 08-04-2012 09:38 AM

That's a pretty neat idea, using a switch for each pickup. Personally, I would go with a 4 pole 5-way super switch over the Fender 4-way. You would have far more wiring possibilities. They can be had for about $15 on eBay.

Also, switching between the coils might be a little underwhelming. I'd probably go with something like this(if using a 5-way super switch)

Kill pickup
Series
parallel
Out of Phase
Single coil

Quote:
Originally Posted by someone_random
What exactly would parallel do? I'm kinda new to this, had all my soldering jobs done by a guitar tech before.


Parallel would basically turn the humbucker into 2 single coils. Normally, a humbucker is wired in series.

someone_random 08-04-2012 09:55 AM

That's a cool idea. Would any regular 5-way switch do the job?
Or does it have to be something like this?

Fender 5-way super switch
http://www.thomann.de/gb/fender_5waysuperswitch.htm

Megaswitch M
http://www.rockinger.com/index.php?...G&product=17009

Megaswitch P
http://www.rockinger.com/index.php?...=17010&lang=ENG

Megaswitch E
http://www.rockinger.com/index.php?...=17008&lang=ENG

Your listing as I understand is
series = full humbucker
parallel = full humbucker, but functioning as two single coils

but what does out of phase do?
Also, "single coil" would be restricted to one specific coil, right?

W4RP1G 08-04-2012 10:04 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by someone_random
That's a cool idea. Would any regular 5-way switch do the job?
Or does it have to be something like this?

Fender 5-way super switch
http://www.thomann.de/gb/fender_5waysuperswitch.htm

Megaswitch M
http://www.rockinger.com/index.php?...G&product=17009


Your listing as I understand is
series = full humbucker
parallel = full humbucker, but functioning as two single coils

but what does out of phase do?
Also, "single coil" would be restricted to one specific coil, right?

Either of those switches should be fine.

My idea was really just an example of something else that could be done(and deliver more useful tones). There are lots of possibilities to consider.

Out of phase reverses the wiring of the humbucker. When played by itself it will sound a little thinner(less lows), but when played with another humbucker it will give you a quacky, Jimmy Page-like sound.

And single coil would only be one coil.

someone_random 08-04-2012 10:18 AM

Would the wiring be more complicated if I got another 3-way switch, just like the Explorers usually have and have it select what is being combined (neck humbucker, both, bridge humbucker). Each 5-way super switch could then manage the coils like this

Series
Parallel
Out of Phase
Single Coil 1
Single Coil 2


Is that too crazy of a wiring job?

W4RP1G 08-04-2012 10:48 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by someone_random
Would the wiring be more complicated if I got another 3-way switch, just like the Explorers usually have and have it select what is being combined (neck humbucker, both, bridge humbucker). Each 5-way super switch could then manage the coils like this

Series
Parallel
Out of Phase
Single Coil 1
Single Coil 2


Is that too crazy of a wiring job?

Well, that would be too many switches for my taste, but it wouldn't be hard to wire up. Personally, i'd look for a more elegant solution if i were to go that route, like a blend pot or a 4 position rotary switch.

someone_random 08-04-2012 11:28 AM

You're right, that's too many switches.
I did a little research because I like the idea of the mentioned wiring, and I came up with this (mainly to reduce it to a more traditional Explorer look):

3-way toggle in the pickguard (PU selection)
2 5-way rotary switches (1 for each pickup, judging from the pictures, it looks like a pot, but has 5 "stops")
1 tandem (stacked) pot, for tone and volume


The way to wire it would be humbucker -> 5-way ->toggle -> tandem -> output but I am open for suggestions.

W4RP1G 08-04-2012 01:11 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by someone_random
You're right, that's too many switches.
I did a little research because I like the idea of the mentioned wiring, and I came up with this (mainly to reduce it to a more traditional Explorer look):

3-way toggle in the pickguard (PU selection)
2 5-way rotary switches (1 for each pickup, judging from the pictures, it looks like a pot, but has 5 "stops")
1 tandem (stacked) pot, for tone and volume


The way to wire it would be humbucker -> 5-way ->toggle -> tandem -> output but I am open for suggestions.

That sounds like a good setup. I kinda like the idea of 2 5-way blade swithes and a blend pot, but I'm not a fan of rotary switches(just personal preference), but i can see the appeal. I'm also not a fan of the gibson style toggle, but i guess if you put it in the pickguard you could always change it later on if you want to use a blade.

Good luck with your wiring!

someone_random 08-04-2012 01:32 PM

I wasn't sure what a blend pot is, but it seems that it could create any kind of mix of the pickups, right? And it has a "stop" in the middle, so it could also function as a pure toggle/3-way switch, but on occasion be used to blend them. That'd be very interesting indeed.

And to be honest, I only picked the Gibson-style to fit the look of the Explorer. Is there any reason in particular why you don't like them?

Also, the stacked pot has 500kOhm on both, what exactly does that do to tone? Usually it's 500/250 (v/t) or 250/250, right?

W4RP1G 08-04-2012 01:39 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by someone_random
I wasn't sure, what a blend pot is, but it seems that it could create any kind of mix of the pickups, right? And it has a "stop" in the middle, so it could also function as a pure toggle/3-way switch, but on occasion be used to blend them. That'd be very interesting indeed.

And to be honest, I only picked the Gibson-style to fit the look of the Explorer. Is there any reason in particular why you don't like them?

Yeah a blend pot is basically a switch replacement. They are not for everyone though, since some people might not want such blending options.

I don't like the gibson toggle because it's not as useful as a 2 pole blade switch. That's the only reason.

someone_random 08-04-2012 01:59 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by W4RP1G
I don't like the gibson toggle because it's not as useful as a 2 pole blade switch. That's the only reason.


Useful in what regard? Doesn't it basically do the same/have the same application for me in this particular situation?

W4RP1G 08-04-2012 02:56 PM

Yep, it should work just fine for what you are doing.

Loki.Foxchild 08-04-2012 06:14 PM

The main issue, that I think w4rp1g is talking about is that the Gibson 3 way switch is a much simpler design than, for example, a 3 way telecaster switch, it just has 3 terminals on it versus.... I don't really know how many a tele switch has. with a gibson switch you need to put the ground side of the pickup directly to the ground.
For example, the other day I was advising a friend on how to do a coil tap switch for two humbuckers, and I can't exactly remember why, but I came to the conclusion that you couldn't do both coils with one DPDT push-pull pot with a gibson 3 way switch, but you could with a telecaster style. I imagine that there are other things that are undoable as well.

I've never used rotary switches, but for aesthetics, I like the idea of using rotary switches and a stacked pot in an explorer to achieve your ends. very slick.
Also, I'm pretty sure that you use 500k pots for both tone and volume in gibson style wiring. maybe I'm wrong. I hope not.

someone_random 08-05-2012 06:07 AM

I've been looking through some wiring diagrams and I think I figured out the whole part ofter the 5-way switches.


There is a volume-cap between the middle and left pin of the volume pot and a tone cap between ground and middle pin of the tone pot.
For readability I separated the stacked pot into two.
Neck and Bridge are supposed to mean that the 5-way switches connect to those pins, not the pickups themselves

Quote:
with a gibson switch you need to put the ground side of the pickup directly to the ground.
For example, the other day I was advising a friend on how to do a coil tap switch for two humbuckers, and I can't exactly remember why, but I came to the conclusion that you couldn't do both coils with one DPDT push-pull pot with a gibson 3 way switch, but you could with a telecaster style. I imagine that there are other things that are undoable as well.

Since I don't have the experience, do you think that the I could run into problems with the above wiring?

I also researched a bit regarding the wiring of a 5-way super switch (very much like a 5-way rotary switch, both have 4 levels, 1 out/in and 5 positions), and the example provided was a SSS wiring job. The explanation was good, but I can't really wrap my head around how a HH setup would work with the positions being:
1: series
2: parallel
3: out of phase
4: north single coil
5: south single coil

The best I could come up with was to solder N+ onto layer 1, pins 1-4, connect layer 1 out with layer 2 out and solder S+ to layer 2 pin 1-3 and 5. That should give you an idea of how new this stuff is to me, since I don't know how all of this has to be wired and my "idea" surely isn't the way to go.
The pickups have 4 conductors and 1 ground, but I think that is nothing unusual.


I'd greatly appreciated some pointers in the right direction.

Loki.Foxchild 08-05-2012 07:12 PM

With two switches, you shouldn't run into the problem that I was talking about. Do you have a diagram for the switch you're talking about that you could link to?
4 insulated + 1 bare wire (to ground) is the standard for pickups, but it's important to know the color coding, b/c each company does it differently

W4RP1G 08-05-2012 11:00 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by someone_random
I also researched a bit regarding the wiring of a 5-way super switch (very much like a 5-way rotary switch, both have 4 levels, 1 out/in and 5 positions), and the example provided was a SSS wiring job. The explanation was good, but I can't really wrap my head around how a HH setup would work with the positions being:
1: series
2: parallel
3: out of phase
4: north single coil
5: south single coil

The best I could come up with was to solder N+ onto layer 1, pins 1-4, connect layer 1 out with layer 2 out and solder S+ to layer 2 pin 1-3 and 5. That should give you an idea of how new this stuff is to me, since I don't know how all of this has to be wired and my "idea" surely isn't the way to go.
The pickups have 4 conductors and 1 ground, but I think that is nothing unusual.


I'd greatly appreciated some pointers in the right direction.

Here ya go:


I used the duncan color scheme, but I'm only assuming that gray is the north coil and red is south. You might want to double check that. The black wire goes to the toggle switch.

Also, just run the bare wire to any ground. And the switch on the right is only there for reference.

Edit: Also, it's important to note that neither position 4 on the bottom is going to anything. I say that because it kinda looks like one of them is wired to the toggle, but it's not, it's left open.

someone_random 08-06-2012 05:15 AM

Thank you very much, I'll try to incorporate it into the other wiring diagram I made and then post the result sometime this evening (for me in a about 9-11 hours).
I'll also incorporate Bare Knuckle's colour coding and for my better understanding I think I'll also use another colour for the bare wire.

Thank you both very much for explaining and helping! I couldn't have done it on my own.

I am not sure when I'll be able to start wiring it all up or for that matter when I'll start putting all the pieces together, but I will try to post some pictures then, maybe even some audio when all is done.

EDIT:
Here it is, the (hopefully final) wiring diagram:
Click to go to full size.

I've done my best to make it easy to read, so I can always refer to whenever something may break in the future or if someone wants to do something similar.
Colour coding for N/S+/- is based on the Bare Knuckle one, with blue being the white/silver wire and brown being the bare one.

(EDIT 2: I forgot to add the connections to ground in the Bridge 5-way, but they are the same as in the Neck one)

Crossings of different colours doesn't mean connection, only same colour or black "solder" spot does.

So here are the (hopefully) two last questions:

Does it look like it would work?

Where do I solder the ground to? I read that it has to be connected to the shielding as well, but after that?

W4RP1G 08-06-2012 09:45 PM

That's very easy to read. It looks like it should work fine.

I'm not sure, but I think rotary switches have a metal plate that can be grounded, to you could just run a ground wire to it and then use that for your ground. The shielding should grounded to it as well.


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