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Old 09-04-2013, 11:05 PM   #1
CalicoSkies
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How to test which pickups are currently selected?

Does anyone know of the best way to test to determine which pickups are currently selected? I know you can tap the pickup pole pieces with something metal, but are there any different ways that offer more confidence? I've noticed it's possible for the vibration of the tapping to vibrate the strings, which would generate a sound.

I'm asking because I recently bought a 2013 American Deluxe Stratocaster Ash SSS, and the S-1 switching described by the included control information sheet is different what appears on Fender's web site. So I'd like to do a test to see which pickups are selected at the various positions with S-1 switching enabled.

Recently I found a page on Fender's web site from March 2013 describing the S-1 switching, which I would think applies to the current model. That page has the following description for the American Deluxe Stratocaster:
  • Position 1: All three pickups wired in series
  • Position 2: Bridge and middle pickups wired in series
  • Position 3: Middle and neck pickups wired in series
  • Position 4: Bridge and neck pickups wired out of phase, with a special tone capacitor
  • Position 5: Bridge and middle pickups wired in series and out of phase, in parallel with neck pickup

However, the sheet that came with mine describes the S-1 switching as follows:
  • Position 1: All 3 - Bridge pickup in parallel with neck & middle pickups in series
  • Position 2: All 3 - Neck pickup in parallel with middle & bridge pickups in series
  • Position 3: Middle & bridge pickups in series
  • Position 4: Neck & middle pickups in series
  • Position 5: All 3 pickups in series

This is the information sheet that came with my guitar:
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Old 09-04-2013, 11:32 PM   #2
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That method is perfectly good, I don't understand why you need 'more confidence.' Try it, you'll find that it would be basically impossible to mistake a direct tap with a bleed-through. You can even hear the 'ping' from the direct contact if the pickup is selected. Plus you can mute the strings with your palm or a piece of cloth if they're ringing out. This isn't as complicated as you're making it seem.

That method has never failed me, I would at least give it a try before you decide it's not good enough.
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Old 09-04-2013, 11:38 PM   #3
CalicoSkies
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roc8995
That method is perfectly good, I don't understand why you need 'more confidence.'


Mostly due to the fact that tapping the pole pieces sounds very similar to simple knocking on the guitar, which can cause string vibrations picked up by the other pickups. Or maybe I'm doing it wrong. :P
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Old 09-05-2013, 12:20 AM   #4
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Well, don't knock on the guitar while you're doing it, then. Put it on the floor or something

If it's that quiet you might need a more ferromagnetic thing to tap it with. Screwdrivers are usually good and loud, if you're tapping it with a chromed ballpoint pen it's going to be a sad day
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Old 09-05-2013, 12:28 AM   #5
supersac
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i find tapping on the pole peices to be perfectly fine
i also sometimes use an earbud playing music and hold it up to a pick up but i only did that when i was too lazy to find something to tap it with
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Old 09-05-2013, 12:57 AM   #6
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There's no way you can mistake the sound of touching something metal to the pole pieces, it will make a loud click or pop.
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Old 09-05-2013, 01:15 AM   #7
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Why not just find where it sounds good and play it? Why does it really matter if you know which pickups are selected?
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Old 09-05-2013, 01:20 AM   #8
CalicoSkies
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sleaze Disease
Why not just find where it sounds good and play it? Why does it really matter if you know which pickups are selected?

Because different pickup combinations make different sounds. I bought it on the assumption that it can do a certain set of pickup combinations (and thus certain sounds), so that's what I expect to get. I'm not really okay with a bait-and-switch.
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Old 09-05-2013, 01:58 AM   #9
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You can usually tell by tapping the plastic part of the pickup with just a plectrum, you'll soon notice if the pickup isn't selected.
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