#1
I recently purchased 2 new Dimarzio pickups for my Fender Strat HH. This guitar has only one volume and one tone pot installed. I would like to install a push/pull pot for a coil tap when I install the new pickups. I am planning to do this myself, both for economical reasons, and for the learning experience. Will I be able to use the coil tap switch with both the bridge and the neck pickup? Would I have to install any other pots in the guitar? Most of the wiring diagrams I've found show one pickup going into one pot, as in standard Gibson wiring, with four pots instead of only 2. I don't see any reason why I shouldn't be able to do the mod myself, but I want to have all the information before I start. Any diagrams/feedback/advice would be most appreciated.
#2
totally possible

what kind of pickup selection switch do you have?
..I just want to know that so a diagram I give you will make sense, with the right kind of switch.

are you planning on having just one push-pull to split both pickups, or do you want both the volume and tone knobs to be push-pull, so you can split them individually?
#3
Okay firstly, do you actually mean a coil tap, or do you actually want a coil split? They're two different things and most of the time when people say 'tap', what they actually want is a 'split'. 'Tapping' is lowering the output of a pickup and increase clarity and is usually only done to singlecoil pickups, 'splitting' is when you shut out one of the coils to make a humbucker into a singlecoil pickup.

Assuming you actually want a split, the next thing I'd advise is you consider series/parallel wiring rather than humbucker/split. When you change form series (normal humbuicker) to parallel wiring you get a lower output, brighter, clearer P-90 style tone but you stay hum-cancelling. When you change from series humbucker to split you will lose the hum-cancelling effect of the pickup. The only advantage splitting has over parallel wiring is the output of a split humbucker is slightly, almost unnoticably higher than the output of a humbucker wired parallel. I don't think it's worth bothering with, parallel sounds the same in most cases as split but stays hum-cancelling so I think that is the better way to go. Also high-output pickups tend to sound much better when wired parallel than when split.

Also bear in mind that a split or parallel humbucker really sounds like a P-90, not a Strat style singlecoil. A lot of people think if they split or parallel-wire their humbucker it's going to suddently give them tradtional Strat tones, and it doesn't. There are some humbuckers that are made to give true Strat style singlecoil tones when split or prallel (the Seymour Duncan Stag Mag and the Swineshead AMP humbuckers do this) but then those never give full humbucker tones either. Just be aware that whichever method you choose, it's not possible to get full humbucker tones and traditional singlecoil tones from the same pickup. At best you can get humbucker & fat P-90 tones.



Anyway, with all that out the way, once you've decided what wiring method you want to use, wiring it up is pretty easy.

If you want to use coil splits, since your guitar is HH, you could use a 5-way switch and wiring the splits in that so your pickup selector options would go something like bridge humbucker - bridge split - both pickups - neck split - neck humbucker. This would be the easiest way of getting these options and I believe the Seymour Duncan website has wiring diagrams for doing this sort of thing. Your volume and tone controls could be left as they are.

If you wanted to do series/parallel wiring, you would need to get either a mini switch installed or push-pull or push-push pots. All three do the same thing, push-pull/push pots have the advantage of keeping the switch and volume/tone controls all in one unit to save space but personally I think if your guitar has a pickguard it's better to get a second mini toggle switch and drill a hole in your pickguard for that.
If you used a mini toggle switch you would wire both pickups to change from series to parallel wiring and leave your pickup selector switch, volume and tone controls all as they are. You could install two of these mini toggle switches so the neck and bridge pickups could be changed from series to parallel separately from each other.
If you used push-pull or push-push pots, you could wire both pickups to the same volume pot (or tone pot) but I think a better option would be to wire one pickup to the volume pot and the other pickup to the tone pot, in terms of the switches. This way you could switch each pickup from series to parallel wiring separately from each other but your volume and tone controls would still work for both pickups and there would be no need to add in extra holes for toggle switches.

My prefered method for any of this would be to install two mini toggle switches so you'd have a 3-way switch as normal, master volume, master tone, then bridge series/parallel switch and a neck series/parallel switch. Failing that I'd go for two push-pull pots, master volume with bridge parallel option and master tone with neck parallel option. Third choice would be to install a 5-way switch with coil splits simply because that will be the cheapest and easiest option to wire up, saves time but I don't think splits sound as good.


You can get diagrams for all these wiring techniques at the Seymour Duncan website. Sometimes you'll have to look up two or three diagrams and sort of combine them in your head to get the best idea of what you'll need to do for your guitar, but if you look through a few of them it will start to make sense, it's actually much simpler than all this text makes it seem.


EDIT: Okay, made all that smaller for space. Basically, look at the Seymour Duncan wiring page and you should be able to gather all the info you need, you can most certainly do this yourself. Just make sure you have a clear idea in your head of what your preferred control set up would be and also be aware that different pickup companies colour code their wires differently.
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Last edited by MrFlibble at Dec 1, 2009,
#4
It's a 3-way switch. Ideally, I would be able to split each one separately.

What about a split-coil setup? Have you done either of these two mods to a guitar before? Would the split-coil have a better tone, in your opinion?

Thanks for the explanation...I think the series/parallel setup might be best.

Yes, most of the explanations are very confusing.
Last edited by goldberg1138 at Dec 1, 2009,
#5
Quote by goldberg1138
It's a 3-way switch. Ideally, I would be able to split each one separately.
Right, we've got a simple answer on our hands then.

Buy a 5-way Super Switch (a normal 5-way won't work) and follow THIS diagram, only remember the colours for your DiMarzio pickups will be different to the colours of the Seymour Duncan pickups (THIS guide shows you how the different colours relate to each other so you can easily work out which wires have to go where by comparing the original Seymour Duncan guide and colours to yours).
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#6
Quote by MrFlibble
Right, we've got a simple answer on our hands then.

Buy a 5-way Super Switch (a normal 5-way won't work) and follow THIS diagram, only remember the colours for your DiMarzio pickups will be different to the colours of the Seymour Duncan pickups (THIS guide shows you how the different colours relate to each other so you can easily work out which wires have to go where by comparing the original Seymour Duncan guide and colours to yours).

alternatively, he could keep the 3-way and put 2 push-pulls in, though

that allows for more combinations, although makes switching a bit tougher.. but thats not really porblem if you don't have to go inbetween different pickup combos mid-song
#7
The guitar has no pickguard. I would prefer to use the push/pull pots, as opposed to drilling holes for new pots and switches.
#8
by 'put in 2 push pull pots', I meant replace the 2 existing pots with push-pulls. not add 2 more in, if thats what you thought I meant

and by a 3-way switch, do you mean it's got the same style switch you see on most les pauls, or it's got a blade-style switch that you'd find on a tele?
MrFlibble was assuming you've got a tele style switch. a 5-way super switch will fit in the same mounting holes and slot that the 3 way will. if you've got an LP-style 3way, you're still better off with 2 push-pulls

link to a diagram in a second..

edit: http://www.seymourduncan.com/support/wiring-diagrams/schematics.php?schematic=2h_1v_1t_3w_2pp
use that diagram, but reverse the red and black wires
Last edited by james4 at Dec 1, 2009,
#9
Personally, I'd go with splitting as opposed to series/parallel, but that's just because it gives a sharper sound in the bridge position which I like.

I'd also suggest going with what James is saying and use 2 push/pull pots.
Using those, you could either have individual controls for each pickup, or you could have one do series/parallel for both pups and the other split both pups.


And if you really want to go off the deep end, I'd use a 5-way superswitch for putting the pickups in series/parallel with each other. You could also get an out of phase position with that.
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