#1
So I'm seriously upgrading an old strat copy I have, adding almost all new parts and new wiring. I figure since I have to do the wiring anyway, I might as well customize it with some wiring mods other than the standard layout.

It's a traditional strat, 3 single coils, 5 way switch, one volume and two tone knobs.

So far I want to change Tone 1 to a master tone switch- I don't see much drawback to this, and it gives tone control over the bridge pickup.

That frees up Tone 2, which I want to change to a push/pull and use it to turn on either the neck or bridge pup for the extra 2 pickup combos.

But that will leave the push/pull knob doing nothing, and I figure there's gotta be something useful I can put on it. What mod would you recommend on the unused knob? I've done some searching but haven't turned up anything that jumped out yet, other than a midrange control, but that involves buying a special control and I want to just use a standard push/pull.
#2
Maybe a bass boost knob, if you're going to be playing heavier music. Or maybe a chorus or flange effect.
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#3
maybe what you could do is use the knob to blend 2 of your SCs together...

http://www.jpbourgeois.org/guitar/micos1.htm#Variable coil tap #1

...and the push/pull action as a mid boost/cut

http://www.jpbourgeois.org/guitar/micos1.htm#A Switchable Boost / Cut Control

i imagine that first one is designed more for humbuckers, but maybe you could use that to blend two or hell even all 3 SCs together. im not too familiar with modding guitars w/ 3 pups but it seems like that might be fun?

edit: weird links, just click on the variable coil tap #1 and the switchable boost/cut control at the top.


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Last edited by SYLrules88 at Dec 13, 2009,
#5
Put in a blender pot. I did. Works just like a switch or push pull to bring in the neck or bridge but in a graduated manner. Say your switch is at pos 1 (bridge) and you turn the blender to 1. That would mean neck also full on. Turn it to 9 and its 10 percent on turn it to 10 and the pup is off. Works the same way if your in pos 5 (neck) to bring in the bridge pickup. In positions 2 and 4 bring in the neck or bridge. So in positions 2 and 4 you can have all 3 pups on. In the middle position it does nothing. The first tone pot in this configuration is a master tone just like you have it now. I thought this over for a long time before installing it. I like it. The only time I seemed to use the tone pots at all was when trying to get my strat to sound at bit more like an electric acoustic for certain songs other than that they always stayed at 10. So why have 2 when one will do nicely. This mod keeps your strat looking like it always has and no funky missed pulls with sweaty fingers on a push pull while your playing.
Last edited by sparkeyjames at Dec 13, 2009,
#6
I think you will be very happy with a bridge-on or neck-on push/pull. I love bridge and neck in parallel on a strat, it gives it a little more spank, reminiscent of a tele in the middle position.
A blend knob would do the same thing, and I don't think the "blend" aspect is that useful. On or off is enough for me.

For the unused knob, I would recommend a bass-cut like Jim said. After I played one strat wired that way, I never went back and now all of the ones I own get wired like that. With both a treble-cut (the standard tone knob) and a bass-cut, you can change your EQ quite a bit without ever taking your hands off your guitar.
#7
Put in a Kill switch? You can get bridge and neck by rewiring the 5 way.
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#8
Quote by GeToChKn
Put in a Kill switch? You can get bridge and neck by rewiring the 5 way.

But he wants to retain the normal 5 positions as well.
#10
a push pull killswitch seems a bit inconvenient

Quote by cedricsmods
For the unused knob, I would recommend a bass-cut like Jim said. After I played one strat wired that way, I never went back and now all of the ones I own get wired like that. With both a treble-cut (the standard tone knob) and a bass-cut, you can change your EQ quite a bit without ever taking your hands off your guitar.


wow when you put it that way, the bass cut thing sounds really useful. it would be nice to be able to get something close to a lo-fi clean tone without having to program a setting on a mutli fx unit. ill have to do this when i get a strat again.


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#11
Quote by sparkeyjames
Put in a blender pot. I did. Works just like a switch or push pull to bring in the neck or bridge but in a graduated manner. Say your switch is at pos 1 (bridge) and you turn the blender to 1. That would mean neck also full on. Turn it to 9 and its 10 percent on turn it to 10 and the pup is off. Works the same way if your in pos 5 (neck) to bring in the bridge pickup. In positions 2 and 4 bring in the neck or bridge. So in positions 2 and 4 you can have all 3 pups on. In the middle position it does nothing. The first tone pot in this configuration is a master tone just like you have it now. I thought this over for a long time before installing it. I like it. The only time I seemed to use the tone pots at all was when trying to get my strat to sound at bit more like an electric acoustic for certain songs other than that they always stayed at 10. So why have 2 when one will do nicely. This mod keeps your strat looking like it always has and no funky missed pulls with sweaty fingers on a push pull while your playing.
This post ^ is SYK-Approved.

You can use the existing pot that was previously used for Tone-2
This gets you more functionality than a bridge-on or neck-on switch.
Or you can install a push-pull and have the switch do out-of-phase on the neck (or bridge if you prefer) and use the pot in the manner described above.
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#12
Wow, a lot of options. Thanks for all the responses.

I am leaning towards the bass cut option, as a lot of the rest seems to be more than I think I'm likely to use- though interesting.

I had one other question, though- to simplify things, I initially was thinking of using the spot for the third knob for a mini switch and eliminating the pot altogether. But I don't like messing with the look that much. But then it occurred to me that I've seen knobs on various devices, though not often on guitars, that operate like a selector switch but are in knob form.

I actually own a guitar that has something like it- the Yamaha RGX A2, where the pickup selector switch is controlled by a knob. However, I can't find any evidence of such a control anywhere I look online so far- partially because I don't know what the hell to call it. It's not truly a pot, but it's not a switch, either.

Ideally I'd like to find something that will fit in the mounting hole for the pot, and accept a guitar knob on top of it, but instead of being a control will be a two position switch to turn on a pickup. Does a control that would accomplish this exist?

I still might go for the extra options, but I'm new to wiring and mods and I may want to keep it simple for now and this control would be just what I'd need to do that.

Thanks again for all the suggestions. A lot to think about.
#13
Quote by Black13AB
I actually own a guitar that has something like it- the Yamaha RGX A2, where the pickup selector switch is controlled by a knob. However, I can't find any evidence of such a control anywhere I look online so far- partially because I don't know what the hell to call it. It's not truly a pot, but it's not a switch, either.

Ideally I'd like to find something that will fit in the mounting hole for the pot, and accept a guitar knob on top of it, but instead of being a control will be a two position switch to turn on a pickup. Does a control that would accomplish this exist?
Rotary switch.
Meadows
Quote by Jackal58
I release my inner liberal every morning when I take a shit.
Quote by SK8RDUDE411
I wont be like those jerks who dedicate their beliefs to logic and reaosn.
#14
Thanks- would you believe I just found that out in time to narrowly fail to avoid looking like an idiot?

Next question- can any 2-position rotary switch function the way I described, as an on/off for a pickup the same way a push/pull would? Is it all in how you wire it?

I'm going to be talking all of this over with a tech soon that's helping me with the work, but I'd like to know what parts would be suitable to order, and there's so many out there it's tough to know what would work and what wouldn't, at least for somebody with little to know electronics knowledge.

I've found just about everything I still need for the project on guitarpartsresource.com, with the exception of this.
#15
yep.

you can easily find a switch that will have more capability than what you need for this.
no problem. just don't use the extra contacts. you won't find a switch that will do less than needed, though. the task is that simple.
Meadows
Quote by Jackal58
I release my inner liberal every morning when I take a shit.
Quote by SK8RDUDE411
I wont be like those jerks who dedicate their beliefs to logic and reaosn.
#16
you could also just wire up one of the switches they use on the lower controls of a jaguar, that would be much easier wiring wise, IMO.
but you said you don't want to mess with the look to much.....so.....i don't know.
tou could always put it up farther up the pickguard, if your willing to cut it, and that wouldn't mess with it too much, or you could put it above the pickups like in a jazzmaster.
(i also like the bass cut idea, sounds interesting)
#17
I think for the time being I'm going to go the blender knob route after all. I may eventually add more, but to start with I think that'll be all I really need. In particular the Deaf Eddie fat-o-caster switches seem pretty cool.

But for now, the only added feature I really want is the extra pickup combo, so the blender will work for me.

As for wiring, I'm planning to follow this diagram:


Doesn't seem too complicated. Hopefully I'll have the equipment in about a week and can get going on it. Thanks for all the input guys- it's been interesting.