#1
So I'm building a guitar and I would like some input/criticism on how I want to wire it up. I don't know if this has been done or if the subject is already covered here but I wouldn't even know how to start searching for this setup. The guitar only has one Filtertron style humbucker in the bridge position, my goal is to see how versatile I can make it sound. I'm doing this mostly as an experiment and partly just because I can. I have tons of parts lying around, especially resistors and caps so I can use just about any value for those. The interesting features I want to add are: A switch that will switch the pickup from series to parallel and also cut one of the coils, an "anti-treble-loss" circuit to the volume knob, and a crazy tone circuit with a push/pull pot and a tone cap switch so I can switch between three tone caps (one 'normal' and two on the extremes). This diagram is just my best guess on how to put it all together, I have no idea if the push/pull switch is wired correctly... And I'm left handed so in theory if I wire the pots backwards they should work counter clockwise. Thanks for any advice or constructive criticism.
Attachments:
WiringDiagram.pdf
Last edited by a90s2cs at Feb 1, 2017,
#2
Coil split on a filtertron? If it's one of the hotter TV jones models, maybe. But I wouldn't expect great things.

If you've got all this stuff lying around, I'd start trying mods and see what works, one at a time. I'm a fan of starting simple and adding more after trying each mod and deciding if it genuinely adds to the instrument. Having done a lot of these "kitchen sink" mods for other people (and myself), most of the time the result is hooking up a mile of wire to get a dozen sounds, ten of which are total ass. I'd strongly suggest adding these one at a time, with some genuine forethought about what your goals and needs are for each mod, instead of getting starry-eyed about "maximum versatility" and ending up with a bunch of junk wedged in your guitar. It's a lot easier to add complexity to a clean circuit than it is to refine a bucket of parts.

Don't get me wrong, you can absolutely end up with a guitar with lots of controls. There are guitars out there with sophisticated wiring systems that are versatile and deliver a lot of practical flexibility. However, almost none of them were the result of writing down every mod someone could think of and then putting them in the guitar. Most are the result of careful consideration and understanding of each addition.

I can't tell you how many times we've had people stop by here and ask about their laundry list of mods they were going to do all at once to a guitar. I can't remember any of them coming back to say it worked out great and they're super happy with the result. Slow and steady, one at a time, and I think you'll be much more satisfied with the final product.
#3
Thanks for the advice. The coil is kind of a mystery I have no idea if its really a filtertron, it looks like one, has 12 adjustment screws and 4 wires. It could just be a regular humbucker, I may end up using something totally different. Like I said, this is an experiment so if its a train wreck I'll just start over. I have guitars with coil splits and I really like them but I was really curious about series/parallel switching, just wanted to see whats thats all about. I was also curious about different tone caps. Everything I have uses the same old .047's because thats what's recommended so what I really want this rig to do is switch caps on the fly so I could get some useful comparisons without having to stop and swap out caps. I could effectively compare 2 caps to a baseline in real time with this. Since I have all kinds of switches and caps It would be really easy solder say 6 caps to three switches with a quick connect and swap them out in a few seconds. I also wanted to see how different caps play with various effects like fuzzes and such. But going incrementally is solid advice, I should definitely leave out the treble loss on the volume and the double cap switch until the pickup switching is dialed in.
#4
Reverend includes a control called Bass Contour on all of its guitars, including one that has a single P90. It works kind of like a Tone control, but on the lower end. Something like that could work even with a single FillerTron. Using Tone and Bass Contour together can get a very singlecoils-like sound.
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#5
Thanks dannyalcatraz. Something like that is kind of what I was thinking experimenting with the lower value caps might achieve. In theory I could switch from a "normal" tone control to a bass contour or treble contour control depending on what caps were in the secondary tone circuit. Looks like you need to wire the signal through the tone pot with the caps in parallel rather than have the tone circuit as a 'frequency bleed'. Also, this pickup has 12 pole screws so it would seem the pickup could be tweaked to play nicer with the tone circuit.
#7
Active tone controls.

I installed switchable actives, like the Blade VSC system, in one of my guitars. I put the bass, middle and treble settings as presets on trimpots, like the Blade, but they could have been on ordinary pots.

I have a Filtertron style pickups, about 5K ohm, in two guitars, but I haven't tried single/series/parallel switching on them, because like Roc, I don't think it will work well.
#8
I have high hopes for the pickup switching, the filtertron I have is showing 8.5k and I also have various humbuckers that are in the low and mid teens. So I did a little research and thought about it and I think I came up with something I'l like better. With the push/pull switch up you get a bass contour control with it down you get a 'normal' tone circuit that will allow you to switch between 2 tone caps with presets provided by resistors (or even trim pots if you wanted). This works for me because when I use the tone knob I'm always dialing it down to the one sweet spot that I like.
Attachments:
WiringDiagram2.pdf