#1
I recently finished putting together a "FrankenStrat" with three humbuckers. I wanted three volumes and no tones (since I never really use the tone knobs when playing through humbuckers) and once I finished, I found a puzzling situation.

For some reason, the volume pots are acting like tone pots, even though i've installed no capacitors on them.

Here's how I wired it:

I installed three CTS500 pots from Warmoth.

I soldered the hot lead from each pickup to the leftmost lug of the pot I wanted to use for that pickup.

I soldered the ground wire from each pickup to the back of the volume pot for that pickup.

I soldered a wire from the second (middle) lug of each pot to the appropriate lug on the CRL5 5-way switch I'd bought from Warmoth.

I soldered the main output wire from the output of the switch to the output jack.

I soldered the grounds.

And somehow the volumes act as tones.
#3
no, i didn't. i thought that if i grounded the pickups to the backs of the pots and then connected the backs of the pots and then grounded all of them to the tremelo claw and the ground of the output jack, i'd be OK.

do i need to ground to somewhere from the third lug?

if so, to where?

doesn't make sense...
#4
I guess what I'm wondering is:

Is this situation due to the way i wired it? or do i have defective pots? or defective PUs?

this is my first build/mod and it's been an odd one.

my vision was for a guitar with three humbuckers and a volume knob for each, with a five-position switch to select from, and no tone knobs.

so my logic was: PUs to pots, pots to switch, switch to jack.


CAN ANYONE MAKE A DIAGRAM OF WHAT THE WIRING FOR THREE HUMBUCKERS, THREE VOLUMES, NO TONES SHOULD LOOK LIKE?

--artie
#5
So let me get this right -

You put the hot from the pickup on one lug, grounded the opposite lug, and grounded the pickup on the pot. Then ran the middle lug to the corresponding spot on a 5 way? Did you wire your pots together to where you have a line to take the ground to your jack? *Dont make a loop*

Correct me if Im wrong, but thats how it should be done...
#6
that's exactly what i did.

but now i'm looking at diagrams that show the third lug of the volume pot being grounded to the back of the pot. should i do that for each of them?
#7
b/c what's happening is the volume pots aren't raising or lowering the volume. they're acting like clumsy tone controls. when they're at 9 or ten, they sound clear, and then below that there is a VERY sharp cutoff into a very bassy, muffled sound.

i don't know what to do or how to fix it...
#9
Quote by artie fisk
that's exactly what i did.

but now i'm looking at diagrams that show the third lug of the volume pot being grounded to the back of the pot. should i do that for each of them?
yes. do that and all will be well.
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.
Last edited by SomeoneYouKnew at Nov 4, 2008,
#10
lead -> 1st lug
second lug -> switch
thrid lug -> ground to back of pot


correct me if im wrong, though I dont think I am
#11
You could try a treble bleed/bypass filter on the pots. I'm no expert but this should maintain the treble when the volume is turned down

try googling "treble bypass filter" for the diagrams - Keith

Here's one site - http://www.militarygearhq.com/oe4016.shtml

Here's a better site - http://www.kinman.com/html/toneWorkshop/perfectGuitar.htm#volumePots
Last edited by saxon marsh at Nov 5, 2008,
#12
Quote by saxon marsh
You could try a treble bleed/bypass filter on the pots. I'm no expert but this should maintain the treble when the volume is turned down

try googling "treble bypass filter" for the diagrams - Keith

Here's one site - http://www.militarygearhq.com/oe4016.shtml

Here's a better site - http://www.kinman.com/html/toneWorkshop/perfectGuitar.htm#volumePots
that could be useful if not for the wiring error TS made. treble bleed won't do anything to fix this problem.
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.
#13
THANKS!!!

I'll work on this today. Shouldn't take long.

Thanks to all who responded so quickly. This community has been a great resource even for a mostly-lurker like myself. I've been teaching myself how to do all this stuff, from shimming the neck to doing the wiring and whatnot, and I have to say that now I'm hooked! I just want to keep at it (much to my wife's chagrin) and start another build soon!

--Artie Fisk
#14
well make sure that the far right prong is bent back and soldered to the back of the pot so it atculy grounds and the volume pot when turned down will affect the tone too so you just gotta play with your amp quitet and your pickups all the way up and you shouldnt need a switch selector if you got 3 pot if you want the pickup off just turn the knob all the way down so the selector switch is really point less if you have a volume for evey pickup
#15
i see your point, but i really wanted those "in between" sounds in positions 2 and 4 on a 5=way switch. they sound NICE with all humbuckers!
#16
Quote by SG Commander
well make sure that the far right prong is bent back and soldered to the back of the pot so it atculy grounds and the volume pot when turned down will affect the tone too so you just gotta play with your amp quitet and your pickups all the way up and you shouldnt need a switch selector if you got 3 pot if you want the pickup off just turn the knob all the way down so the selector switch is really point less if you have a volume for evey pickup
this is simply NOT true.

if you read the OP, the way TS has wired his volume controls requires a selector switch. without it, if you turn ANY volume control turned all the way down will kill ALL the sound, not just the sound from that pickup.
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.
#17
Thank you. I haven't been as clear as I could have been regarding the wiring layout I'd done. A picture would probably have helped.

I'm a logical person, but don't have lots of experience with wiring, so I've been learning as I go. It's nice to do that when the guitar you're doing it on isn't your main one. There's a lot less to lose when it's a project guitar.

I'll finally get to the re-soldering tonight and then I'll post some pics. Just got a few more mods to make and then I'll be happy.

I ended up purchasing some string trees from stew mac b/c I just couldn't get the right angle for the G string over the nut, no matter how many winds around the post of the tuner. Its a MIM strat neck, and the distance between the G tuner and the nut is just too far NOT to have a retainer, given the headstock angle. So, that's for tonight also.

--Artie
#18
Finished!

I added the extra grounding from the third lug of each pot to the back of that pot, and now all is well!

I installed two new string trees, which right away helped even out the sound and stop the open G buzzing.

All that's left is cosmetic: I sanded the front of the headstock, removing the Fender MIM information there, and I've made a logo that I'm going to apply. Nothing fancy, but since I've taken to calling this guitar "Frank" (as in "Frankenstrat"), I made a logo in the Brush Script font (fairly close to the Fender logo in style) that says "Frank." In a different and smaller typeface, it'll say "3-P Deluxe with TRIPLE ACTION!" That should be done by tuesday night, and then I'll post some pix.

Thanks to all who helped out! This is a great community.

--Artie
#19
I want pictures
Yamaha Pacifica 012 W/Emg 81
ESP EC400
ESP H202
Squier Tele Standard
Strat Copy
Randall RG100SC
Boss MT2
Boss TU2
#21







Note the THREE volumes. Works out nice. The PUs are Eastwoods, so they are ceramic magnets. Lots of top end. Sorta "glassy" sounding. Nice. That's positions 1, 3, and 5. Classic humbucker with lotsa top. Then, in 2 and 4, I get classic strat "quack" sounds and use whichever 2 volumes are involved to balance out tone. In position 2 I usually need to roll back the neck pickup a bit to avoid mud, but in position 4, there's more leeway. Very quacky, and good for choppy-strummed rhythm parts.

The body is a no-name from eBay. Cost $60.
The neck is a hand-me-down MIM strat neck from my friend Johnnie Wang. It was free.
The PUs were from Eastwood. Cost $40 for the three.
The Pickguard, knobs, pots, and wiring was from Warmoth. Cost about $75.
The string trees, lokstraps, and Graph-Tec nut were from Stew-Mac. Cost about $15.
Total cost was just under $200. Took a LOOOOOONG time. As in like 18 months. Had to rout out the body in the area under the pots. Had to shim the neck to various different angles before I got it right. Had to block off the tremelo. Had to do the wiring about 4 times before I got it right. Sanded off the MIM strat logo. Put on my own. The logo's not final. Next time I change strings, I'm going to take off the tuners, sand the headstock more evenly, re-attach the logo, and then clear-coat the whole headstock.

THANKS to all who offered their expertise and experience in the UG forums!

Next year, I will maybe begin on a Jazzmaster odyssey. I'll be spending a bit more, but I have a crazy old PU laying around (from an old Japanese Norma guitar) that I want to mess with.

Cheers!