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Rewiring Pickups for Bridge Tone Knob

Discussion in 'Tech-Talk' started by Mustang Martigan, Apr 15, 2018.

  1. Mustang Martigan

    Mustang Martigan Strat-Talk Member

    Feb 23, 2018
    The past couple days I've been reading up on rewiring the pups on a Strat so the bridge pup is sharing to bottom tone knob with the middle pup.

    The mod is so simple that I'm just gonna do it myself.. see which I like better. Does it matter what gauge (AWG) wire should be used for this?

    This mod seems to get mixed opinions. Some absolutely love it and some feel like it rips that balls of the bridge pup. What are your opinions?

  2. Triple Jim

    Triple Jim Senior Stratmaster

    Feb 27, 2018
    North Central NC
    The wire gauge is unimportant.

    You could get a "no load" tone potentiometer if you're concerned about its effect when set to maximum resistance. The no load pot goes to an open circuit at the end of its travel, effectively removing itself and the tone capacitor from the circuit.
  3. GuitsrGeorge

    GuitsrGeorge Strat-Talker

    Apr 21, 2013
    long island, ny
    It’s the single best, easiest,
    and cheapest mod you can do to a Strat,
    Niall likes this.
  4. felis

    felis Senior Stratmaster

    Nov 27, 2013
    Added bridge/middle tone control on my strats, pretty happy with it.
    I recently rewired one of them to single tone control on bridge and middle wide (no tone) open, I think I like this even more. ;)
  5. RaySachs

    RaySachs Strat-O-Master

    Jun 25, 2017
    Philly area
    Doesn't it make more sense to wire the bridge in with the neck pickup tone control? In a normal 5-way switch, those two pickups are never on at the same time, so in any switch position you'd have a separate tone control for each pickup in use. That's about the only mod I'm thinking of for my new Cray strat, which is so close to perfect for me. But the bridge pup is nearly unusable on it's own and putting it on the neck tone control would make position 1 usable and position 2 more flexible than it currently is (although position 2 sounds great with the current setup)...

  6. Teddy Watkins

    Teddy Watkins Senior Stratmaster

    Sep 25, 2009
    Personally, I'm a fan of the bridge on the second tone and the middle with no tone control. I think it improves both pickups.
  7. Sarnodude

    Sarnodude Senior Stratmaster

    Sep 26, 2015
    And if your pickup wires have sufficient slack, you can just remove the middle and bridge pickups and swap positions. No soldering required, and it's easily reversible if you so desire.
  8. The Ballzz

    The Ballzz Senior Stratmaster

    Feb 26, 2014
    That does not seem useful/convenient to me at all. Let's say you have a "tamed tone" bridge setting for rhythm and want a full treble neck position for a solo. You'd need to switch, boost the volume AND reach for the tone knob and then return all three settings to get back to the rhythm setting. Sounds like a PITA to me! It kinda makes sense electrically, but operationally, not so much!
    Just sayin'
  9. RaySachs

    RaySachs Strat-O-Master

    Jun 25, 2017
    Philly area
    Yeah, I can see the downside for changing stuff on the fly in a live setting. But for the most control and biggest variety of sounds, OTOH, I think it works. I'm basically a man-cave player these days, so for what I do and how I do it, it would work really well. I'm never in a situation anymore where I would have to make the move you describe from one measure to the next and really nail the transition. So, I guess, horses for courses. For me, it should work, but I fully understand why it wouldn't in a different context / situation...

  10. Franck Wizz

    Franck Wizz Strat-Talk Member

    May 5, 2018
    Mons, Belgium
    When modifying wires and routings in my aerodyne so to accomodate a JB JR in the bridge, I choosed to wire all three pickups to single a global tone knob, with a no-load pot (came with a 22nF cap).

    I like the simplicity of it. Also this way, as I removed a tone knob, I had room for a series-parallel switch for the JB JR, without adding clutter. The added sound choice from this switch, is something I've been after for a long time. I'm very happy with it. In parallel it's bright, quacky and chimey... stratty as hell. In series, it screams... with zero noise. This should come stock with any strat! Too bad that the "vintage correct" mentality prevails. Whatever the fanboys think, Leo Fender was not God and the strat is not a perfect, untouchable instrument.

    To get back to topic, I totally understand why some strat players would like a tone control on certain pups and never on others. When I had the original (cheap ceramic) stock pickups and the two 250k standard tone pots, I had no idea why I would ever use the tone knob on the neck pickup! I was thinking of wiring the neck tone knob to the bridge pup.

    Now that I have the very (overly?) bright duckbuckers in the neck and middle positions, it makes more sense to manipulate the tone of all three pups with a single tone knob. It suits me quite well when playing.

    But frankly, there is no one-size-fits-all routing/wiring/knobs/whatever. We all have different needs! And there are many possibilities. Sometimes I think TOO many. :D I often have to talk myself into keeping things as simple as possible and with as few knobs/switches as possible. I've seen a strat with 6 knobs and 5 switches... I'd rather avoid that. :)