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Wiring bridge pickup to tone control

Discussion in 'Pickup Forum' started by xland, Sep 24, 2016.

  1. xland

    xland Senior Stratmaster

    Age:
    50
    Oct 5, 2014
    Phoenix, AZ
    If there was one thing that I would like changed on my Strat it would be the ability to adjust the tone of the bridge pickup. I did some quick google research and came across this diagram from Seymour Duncan.

    Based on what I'm seeing in this diagram, all I need to do is add one wire that will create a little bridge between the 2nd and 3rd connector. Is it really just that simple? If so, why wouldn't they make that connection standard.

    Anyway, I am just looking for confirmation that all I need to do is bridge the 2nd and 3rd connectors with a short wire. I'm assuming I can cut a small piece of wire from an extra pickup I have laying around.


    4-tone_f_bp.jpg
     
    dueducs likes this.
  2. GoodGolly

    GoodGolly Strat-O-Master

    542
    Jan 16, 2016
    Northern Virginia
    Pretty sure that's all you need. I was under the impression that most modern strats do this already; maybe yours is vintage-y?

    An alternative I did was to put the 2nd tone control just on the bridge. I like not having two pots load down the neck-mid combo.
     
    xland likes this.
  3. Mr. Lumbergh

    Mr. Lumbergh needs you to go ahead and come in on Sunday, too. Strat-Talk Supporter

    Jan 10, 2014
    Initech, Inc.
    Yes, this is all you need to do. I wire my bridge so that the neck tone control is paired with it; I did this on my Gilmour build. This way you never have the neck loaded down with two pots as @GoodGolly pointed out, and you can always have different values dialed in between the mid and the other two, which helps quack.
    If that sounds like a better plan to you, simply wire that jumper over the lug in in the diagram to the one on the bottom of the switch that ties into the top tone control.
     
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  4. Vindibona1

    Vindibona1 Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

    Yes, it's that simple.

    The reason for not including a bridge tone control is a little convoluted. If you've every installed a no-load pot you'd see the tonal difference between it and a conventional pot. I was surprised at the difference when I first installed a no-load. I guess Leo Fender just wanted the bridge to go to the amp with full gusto. In many Strats Fender has just kept with that tradition, as inflexible as it is.

    But as you can see, getting tone control on the bridge is just a matter of adding one jumper wire. You may want to try changing the tone pot(s) to a no-load version so you can take it completely out of the circuit. It's not that critical, but an option nonetheless.

    Good luck.
     
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  5. xland

    xland Senior Stratmaster

    Age:
    50
    Oct 5, 2014
    Phoenix, AZ
    Thanks for replies. It looks like I may have a little project for next weekend. Thanks again!
     
    Mansonienne likes this.
  6. Mr. Lumbergh

    Mr. Lumbergh needs you to go ahead and come in on Sunday, too. Strat-Talk Supporter

    Jan 10, 2014
    Initech, Inc.
    Back in the day, amps did more poorly with treble, so Leo wanted to give them all the help he could by dialing in some inherent brightness into the guitar. This is also wy the bridge pickup on the Tele and Strat is slanted towards the bridge. Also, he got started because Country guys kept wanted borrowing his Tele prototype because of its bright sound and twang, so it could be that he took it as gospel that bright is exactly what players were looking for.
     
  7. Seymour Duncan

    Seymour Duncan Senior Stratmaster

    Yes, this is very simple. My guess is the reason this hasn't been done on many modern models has to do with 'tradition' which I never cared much about anyway if it gets in the way of a better-sounding guitar.
     
    Willie D, johnnymg and xland like this.
  8. Vinnie1971

    Vinnie1971 Senior Stratmaster

    Nov 14, 2015
    U.K.
    I have 500k no load pot for master tone and 500k no load to blend bridge and neck on 2 strats - it's my favourite mod
     
  9. jvin248

    jvin248 Senior Stratmaster

    Jan 10, 2014
    Michigan
    The other option, if you have an SSS Strat is to swap the bridge and middle pickup in the pickguard for a no-solder change so the tone tone control follows to the bridge position. This gives you the Tele-like bridge+neck option. Or you can swap the wires at the switch to give the same effect.

    I'll have to experiment with that bridge & neck common tone Mr Lumbergh mentioned.
     
  10. bchaffin72

    bchaffin72 The wizard next door. Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    46
    Oct 4, 2008
    Stratford,Ontario
    That was the route I went with mine, too, as well as a neck on switch and using a TBX for the bridge/neck tone pot. In standard switching, it works on the bridge or the neck, since both won't be on at once. With the neck on active, it works on both, becoming a master tone for those pickups. The middle pickup keeps its independent tone in all positions.
     
  11. Mr. Lumbergh

    Mr. Lumbergh needs you to go ahead and come in on Sunday, too. Strat-Talk Supporter

    Jan 10, 2014
    Initech, Inc.
    I do find that once I get one tone control down to about 3 or 4, it starts to affect the other. I'm not entirely sure if this is normal, because until now my only Strat with which I've had any real experience was my Roadhouse with the V6 switch.
     
  12. joe_cpwe

    joe_cpwe Senior Stratmaster

    Jul 21, 2015
    USA
    I have a Tex Mex and the bridge has real bite that needs control. A short while ago I did the jumper, wiring middle to bridge so they are both controlled on the back tone knob. I found that I would have it turned down and then, not thinking about it, switch to the neck/middle position but it would sound muddy because the tone was down on the middle pickup. I found it's not working for me.

    I am going to remove the jumper and give a tone pot exclusively to the bridge pickup. Not sure if the other tone will go to the neck (EV / JLV wiring) or middle...maybe I'll leave them wide open and go for a blend. Not sure about that yet.
     
  13. Tone Guru

    Tone Guru Senior Stratmaster

    Dec 13, 2011
    Music City TN
    Another hint as to Leo's thinking is to look at the Jazzmaster and Jaguar 'rhythm circuit'.
    By having the tone controls switched makes for a more differentiated lead and rhythm sound without having to make any adjustment to the tone knob.
     
  14. FormerTeleGuy

    FormerTeleGuy Senior Stratmaster

    Nov 17, 2013
    Oak Lawn, IL
    Yes it's that simple.

    A common alternative wiring is to leave the middle pickup without a tone control instead to prevent loading down the 2 or 4 position with 2 tone controls. In this case you would clip the wire at the point where you would normally bridge it to the adjacent contact and solder it there instead. That how I wire mine and prefer it.
     
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  15. kevin54

    kevin54 Senior Stratmaster

    Feb 16, 2014
    Dorset, England
    Yep, just use a small jumper wire, very easy to do, even I managed it.:thumb:
     
  16. xland

    xland Senior Stratmaster

    Age:
    50
    Oct 5, 2014
    Phoenix, AZ
    I did this today. :thumb: I wish I would have done it a long time ago.
     
    texred, FormerTeleGuy and Hal Nico like this.
  17. Hal Nico

    Hal Nico Senior Stratmaster

    Apr 28, 2012
    JAMOADR
    I wire all my Strats with just the one volume and tone control.This leaves the 2nd tone control for other mods.On my HSS Strat it's now a push-pull 250k pot/switch for a coil tap on my bridge humbucker.I had it set also as a Blender control to feed the bridge PUP into the neck but found I didn't use the extra tones so just leave it as a coil tap switch.That's the great thing about Strats e.g they are pretty easy to mod to suit the player :cool::D
     
    xland likes this.
  18. FormerTeleGuy

    FormerTeleGuy Senior Stratmaster

    Nov 17, 2013
    Oak Lawn, IL
    Glad you like it! Lowering the middle pickup can help tame any harshness and make it sound very sweet, just in case.
     
    xland likes this.
  19. dueducs

    dueducs Senior Stratmaster

    Do you think having two pots on the mid makes a difference in tone? Does it make it a little warmer/darker?
     
  20. GoodGolly

    GoodGolly Strat-O-Master

    542
    Jan 16, 2016
    Northern Virginia
    That's how it seems, but of course haven't A-B tested them.