A switch to move tone controls between pickups

shunter

Strat-Talker
May 25, 2009
110
London
Is it possible or maybe problematic to have a switch that determines which pickup is affected by a tone control?

I like having separate tone controls on a 2 pickup guitar so you can flip between pickups without tweaking the tone control. I also like the idea of rolling off the bass on the neck pickup. Now one way to do this on a 3 knob guitar would be to have a master volume and 2 tone controls: bass roll-off tone for the neck and normal treble roll-off for the bridge.

However sometimes I might want to roll off the treble on the neck pickup and sometimes (in theory) roll off bass on the bridge pickup.

so my question is: is it doable to have a setup whereby one tone control is on the neck pickup and one on the bridge but you flick a switch and both controls become engaged with both pickups.

Does that make any sense? Thanks
 

systolsys

Strat-O-Master
Nov 22, 2020
969
Sydney, Australia
Yes it's possible. Yes, I think you'll need an S1 switch.

It might be easier to get a couple of these and wire them in between each pickup and the pickup selector switch:

https://guitarelectronics.com/dmt-passive-dual-mode-high-low-pass-tone-control/


Long version:

G&L already put a bass/treble tone controls on some guitars. That mod is covered here (1a/1b) or google for G&L PTB (Passive Treble & Bass)
https://www.premierguitar.com/articles/21112-three-must-try-guitar-wiring-mods. This is one pair of tone controls for whatever pickups are selected. But you want to split these.

That's fine. You put your tone controls between the pickups and the pickup selector (Like a Gibson). Then the pickup switch. Then the volume control (like a Fender).

Now you need to be able to swap them.

Note that the structure of the high-pass (bass-cut) tone and the low-pass (treble-cut) tone are different, so you need to switch the pickup to each tone circuit. (You can't just change the capacitor value or something).

So lets use a 2-way toggle (DPDT) to switch the hot wires of each pickups to different tone controls.

Now the pickup switch chooses between the outputs of the tone knobs... so your front tone will always be selected by the front pickup selector. ie: If you swap the tone controls, your pickup selection switch will change direction... which will drive you nuts. So you need to repeat the cross pattern to swap it back. Another DPDT.

This means you need a 4PDT switch to have one button to do both actions. Which is an S1 switch.

For pot and capacitor values, see:

https://tonefiend.com/guitar/two-band-ptb-tone-control-useful-easy-cheap-awesome/

Somebody else might have a neater solution.

This is rough as guts, but conceptually:

upload_2021-3-4_23-57-4.png
 

dirocyn

Most Honored Senior Member
Jan 20, 2018
6,777
Murfreesboro, TN
If you're just switching a tone control between two pickups--sure, easy peasy. A toggle switch hooked up to the pickup selector switch can do that, no problem. You can even use a push-pull pot, so you don't have to drill the pickguard.

The way strat tone controls are typically wired with one cap and two pots, only one cap is ever active. If you want two tone controls active at the same time (many people would find that undesirable) you'd need separate caps for each tone pot.
 
Last edited:

CB91710

No GAS shortage here
Double Platinum Supporting Member
Feb 24, 2019
10,851
SoCal
Yes it's possible. Yes, I think you'll need an S1 switch.

It might be easier to get a couple of these and wire them in between each pickup and the pickup selector switch:

https://guitarelectronics.com/dmt-passive-dual-mode-high-low-pass-tone-control/


Long version:

G&L already put a bass/treble tone controls on some guitars. That mod is covered here (1a/1b) or google for G&L PTB (Passive Treble & Bass)
https://www.premierguitar.com/articles/21112-three-must-try-guitar-wiring-mods. This is one pair of tone controls for whatever pickups are selected. But you want to split these.

That's fine. You put your tone controls between the pickups and the pickup selector (Like a Gibson). Then the pickup switch. Then the volume control (like a Fender).

Now you need to be able to swap them.

Note that the structure of the high-pass (bass-cut) tone and the low-pass (treble-cut) tone are different, so you need to switch the pickup to each tone circuit. (You can't just change the capacitor value or something).

So lets use a 2-way toggle (DPDT) to switch the hot wires of each pickups to different tone controls.

Now the pickup switch chooses between the outputs of the tone knobs... so your front tone will always be selected by the front pickup selector. ie: If you swap the tone controls, your pickup selection switch will change direction... which will drive you nuts. So you need to repeat the cross pattern to swap it back. Another DPDT.

This means you need a 4PDT switch to have one button to do both actions. Which is an S1 switch.

For pot and capacitor values, see:

https://tonefiend.com/guitar/two-band-ptb-tone-control-useful-easy-cheap-awesome/

Somebody else might have a neater solution.

This is rough as guts, but conceptually:

View attachment 462173
^^^^ This.

And notice that this uses two DPDT switches, but you want them actuated all at the same time, so you really need a 4PDT switch.
Stomp boxes use 3PDT switches, but 4PDT toggles are hard to find... however, the S-1 is indeed a 4PDT switch.
Problem being that you are stuck with the switch either having Tele style chrome barrels, or standard Strat "Volume" type knobs.
 

dirocyn

Most Honored Senior Member
Jan 20, 2018
6,777
Murfreesboro, TN
I must have misread the question. I see now @shunter wants:

1. A tone control on the neck pickup, switchable to both
2. A bass trim control on the bridge pickup, switchable to both
All on one switch.

Switching the tone control is easy, because a tone control doesn't require an output (just ground). SPST will do it. Just have 1 hooked up all the time, and the switch is on/off for the connection to the other one.

Switching the bass trim is more complicated, because the whole signal has to pass through it and continue on. You have to switch both its input (between bridge pickup and pickup selector output) and its output (between pickup selector's bridge input and volume pot input).


I think it can be done with a 3pdt switch but I have to ask--why? Would it not be preferable to have either/both controls on each? As in--using a pair of Bourns push-pulls, which are DPDT?
 

shunter

Strat-Talker
May 25, 2009
110
London
Why not a master volume and a master tone?

Because I want to be able to switch between bass-rolled-off-neck and treble-rolled-off-bridge, using just the pickup selector switch. But retain the ability to use the G&l style ptb, controls if necessary
 

Angel S Bunny

Strat-Talker
May 30, 2019
207
England
Two Picks
Bass Tone and Treble Tone Controls
You Select if the Neck is Bass/Treble while the Bridge gets Treble/Bass
Then a Pickup Selector that depends on the S1 where one way will be Bass and the other Treble but could be any pickup (Neck/Bridge) depending on the S1 Switch, some signal maybe lost down the Treble even if Pickup Signal has gone down the Bass line.

G&L
Note the C1M for the Bass, I think he does talk about using a 500K but I've tried that and it SUCKS only works for about 50% of the time, what would be logical with the C1M because it jumps from 0-250K within a few touches.
 

Believer7713

The Pink Bunnyman Frankenstein
Silver Member
Dec 27, 2016
16,928
KC


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