A switch to move tone controls between pickups

Discussion in 'Tech-Talk' started by shunter, Mar 4, 2021.

  1. shunter

    shunter Strat-Talker

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    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
     
  2. KoreGeneral

    KoreGeneral Strat-Talker

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    I think an S1 switch does this. Not sure
     
  3. systolsys

    systolsys Strat-O-Master

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    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
     
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  4. Baelzebub

    Baelzebub Dr. Stratster

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    Bad post. Not enough coffee....
     
  5. dirocyn

    dirocyn Most Honored Senior Member

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    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: Mar 4, 2021
  6. CB91710

    CB91710 No GAS shortage here Double Platinum Supporting Member

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    ^^^^ 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.
     
  7. dirocyn

    dirocyn Most Honored Senior Member

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    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?
     
  8. Seamus OReally

    Seamus OReally Mr. Serious Gold Supporting Member

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    Why not a master volume and a master tone?
     
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  9. shunter

    shunter Strat-Talker

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    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
     
  10. Angel S Bunny

    Angel S Bunny Strat-Talker

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    Signals can travel back down a line
    So signals from both pickups will try and use the treble tone control
     
  11. Angel S Bunny

    Angel S Bunny Strat-Talker

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    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.
     
  12. Believer7713

    Believer7713 The Pink Bunnyman Frankenstein Silver Member

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