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Changing wiring of a 50s classic player strat?

Discussion in 'Tech-Talk' started by nosuch, Sep 17, 2014.

  1. nosuch

    nosuch Strat-Talk Member

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    My Classic player strat has the 5-way-switch wired like that
    1. Neck
    2. Neck + Bridge
    3. Middle
    4. Middle + Bridge
    5. Bridge

    The tone controls work for Neck + Middle and Bridge.

    I'd like to get the "normal" Strat switching (position 2 = Neck + Middle) and also take the tone control off the middle pickup.

    Can I achieve that with the parts that are in the guitar or do I have to by a "standard" switch. Does anybody maybe has a wiring schematic so I see what to change? I couldn't find the schematics @fender.com.

    Thanks.
     
  2. Skinny Nitro

    Skinny Nitro Senior Stratmaster

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    The convention for switch positions is usually with the numbers the other way round.
    This how Fender describe the CP50s switching
    Position 1. Bridge Pickup,
    Position 2. Bridge and Middle Pickup,
    Position 3. Middle Pickup,
    Position 4. Bridge and Neck Pickup,
    Position 5. Neck Pickup

    The current switch is a dual wafer 4 pole superswitch with a lot of soldered connections which are often a PITA to unsolder. Replacing it with a standard 5 way would probably be easier. Simply cut the wires off the existing switch close to the lugs and connect to the new switch.

    This is an image of the CP50s switch from the Fender service pdf which is not online but was posted on the forums some time back.
     

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  3. fumbler

    fumbler PhD-Stratology

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    Well, it wouldn't be THAT difficult to re-wire the super-switch. You'd only have to clip a few wires here, and solder a few wires there. It would be about the same work to remove it and wire up a standard 5-way from scratch. Lemme know and I'd be happy to draw up what to do.

    But I agree that the super-switch is cramped and a bit of a pain to work on.

    While you're in there you could check to see what quality pots they used and possibly replace them (although I do think the recent MIM strats use better stuff than they used to.)

    The wiring you want is standard vintage strat-wiring except you want to move the second tone knob to the bridge pickup -- that's "Eric Johnson" or "Jimmie Vaughan" wiring. Google it.
     
  4. kevin54

    kevin54 Senior Stratmaster

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    If it's any help, I know my MIM Strat has CTS pots.
     
  5. nosuch

    nosuch Strat-Talk Member

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    Wow, that looks complicated. Maybe I just enjoy the unusual option – or take it to someone knowing more about soldering. If someone can make a drawing what needs to be changed I would give it a try, though.
     
  6. JohnDH

    JohnDH Senior Stratmaster

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    If you have that superswitch and are willing to tackle it, you can have just about anything you like. Id agree about N+M. I reckon its the best combo sound on a strat. But how do you rate M vs N+B?. You could, if you wanted, put N+B in pos 3 instead of M. You could also make a free choice about which tone pots are sctive and where, and avoid the double loading of two tones at once which is inherent in standard strat wiring
     
  7. fumbler

    fumbler PhD-Stratology

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    Well, if you don't have any experience this is not an easy place to start. But here it is. You'll have to blow it up larger. Clip everywhere I've marked in red and add the wires I marked in blue. You'll be moving the neck pickup wire to a different lug and jumpering it to its neighbor. I have the bottom tone pot active in switch positions #1 and 2, the middle tone pot is active in #3, 4 and 5.
     

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  8. nosuch

    nosuch Strat-Talk Member

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    Thank you very much.
     
  9. nosuch

    nosuch Strat-Talk Member

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    Well, I like the N+B combination quite a bit. It reminds me of a tele - my main and go-to guitar. But since I have lots of teles it is a bit redundant and in fact it is also my least favorite setting on the tele.
    I think I'd like the strat to be a strat and that involves the middle pickup and neck/middle combination - classic tones. The doubling of the tone control in the 2nd position (M+B) is impractical IMHO. If I tame the bridge pickup a bit to avoid shrillness and also the neck pickup to get jazzier tone the combination is too dark. I think the best thing I could do is designating the first tone to the neck and the second to the bridge - so there is always only one tone control involved. Maybe it would even be a good idea to have the tone control on the bridge pickup alone, but not on the combination with the middle, but I have no idea how I could do that. I am not in a hurry though (the guitar works quite well as it is), I think I will give it a try when I change strings next time. :)

    BTW: By adjusting the switch carefully between positions 3 and 4 I can get all three pickups at once - very hifi-sounding. ;-)
     
  10. nosuch

    nosuch Strat-Talk Member

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    I think I'll show fumblers diagram to my neighbor. He happens to be an electrician and knows more about soldering then I will ever know. I can put a tele together but this superswitch needs another class of solderer I am afraid.