Independent tone control for every pickup?

Discussion in 'Tech-Talk' started by Wound_Up, Mar 3, 2020.

  1. Wound_Up

    Wound_Up Senior Stratmaster

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    Would it be possible to run a jumper wire at the switch and have the bridge & neck pickups on the same tone knob? Effectively giving you independent control of all 3 pickups in otherwise standard wiring configuration? If I'm thinking about this correctly, the fact that you never have neck & bridge on together means you would always have separate tone control over whatever 2 pickups are on.

    Would that work? What would you jumper? I tried to search and see if this had been covered but didn't find anything. Thanks!
     
  2. Guitarmageddon

    Guitarmageddon Dr. Stratster

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    Very easy to do....you just need to understand how the 5-way switch works....

    [​IMG]

    If you have no bridge pickup wired to tone, vintage strat-style wiring....it will be like above.....

    All you have to do is add a jumper from '3' to '1' on the lower side / control side of the 5-way......
     
  3. Old Guy

    Old Guy Strat-Talker

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    Here is what I did. I like the variety. Harmony 80T Wiring.png
     
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  4. Wound_Up

    Wound_Up Senior Stratmaster

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    Thank you so much! I did find a couple of threads where they mention positions 2 & 4 being somewhat muddy when you do this. Is that correct?
     
  5. Rudedawg

    Rudedawg Senior Stratmaster

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    Thank you, I'm so tempted to do this to both my strats at the next string change.
     
  6. TangerineDog

    TangerineDog Senior Stratmaster

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    Well yeah, just like the neck + middle position on a traditional Strat seems quite smooth considering it's so quacky.
    That's because that position (and, in your hypothetical case, the other notch position as well) sees two tone controls instead of one, essentially creating one 125k potentiometer (You normally use 500k on Humbuckers to retain some more high end and 250k on Single Coils to tame it, so there's a notable effect to increasing or decreasing pot values).
    Still, who has ever really called the neck + middle position on a Strat muddy? Exactly ;)
    And it will be even less muddy with middle + bridge.

    But might I offer another idea?
    The tone control settings you want for the bridge are not the same ones you want for the neck, so you're gonna be twiddling that knob a lot.
    So go big and get a master tone control. It works for every Tele out there, it works nicely for Strats as well and you're not gonna lose any more top end that you want to lose.
    With the control that's left, you could create a blender mod, giving you access to SSS sounds, HSH sounds (Humbucker - Single Coil - Humbucker) and everything in between.
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2020
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  7. Stratwrangler

    Stratwrangler Senior Stratmaster

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    +1 on this I disconnect the middle tone knob on all my strats and just use a master tone same as Rory Gallagher did no loss of signal on mixed positions then either as its only going through one tone pot.
     
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  8. Wound_Up

    Wound_Up Senior Stratmaster

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    Interesting. To experiment, and gain some sound, I swapped all 3 - 250k pots for 500k pots, so this may work better than originally expected. Thank you for taking the time to explain that. A master tone control is an option I could apply to the SSS setup, though.

    If I win this auction on Friday, that'll give me another Silvertone pickguard to work with since mine isnt a standard Strat shape so I can't find it anywhere. I decided I didn't want to cut up my original unless I can find another one to keep the SSS option. Because I just can't see paying for a custom tracing that's 1/3 the cost of the entire guitar. Ya know? I'm hoping to get this entire guitar in this auction for pretty cheap, like $25 cheap, but there's still 4 days left so I doubt it'll happen.
     
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  9. TangerineDog

    TangerineDog Senior Stratmaster

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    It sounds like you're unfamiliar with the Dan Armstrong Blender.
    It gives you a knob to turn to seamlessly go from SSS to HSH by blending the middle and bridge or neck from parallel to serial - giving you virtual Humbuckers which basically are nothing but two single coils wired in series.

    I know that @jvin248 is partial to that mod.

    Also, this thread has the diagrams you need (scroll further down to see the community approved ones ;) ).

    Of course, it might be irritating that positions 2, 3 and 4 increasingly become the middle pickup on its own when you turn the blender towards full HB action in 1 and 5.
    There's a way to install a switch that only affects positions 2 and 4, toggling between full parallel and full serial operation. If you'd be interested in that, I'd upload the diagram I made for this ('cause I haven't found a way to do this that doesn't affect position 3 at all online so I came up with one myself) but I'd have to get home first.
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2020