My new $40 guitar - pickup recommendations please

StratUp

Most Honored Senior Member
Sep 5, 2020
7,329
Altered States
Good overview; thx. Really helps.
I think I only want to split; what else can a DPDT do?
The CST site says if you follow their wiring, the mid selection on the 3 way switch puts the pickups out of phase and says that's a good thing. What's with that?

In general, A DPDT allows you to choose circuit path A or B where as an SPST lets you choose to turn something on or off. By being a little creative, we make that "something" a coil split. The DPDT would also allow you to change phase and series/parallel. I think you'd need to have them on the tone controls too with Humbuckers if you also want to be able to split the coils. There are lots of options as you effectively have four coils with HB's, it's just that they come as a pair with suggested wiring being each pair in series as a pair.

DPDT's are always more flexible, but again, wiring them can be a PITA and they don't always fit. As I recall, the Bourn DPDT's need 30mm from mounting to inside of the rear cavity cover panel. Thinner guitars don't have that. One of the reasons you see mini-toggle switches on some guitars is to bypass that clearance issue. On a solid wood top like yours, it's more of a commitment than it is on a Strat (etc) where you can always replace a pickguard later.

Do you have a pointer to that CTS diagram? In general, you don't want the two coils out of phase. That's a very thin sound. It can be useful as an option, but it's not standard wiring. You usually want the two HB's in phase and in parallel in the center position.
 

UrLitlDog2

Strat-Talk Member
May 19, 2018
60
California
In general, A DPDT allows you to choose circuit path A or B where as an SPST lets you choose to turn something on or off. By being a little creative, we make that "something" a coil split. The DPDT would also allow you to change phase and series/parallel. I think you'd need to have them on the tone controls too with Humbuckers if you also want to be able to split the coils. There are lots of options as you effectively have four coils with HB's, it's just that they come as a pair with suggested wiring being each pair in series as a pair.

DPDT's are always more flexible, but again, wiring them can be a PITA and they don't always fit. As I recall, the Bourn DPDT's need 30mm from mounting to inside of the rear cavity cover panel. Thinner guitars don't have that. One of the reasons you see mini-toggle switches on some guitars is to bypass that clearance issue. On a solid wood top like yours, it's more of a commitment than it is on a Strat (etc) where you can always replace a pickguard later.

Do you have a pointer to that CTS diagram? In general, you don't want the two coils out of phase. That's a very thin sound. It can be useful as an option, but it's not standard wiring. You usually want the two HB's in phase and in parallel in the center position.
The DPDT sounds a kind of like the S-1 switch on my Strat, and I love that; use it a lot. But I think I'll stick with just splitting for this one.

Here's the diagram they post - it does show a switch on one of the tone knobs too, but I think that's optional and doesn't come into play for the phase question: https://www.stewmac.com/video-and-i...cs-and-wiring/cts-push-pull-pot-diagram-spst/
The info about the out of phase wiring is below the diagram.
 

StratUp

Most Honored Senior Member
Sep 5, 2020
7,329
Altered States
The DPDT sounds a kind of like the S-1 switch on my Strat, and I love that; use it a lot. But I think I'll stick with just splitting for this one.

Here's the diagram they post - it does show a switch on one of the tone knobs too, but I think that's optional and doesn't come into play for the phase question: https://www.stewmac.com/video-and-i...cs-and-wiring/cts-push-pull-pot-diagram-spst/
The info about the out of phase wiring is below the diagram.

OK...I find their statement odd. To make a pickup "out of phase", you would typically reverse the leads (assuming the pickups are "normal" in phase by default). To simplify, and just as an example because color codes vary, if the pickups have a white lead and a black lead, the white leads would normally go to the switch, the black to ground. If you wanted them out of phase, you'd do one pickup opposite with the black to hot and the white to ground.

But oddly, they don't label any leads on the pickups at all or show any color codes. So I can't tell you if it's in phase or out of phase. Maybe their assumption is that you get to figure that out ... so you can get the Jimmy Page out of phase sound.
 

UrLitlDog2

Strat-Talk Member
May 19, 2018
60
California
OK...I find their statement odd. To make a pickup "out of phase", you would typically reverse the leads (assuming the pickups are "normal" in phase by default). To simplify, and just as an example because color codes vary, if the pickups have a white lead and a black lead, the white leads would normally go to the switch, the black to ground. If you wanted them out of phase, you'd do one pickup opposite with the black to hot and the white to ground.

But oddly, they don't label any leads on the pickups at all or show any color codes. So I can't tell you if it's in phase or out of phase. Maybe their assumption is that you get to figure that out ... so you can get the Jimmy Page out of phase sound.
Ya I noticed the diagram wires weren't in color or labeled; made it even harder for a noob like me to figure out.

The real question for me is do I even want out of phase wiring. They made it sound like a desirable thing so that got my attention. But it sounds like I'd be better off just sticking with the standard, at least until I understand it better - TBH, I don't really know what "out of phase sound" even is. . .. .
 

StratUp

Most Honored Senior Member
Sep 5, 2020
7,329
Altered States
Ya I noticed the diagram wires weren't in color or labeled; made it even harder for a noob like me to figure out.

The real question for me is do I even want out of phase wiring. They made it sound like a desirable thing so that got my attention. But it sounds like I'd be better off just sticking with the standard, at least until I understand it better - TBH, I don't really know what "out of phase sound" even is. . .. .

Out of phase is kind of thin and brittle. Through a cranked amp or lots of overdrive it can be OK. If you listen to some of Gary Moore's stuff, he was out of phase on humbuckers. So was Peter Green. Same LP.

It's a nice option. It would not be my primary choice on any guitar. It's a "use occasionally" for most people.
 

UrLitlDog2

Strat-Talk Member
May 19, 2018
60
California
Out of phase is kind of thin and brittle. Through a cranked amp or lots of overdrive it can be OK. If you listen to some of Gary Moore's stuff, he was out of phase on humbuckers. So was Peter Green. Same LP.

It's a nice option. It would not be my primary choice on any guitar. It's a "use occasionally" for most people.
Heh; that settles it then - Definitely not for me. thx for the info.
 

UrLitlDog2

Strat-Talk Member
May 19, 2018
60
California
After listening to the samples on the Tonerider site, I decided the Alnico IVs sounded better than the IIs, so ordered them.
Thanks everyone for all your feedback; really valuable and helped me learn a lot. I'm looking forward to playing this thing when it's upgraded. I still can't believe how much I fun this guitar has turned out to be to play.
 

UrLitlDog2

Strat-Talk Member
May 19, 2018
60
California
HB's should have have 500K pots and .022 tone caps. I like Bourn mini's with DPDT push pulls.

There are some considerations: First it the length of the threaded portion of the pot shaft. It has to be a little bit longer than the thickness of the wood top. Easiest thing to do is to remove one of your existing pots and measure it.

Second consideration is the total depth from the mounting surface (the part that will press on the wood) and the rearmost part of the pot. It needs to fit into the cavity. The Bourn, for example, needs about 30mm total with the switch on there.

Third consideration with the Bourn is that it's a mini. Soldering the switch terminals requires a fine point iron and some small 22 gauge wire. The main terminals are no issue, but the switch is a little tricky due to the small scale.

If you only want to split the coils, you can get by with an SPST. You just ground the center junction on the HB to make it drop one coil. CTS has a full size pot with full size switch for that. But if you want to do more interesting things, the DPDT is much more flexible.
I checked out the CTS SPST switches: they seem to all have 24-spline shafts. My knobs are 18-spline . . .
1st choice: Keep it simple. Do you know a source for an 18-spline SPST pot?
2nd choice: all new knobs, 1/2 fine spline, 1/2 coarse. . .. ya I can do this if necessary.
thx.
 

tubejockey

Strat-Talker
Dec 1, 2016
401
the Bozone
Where'd you get the top? Looks like it was made for just this guitar.
Cut it on a CNC router, etched with ferric chloride. I slid a piezo under the top between the bridge posts for a little extra fun.
FWIW, I wouldn't worry too much about finding pots to fit your knobs, knobs are cheap and plentiful. Gibson style speed knobs work better with push-push than push-pull. Pick out something that goes with your chosen aesthetic.
 

UrLitlDog2

Strat-Talk Member
May 19, 2018
60
California
Cut it on a CNC router, etched with ferric chloride. I slid a piezo under the top between the bridge posts for a little extra fun.
FWIW, I wouldn't worry too much about finding pots to fit your knobs, knobs are cheap and plentiful. Gibson style speed knobs work better with push-push than push-pull. Pick out something that goes with your chosen aesthetic.
That's some fancy tech. :) Not too many folks would even know what you're talking about, much less have access to it. Nicely done.
Ya I expected that about the knobs. I know I can get replacements in both fine and coarse spline versions so it's not a huge deal. I confess though, I'm trying to not let the project run away from me; it all adds up and I have a few more ideas yet, so the simple thing would be to be able to use the perfectly good knobs I already have.
Ya; I guess I'm cheap. :) .
 

wooders

Strat-O-Master
Nov 19, 2021
813
Kent
After listening to the samples on the Tonerider site, I decided the Alnico IVs sounded better than the IIs, so ordered them.
Thanks everyone for all your feedback; really valuable and helped me learn a lot. I'm looking forward to playing this thing when it's upgraded. I still can't believe how much I fun this guitar has turned out to be to play.
Are they in yet? Toyed with A4 but went with A2. Would like to know how they are
 

UrLitlDog2

Strat-Talk Member
May 19, 2018
60
California
Nothing wrong with that, especially in today's economy. My last partscaster went together for around $200 total.

Well ****fire and damnation . . . I thought Probuckers would be too expensive so didn't even look for them, but at that price I would have gotten them. Feeling a bit stupid. . . :) They were my first choice, based on hearing them in an Epi LP Standard Pro and reading up on them. Heh; oh well. I guess I could always just return the Toneriders, but now I really want to see how they do. What to do? (and for all of you who say "get both" ... .I'm off work with an injury, so trying to balance the necessity of having a guitar that I love against the necessity of having a roof under which to play it. :) ).
 
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UrLitlDog2

Strat-Talk Member
May 19, 2018
60
California
Are they in yet? Toyed with A4 but went with A2. Would like to know how they are
Heh; they're coming from England. - If you order direct from Tonerider they're way cheaper. I'll circle back around here and post when they come and are installed, but I'm guessing it might be a while yet.
 
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UrLitlDog2

Strat-Talk Member
May 19, 2018
60
California
HB's should have have 500K pots and .022 tone caps. I like Bourn mini's with DPDT push pulls.

There are some considerations: First it the length of the threaded portion of the pot shaft. It has to be a little bit longer than the thickness of the wood top. Easiest thing to do is to remove one of your existing pots and measure it.

Second consideration is the total depth from the mounting surface (the part that will press on the wood) and the rearmost part of the pot. It needs to fit into the cavity. The Bourn, for example, needs about 30mm total with the switch on there.

Third consideration with the Bourn is that it's a mini. Soldering the switch terminals requires a fine point iron and some small 22 gauge wire. The main terminals are no issue, but the switch is a little tricky due to the small scale.

If you only want to split the coils, you can get by with an SPST. You just ground the center junction on the HB to make it drop one coil. CTS has a full size pot with full size switch for that. But if you want to do more interesting things, the DPDT is much more flexible.
any chance you can post a wiring diagram for the SPST setup? Tonerider has great diagrams, but they're all for DPDT pots. Looking at the switch, it's not obvious to me how to do what you're saying here, but I'm admittedly a total noob. thx
 

StratUp

Most Honored Senior Member
Sep 5, 2020
7,329
Altered States
any chance you can post a wiring diagram for the SPST setup? Tonerider has great diagrams, but they're all for DPDT pots. Looking at the switch, it's not obvious to me how to do what you're saying here, but I'm admittedly a total noob. thx
Yes... if I can't find something, I'll do a crude drawing.

EDIT: You want both humbuckers to be able to become single coils?
 


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