No announcement yet.

Individual switches for wiring 3 pickup guitar

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Individual switches for wiring 3 pickup guitar

    I'm building a three single coil guitar and want it to be as versatile as possible so I was thinking instead of a standard five way switch i would wire it with switches to turn the pickup off/on/on(outofphase) and then have another switch for either series or parallel wiring. Anyone done this before and can offer me some help. I think I would have to use a 2P3T switch for the individual pickups but what would I use to switch between series and parallel?

  • #2
    Re: Individual switches for wiring 3 pickup guitar

    Hey Shaws; Welcome to the forum.

    I'm at work, right now, but as soon as I get home, I'll look through my notes. I've been working on this idea myself for some time. The three individual switches, used to select on/off/reverse-polarity is dirt simple. Selecting between series/parallel is where it starts to get tricky.

    But, let me look over my notes, and I'll get back to you soon.


    Edit: Just to clarify: having three individual switches that do:

    on/off/RP in series is simple.
    on/off/RP in parallel is simple.

    Having both series and parallel is where the wiring gets messy.
    Last edited by ArtieToo; 11-12-2004, 05:57 AM.


    • #3
      Re: Individual switches for wiring 3 pickup guitar

      I think I may have worked it out. The first obstacle is to do with when the pickup is in the off position. It needs to be wired so that when in series it connects a wire link between the hot and ground of the wires going to the pickup and when in parallel it just leaves no connection.

      I think I have worked out a switching solution which would need a 8PDT switch for the series/parallel switching. I will try and draw up a picture and post it then I can get some feedback.

      Also I expecting that having all these wires is going to introduce maybe a bit of noise any tips on how to minimise this?


      • #4
        Re: Individual switches for wiring 3 pickup guitar

        That sounds like the wiring of a Brian May guitar! Which uses switches for series and out-of-phase wiring.
        I modded one out-of-phase switch, so that i can switch the bridge pickup parallel to all positions. For changing the phase of it, i simply switch the other pickup(s) out-of-phase.

        This is a good description how this works.
        You can leave off the out-of-phase switches and have 3 series-switches.
        Last edited by Inge Malmstein; 11-13-2004, 06:17 AM.
        Pickups... the final frontier.
        These are the voyages of the Seymour-Duncan Forum-Users.
        Their continuing mission: to explore strange new pickup mods, to seek out new tones and new guitars, to boldly go where no mod has gone before.


        • #5
          Re: Individual switches for wiring 3 pickup guitar

          i had drawn up something like this for a two humbucker guitar that allowed each pickup to be split (either coil), internal series, internal parallel and then combined (series or parallel) with the other humbucker .. after i got done, i decided that it would be essentialy impossible to play live, so i bagged it ... was a fun thought experiment, but had very little practical value

          good luck - let us know how it goes
          gear list in profile

          "no seymour - no tone ... know seymour - know tone!"

          Is it not the glory of the people of America that, whilst they have paid a decent regard to the opinions of former times and other nations, they have not suffered a blind veneration for antiquity, for custom, or for names, to overrule the suggestions of their own good sense, the knowledge of their own situation, and the lessons of their own experience?" - James Madison - Federalist #14


          • #6
            Re: Individual switches for wiring 3 pickup guitar

            thanks for the link the setup at the bottom of the page is exactly what I was after except that I won't to replace the two switches per pickup with a single three way switch. I think I have worked out how to do this.

            Any ideas on how to reduce any noise introduced by such a switching design. As I see it the using two conductor cable offers no benefits as the ground will be on the inside and the hot signal on the outside when it is switched out of phase. (I hope that makes sense!) I guess I'll have to sheild the entire body of the guitar.