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  • Help with HH wiring in Ibanez S-series

    Hello all, first post here. Not too far back I purchased an Ibanez PWM100 and while I love the look and feel/playability of the guitar, I have not been exactly blown away by the tone. I find the stock Mojotone Hornets to be kind of dead sounding and even muddy given the stock dropped tuning of C# standard and the heavy gauge strings required for it.

    After doing a lot of homework and comparisons I selected an Alpha/Omega set because of the clarity it has and the fact that it is tuned to retain that clarity with dropped tunings.

    My question is this - the guitar comes with a 3-way selector switch, and a coil split mini-switch. I would like to replace the 3-way with a more versatile 5-way switch (which one, is why I'm here) and open up a wider range of tones from the new pickups. There seems to be endless options for HH wiring and I am open to suggestions but my initial thoughts were:

    1 - Bridge
    2 - inner coils
    3 - Bridge + Neck
    4 - outer coils
    5 - Neck

    Ideally with all of these "default" positions being hum canceling. "Default" meaning unmodified by the micro-switch (thoughts on that below).

    While I am not set in stone on that, what I want to avoid is buying a switch that will not let me at least TRY that, as well as other combinations - like how some megaswitches seem to only do one thing. If there is a pretty strong consensus that this actually doesn't give much variety in tone, I'm happy to try something else after I can test this out first. But I'd prefer to buy one switch to rule them all, as it were if at all possible. it seems like many megaswitches for a PRS-style setup do exactly this except for position 3, but I don't know if they can be wired to give both humbuckers.

    Further, I'm not sure what to do with the micro-switch. It's an on/off as far as I can tell, so I was thinking it could maybe be a phase switch? or is there a more inventive use for it to give a broader range of options? Flipping coils? Flipping series/parallel for certain positions? Again, very much open to suggestions and not opposed to buying an on/off/on or on/on/on or whatever (assuming it fits) if there is a good reason to change it.

    Another challenge here is the S-series body from Ibanez being very shallow. The PWM100 is slightly thicker than a typical S-series allowing a bit more clearance but I know it's going to be a challenge to get a superswitch in there. I know some of the Schaller megaswitches would probably fit (they're about 30mm or 1 3/16" vs the 1 3/8" of many others I've looked at) but none of them do exactly what I want above and I don't have the skill to know how to wire them differently.

    A bit about me - I can solder, have done plenty of hobbyist-level eletronic projects but mostly all digital stuff, so while I have the skills to physically do the wiring, every pickup wiring diagram I look at just looks like spaghetti to me. So the "talk to me like I'm 5" rule applies here - nothing should be assumed, talk to me like I'm an idiot please, and provide as much detail as possible for diagrams or resources that might help.

    It's an absolutely lovely instrument, I just want it to sound as good as it looks and feels. Thank you so much!

  • #2
    Re: Help with HH wiring in Ibanez S-series

    Welcome to the forum!

    A Super Switch allows this, although you'd have to flip a magnet on a pickup for everything to remain hum-cancelling. I wrote a blog about my version of this wiring.
    Dave, Ambassador/Writer/Artist for Seymour Duncan

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Help with HH wiring in Ibanez S-series

      Thanks for the quick response. I went to the blog post but I don't see any images at all aside from the cropped wiring diagram at the top. Is there anywhere to get the images from that post?

      Also, did you have any thoughts on options to do with the mini-switch?

      I'm fine swapping the magnet, I did see a few posts on that but I was wondering how to properly orient the pickups. There aren't screws and slugs on these pickups, it's all screws. Is there a suggested way to determine the proper orientation?

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Help with HH wiring in Ibanez S-series

        Don't do any wiring or mess with pickups myself, but may I suggest you use the mini switch to get series/parallel wiring on tne neck pickup? Cuts the bass and a bit of volume compared to parallel, but does wonders for clean tones. All my Duncan loaded guitars are wired that way, no matter what pickup configuration they have.
        Guitars:Gibson LP Trad ('57 Classics), Epiphone Les Paul Special (SP90-1 set), PRS SE CU 24 Flametop (TB5/PGn), Ibanez RG870RWZ (PATB set), Jackson DK2M1H (TB4) & DK2 (TB10/VRn/CRn), LTD MH-1000HS (TB-15/Lil59n), ST213A (HRb/STK-S4 m&n) & TE212 (Hot Stack/A2Pn), Dean Cadillac 1980 (59 set) & Old Skull V (TB6/JazzN), Squier VM JM (SJM-1 set);Effects:L6 Helix, Digitech Drop & FreqOut, TC Eletronic Eyemaster, Fender FVP-1, EHX Wailer Wah & Volume Pedal;

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Help with HH wiring in Ibanez S-series

          Here is the diagram:
          Click image for larger version

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          The rest of the pics were product pics. They are working on the site now, and many of the blogs are screwed up right now.

          The magnet flip is easy, and it will make sure that all positions are hum cancelling and the right coils get selected. Depending on what kind of switch it is, it might be able to select which coil of one humbucker is active (I'd pick the neck), but you will lose hum-cancelling. A phase switch would work too, but I don't particularly like that sound. Maybe a series/parallel switch for one humbucker?
          Dave, Ambassador/Writer/Artist for Seymour Duncan

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Help with HH wiring in Ibanez S-series

            Originally posted by RexRemus View Post
            Hello all, first post here. Not too far back I purchased an Ibanez PWM100 and while I love the look and feel/playability of the guitar, I have not been exactly blown away by the tone. I find the stock Mojotone Hornets to be kind of dead sounding and even muddy given the stock dropped tuning of C# standard and the heavy gauge strings required for it.

            After doing a lot of homework and comparisons I selected an Alpha/Omega set because of the clarity it has and the fact that it is tuned to retain that clarity with dropped tunings.

            My question is this - the guitar comes with a 3-way selector switch, and a coil split mini-switch. I would like to replace the 3-way with a more versatile 5-way switch (which one, is why I'm here) and open up a wider range of tones from the new pickups. There seems to be endless options for HH wiring and I am open to suggestions but my initial thoughts were:

            1 - Bridge
            2 - inner coils
            3 - Bridge + Neck
            4 - outer coils
            5 - Neck

            Ideally with all of these "default" positions being hum canceling. "Default" meaning unmodified by the micro-switch (thoughts on that below).

            While I am not set in stone on that, what I want to avoid is buying a switch that will not let me at least TRY that, as well as other combinations - like how some megaswitches seem to only do one thing. If there is a pretty strong consensus that this actually doesn't give much variety in tone, I'm happy to try something else after I can test this out first. But I'd prefer to buy one switch to rule them all, as it were if at all possible. it seems like many megaswitches for a PRS-style setup do exactly this except for position 3, but I don't know if they can be wired to give both humbuckers.

            Further, I'm not sure what to do with the micro-switch. It's an on/off as far as I can tell, so I was thinking it could maybe be a phase switch? or is there a more inventive use for it to give a broader range of options? Flipping coils? Flipping series/parallel for certain positions? Again, very much open to suggestions and not opposed to buying an on/off/on or on/on/on or whatever (assuming it fits) if there is a good reason to change it.

            Another challenge here is the S-series body from Ibanez being very shallow. The PWM100 is slightly thicker than a typical S-series allowing a bit more clearance but I know it's going to be a challenge to get a superswitch in there. I know some of the Schaller megaswitches would probably fit (they're about 30mm or 1 3/16" vs the 1 3/8" of many others I've looked at) but none of them do exactly what I want above and I don't have the skill to know how to wire them differently.

            A bit about me - I can solder, have done plenty of hobbyist-level eletronic projects but mostly all digital stuff, so while I have the skills to physically do the wiring, every pickup wiring diagram I look at just looks like spaghetti to me. So the "talk to me like I'm 5" rule applies here - nothing should be assumed, talk to me like I'm an idiot please, and provide as much detail as possible for diagrams or resources that might help.

            It's an absolutely lovely instrument, I just want it to sound as good as it looks and feels. Thank you so much!
            Wcome to the forum!

            FYI: there is an alternative where you don't have to flip the magnet on one of the pickups, which requires the pickup to be partially disassembled. The alternative simply wires the pickup in a different way, *and* has you rotate one of the pickups 180 in its pickup mounting ring. An example of this is the wiring diagram below (although it does not have either of the pickups rotated, but just try to imagine one of them rotated for now). It does achieve hum-canceling in the coil-split positions. The "S" and "N" refer to South and North magnetic polarities, FYI. This diagram doesn't match your guitar 100% (it has a Tone Control vs your guitar does not, and it does not have a 2 way switch like your guitar), but I could tweak this diagram for you to match your guitar if you like the general idea.

            Click image for larger version

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            Regarding which superswitch to purchase, since you said you don't want one that limits the potential wiring options, you definitely don't want the 3PS1SC5. Also, regarding choosing a switch whose height will fit in the control cavity of your guitar: a typical superswitch is quite tall compared to a normal (i.e. 2 pole) 3 way and 5 way switch - - for example, the height of a typical superswitch like the Dimarzio EP1112 superswitch, is 31mm tall. So first measure the available height dimension in your control cavity. If it cannot fit a 31mm switch, then the Ibanez VLX91 superswitch would be a workable option for you. Pic of it below.

            Click image for larger version

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            Finally for now, some ideas for how to use the existing 2 way switch could be: a phase switch like you said, a Master Series/Parallel switch (i.e. combines the two pickups in series instead of in parallel), a killswitch, or a series/parallel switch for a single pickup of your choosing. For the last option, your current OEM switch cannot do both pickups at once because it doesn't have enough poles. If you wanted to do series-parallel for both pickups at once, you would need to replace your current OEM 2PDT switch with a 4PDT switch.

            Let me know.
            Last edited by Jack_TriPpEr; 05-05-2020, 10:30 AM.
            Sanford: "The hardest part about tone chasing is losing the expectations associated with the hardware."

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Help with HH wiring in Ibanez S-series

              Originally posted by Jack_TriPpEr View Post
              FYI: there is an alternative where you don't have to flip the magnet on one of the pickups, which requires the pickup to be partially disassembled. The alternative simply wires the pickup in a different way, *and* has you rotate one of the pickups 180 in its pickup mounting ring.
              What do you suggest is accomplished by rotating a pup 180 degrees in its mounting ring?
              Originally Posted by IanBallard
              Rule of thumb... the more pot you have, the better your tone.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Help with HH wiring in Ibanez S-series

                Originally posted by GuitarDoc View Post
                What do you suggest is accomplished by rotating a pup 180 degrees in its mounting ring?
                To accomplish the OP's stated goal of having the active coils be physically located such that Position 2 is "both inners" and Position 4 is "both outers".

                The wiring at the switch accomplishes the hum-canceling goal in Positions 2 and 4. The rotation just places the active coils where the OP wants them. If one pickup is NOT rotated, Positions 2 and 4 remain hum-canceling but the active coil combinations will be "one inner and one outer".
                Sanford: "The hardest part about tone chasing is losing the expectations associated with the hardware."

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Help with HH wiring in Ibanez S-series

                  Thank you again Mincer and thanks Jack Tripper!

                  Jack: I really appreciate the depth of your reply. I'm going to include a few pics that might be helpful. They'll at least show what we're working with if nothing else as far as the cavity and the measurements of the current switch.

                  https://photos.app.goo.gl/nyM1HhEdxvYuZRhK7
                  https://photos.app.goo.gl/Ay36NcLEWjNAA6rd8
                  https://photos.app.goo.gl/zEpoHh8Yv6tjLuaW9

                  So it's not easy to see in the last pic but "tops" of those terminals + wires & solder do get up to 30mm or maybe 31mm. So I know a 31mm switch would end up a bit higher, though it might be possible to bend the tabs down a touch after soldering them. That being said there is still some additional clearance under the coverplate since it sits on top of the body and the switch mounts at an angle which allows a little extra distance before it would extend beyond the cavity, plus the PWM100 is just a bit thicker than a typical S-series - all of those little things add up to me thinking I might be ok with a 31mm "tall" switch, maybe even slightly taller even, I'm not opposed to taking 1-2mm out of the cover plate over the switch area either if I need the extra clearance, or even 3D printing a replacement that's a little chunkier with an appropriate recess - current is about 1.5mm, I could print something 2.5mm and take 1.5-1.75mm out as a recess.

                  Anyway... That's a long way to say, I think a switch around 31-30mm could be made to work. I could not find dimensions for the VLX91 to save my life, but I do know it has been used in S-series the default slightly thinner ones, so that's probably the "safest" choice, but from everything I see those tend to be hard to get(?)

                  I may just order one of each to be safe and just how fitment goes once I get them physically here.

                  Tha being said, Jack, if you're willing to provide wiring diagrams for either or both I would be hugely thankful. And if there's a better/different switch to allow more interesting combinations I'm open to getting it.

                  I like the suggestion of serial/parallel wiring from Mincer and Synapsys. Would there be a significant benefit for doing that for both pickups vs just the neck? if it's only one the neck is the choice for sure, but I'm curious how flipping to parallel and going through positions 2-4 would be, for one or both pickups. honestly might be terrible which would be fine lol, or might not change much as far as the split positions (2,4) but 3 might get weird.

                  So yeah if being able to swap both to parallel requires a new switch, but tonally is worth it, I'm totally game to buy one, but I don't think I'd be unhappy with just the neck. I just feel like if I'm tearing this all out I'd rather do it once, so if a new switch is more flexible and gives more options - even if I'm not currently using them all - I'd rather just get it now, and have options later by just adding/moving a few wires later on.

                  Thanks so much for the helpful responses all!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Help with HH wiring in Ibanez S-series

                    Ok, I have a VLX91 and an EP1112 ordered and will hopefully see them in a few days. As you can see from the pics the mini-switch is actually a 3PDT - I don't know if that makes much of a difference or if a 4PDT is still the minimum required for the more exotic options. I can definitely try and get something ordered for that as well if it's worth it. And open to an on/off/on or whatever if it provides tonally meaningful options.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Help with HH wiring in Ibanez S-series

                      Originally posted by RexRemus View Post
                      Ok, I have a VLX91 and an EP1112 ordered and will hopefully see them in a few days. As you can see from the pics the mini-switch is actually a 3PDT - I don't know if that makes much of a difference or if a 4PDT is still the minimum required for the more exotic options. I can definitely try and get something ordered for that as well if it's worth it. And open to an on/off/on or whatever if it provides tonally meaningful options.
                      Since the lugs are positioned differently on a VLX91 and an EP112, I will wait for you to tell me which switch you decided on before I make an updated diagram.

                      No, a 3PDT switch is also insufficient for the task of changing btw series/parallel for 2 pickups at the same time.

                      Regarding the type of switch you get, it all depends on what you want it do. I suggest you use the Search feature of this forum to find posts through history on this forum about each option, see what people had to say about each one after they tried it for themselves, and compare that to your needs and wants based on your playing style and goals, to determine which switch function/option you yourself would like to pursue. Also, looking each one up on Youtube and listening to demos there is also helpful. Then let me know and I will add it to the diagram.
                      Sanford: "The hardest part about tone chasing is losing the expectations associated with the hardware."

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Help with HH wiring in Ibanez S-series

                        Thanks Jack, I will report back in a little while. This'll give me time to record some DIs of the "before" to have a reference once this is done.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Help with HH wiring in Ibanez S-series

                          Originally posted by RexRemus View Post
                          I like the suggestion of serial/parallel wiring from Mincer and Synapsys. Would there be a significant benefit for doing that for both pickups vs just the neck?
                          You'll need a second switch the get both humbuckers in series/parallel switching. Or keep the existing on and use a push/pull on a volume or tone pot.
                          Guitars:Gibson LP Trad ('57 Classics), Epiphone Les Paul Special (SP90-1 set), PRS SE CU 24 Flametop (TB5/PGn), Ibanez RG870RWZ (PATB set), Jackson DK2M1H (TB4) & DK2 (TB10/VRn/CRn), LTD MH-1000HS (TB-15/Lil59n), ST213A (HRb/STK-S4 m&n) & TE212 (Hot Stack/A2Pn), Dean Cadillac 1980 (59 set) & Old Skull V (TB6/JazzN), Squier VM JM (SJM-1 set);Effects:L6 Helix, Digitech Drop & FreqOut, TC Eletronic Eyemaster, Fender FVP-1, EHX Wailer Wah & Volume Pedal;

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Help with HH wiring in Ibanez S-series

                            Thanks Synapsys - I'm looking at 4PDT switches per Jack's suggestion to see if I can squeeze one into that cavity, I may wait till I get the superswitches in and see how those work (if at all) so I can have actual measurements and not have to buy a bunch just to see if they'll fit. But I'm excited about having so many tonal options, even if some are absolute misses, it's still nice to have such a flexible setup if I want to change anything afterward.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Help with HH wiring in Ibanez S-series

                              Just a quick update - if all goes well I'll have both switch options in-hand on Monday and I'll be able to see if either of them will fit and/or which one fits best. I actually worry neither will fit but I think I can file down the 2nd PCB a bit on the EP112 and it'll fit. But either way, I'll know in a few days and I'll report back then.

                              On a personal note, it'll be good to have this info as looking around I've seen this asked (can I use a superswitch in a S-series body?) on multiple other sites with no real definitive answers, so I like knowing this post can serve as a reference for anyone else looking for an answer to this question going forward.

                              Comment

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