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Duckbucker wiring switching - Parallel/Series

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  • Duckbucker wiring switching - Parallel/Series

    Hey guys,
    this is my first post and I'm a novice pickup wire-ist. :-) I searched the forums but wasn't able to find this question answered.
    I'm planning on installing 2 Duckbuckers and a Vintage Rails in a guitar build. I'm planning on using a normal 5-way switch and, after reading about their sound in series - as opposed to the standard parallel wiring, I was wondering if it would be possible to use one switch to switch all pickups at once from parallel to series and back. Does anybody know of such a switch and how I could wire it up? Or should I just get the damn 5-way superswitch? I'd prefer just the normal 5-way and a push-pull volume or something similar, but I could go the superswitch route...
    Thanks in advance for any advice you can give.

  • #2
    The problem is, to do that, you'd need a 6PDT switch. In other words, three DPDT switches tied together. They make them, but they could be hard to fit into a guitar. Here's one that I've been looking at lately, for one of my projects.

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/GRAYHILL-71...-/153369409887

    And welcome to the forum.

    P.S. That should be a sweet sounding axe when you get it done. And noiseless, to boot.
    Last edited by ArtieToo; 01-11-2021, 05:59 AM.

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    • #3
      Ugh... I looked in the box again last night and realized I have a freeway switch already for this guitar. It's not exactly the same result, but should be close enough. Too many open projects and too much web-surfing. I need to get off the internet and get in the shop and get things done!

      Thanks for the tip ArtieToo. Doesn't this switch have several options though, like the rotary pickup selector the PRS uses? I was thinking of just an ON-ON, but for a ton of inputs. Your "tying together 3 DPDT switches" sounds about right. Maybe it wouldn't be too bad to fab a cover to throw all three at once.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by sheath View Post
        Thanks for the tip ArtieToo. Doesn't this switch have several options though, like the rotary pickup selector the PRS uses? I was thinking of just an ON-ON, but for a ton of inputs. Your "tying together 3 DPDT switches" sounds about right. Maybe it wouldn't be too bad to fab a cover to throw all three at once.
        That switch is just 2-positions. (ON-ON) It is just 3 DPDT switches, but in a rotary configuration. Which makes it easier to mount.

        Here's another one that I was looking at for the same project: https://www.digikey.in/product-detai...1-2-ND/1202309

        It's only a hair longer than 3/4". The only "downside" of that one, is that you'd have to cut a square hole for the handle. Probably wouldn't be terribly difficult for a pickguard, but harder on a wooden top or LP.

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        • #5
          As I doodle a couple things up, it does appear as though the Superswitch would allow you to use a more readily available 4PDT switch.

          Let me finish my "doodle", just to make sure.

          Edit: It definitely works. I just need to make up a "neat" diagram.
          Last edited by ArtieToo; 01-12-2021, 11:54 AM.

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          • #6
            Curious what led you to two Duckbuckers and a Vintage Rails rather than a complete set of either?
            Oh no.....


            Oh Yeah!

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            • #7
              Originally posted by PFDarkside View Post
              Curious what led you to two Duckbuckers and a Vintage Rails rather than a complete set of either?
              I was curious about that too.

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              • #8
                Honestly, I don't hear a significant difference between them.
                Dave, Ambassador/Writer/Artist for Seymour Duncan

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Mincer View Post
                  Honestly, I don't hear a significant difference between them.
                  To be honest I always thought they were the same pickup but with rails or mini poles to match a rails setup or “lil/jr” setup.
                  Oh no.....


                  Oh Yeah!

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by PFDarkside View Post

                    To be honest I always thought they were the same pickup but with rails or mini poles to match a rails setup or “lil/jr” setup.
                    That's what I understand also.

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                    • #11
                      Just did this quik-'n-dirty. The middle pickup red / white goes to the other side of the 4PDT.

                      The unlabeled wire is the bridge black. I accidently omitted it.

                      Click image for larger version  Name:	sheath_superswitch.png Views:	0 Size:	30.6 KB ID:	6047587

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by ArtieToo View Post

                        That's what I understand also.
                        Yeah, I don't think I've ever seen it confirmed. The VR may have an advantage with the rails guaranteed to be under the strings. The tiny poles of the Duckbucker might not line up on some guitars.
                        Dave, Ambassador/Writer/Artist for Seymour Duncan

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                        • #13
                          And VR's just look cool. They're a truly unique pup.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by PFDarkside View Post
                            Curious what led you to two Duckbuckers and a Vintage Rails rather than a complete set of either?
                            I got the VR pickup because I'm building a multiscale baritone and wanted to be able to install the neck PU at a bit of a slant to approximate the last fret. I kind of wish I had all VRs, but I got the 2 Duckbuckers before I even learned about the VRs (I got them all used)... From the description I think they're also essentially the same.

                            Thanks for the diagram ArtieToo! That's a pretty cool idea.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by sheath View Post

                              I got the VR pickup because I'm building a multiscale baritone and wanted to be able to install the neck PU at a bit of a slant to approximate the last fret. I kind of wish I had all VRs, but I got the 2 Duckbuckers before I even learned about the VRs (I got them all used)... From the description I think they're also essentially the same.

                              Thanks for the diagram ArtieToo! That's a pretty cool idea.
                              No prob man. Let us know how this turns out.

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