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4 Way Rotary Diagram - whos up for a challenge

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  • 4 Way Rotary Diagram - whos up for a challenge

    Shooting in the dark here - have a Mini Humbucker in neck, and single coil in bridge. I have 2 volumes, 1 tone. (500k for neck hb, 250k pot for bridge).

    The 4 position rotary switch behavior i'd like is:

    Pos 1: Full Humbucker only
    Pos 2: Full Humbucker + Single Coil
    Pos 3: Split Humbucker + Single Coil
    Pos 4: Single Coil only


    virtual beer to anyone who can provide some wiring guidance!!!! Thank you!

  • #2
    Have to know exactly what switch you have, make, model, number of lugs, etc. They are not all the same and have different lug layouts and capabilities.

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    • #3
      Got it. I have not sourced a switch yet, but from what I’ve seen it would be a 3P4T rotary. 3 lugs in middle, 12 lugs around the perimeter. Open for recommendations!

      and….. thank you!

      something like this: https://www.ebay.com/itm/28500307112...mis&media=COPY

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      • #4
        I think it would just be (I don't know what brand your pickups are, so don't know wire colors or anything, but...)

        Main lug to hot
        1 - Mini-hum hot
        2 - Mini-hum hot
        3 - Mini-hum hot
        4

        Main lug to hot
        1
        2 - Single hot
        3 - Single hot
        4 - Single hot

        Main lug to ground
        1
        2
        3 - Mini-hum split wire
        4​​

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        • #5
          Another thing to consider is how you want the volume controls to play. For example, in pos #2 & #3, both pups "see" both volume pots. So your effective load will be 167k. Is that what you want, or would you want the 250k pot only active when the neck pup is on? (By itself.)

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          • #6
            Thanks guys, much appreciated.

            Seymour Duncan pups. looks the Seymourized Mini humbucker does have 4 conductors.

            "pos #2 & #3, both pups "see" both volume pots": I want the volume controls to always control their independent pups. Obvisouly, only when engaged/selected. So yes, in positions 2 and 3, neck volume still controls neck pup, and bridge volume controls bridge volume. This way, I can control their independent volumes to balance them as needed.

            In lieu of having a 4 way switch, I could go with a 3way rotary switch for the selector (instead of a toggle). And yes a push pull on the Neck Volume pot to split the coil.

            DIYLC shows that this layout would achieve that behaviour. Just don't know if I have the master tone/capacitor correct, or if in the middle position the (neck+bridge pups) the volume pots of 500k (neck minihum) and 250k (single coil) would be honored?

            As an aside, I do see Seymour Duncan diagrams that show 250k pots for humbuckers?

            Thoughts/expected behaviours with this layout? You guys are the best thx!
            Last edited by dtanna73; 02-28-2024, 12:18 PM.

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            • #7
              Better Layout attached

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              • #8
                Originally posted by dtanna73 View Post
                "pos #2 & #3, both pups "see" both volume pots": I want the volume controls to always control their independent pups. Obviously, only when engaged/selected. So yes, in positions 2 and 3, neck volume still controls neck pup, and bridge volume controls bridge volume. This way, I can control their independent volumes to balance them as needed.
                The problem is, this isn't physically possible. You're asking the rotary switch to act as a mixer, which it isn't. It's just dry contacts. When neck and bridge are "on", everything is shorted together. The "neck" electrons don't actually know where they're supposed to go. That's why we have expensive mixers.

                There is, however, a workaround that Les Paul players have used for years. It isn't ideal, but works. (Somewhat.)

                You just reverse the in/out of the volume pots. This has two affects:

                1. As you turn down the volume, you increase the "load" on the pickup, thus slightly changing its character. In other words, with the bridge turned halfway down, it will be a 250k pot.

                2. When both pots are on "10", both pups still the combined 167k load.

                You can do this by just doing the mod I show in the attached diagram.

                There is another, more expensive, solution. Bartolini, and others, make an in-guitar mixer/preamp precisely for this purpose. It isolates, and lets you adjust gain on the two pups independently. But it's about $100 and requires a battery be installed.

                Click image for larger version

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                • #9
                  Thx ArtieToo! - I'm definitely starting to get in over my head.... Is what you are saying is that in my original layout, when both pups are activated (position 2), they both see a 250k pot? How would each volume knob behave with their respective pup? If I were to be less "fancy" and not split the coil and use a toggle, would that make a difference on the volume pots?

                  I saw a post from Humbucker Soup, which I thought "solved" the problem of mixed HB with Single Coils. His wiring diagram is attached, which I used to create my original but i added a different selector switch rather than the lever.... description here: https://humbuckersoup.com/mixing-hum...-coil-pickups/

                  he says "If your guitar has one volume and two tone controls, you can change it to have two volume controls and one tone. This way, you can give each type of pickup a volume control. The single coil can use a 250k volume while the humbucker uses a 500k. You can see what a circuit like that might look like in Figure 1". Figure 1 attached

                  What is the "accepted" / popular wiring and behaviour for a tele with Humbucker & a Single Coil? Thanks again, can't tell you how much this helps.


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                  • #10
                    Figure 1 attached. For some reason i get errors when posting images with the original post...

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by dtanna73 View Post
                      Thx ArtieToo! - I'm definitely starting to get in over my head.... Is what you are saying is that in my original layout, when both pups are activated (position 2), they both see a 250k pot?
                      No. Both would see 167k. The two pots combine like two resistances in parallel. When two resistors are added in parallel, the total is always less than the smaller resistor. When both pups are selected, either volume pot will turn both down. Unless you do the mod I showed.

                      There's another odd quirk of that mod. When both pups are on, as you turn down one pot, the volume actually goes up slightly, then starts to come back down. I believe it's because you're starting to "unload" the other pup before you wind it down.

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                      • #12
                        It's interesting that he says:

                        If your guitar has one volume and two tone controls, you can change it to have two volume controls and one tone. This way, you can give each type of pickup a volume control. The single coil can use a 250k volume while the humbucker uses a 500k.

                        The downside to this method is that it’s only viable if your guitar has one single-coil and one humbucker.​
                        In the first sentence, he's correct if he's talking about when only one is selected. So hot humbucker can be dialed down to match the single. In his 2nd sentence, I think he means two pickups. Not necessarily a single and a HB'er.

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