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Thread: HSH + 1 Vol+ 1 Tone+ 5-way blade. HB's with Series/Parallel/Split Switch?

  1. #1
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    Post HSH + 1 Vol+ 1 Tone+ 5-way blade. HB's with Series/Parallel/Split Switch?

    Hello everyone,

    I've been lurking for a few weeks now, since I started thinking of modding my old super strat guitar. I plan to buy new pickups and mod the electronics so I can fully exploit the HB versatility through series/parallel operation.

    What I would want to achieve is to have a switch for both humbuckers (or one for each if it makes it easier) so I have a series mode (A) and a parallel mode (B). Mode A would be just the traditional HSH 5 way configuration.

    Mode A (series):
    1. Neck HB [series]
    2. Neck HB/series + Middle SC [parallel]
    3. Middle SC
    4. Bridge HB/series + Middle SC [parallel]
    5. Bridge HB [series]

    Mode B (parallel):
    1. Neck HB [parallel]
    2. Neck HB/split coil + Middle SC [parallel]
    3. Middle SC
    4. Bridge HB/split coil + Middle SC [parallel]
    5. Bridge HB [parallel]

    To make it clear, it would be something like this:
    Name:  1.png
Views: 40
Size:  94.7 KB

    Would it be possible? Which electronic parts would I need to add?
    Would somebody be kind enough to give me some directions as to how to tackle this?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: HSH + 1 Vol+ 1 Tone+ 5-way blade. HB's with Series/Parallel/Split Switch?

    I'm Glad you're on here. I've learned so much on here as I used to skim through older posts that were easily googled from 5-10+ years ago. Stuff like this question keeps me coming back to challenge me as I enjoy drawing stuff out. A friend of mine who is really particular asked for something similar and this idea I'm glad I got to finally draw out.

    I would go with
    2 push pull pots, 5 way blade (Standard) and a mono input jack
    if you've got more pots we can tinker with we've got more potential. Such as the 7 way mod to turn the neck pickup on or any of that.

    to save you some money this video will help deciding which capacitor. No need to spend more than what you would on an energy drink or coffee. Steve Vai likes 0.022uf (22nf) in his HSH guitars. Wire is wire, save the cloth wire for tube amps they actually benefit from it, not like most techs boasting about it for their bank account. That's your second money saver. A switchcraft input jack is great or any of the premium ones that are harder to pull out of the guitar. However if you're in a home studio and don't play live often a cheap ones fine. The tone is how close the pots are to their stated value and what capacitor we go with.

    the biggest one is if your blade switch still works. Especially if it's a cortek switch which has two poles. Keep it. Unless you can pretty much blow on it to switch it like this regular I had a while back brought in a late 80s Ibanez RG570 or so from well over 3 decades of use. The only way any of my guitars get "premium" switches is if they can't get all the sounds I want.

    Alright some added insight

    in experience with push pulls
    15mm shaft height - pickguards and thinner guitars
    18mm shaft height - thicker bodied guitars. most BC Rich, Epiphone, Ibanez, Schecter and so forth
    19-20mm - Gibsons
    shaft width can be a big thing if you go from no name pots to CTS. However with push pulls I've never seen one with the diameter of a CTS pot so you won't have to widen anything out except maybe a really old Nobel push pull pot.

    for capacitors see what you like


    and the first idea I came up with that I'm 99% will work.I drew this idea out for you before bed.
    Attachment 103197


    For the single coil if it's a different brand than the two humbuckers which I'm assuming are seymour duncan let us know. I'm no 2 wire single coil expert as I usually pull them out and they end up on classified sites so someone else can help there. This is just an idea on paper at this point from me.
    Last edited by shadowfire90; 02-05-2020 at 11:55 PM.

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    Bacteriaolgoist GuitarDoc's Avatar
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    Default Re: HSH + 1 Vol+ 1 Tone+ 5-way blade. HB's with Series/Parallel/Split Switch?

    Good diagram, but it isn't what the OP wants. You've got the buckers auto splitting when they are in series mode (p/p down) but not auto splitting in parallel mode (p/p up). That's just the opposite of what he wanted. I think to get auto split in parallel mode, he is going to need a super switch.

    There you go slipping into your old bad habits again calling it an "input" jack. You know that there is no such thing in a guitar, right? For the correct nomenclature just check out the diagram you posted.
    Originally Posted by IanBallard
    Rule of thumb... the more pot you have, the better your tone.

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    Default Re: HSH + 1 Vol+ 1 Tone+ 5-way blade. HB's with Series/Parallel/Split Switch?

    Quote Originally Posted by shadowfire90 View Post
    shaft width can be a big thing if you go from no name pots to CTS. However with push pulls I've never seen one with the diameter of a CTS pot so you won't have to widen anything out except maybe a really old Nobel push pull pot.
    .

    CTS p/p pots have the same larger diameter as CTS regular pots. All of the import p/p pots (including Alpha) have the small diameter shaft in their regular and p/p pots...except some mini pots which have an even smaller diameter shaft.
    Originally Posted by IanBallard
    Rule of thumb... the more pot you have, the better your tone.

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    Default Re: HSH + 1 Vol+ 1 Tone+ 5-way blade. HB's with Series/Parallel/Split Switch?

    Quote Originally Posted by Deim0s View Post
    Hello everyone,

    I've been lurking for a few weeks now, since I started thinking of modding my old super strat guitar. I plan to buy new pickups and mod the electronics so I can fully exploit the HB versatility through series/parallel operation.

    What I would want to achieve is to have a switch for both humbuckers (or one for each if it makes it easier) so I have a series mode (A) and a parallel mode (B). Mode A would be just the traditional HSH 5 way configuration.

    Mode A (series):
    1. Neck HB [series]
    2. Neck HB/series + Middle SC [parallel]
    3. Middle SC
    4. Bridge HB/series + Middle SC [parallel]
    5. Bridge HB [series]

    Mode B (parallel):
    1. Neck HB [parallel]
    2. Neck HB/split coil + Middle SC [parallel]
    3. Middle SC
    4. Bridge HB/split coil + Middle SC [parallel]
    5. Bridge HB [parallel]

    To make it clear, it would be something like this:
    Name:  1.png
Views: 40
Size:  94.7 KB

    Would it be possible? Which electronic parts would I need to add?
    Would somebody be kind enough to give me some directions as to how to tackle this?
    Position 1. is the bridge pup. Position 5. is the neck pup.

    I think that if you want to get the auto split in parallel mode you will need a super strat switch. A piece of cake if you want it in the series mode.
    Originally Posted by IanBallard
    Rule of thumb... the more pot you have, the better your tone.

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    Default Re: HSH + 1 Vol+ 1 Tone+ 5-way blade. HB's with Series/Parallel/Split Switch?

    Wow! I didn't think this thread would get so much attention! Thank you everyone for sharing so much valuable knowledge! Specially Shadowfire90 that even took the time to draw a diagram for me.

    I'm really glad that I joined this forum, even by reading old threads I've learned SO MUCH and my passion for guitar has been reborn with the strength it had on my teens, I've been practicing and picking it up everyday since I've decided on this project, so I really appreciate the help for making this a reality.

    I really forgot to mention that the guitar is an old Washburn X-Series, which I really like the sound of, but I've decided it's time to get new pickups in there and I might as well do some electronics upgrading (at least until I save enough to buy a PRS or a Charvel)

    So from what I understand so far, I would need to buy a capacitor (I liked the sound of the 0.033uf in the video, but I guess it's different between an SS and a HSH), 2 push/pull pots and a Super Switch. I think I could buy a Fender Super Switch for $35 where I live.
    Would it be possible to add a second switch (maybe a dpdt ON/ON) alongside the standard 5-way to make this?

    I also forgot to mention that I've been planning to buy these pickups:
    Bridge : DiMarzio Evolution (DP159F)
    Middle : DiMarzio Chopper (DP184)
    Neck : DiMarzio Paf Pro (DP151)

    But I'm open to suggestions for Seymour Duncan pickups with similar sound, because frankly I don't know many SD PU's that can achieve that sound. Maybe Mark Holcomb Alpha/Omega Set for the humbuckers? (They're kind of expensive though, $140 each here in Chile). I'm looking mainly for versatility, something that has a hard punching sound on one side, but not because of brute strength but because of precision and technique, and also a bright and sweet sound on the other side of the spectrum.

    Finally, would someone give me some insight as to how the diagram ShadowFire90 provided, would differ with a Super Switch to achieve the expected result?

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    Default Re: HSH + 1 Vol+ 1 Tone+ 5-way blade. HB's with Series/Parallel/Split Switch?

    Not a problem. I help people as much as I can instead of having 10-20 replies with one sentences where I'm coming back to the same thread.

    The chopper we would have to keep that second push pull by the sounds of it to go series than parallel on it alone. I've got a diagram in the works but put it this way Jimmy Page or Jerry Donahue may have nothing on you for this diagram if I can get it to work. Both are very difficult diagrams to do.

    By 5 on the diagram did you mean the traditional neck position on a strat? I drew it habitually as I figured that's what you meant. I do a lot of diagrams on here when I have time to kill. If not this is an easy fix.This is why the bridge pickups important wires for instance are orange / yellow as it's the hotter pickup. Where as I went with cooler colors (blue / magenta) for the neck.
    Last edited by shadowfire90; 02-06-2020 at 07:09 PM.

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    Default Re: HSH + 1 Vol+ 1 Tone+ 5-way blade. HB's with Series/Parallel/Split Switch?

    As an update I came up with this. I would strongly recommend a second and third set of eyes to see if this will work before buying any of the parts or soldering. I used lots of colors that have stuff to do with each other. Not randomly picked colors. By the end of it I was running out haha. To have complete control this took at least twice the usual amount of layers in photoshop. Usually it's between 6 and 10. Super 5 ways 15. This was 30 and this probably includes text layers. Yes I did go to school for this thankfully.

    The most unorthodox approach in this is definitely "#1 push pull" anyone else on here who lurks around who knows their stuff feel free to leave a second opinion. If it doesn't work what will. It'll save us all time and you get to still pick measure

    the series/parallel of push pull #2 should work

    now the only thing I didn't put into consideration as this diagram isn't 100% perfect yet. As something that took this much time to draw as my #1 concern was if this was even possible with any sort of budget. My only concern is to get hum cancellation out of positions 2/4 from the autosplits as all three pickups are splitting the same coil. Without a magnet flip (or two) or anything extreme what could be done to provide any hum cancellation. Usually with cheap ebay pickups (Yibuy, Fieori or similar) I'd just swap the color code. Black to white, green to red as most followed seymour duncan color code.

    either way time for me to get a tylenol and off the computer. So until then have a great night guys.

    if you've got mounting rings I'd seriously just go with two seymour duncan triple shots and at least an on/on/on mini toggle (type 2 is better documented if I remember right) or two push pulls with the triple shots to get just about everything under the sun. Either way no way around this, this is an expensive project to get off the ground. How over the top this is even I'd probably go nope and this is coming from a guy who all his guitars look like spaghetti inside.
    Attachment 103207
    Attachment 103208
    Last edited by shadowfire90; 02-07-2020 at 05:18 AM.

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    Default Re: HSH + 1 Vol+ 1 Tone+ 5-way blade. HB's with Series/Parallel/Split Switch?

    I didn't examine the entire diagram yet but the first thing I see is a problem with the neck wiring...the green is always grounded and the black wire only has the possibility of going to ground (or to nowhere) so the neck pup can never be in series. It can be in parallel in position 5 and it can be split in position 4, but never series. At some point black would either have to connect with red and the white would be hot, or black would be hot when red is connected to white. Neither of those possibilities exist.
    Originally Posted by IanBallard
    Rule of thumb... the more pot you have, the better your tone.

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    Default Re: HSH + 1 Vol+ 1 Tone+ 5-way blade. HB's with Series/Parallel/Split Switch?

    Once again, thank you so much ShadowFire90 for all the work you've put into helping, I really appreciate it. I know designing stuff takes time, even more when it's complex electronic circuits. So I had to first give many thanks to you sir, you rock.

    Quote Originally Posted by shadowfire90
    Either way no way around this, this is an expensive project to get off the ground. How over the top this is even I'd probably go nope and this is coming from a guy who all his guitars look like spaghetti inside.
    I was starting to think that this was too ambitious. But I'm pretty invested on upgrading this guitar, I've had it for over 10 years and I really want to give it some love upgrading it, though I'm not sure I can manage it without some help, I have some experience soldering and can understand wiring diagrams, but not design them.

    Quote Originally Posted by shadowfire90 View Post
    My only concern is to get hum cancellation out of positions 2/4 from the autosplits
    That would be worrying, I was really hoping that it would work for hum-cancelling using 2 single coils, even though they're from different pickups.

    Quote Originally Posted by shadowfire90
    if you've got mounting rings I'd seriously just go with two seymour duncan triple shots and at least an on/on/on mini toggle (type 2 is better documented if I remember right) or two push pulls with the triple shots to get just about everything under the sun.
    I didn't have any idea at all that those Seymour Duncan triple shots existed, they look awesome! It looks like that would be a much more efficient way of achieving this. It also looks cooler. But how would it work? Are they only compatible with Seymour Duncan pickups? Are they hard to install? Would it make the wiring less/more complicated? I now have even more questions than before .

    I would be willing to wait and buy the pieces one by one, if it's needed to make this a project something that can be achieved. Though I have no clue how it would need to be wired... This is getting scarier the more I get into it, but I'm kind of stubborn...
    Though it would be ideal if the updated diagram worked as intended, I hope another good soul can review and confirm it works
    Last edited by Deim0s; 02-07-2020 at 11:03 PM.

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    Default Re: HSH + 1 Vol+ 1 Tone+ 5-way blade. HB's with Series/Parallel/Split Switch?

    The Triple Shots would make your wiring soo much easier. They can be used on any pup, not just SD. I've got them in a dozen of my guitars. Each one lets you choose north coil, south coil, series, or parallel. And you wouldn't have to worry about the problems in shadowfire's diagram. The only problem is that you wouldn't have auto split, you'd preset the TS and use your 5-way blade to choose between the options determined by the TS settings. Not a bad thing at all.
    Originally Posted by IanBallard
    Rule of thumb... the more pot you have, the better your tone.

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    Default Re: HSH + 1 Vol+ 1 Tone+ 5-way blade. HB's with Series/Parallel/Split Switch?

    I would only need to know how to wire the guitar along with the Triple Shots to achieve what I want. Now that I think about it, selecting the coil to split would be even better than auto-split. It would give even more versatility and tone options.

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    Default Re: HSH + 1 Vol+ 1 Tone+ 5-way blade. HB's with Series/Parallel/Split Switch?

    Yes it would
    Originally Posted by IanBallard
    Rule of thumb... the more pot you have, the better your tone.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: HSH + 1 Vol+ 1 Tone+ 5-way blade. HB's with Series/Parallel/Split Switch?

    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarDoc View Post
    Good diagram, but it isn't what the OP wants. You've got the buckers auto splitting when they are in series mode (p/p down) but not auto splitting in parallel mode (p/p up). That's just the opposite of what he wanted. I think to get auto split in parallel mode, he is going to need a super switch.

    There you go slipping into your old bad habits again calling it an "input" jack. You know that there is no such thing in a guitar, right? For the correct nomenclature just check out the diagram you posted.
    GuitarDoc: Thanks for inspiring my new sig! Sadly your observation applies to many recent threads, not just this one. I myself have been trying to help the OPs with their original question that went unaddressed on a few other threads, but I cannot catch them all - so thanks for the assistance!

    Some recent examples:

    https://forum.seymourduncan.com/show...iring-Question

    https://forum.seymourduncan.com/show...-import-switch

    https://forum.seymourduncan.com/show...95#post4391995
    Last edited by Jack_TriPpEr; 02-10-2020 at 09:58 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarDoc View Post
    Good diagram Shadowfire90, but it isn't what the OP wants.

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