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Thread: Help with push/pull wiring

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    Default Help with push/pull wiring

    I have a guitar with an EMG 81/85 set. I was never quite happy with how the active EMGs sound and before parting ways with them I decided to try a few things out. The first one was the 18 V mod, which turned out to be to my liking. So much so, that with the mod, it looks like the EMGs will stay. It's not a huge difference, they still sound like what they are, but the tad less compressed sound and less clipping with the increased headroom made them sound closer to my liking. So I made a small harness of 3 battery clips wired in series and installed the two batteries, this way making the mod "solderless" and while I was doing it, I thought that it would be cool if I could switch between the "original" sound (afterall, it might be useable in certain lead situations with it's more focused sound) with the flick of a switch. Now I don't feel like drilling holes, so I figured that a push/pull pot might do the trick wired to switch between series and parallel: the series mode adds the voltage of the two batteries and the parallel mode keeps it at 9V. But the problem is that I am quite illiterate when it comes to the innner workings of switches... I would like to keep the tone or volume funcition of the pot intact aand only use it to influence the voltage of the pups. So my quiestion are:

    1. Is it doable the way I imagine it?
    2. If yes, then HAAALPP! What goes where?

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    Bacteriaolgoist GuitarDoc's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help with push/pull wiring

    Are you talking about the bridge and neck pups being in parallel or series with each other or each pup being able to be in series or parallel?
    Originally Posted by IanBallard
    Rule of thumb... the more pot you have, the better your tone.

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    Slutbucker Pimpologist ArtieToo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help with push/pull wiring

    I believe he's talking about the batteries being in series/parallel. Weird, but do-able.

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    Last edited by ArtieToo; 02-22-2020 at 07:15 AM.

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    Default Re: Help with push/pull wiring

    Quote Originally Posted by ArtieToo View Post
    I believe he's talking about the batteries being in series/parallel. Weird, but do-able.

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    MAD PROPS MY MAN! Started digging into it on my own, but since I do not know what goes on inside the switch, I figured I'll go get one and do it the brute force way: wire up, measure with multimeter, rinse and repeat till I find the combination giving me 9 and 18 Volts. But since I don't have a switch at home right now and alsoI believe I wouldn't have been able to tell at 9V wheter they are in parallel or one of the batteries is just shorted and will eventually leak into my control cavity, I kinda gave up for today. But you saved the day. Will report back once I get a fitting DPDT pot. Thanks a ton Artie!

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    Default Re: Help with push/pull wiring

    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarDoc View Post
    Are you talking about the bridge and neck pups being in parallel or series with each other or each pup being able to be in series or parallel?
    Artie got it right, I meant the batteries. PUP would've been easier as there are a ****load of wiring diagrams for that out there.

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    Slutbucker Pimpologist ArtieToo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help with push/pull wiring

    Just so you know . . . putting anything in series/parallel, is the exact same wiring. That diagram is the same as putting a pickup in ser/par.

    But with batteries, it's crucial that you get it right the 1st time . . . or the magic smoke will leak out from under the pickguard.

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    Default Re: Help with push/pull wiring

    Quote Originally Posted by ArtieToo View Post
    putting anything in series/parallel, is the exact same wiring. That diagram is the same as putting a pickup in ser/par.
    Yeah, taht much I understood from get-go. But I prefer to admit my lack of knowledge in certain situations, tread cautiosly and ask someone who knows better... Most diagrams I found with pups had 4 conductors and spoke about north and south instead of having two and talking about positive and negative, so I rather opted out of the possibilty of harming my gear.

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    Default Re: Help with push/pull wiring

    Artie, I have one more question... As far as I understood, I can treat the pot part and the DPDT part as completely separate, meaning that I hook up the PUPs to the three lugs of the pot part as I normally would and than do my mind**** with the batteries on the switch part based on your diagram, right?

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    Slutbucker Pimpologist ArtieToo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help with push/pull wiring

    Exactly. The switch and pot are electrically separate. Mechanically too, somewhat. The pot operates in one plane, and the switch in another.

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    Default Re: Help with push/pull wiring

    Quote Originally Posted by ArtieToo View Post
    I believe he's talking about the batteries being in series/parallel. Weird, but do-able.

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    You are correct that the OP used the phrase "series/parallel" to describe what he wanted, but that is not what the scheme is in reality. In reality, it would be either 1 battery supplying power to 2 pickups (which is the normal "9 volt" config for active pickups), or 2 batteries in series supplying power to both pickups (a.k.a. "the 18 volt mod"). Thinking that through, there is no "parallel mode" present in what was just described - which if there were, that would have *both* batteries active but wired in parallel instead of in series. No, here, only one battery is active n the non-series mode. That is not a "parallel" wiring scenario.
    Last edited by Jack_TriPpEr; 02-22-2020 at 05:51 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarDoc View Post
    Good diagram Shadowfire90, but it isn't what the OP wants.

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    Default Re: Help with push/pull wiring

    To be clear, my diagram definitely switches between series and parallel. Maybe, easier to visualize here. Parallel on the left, and series on the right.

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    Default Re: Help with push/pull wiring

    Quote Originally Posted by ArtieToo View Post
    To be clear, my diagram definitely switches between series and parallel. Maybe, easier to visualize here. Parallel on the left, and series on the right.

    Name:  series_parallel_battery2.png
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    Again, the OP was mistaken when he described the non-Series mode as parallel. The non-series mode involves only 1 battery being active for both pickups, therefore it cannot be a "parallel" scenario with regards to the batteries. This "1 battery only for 2 active pickups" is what needs to be accomodated for in non-Series mode. Not a parallel scenario, which has both batteries active. What i am describing for this non-series mode of 1 battery powering two active pickups is not a novel or esoteric idea; it is the default wiring config for active pickups since the 1980s. I don't understand the confusion here.
    Last edited by Jack_TriPpEr; 02-22-2020 at 08:36 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarDoc View Post
    Good diagram Shadowfire90, but it isn't what the OP wants.

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    Default Re: Help with push/pull wiring

    The concern I'd have with doing it that way, is that if one were to run it in "single battery" mode for a long time, it could drain to slightly less voltage than the other. Then,when you went to series, the stronger battery would try to recharge the weaker battery. Not good for alkaline batteries. It may not be a serious problem, but why not avoid it if possible. The technique I show drains both batteries equally whether in 9-volt or 18-volt mode.

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    Default Re: Help with push/pull wiring

    Quote Originally Posted by ArtieToo View Post
    The concern I'd have with doing it that way, is that if one were to run it in "single battery" mode for a long time, it could drain to slightly less voltage than the other. Then,when you went to series, the stronger battery would try to recharge the weaker battery. Not good for alkaline batteries. It may not be a serious problem, but why not avoid it if possible. The technique I show drains both batteries equally whether in 9-volt or 18-volt mode.
    Valid technical concern, but a sidestep to the question at at hand. What is the problem with being FORTHCOMING *earlier* about your proposed design not matching what the OP requested? Especially when someone (me) had already pointed out that what the OP requested could not really be a "parallel" a scenario. Such behavior heads down the path of becoming like member Shadowfire90 (uncanny opportunity for me to say "read my sig").
    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarDoc View Post
    Good diagram Shadowfire90, but it isn't what the OP wants.

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    Default Re: Help with push/pull wiring

    Actually I still think that Artie's solution is the one I'm looking for. I did not mean to switch between 1 batteries/2 batteries, but between 9 volts and 18 volts. That is why I said parallel or series: former resulting in 9 volts and equal, albeit proportionally lower drainage in both batteries and the latter resulting in the voltage adding up to 18. If I went for 1 batteries/2 batteries I wouldn't even need the on/on switch, I might be able to get by with an on/off switch, right? Also, as I described above, I was afraid that by not using both batteries in 9 V mode I'd either have to ground or short one of the batteries, which doesn't sound cool. As always though, my self confessed illiteracy in electronics leaves ample room for me to be completely wrong, so if you (or anyone else) has an alternative/better/whatever solution, Im all ears!

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    Super Toneologist Jack_TriPpEr's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help with push/pull wiring

    Quote Originally Posted by nexion218 View Post
    Actually I still think that Artie's solution is the one I'm looking for. I did not mean to switch between 1 batteries/2 batteries, but between 9 volts and 18 volts. That is why I said parallel or series: former resulting in 9 volts and equal, albeit proportionally lower drainage in both batteries and the latter resulting in the voltage adding up to 18. If I went for 1 batteries/2 batteries I wouldn't even need the on/on switch, I might be able to get by with an on/off switch, right? Also, as I described above, I was afraid that by not using both batteries in 9 V mode I'd either have to ground or short one of the batteries, which doesn't sound cool. As always though, my self confessed illiteracy in electronics leaves ample room for me to be completely wrong, so if you (or anyone else) has an alternative/better/whatever solution, Im all ears!
    Understood and glad you're happy with the diagram. But yeah this parallel config is not what is meant when people use the term "9 volt mode", that's all. 9 volt mode is the OEM/stock config with 1 battery powering both pickups. Enjoy.
    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarDoc View Post
    Good diagram Shadowfire90, but it isn't what the OP wants.

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    Slutbucker Pimpologist ArtieToo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help with push/pull wiring

    Quote Originally Posted by kingswebe View Post
    Valid technical concern, but a sidestep to the question at at hand. What is the problem with being FORTHCOMING *earlier* about your proposed design not matching what the OP requested? Especially when someone (me) had already pointed out that what the OP requested could not really be a "parallel" a scenario. Such behavior heads down the path of becoming like member Shadowfire90 (uncanny opportunity for me to say "read my sig").
    I really don't understand your comment, or your tone. My diagram exactly matches what the OP wanted, and really is a parallel scenario. I'm guessing that it doesn't match how you'd do it, and that's cool. I also have no idea who Shadowfire is. I generally try to avoid forum drama. I also don't know what your,(or anyone else's), sig says. I have that feature turned off in my profile.

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    Bacteriaolgoist GuitarDoc's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help with push/pull wiring

    Quote Originally Posted by kingswebe View Post
    You are correct that the OP used the phrase "series/parallel" to describe what he wanted, but that is not what the scheme is in reality. In reality, it would be either 1 battery supplying power to 2 pickups (which is the normal "9 volt" config for active pickups), or 2 batteries in series supplying power to both pickups (a.k.a. "the 18 volt mod"). Thinking that through, there is no "parallel mode" present in what was just described - which if there were, that would have *both* batteries active but wired in parallel instead of in series. No, here, only one battery is active n the non-series mode. That is not a "parallel" wiring scenario.
    Yes, that does put the two batteries in parallel or series. It doesn't just switch to one battery.
    Originally Posted by IanBallard
    Rule of thumb... the more pot you have, the better your tone.

  19. #19
    Bacteriaolgoist GuitarDoc's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help with push/pull wiring

    I certainly understand kingswebe's confusion. In nexion218's original post he mentioned installing "a small harness of 3 battery clips" and a switch to change from 18v to 9v. And he mentioned series/parallel. If he was wanting three batteries, he could switch between two in series and the third battery by itself. If he was wanting what Artie diagrammed (which, by the way, is an excellent solution) he wouldn't need the third battery clip.

    The original post WAS very confusing. But I think it is now all straightened out thanks to artie.
    Last edited by GuitarDoc; 02-23-2020 at 09:04 AM.
    Originally Posted by IanBallard
    Rule of thumb... the more pot you have, the better your tone.

  20. #20
    Slutbucker Pimpologist ArtieToo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help with push/pull wiring

    Actually, the 3rd battery clip is a quik-'n-dirty way to connect the other two together without soldering. It just "snaps" the others together. I'll see if I can find the article that shows this technique.

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