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Thread: Wiring a H-S-H guitar w/ 2 coil split switches for inner/outer coils

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    Default Wiring a H-S-H guitar w/ 2 coil split switches for inner/outer coils

    Very excited to be trying these pickups:

    SD Sentient- Neck
    SD Vintage Rails- Middle (I got the slightly higher output [bridge] version to keep up with the 'buckers; hopefully that'll work well!)
    Dmz Dream Catcher- Bridge

    (I actually wanted a SD Hot Stack [not plus] in the middle, but need one without the flange [Carvin routing], and I don't think they're fulfilling special orders now- so I'll try a Vintage Rails first)

    I would like this configuration:

    5-way switch-

    Position 1: Bridge
    Position 2: Bridge + Middle (Parallel)
    Position 3: Bridge + Neck (Parallel) (no middle)
    Position 4: Middle + Neck (Parallel)
    Position 5: Neck

    I'd like Coil Split Switch 1 to split both humbuckers
    I'd like Coil Split Switch 2 to select whether the inner coils or the outer coils of the humbuckers are activated

    (This is how I have my coil split switches configured on my H-H Carvin DC 727)

    But wait, there's more!

    There is a 3rd two-way switch, which seems to affect the phase of the middle pickup. Is it possible to use it to put the Middle pickup (SD Vintage Rails) in either series or parallel?


    Then, I think my guitar will be ready to take over the world

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    Default Re: Wiring a H-S-H guitar w/ 2 coil split switches for inner/outer coils

    Quote Originally Posted by ericcomposer72 View Post
    Very excited to be trying these pickups:

    SD Sentient- Neck
    SD Vintage Rails- Middle (I got the slightly higher output [bridge] version to keep up with the 'buckers; hopefully that'll work well!)
    Dmz Dream Catcher- Bridge

    (I actually wanted a SD Hot Stack [not plus] in the middle, but need one without the flange [Carvin routing], and I don't think they're fulfilling special orders now- so I'll try a Vintage Rails first)

    I would like this configuration:

    5-way switch-

    Position 1: Bridge
    Position 2: Bridge + Middle (Parallel)
    Position 3: Bridge + Neck (Parallel) (no middle)
    Position 4: Middle + Neck (Parallel)
    Position 5: Neck

    I'd like Coil Split Switch 1 to split both humbuckers
    I'd like Coil Split Switch 2 to select whether the inner coils or the outer coils of the humbuckers are activated

    (This is how I have my coil split switches configured on my H-H Carvin DC 727)

    But wait, there's more!

    There is a 3rd two-way switch, which seems to affect the phase of the middle pickup. Is it possible to use it to put the Middle pickup (SD Vintage Rails) in either series or parallel?


    Then, I think my guitar will be ready to take over the world
    Are any of the 3 switches you described stand-alone or are they part of a push-pull pot?

    How many tone controls do you want/have, and if more than 1, what do you want each one to control?

    How many volume controls do you have/want?
    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarDoc View Post
    Good diagram Shadowfire90, but it isn't what the OP wants.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sanford View Post
    The hardest part about tone chasing is losing the expectations associated with the hardware.
    Quote Originally Posted by blueman335 View Post
    I've been slammed here a few times myself for not going with the crowd. I'd rather go in a different direction, and know why, then follow everyone else and not know why.

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    Default Re: Wiring a H-S-H guitar w/ 2 coil split switches for inner/outer coils

    Vintage Rails is wired in parallel, and there will absolutely give a volume drop when it is switched on..it is a great Strat sound, but seems to do the best with 2 other Vintage Rails. If you are after a great, silent Strat, with better balance between it and the humbuckers, look at the Classic Strat Stack.
    Dave, Ambassador/Writer/Artist for Seymour Duncan

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    Default Re: Wiring a H-S-H guitar w/ 2 coil split switches for inner/outer coils

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack_TriPpEr View Post
    Are any of the 3 switches you described stand-alone or are they part of a push-pull pot?

    How many tone controls do you want/have, and if more than 1, what do you want each one to control?

    How many volume controls do you have/want?
    The 3 switches are stand-alone, not part of push/pull pots.

    There is one tone and one volume control:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Default Re: Wiring a H-S-H guitar w/ 2 coil split switches for inner/outer coils

    Quote Originally Posted by Mincer View Post
    Vintage Rails is wired in parallel, and there will absolutely give a volume drop when it is switched on..it is a great Strat sound, but seems to do the best with 2 other Vintage Rails. If you are after a great, silent Strat, with better balance between it and the humbuckers, look at the Classic Strat Stack.
    I did really consider your recommendation for the Classic Stack. However, I decided that I'm ultimately going to put a Hot Stack in that spot (I have one in my Kramer Pacer Deluxe, and love how it sounds with my Dmz Dream Catcher). In the meantime, I have just been really intrigued by the Vintage Rail clips I've heard. I'm planning on trying it in parallel with each humbucker split, and in series, with each humbucker on full. I'm most likely going to sell it once the Shop Floor Custom is taking orders again, when I can order a Hot Stack without the flange. I'll let you know how it sounds with the split humbuckers.

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    Default Re: Wiring a H-S-H guitar w/ 2 coil split switches for inner/outer coils

    Quote Originally Posted by ericcomposer72 View Post
    The 3 switches are stand-alone, not part of push/pull pots.

    There is one tone and one volume control:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Ok, thanks.

    I've already started sketching out an idea. The part about having a switch to change the middle pickup btw series and parallel - and it "playing nice" with the other 2 switches - is presenting a challenge that I'm enjoying figuring out.
    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarDoc View Post
    Good diagram Shadowfire90, but it isn't what the OP wants.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sanford View Post
    The hardest part about tone chasing is losing the expectations associated with the hardware.
    Quote Originally Posted by blueman335 View Post
    I've been slammed here a few times myself for not going with the crowd. I'd rather go in a different direction, and know why, then follow everyone else and not know why.

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    Default Re: Wiring a H-S-H guitar w/ 2 coil split switches for inner/outer coils

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack_TriPpEr View Post
    Ok, thanks.

    I've already started sketching out an idea. The part about having a switch to change the middle pickup btw series and parallel - and it "playing nice" with the other 2 switches - is presenting a challenge that I'm enjoying figuring out.
    Awesome. You're the man!

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    Default Re: Wiring a H-S-H guitar w/ 2 coil split switches for inner/outer coils

    Eric,

    So I figured out a way to make this work, but you would need to replace your current standard 5 way switch with a superswitch and you'd need to replace the current switch that you want to use for Middle Pickup Series/Parallel functionality, with a 2 way 3PDT on-on switch (assuming that the current switch is a 2DPT). Are you game?
    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarDoc View Post
    Good diagram Shadowfire90, but it isn't what the OP wants.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sanford View Post
    The hardest part about tone chasing is losing the expectations associated with the hardware.
    Quote Originally Posted by blueman335 View Post
    I've been slammed here a few times myself for not going with the crowd. I'd rather go in a different direction, and know why, then follow everyone else and not know why.

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    Default Re: Wiring a H-S-H guitar w/ 2 coil split switches for inner/outer coils

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack_TriPpEr View Post
    Eric,

    So I figured out a way to make this work, but you would need to replace your current standard 5 way switch with a superswitch and you'd need to replace the current switch that you want to use for Middle Pickup Series/Parallel functionality, with a 2 way 3PDT on-on switch (assuming that the current switch is a 2DPT). Are you game?
    I'm game to replace both. Here's a look at what doing in there now. Are either of them adequate?

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Default Re: Wiring a H-S-H guitar w/ 2 coil split switches for inner/outer coils

    from my brief research, it appears I would have to replace both, which is fine. Let me know if there is a recommended place to purchase either (I'll also ask the guy doing the wiring if he has any).

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    Default Re: Wiring a H-S-H guitar w/ 2 coil split switches for inner/outer coils

    Quote Originally Posted by ericcomposer72 View Post
    from my brief research, it appears I would have to replace both, which is fine. Let me know if there is a recommended place to purchase either (I'll also ask the guy doing the wiring if he has any).
    Looking at the pic of the control cavity that you posted, the 5 way switch is a standard one and it will need to be replaced with a superswitch like I mentioned.

    It looks to me like all three of the other switches are DPDT type. That is fine for the two that you will use for CoilSplit On-Off and Active Coil Chooser - just like on your other HH guitar that you worked on recently. But one of the three needs to be replaced with a 3PDT on-on to support the Middle Pickup Series-Parallel functionality.
    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarDoc View Post
    Good diagram Shadowfire90, but it isn't what the OP wants.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sanford View Post
    The hardest part about tone chasing is losing the expectations associated with the hardware.
    Quote Originally Posted by blueman335 View Post
    I've been slammed here a few times myself for not going with the crowd. I'd rather go in a different direction, and know why, then follow everyone else and not know why.

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    Default Re: Wiring a H-S-H guitar w/ 2 coil split switches for inner/outer coils

    Regarding recommendations for where to buy the 3PDT on-on switch , I haven't had issues with the typical brands like Philmore that are carried at local electronics stores. If you don't have a local store for that, I would think you would able to find this kind of switch listed on Amazon. And definitely at www.guitarelectronics.com

    For the 5 way superswitch: it depends on the make-model you choose. Which brings up something we need to discuss: some of the common 5 way superswitches are taller in height than some guitar control cavities can fit. You should measure the inside height dimenion of your guitar control cavity and then compare that against the height of a typical 5 way super-switch like the Dimarzio EP-1112 (exact dimensions listed below). If the Dimarzio is too tall, then you will need to instead go with a Ibanez VLX-91 which is considerably shorter. The Dimarzio one can be found on Amazon, Guitar Center online, while the VLX-91 can be found at www.ibanezrules.com, run by a guy named Rich is great to work with.

    The following dimensions of each superswitch are courtesy of forum member Rex Remus:

    Dimensions:
    VLX91:
    48mm wide at screw plate
    44mm wide at PCB(s)
    25mm high
    18mm deep

    EP1112:
    48mm wide at screw plate
    40mm wide at PCB(s)
    32mm high at PCB(s)/35mm high at wiring lead ends
    19mm deep at PCB/20-21mm deep at wiring end leads
    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarDoc View Post
    Good diagram Shadowfire90, but it isn't what the OP wants.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sanford View Post
    The hardest part about tone chasing is losing the expectations associated with the hardware.
    Quote Originally Posted by blueman335 View Post
    I've been slammed here a few times myself for not going with the crowd. I'd rather go in a different direction, and know why, then follow everyone else and not know why.

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    Default Re: Wiring a H-S-H guitar w/ 2 coil split switches for inner/outer coils

    Eric,

    Another topic to cover concerns which positions are hum-canceling or not. The main takeaway is that when coilsplitting of the two humbuckers is turned on, it's not possible to get hum-canceling from Positions 2, 3 and 4 without having to flip the Active Coil Chooser switch for at least one of those positions. This holds true for various ways of rotating one or both humbuckers, and even changing the coilsplitting scheme from Both Inners Or Both Outers, to 1 Inner and 1 Outer. The good news is that the orientation we used on your HH guitar only requires the Active Coil Chooser to be flipped once, when changing from Position 2 to Position 4, with Position 3 being hum-canceling regardless of how the Active Coil Chooser switch is set.

    I made some matrixes (see below) that show which positions Do and Don't have 60 cycle hum prsernt depending on the orientation (i.e. rotated or not) of each humbucker. The matrixes don't include mention of whether the Middle Pickup is connected In Parallel or In Series to either humbucker in Positions 2 and 4 because that has no impact on whether the combination of the two coils is hum-free or not, *but* please note that when hum IS present, having that combination connected In Series makes the hum/noise louder than if the connection btw the two coils was In Parallel.

    So, take a look below and let me know if you have any questions. Like I said above, unless you let me know differently, I plan to design the diagram with the Neck humbucker rotated 180 and the coil-splitting scheme set as Both Inners Or Both Outers, like on your HH guitar.

    Thanks

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    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarDoc View Post
    Good diagram Shadowfire90, but it isn't what the OP wants.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sanford View Post
    The hardest part about tone chasing is losing the expectations associated with the hardware.
    Quote Originally Posted by blueman335 View Post
    I've been slammed here a few times myself for not going with the crowd. I'd rather go in a different direction, and know why, then follow everyone else and not know why.

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    Default Re: Wiring a H-S-H guitar w/ 2 coil split switches for inner/outer coils

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack_TriPpEr View Post
    Eric,

    Another topic to cover concerns which positions are hum-canceling or not. The main takeaway is that when coilsplitting of the two humbuckers is turned on, it's not possible to get hum-canceling from Positions 2, 3 and 4 without having to flip the Active Coil Chooser switch for at least one of those positions. This holds true for various ways of rotating one or both humbuckers, and even changing the coilsplitting scheme from Both Inners Or Both Outers, to 1 Inner and 1 Outer. The good news is that the orientation we used on your HH guitar only requires the Active Coil Chooser to be flipped once, when changing from Position 2 to Position 4, with Position 3 being hum-canceling regardless of how the Active Coil Chooser switch is set.

    I made some matrixes (see below) that show which positions Do and Don't have 60 cycle hum prsernt depending on the orientation (i.e. rotated or not) of each humbucker. The matrixes don't include mention of whether the Middle Pickup is connected In Parallel or In Series to either humbucker in Positions 2 and 4 because that has no impact on whether the combination of the two coils is hum-free or not, *but* please note that when hum IS present, having that combination connected In Series makes the hum/noise louder than if the connection btw the two coils was In Parallel.

    So, take a look below and let me know if you have any questions. Like I said above, unless you let me know differently, I plan to design the diagram with the Neck humbucker rotated 180 and the coil-splitting scheme set as Both Inners Or Both Outers, like on your HH guitar.

    Thanks

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    Sorry for any confusion and/or lack of understanding on my part: wouldn't the middle pickup (rails-style) also have both a north and a south polarity? I was also under the impression that combining the middle with the bridge or the neck humbuckers with no coil split would always be hum-cancelling with a rails-style pickup.

    Also, I just realized it may have been confusing the way I originally described my desired configuration: I was hoping to use the third switch to put the middle rails pickup in series or parallel with itself, but when in positions 2/4, always have it in parallel with the bridge or neck.

    I had assumed that the only positions that would cause hum would be when the humbuckers are split and the main switch is in position 2 or 4.

    Thanks for bearing with my rudimentary understanding!

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    Default Re: Wiring a H-S-H guitar w/ 2 coil split switches for inner/outer coils

    Quote Originally Posted by ericcomposer72 View Post
    Sorry for any confusion and/or lack of understanding on my part: wouldn't the middle pickup (rails-style) also have both a north and a south polarity? I was also under the impression that combining the middle with the bridge or the neck humbuckers with no coil split would always be hum-cancelling with a rails-style pickup.

    Also, I just realized it may have been confusing the way I originally described my desired configuration: I was hoping to use the third switch to put the middle rails pickup in series or parallel with itself, but when in positions 2/4, always have it in parallel with the bridge or neck.

    I had assumed that the only positions that would cause hum would be when the humbuckers are split and the main switch is in position 2 or 4.

    Thanks for bearing with my rudimentary understanding!
    Oops, the misunderstanding is on my part. My apologies I missed that the pickup you want to you use for the middle position has 2 coils. That also explains my mistake in thinking what the Series-Parallel switch was supposed to do.

    I will go back and make the updates. What you actually want isn't as difficult to accomplish as what I just figured out - (haha!). The one part I am not sure about, is if the Series-Parallel "In series" setting for the Middle Pickup can be bypassed when the pickup selector switch is in Positions 2 and 4. We will see.

    So as far as replacement hardware is concerned: you still need to replace the standard 5 way with a superswitch, but you probably no longer need to replace one of the 2DPT switches with a 3DPT on-on. Let me get through the new diagram to confirm that.

    BTW, if you did not already, please see my prior post about measuring your control cavity height before ordering a suoerswitch.
    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarDoc View Post
    Good diagram Shadowfire90, but it isn't what the OP wants.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sanford View Post
    The hardest part about tone chasing is losing the expectations associated with the hardware.
    Quote Originally Posted by blueman335 View Post
    I've been slammed here a few times myself for not going with the crowd. I'd rather go in a different direction, and know why, then follow everyone else and not know why.

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    Default Re: Wiring a H-S-H guitar w/ 2 coil split switches for inner/outer coils

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack_TriPpEr View Post
    Oops, the misunderstanding is on my part. My apologies I missed that the pickup you want to you use for the middle position has 2 coils. That also explains my mistake in thinking what the Series-Parallel switch was supposed to do.

    I will go back and make the updates. What you actually want isn't as difficult to accomplish as what I just figured out - (haha!). The one part I am not sure about, is if the Series-Parallel "In series" setting for the Middle Pickup can be bypassed when the pickup selector switch is in Positions 2 and 4. We will see.

    So as far as replacement hardware is concerned: you still need to replace the standard 5 way with a superswitch, but you probably no longer need to replace one of the 2DPT switches with a 3DPT on-on. Let me get through the new diagram to confirm that.

    BTW, if you did not already, please see my prior post about measuring your control cavity height before ordering a suoerswitch.
    This is great news, because the guy who does my wiring has a super switch that I can purchase from him. I just measured the cavity depth in the Carvin, and it should be able to accommodate either switch.

    One question- you mentioned the Series-Parallel "In series" setting for the Middle Pickup being bypassed when the pickup selector switch is in Position 2 and 4. Just wondering- why would it have to be bypassed? My goal would be this (for example):

    (All below with coil split off, "toggle switch 3" being Series/Parallel switch)

    Position 2 (toggle switch 3 set to "Parallel"): Bridge Humbucker full, in Parallel with Middle rails; Middle rails in Parallel with itself
    Position 2 (toggle switch 3 set to "Series"): Bridge Humbucker full, in Parallel with Middle rails; Middle rails in Series with itself
    Position 4 (toggle switch 3 set to "Parallel"): Neck Humbucker full, in Parallel with Middle rails; Middle rails in Parallel with itself
    Position 4 (toggle switch 3 set to "Series"): Neck Humbucker full, in Parallel with Middle rails; Middle rails in Series with itself

    My understanding is that these all would be hum-cancelling. However, any of the above positions, I would assume, when the humbuckers are split, would not be hum-cancelling

    I was anticipating putting the middle rails pickup in series with itself when active with another full humbucker, but in parallel with itself when active with a split humbucker, to try to match outputs a little closer.

    Thanks for your patience with the descriptions from a novice-level electronics understanding!
    Last edited by ericcomposer72; 06-05-2020 at 12:13 PM.

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    Default Re: Wiring a H-S-H guitar w/ 2 coil split switches for inner/outer coils

    Quote Originally Posted by ericcomposer72 View Post
    This is great news, because the guy who does my wiring has a super switch that I can purchase from him. I just measured the cavity depth in the Carvin, and it should be able to accommodate either switch.

    One question- you mentioned the Series-Parallel "In series" setting for the Middle Pickup being bypassed when the pickup selector switch is in Position 2 and 4. Just wondering- why would it have to be bypassed? My goal would be this (for example):

    (All below with coil split off, "toggle switch 3" being Series/Parallel switch)

    Position 2 (toggle switch 3 set to "Parallel"): Bridge Humbucker full, in Parallel with Middle rails; Middle rails in Parallel with itself
    Position 2 (toggle switch 3 set to "Series"): Bridge Humbucker full, in Parallel with Middle rails; Middle rails in Series with itself
    Position 4 (toggle switch 3 set to "Parallel"): Neck Humbucker full, in Parallel with Middle rails; Middle rails in Parallel with itself
    Position 4 (toggle switch 3 set to "Series"): Neck Humbucker full, in Parallel with Middle rails; Middle rails in Series with itself

    My understanding is that these all would be hum-cancelling. However, any of the above positions, I would assume, when the humbuckers are split, would not be hum-cancelling

    I was anticipating putting the middle rails pickup in series with itself when active with another full humbucker, but in parallel with itself when active with a split humbucker, to try to match outputs a little closer.

    Thanks for your patience with the descriptions from a novice-level electronics understanding!
    Thanks, I follow you.

    Let me throw this idea out there. To try to have at least some of Position 2 and Positon 4 that are hum-canceling when the 2 humbuckers are split, what do you think of the idea of also splitting the middle pickup whenever the 2 humbuckers are split?
    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarDoc View Post
    Good diagram Shadowfire90, but it isn't what the OP wants.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sanford View Post
    The hardest part about tone chasing is losing the expectations associated with the hardware.
    Quote Originally Posted by blueman335 View Post
    I've been slammed here a few times myself for not going with the crowd. I'd rather go in a different direction, and know why, then follow everyone else and not know why.

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    Default Re: Wiring a H-S-H guitar w/ 2 coil split switches for inner/outer coils

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack_TriPpEr View Post
    Thanks, I follow you.

    Let me throw this idea out there. To try to have at least some of Position 2 and Positon 4 that are hum-canceling when the 2 humbuckers are split, what do you think of the idea of also splitting the middle pickup whenever the 2 humbuckers are split?
    I think it's a great idea- however, I've actually read a lot about this pickup, and there is a lot of feedback that it sounds very weak/feeble when split. Honestly, I think I'll be OK with the hum in position 2/4 (when 'buckers are split)

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    Default Re: Wiring a H-S-H guitar w/ 2 coil split switches for inner/outer coils

    Quote Originally Posted by ericcomposer72 View Post
    I think it's a great idea- however, I've actually read a lot about this pickup, and there is a lot of feedback that it sounds very weak/feeble when split. Honestly, I think I'll be OK with the hum in position 2/4 (when 'buckers are split)
    Ok. I will begin working on the revised diagram.
    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarDoc View Post
    Good diagram Shadowfire90, but it isn't what the OP wants.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sanford View Post
    The hardest part about tone chasing is losing the expectations associated with the hardware.
    Quote Originally Posted by blueman335 View Post
    I've been slammed here a few times myself for not going with the crowd. I'd rather go in a different direction, and know why, then follow everyone else and not know why.

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    Default Re: Wiring a H-S-H guitar w/ 2 coil split switches for inner/outer coils

    Quote Originally Posted by ericcomposer72 View Post
    ...I was anticipating putting the middle rails pickup in series with itself when active with another full humbucker, but in parallel with itself when active with a split humbucker, to try to match outputs a little closer....
    *if* that is your end goal (i.e. middle pickup In Parallel *only* when the humbuckers are split, and the middle pickup In Series *only* when the 2 humbuckers are not split), then are you aware that with a 4PDT switch you could accomplish both things with a single switch action vs your current plan where you have to flip 2 switches each time? Are you interested in doing this via just 1 switch?
    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarDoc View Post
    Good diagram Shadowfire90, but it isn't what the OP wants.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sanford View Post
    The hardest part about tone chasing is losing the expectations associated with the hardware.
    Quote Originally Posted by blueman335 View Post
    I've been slammed here a few times myself for not going with the crowd. I'd rather go in a different direction, and know why, then follow everyone else and not know why.

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