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Re: Fender Guitar Mods

Postby Studio Support Gnome » Sun Dec 22, 2019 12:29 am

Not necessarily fender, but could be a very flexible Hot rod Strat ...
My now favourite pickup combo (as fitted to three of my S series Ibanez)
Neck. = Reverse orientated Bridge version Seymour duncan P-rails , fitted with 3 way switch to give P90/humbucker/single rail
Middle , currently Dimarzio True Velvet,. but might change to something else. not utterly convinced, but it's nice enough
Bridge = Quad Rail Humbucker.... I used to use a rotary switch to give me single coil, single stack, two series stacks in parallel, or all 4 coils in series . but these days I'm just using a push-push volume pot to give me two series stacks in parallel, or two series stacks in series...

fairly discrete , just a 3 way micro toggle, and a push-push volume , plus the std 5 way switch, (with coil cut earth links on the B-side)

it's about as flexible as it gets..... not a single pointless tone.... but loads of useable variation.
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Re: Fender Guitar Mods

Postby zenguitar » Sun Dec 22, 2019 12:39 am

And you have made my main point perfectly SSG. What matters most is having different and useful sounds to hand with the minimum of switch combinations to remember.

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Re: Fender Guitar Mods

Postby DanStack16 » Mon Apr 27, 2020 2:42 pm

Hey everyone

So I have an HSS mexi strat, and like many of you I’m bored out of my mind. So, I was thinking about modding it. Currently, I have my volume pot as a push-pull to coil split the humbucker, so what I wanted to try and do was add a new mini 3-way toggle which in the middle position kept the humbucker and in the other two positions split to each respective coil of the humbucker (so that I could use either coil). I then wanted to wire the push-pull pot as a “gilmour switch” type thing to turn on the neck pickup and get a telecaster sound as well as all three pickups. With this combination of wiring I should be able to have hum cancelling in all positions but the neck and middle pickups by themselves. Would anyone be able to create a wiring diagram for this? I can put it together but I haven’t the slightest clue how to plan the wiring.
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Re: Fender Guitar Mods

Postby zenguitar » Mon Apr 27, 2020 4:21 pm

The more switches you add, the more complicate it is to use and as well as the sounds you want you get additional sounds you might not want, or are very similar to the others.

So sometimes it's worth putting a little extra thought into which are the principle pick-up combinations you want. It might be possible to get most or all using your existing push/pull switch and a 4-pole 5-way switch.

For example, assuming that the middle pick-up is RWRP, you could get this...

Pos1 Bridge humbucker
Pos2 Middle pick-up and the coil from the bridge pick-up that is RWRP to the middle.
Pos3 Middle single coil
Pos4 Neck pick-up and the other coil from the bridge pick-up
Pos5 Neck only

Then use the push/pull switch to add the neck pick-up to any other selection. And that will also restore the neck & middle selection lost from the standard 5-way wiring.

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Re: Fender Guitar Mods

Postby Wonks » Mon Apr 27, 2020 6:56 pm

One coil of a humbucker is RWRP with respect to the other one, so if you have the ability to select either of the humbucker coils to be the split coil, you'll find that there will be one humbucking bridge single + neck combination, and one non-humbucking. Likewise with the two possible bridge single + mid positions.

So it won't be quite as hum free as you first thought.
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Re: Fender Guitar Mods

Postby DanStack16 » Mon Apr 27, 2020 7:16 pm

Thanks Andy, though the main issue with that is I already use each of the standard 5-way positions pretty frequently. I do know that it’ll get more complicated with the more I add, however I want that. I’m essentially trying to make a do-it-all strat for either session stuff or a universal gig guitar. Basically I want to cram in all the bells and whistles so can. For example I want to try and at some point convert this strat to HSH using either a new pick guard or one of the many Seymour Duncan single size humbucker which I would also be able to split. But at the end of the day, wiring hacks are pretty cheap so I’m starting there.
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Re: Fender Guitar Mods

Postby DanStack16 » Mon Apr 27, 2020 7:23 pm

To Wonks- I should’ve been a bit more specific. What I meant is that I will be able to have every combination of positions in a way that is hum cancelling, as you said, barring the individual single coils. I more meant that I’d be able to have all 3 pickups him cancelling, or a hum cancelling combo of the neck and bridge, though there are ways that they would also not be cancelling. Ultimately, though, you are correct in how you are understanding what I want to do. I just don’t know how I’d wire it up to make that happen :D
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Re: Fender Guitar Mods

Postby zenguitar » Mon Apr 27, 2020 7:33 pm

Don't worry, the 'do it all' Strat has been a target for decades now. Lots of people try similar things, but most drift back to standard wiring or a limited wiring tweak eventually. That's how we learn.

However, as you say, we all have a lot of time on our hands right now. So I'll put some thought into your 3 way toggle switch over the next couple of days. A simple coil tap is trivially simple, but what you want would take some thinking through. Might be possible, but could require a less common switch.

So, no promises, but lets see what we can come up with.

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Re: Fender Guitar Mods

Postby DanStack16 » Mon Apr 27, 2020 7:36 pm

Much thanks Andy! I had figured that, ideally, I could use a three way mini toggle like the ones often on some of the swankier stomp boxes. That way, it should be easy enough to use in that I could flip the switch towards the neck for the neck-side coil of the humbucker, middle for regular HB, and towards the bride for the bridge-side cool. Essentially it would create a mini version of Tele wiring using just the HB coils and a mini switch. Unless I’m misunderstand how a coil split functions with a regular 2 way switch or a push-pull put, I figure something of the sort should be possible and all I would need to order would be the switch.

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Re: Fender Guitar Mods

Postby zenguitar » Mon Apr 27, 2020 8:35 pm

Not quite that simple Dan. One coil one side, the other coil the other side is easy. The problem is combining them in the middle. A humbucker has the coils in series, the easy way to combine them in the middle position would wire them in parallel which would change the sound of your pick-up.

Hence the requirement for some thought.

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Re: Fender Guitar Mods

Postby Sam Spoons » Mon Apr 27, 2020 9:16 pm

I've used a three position centre off switch to wire two single coils so they could be selected individually or in series, you would need access to the centre tap wiring to do that with a single humbucker but it could work. The other Strat mod that I use all the time is using the centre pot to bring the bridge pickup into series with the middle pickup (on the '61 Strat), I do similar with a toggle on the P90 Bitza with just two pickups (it switches the two P90s into series for extra grunt). It could be done with a 5 way/4 pole switch too but I just CBA to get my head around it.....
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Re: Fender Guitar Mods

Postby DanStack16 » Tue Apr 28, 2020 1:45 pm

Would it be easier to wire the humbucker with a couple of 2-way switches so that each coil had its own on/off switch? It would be a bit more complicated to use once it’s all said and done but I could get used to it. If it’s simpler (or at least possible) to wire I’m all for it.

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Re: Fender Guitar Mods

Postby zenguitar » Tue Apr 28, 2020 2:03 pm

Individual coil switches still make it difficult. I have been putting some thought into it though, still working things out to see if it's possible.

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Re: Fender Guitar Mods

Postby Wonks » Tue Apr 28, 2020 2:41 pm

I think it's quite easy to do with an on-off-on SPDT switch (though you could use half of an DPDT switch).

On a 4-wire pickup, the two middle wires that come already joined together (red and white on the Seymour Duncan system) get taken to the middle terminal. One of the end terminals is connected to ground whilst the other is connected to the hot connection from the pickup (black wire if SD) and this also goes off as the main pickup output connection (to either the volume pot or pickup selector switch depending on the rest of your circuitry). The pickup ground wire (green if SD) and the cable screen are grounded as normal.

With the switch in the middle position, the two centre wires remain unconnected (except to each other) and you have the full humbucker.

With the switch connecting the two centre wires to ground, the output of the south coil is grounded, so you get the north coil only.

(Now the bit that I think should work but I've never tried it so can't 100% say for certain).
With the switch connecting the two centre wires to the normal pickup output, both ends of the the north coil are connected together so should be at the same potential, so no current can flow around them. That just leaves the output of the south coil to provide the signal.
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Re: Fender Guitar Mods

Postby Sam Spoons » Tue Apr 28, 2020 2:54 pm

DanStack16 wrote:Would it be easier to wire the humbucker with a couple of 2-way switches so that each coil had its own on/off switch? It would be a bit more complicated to use once it’s all said and done but I could get used to it. If it’s simpler (or at least possible) to wire I’m all for it.

Dan

The wiring for a single pole double throw switch with centre off is very easy as long as you have access to the centre tap of the humbucker. The two 'on' positions each short out a coil, the 'off' position has both coils active. It works great with two separate pickups but I'm not sure how much difference they'll be between the coils of a single humbucker*. I'd probably stick with a simple SPST coil tap which shorts the earth side coil to earth.

* BTW I don't think it would be useful at all to have the lower coil of a stacked humbucker active on it's own.

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