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Where does this wire go? American Strat has no sound

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Re: Where does this wire go? American Strat has no sound

Postby Sam Spoons » Sun Sep 29, 2019 5:49 pm

Hugh Robjohns wrote:But while I can see the sense in replacing one wire at a time, my own preference is to strip it all out and start from a clean page... That way you're not hampered by the previous wiring layout compromises... But that's just me. I'd draw out the existing wiring connections first (and take lots of pictures just in case), and then with the schematic you can work out how to rationalise the grounding and avoid loops, which is a common problem in standard guitar wiring arrangements.

Me to but the OP was asking the question, implying he isn't confident with guitar wiring (forgive me if I'm doing you an injustice DC) so I and, I suspect Foldy, were suggesting a relatively foolproof method of retaining the original wiring and sound.
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Re: Where does this wire go? American Strat has no sound

Postby Wonks » Sun Sep 29, 2019 6:08 pm

Twisting the wires is still supposed to give a small measure of benefit by the ground wire being 'in front' of the signal wire for some of its path in relation to a source radiating noise, and so reducing the level of any noise picked up.

I don't know by how much, or if it works at all, but even if it's just a bit, then it's worth doing and it costs nothing to do.

You get wires twisted together in guitar amps to help reduce noise pickup, no balanced signals there, so it's pretty standard practice.
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Re: Where does this wire go? American Strat has no sound

Postby Folderol » Sun Sep 29, 2019 7:02 pm

Wonks wrote:You get wires twisted together in guitar amps to help reduce noise pickup, no balanced signals there, so it's pretty standard practice.

With one exception, I've only ever seen that for heater wiring. This makes sense as they are generating a 50Hz field, and twisting them very tightly together will dramatically reduce this. If EF37A has seen otherwise, I bow to his experience.

The exception being the pickup leads themselves. Until they reach the rest of the circuit then to all practical purposes they are balanced and are only twisted as a pair, not with anything else, and if one lead is already designated as ground and connected to a shield or ground point, they are no longer balanced so shouldn't be twisted. Instead (if you want belt and braces) the grounded one should be a braid wrapping the 'live' one. Once they hit the rest (including other pickup leads), all bets are off.
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Re: Where does this wire go? American Strat has no sound

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Sun Sep 29, 2019 7:17 pm

Wonks wrote:Twisting the wires is still supposed to give a small measure of benefit by the ground wire being 'in front' of the signal wire for some of its path in relation to a source radiating noise, and so reducing the level of any noise picked up.

I think I'd label that under 'myths'... :-) If you're worried about interference, used screened wire..

You get wires twisted together in guitar amps to help reduce noise pickup, no balanced signals there, so it's pretty standard practice.

More myth methinks. I can see the convenience and neatness benefits... But the science just doesn't support the reduced noise pickup argument for unbalanced and unscreened connections. However, it could prove beneficial if the twisted wires are carrying a balanced signal and feeding a differential input -- which may indeed be the case in some parts of the power stage circuitry in some valve guitar amps.
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Re: Where does this wire go? American Strat has no sound

Postby zenguitar » Sun Sep 29, 2019 10:38 pm

I’m from the Edwyn Collins/Orange Juice school of guitar wiring.

Rip it out and start again ;)

Andy :beamup:
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Re: Where does this wire go? American Strat has no sound

Postby DC-Choppah » Mon Sep 30, 2019 4:12 am

Wonks wrote:For that approx. model year, the switch should be a 3-way one. If not, and it's a 5-way, then it's almost certainly been replaced at some time. So if you do start getting a dodgy pot and/or switch, then for authenticity, the kit with the 3-way switch is the one to go for, though the 5-way switch one below it in the list will be more versatile, whilst still giving you the same basic sounds in positions 1, 3 and 5.

Of course those position 2 and 4 sounds can be obtained by putting the 3-way switch in those in-between positions and hoping the switch stays there.

The only two positions I use on the Strat is the #2 and #5 position as shown in this Fender diagram: https://www.fender.com/articles/tech-ta ... tor-switch

So that is the middle pickup combined with the bridge for position #2 and the neck pickup alone for position #5.

Those are THE Strat sounds!


Can you get that #2 with a three-way switch only? I don't think I have played a Strat with a 3-way switch.
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Re: Where does this wire go? American Strat has no sound

Postby Wonks » Mon Sep 30, 2019 7:34 am

I have played one, and it's not that easy to get the switch to stay in that in-between position. Certainly not something you'd want to do half-way through a song.

I remembered incorrectly. I thought it was very early '80s, but It was around 1977 when Fender started fitting 5-way switches as standard to all Strats. Though as with most things Fender until recent times, it was a gradual change and they were still using up old switch stock alongside new 5-ways for quite a period. So there's no definite date where before you got a 3-way, and after a 5-way switch.
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Re: Where does this wire go? American Strat has no sound

Postby Sam Spoons » Mon Sep 30, 2019 8:51 am

Folderol wrote:
Wonks wrote:You get wires twisted together in guitar amps to help reduce noise pickup, no balanced signals there, so it's pretty standard practice.

With one exception, I've only ever seen that for heater wiring. This makes sense as they are generating a 50Hz field, and twisting them very tightly together will dramatically reduce this.

When I built my 18 Watt (ampmaker.com P1800 kit) the only twisted wires were heater supply and, IIRC, the final pair going from the output valves to the OP tranny.
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Re: Where does this wire go? American Strat has no sound

Postby DC-Choppah » Tue Oct 01, 2019 12:17 am

Wonks wrote:I have played one, and it's not that easy to get the switch to stay in that in-between position. Certainly not something you'd want to do half-way through a song.

I remembered incorrectly. I thought it was very early '80s, but It was around 1977 when Fender started fitting 5-way switches as standard to all Strats. Though as with most things Fender until recent times, it was a gradual change and they were still using up old switch stock alongside new 5-ways for quite a period. So there's no definite date where before you got a 3-way, and after a 5-way switch.
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Re: Where does this wire go? American Strat has no sound

Postby DC-Choppah » Tue Oct 01, 2019 12:21 am

Wonks wrote:I have played one, and it's not that easy to get the switch to stay in that in-between position. Certainly not something you'd want to do half-way through a song.

I remembered incorrectly. I thought it was very early '80s, but It was around 1977 when Fender started fitting 5-way switches as standard to all Strats. Though as with most things Fender until recent times, it was a gradual change and they were still using up old switch stock alongside new 5-ways for quite a period. So there's no definite date where before you got a 3-way, and after a 5-way switch.

I am a 5-way guy!

Reminds me of Cincinnati Ohio Chili. I'll have:

1: Chili
2: spaghetti
3: cheese
4: onions
5: beans


Sooooo good!
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