Request for Wiring Intent Discussion and Wiring Chart

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Request for Wiring Intent Discussion and Wiring Chart

Post by Brainfertilizer on Mon Mar 18, 2013 2:13 pm

So I am having a custom guitar built to celebrate my promotion 14 months ago. It is a friend doing it for me (Jon Kammerer), so since I know he's been struggling financially and busy getting his RN degree and a job so that he can make payments on his shop and not close down, I haven't pushed him to finish it.

I really like twang in a guitar, and late 80s hair metal sounds. I also like a good hard rock crunchy sound, like you'd dial in for a basic blues song. And I like Styx guitar sounds (which range from Tommy Shaw's double coils to James Young's strat sounds).

I like the switching flexibility you get from the Dynasty, in theory.

In practice, however, the phase reversal switch kinda leaves me cold.

But I was thinking that it would be cool to have Seymour Duncan P-rails with a Single Coil in the middle.
It seems like you could get some good sounds with a 3-way switch for each P-rail, a 3-way switch to select Bridge/Bridge+Neck/Neck for the P-rails, and a 2-way switch for the middle single coil on/off.

Is that too complicated? Is that the best way to get some good twang? Is there a better way to get good twang?

I've never played a P-90 equipped guitar before, but they describe it as a hot/dirty single coil. That's the way I think of Stevie Ray Vaughan's tone...am I off on that thought?

Should I skip the P-rail idea entirely and go with a normal H/S/S?
Should I skip the on/off for the middle pickup and just go with a normal 5-way plus a coil-tap switch?
Should I consider an H/S/S with the ability to switch between parallel and series in the humbucker? (like a 3-way that is Series-Parallel-Coil Tap, combined with a normal 3-way/5-way that can turn the pickup entirely off) With this 3-way, a 3-way switch to select B/B+N/N and an on-off switch for the middle single coil, I could conceivably have the humbucker in parallel (twangy, right?), plus the middle coil on (more twangy), plus the neck single coil (MOAR twangy to the point of tears), right? Or would it just sound like a muddy mess?

After we talk all this through and you guys beat some sense into me, I'll need someone (probably Guitarasaurus) to draw up a wiring diagram for me so I can give it to Jon.

Thanks...

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Re: Request for Wiring Intent Discussion and Wiring Chart

Post by IanO on Mon Mar 18, 2013 2:20 pm

Speak to the G man, He who speaketh drawings of infinite wisdom and folowabilityisms

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Re: Request for Wiring Intent Discussion and Wiring Chart

Post by Brainfertilizer on Mon Mar 18, 2013 2:28 pm

Sure, but I'd like to get people's opinions of the best pickups or pickup configurations to get plenty o'twang, blues, and 80s hair band tone, all on one guitar.

It might be a ridiculous notion.

Or maybe someone has some ideas.

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Re: Request for Wiring Intent Discussion and Wiring Chart

Post by gittarasaurus on Mon Mar 18, 2013 2:54 pm

just a couple thoughts...

most important to me is that the layout should be intuitive. so that most anyone, with a little experience, can easily understand the operations.

then when the variety of options is understood, that a quick look at the controls reveals what setup is active. so from the first note, you know what sound is going to come out.

i devised a rotary switch setup with 6 positions for a 2 humbucker guitar, but it was hard to tell what position the switch was in. and it needed more tweeking, because what seemed like a logical progression of settings in theory, did not produce a smooth progression of changes through all the settings. the sound texture and levels varied too much from one position to the next. so i think the more complex the setup, the more trial and error to fine tune it to a state of real utility.


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Re: Request for Wiring Intent Discussion and Wiring Chart

Post by Brainfertilizer on Mon Mar 18, 2013 2:57 pm

So what do you recommend to make it more intuitive?

It seems to me that it should start with a 5-way switch, and then either mini-toggles or push/pull for some basic A/B switches. And then one two-way mini-toggle off to the side for the bypass/blower switch.

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Re: Request for Wiring Intent Discussion and Wiring Chart

Post by Sgt. Vimes on Mon Mar 18, 2013 3:51 pm

One pickup I like a lot that gave me twang was the DiMarzio HS-2, primarily a bridge pup, it works well in middle position, I had this setup on a s-h-s strat where the hs2 was auto-coil when in positions 2 and 4, and just plain hb when in middle. twas twangilicious.

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Re: Request for Wiring Intent Discussion and Wiring Chart

Post by gittarasaurus on Mon Mar 18, 2013 4:11 pm

the location of the switch should help to convey what it's function is, where on the guitar, which way the bat swings.

when i played in a band i used the thunder IIA and i found the mini switches easy to use, and easy to see the position of everything all at one look. i never used a guitar with push/pulls to play on stage, but it seems more difficult to make quick switches in mid-song, or mid-solo. that may or may not be important to others and how they use the available settings

the thunder offered so many sounds, i tried to find a place to use all of them, somewhere in the different types of songs we played.

i like the way the dynasty, the spectrum and others have a 3-way switch for the neck and bridge and another switch to engage the middle pickup. i find that a better setup to make the change from bridge/mid to neck/mid. that is more how i would use my settings as opposed to mid pickup on/off. plus the extra setting of all-three-on that you don't get with a 5-way. what you don't get is middle only, but that is not a setting i use much for the style i play.

i guess something else to consider is what is the main thing you will use the guitar for? live performance, recording studio, garage jams...

one of my own-built guitars is way too heavy to stand and perform a set with, but i play sitting down at home nearly exclusively anymore, so no big deal. looks awesome, plays great, but heavy as a log. i never even put strap buttons on it.

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Re: Request for Wiring Intent Discussion and Wiring Chart

Post by corsair on Mon Mar 18, 2013 4:19 pm

Hmmm.... I played my VA900 onstage and in the studio for 20 some years and found, as guitarsaurus says, that finding your way around the multiple switching setup to be easier in the studio than live, even when I was extremely familiar with the instrument! So consider the sort of use this exciting new guitar is going to have!

Isn't the Tele twang and bark partly due to the metal bridge pickup surround?

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Re: Request for Wiring Intent Discussion and Wiring Chart

Post by Westbone on Mon Mar 18, 2013 4:27 pm

I've a Tanglewood Europa.
Top of the range in the early 90's metal guitar, Super Strat type thing.

It has h/s/h configuration, 1 volume, 1 tone, 5 way switch, pull/push on volume for a coil tap on the h/bukers.


pos.1 bridge h/b.
2, one coil on bridge/h/b and middle pup.
3, Both h/b's
4, mid and one coil on neck h/b
5, neck h/b.
Pull up the vol. coil tap

Real easy to use and goes from metal to Strat twang.

Pups are Kent Armstrong OTT's. (over the top)

The more switches and gadgets= more fiddling, less playing.

My 2 cents. scratch



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Re: Request for Wiring Intent Discussion and Wiring Chart

Post by Westbone on Mon Mar 18, 2013 4:29 pm

corsair wrote:Isn't the Tele twang and bark partly due to the metal bridge pickup surround?

Mainly due to the metal plate on the botton of the pup

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Re: Request for Wiring Intent Discussion and Wiring Chart

Post by Brainfertilizer on Mon Mar 18, 2013 4:33 pm

I just jam with friends or on my own.

I am leaning toward the middle pickup on/off, too. It is nice to hear that is a favorite of other, more skilled/accomplished guitarists.

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Re: Request for Wiring Intent Discussion and Wiring Chart

Post by gittarasaurus on Mon Mar 18, 2013 4:45 pm

it might be that it is also wound fatter than a strat bridge pickup, usually over 7k ohms
tele pickups also use rod magnets, not a bar magnet and slugs.

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Re: Request for Wiring Intent Discussion and Wiring Chart

Post by Westbone on Mon Mar 18, 2013 4:50 pm

Nowadays pickup selection is immense.
Spoilt for choice eh! Smile


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Re: Request for Wiring Intent Discussion and Wiring Chart

Post by IanO on Mon Mar 18, 2013 5:08 pm

Hi again,, sorry I did mean to add a couple of pences worth of personal opinion but had to collect my daughter from Girls Brigade and pressed send before I had realised it.
I had no particular issues with theSC twanginess of my strat apart from the weaker sounding bridge pick-up (i replaced it with an alnico pro). A couple of weeks ago I added an extra single coil to my Strat for 3 reasons:
1, I found the S/C at the bridge just not ROCK enough for the moments when I wanted it! and
2, I had the original fender SC in a box as the brigge pickup in the guitar is a SD alnico pro that I fitted as a part cure to point 1.
3, I had bought a new soldering iron and had been inspied to customise by others on the Forum.

Here's a piccy: http://s1151.photobucket.com/user/molecularelk/media/Image0224.jpg.html?sort=3&o=0
The new p/up only works when the mini switch nearest the Volume pot is switched either forward -series or back -parrellel and is disengaged when the 5 way is moved off of pos 1, This give me the Stock set-up with the benefit of a "thicker/meatier series HB tone or twangier parrallel HB tone - me likey this velly much!
The lower Mini switch is in/out of phase and an effect that I still am not sure about! All things get very thin'n'weedy and not entirely in a good way.....but I can't be bothered to remove it so it shall stay. In the pic it's in weedy mode (forward) so it's not easy to accidently go weedy at the wrong moment.
In fact the only use I have found for it is during those moments when you can turn the amp up, Its great to play a riff out of phase for an a pre-intro then come in on full HB or SC mode

Not sure if this helps you at all but feel free to ask if you want any more info.

Cheers

Ian

PS...thanks once again Gittarasaurus

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Re: Request for Wiring Intent Discussion and Wiring Chart

Post by Barry on Mon Mar 18, 2013 7:59 pm

corsair wrote:...Isn't the Tele twang and bark partly due to the metal bridge pickup surround?
Yup. Quite a bit to do with it.

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Re: Request for Wiring Intent Discussion and Wiring Chart

Post by Brainfertilizer on Mon Mar 18, 2013 11:44 pm

IanO wrote:Hi again,, sorry I did mean to add a couple of pences worth of personal opinion but had to collect my daughter from Girls Brigade and pressed send before I had realised it.
I had no particular issues with theSC twanginess of my strat apart from the weaker sounding bridge pick-up (i replaced it with an alnico pro). A couple of weeks ago I added an extra single coil to my Strat for 3 reasons:
1, I found the S/C at the bridge just not ROCK enough for the moments when I wanted it! and
2, I had the original fender SC in a box as the brigge pickup in the guitar is a SD alnico pro that I fitted as a part cure to point 1.
3, I had bought a new soldering iron and had been inspied to customise by others on the Forum.

Here's a piccy: http://s1151.photobucket.com/user/molecularelk/media/Image0224.jpg.html?sort=3&o=0
The new p/up only works when the mini switch nearest the Volume pot is switched either forward -series or back -parrellel and is disengaged when the 5 way is moved off of pos 1, This give me the Stock set-up with the benefit of a "thicker/meatier series HB tone or twangier parrallel HB tone - me likey this velly much!
The lower Mini switch is in/out of phase and an effect that I still am not sure about! All things get very thin'n'weedy and not entirely in a good way.....but I can't be bothered to remove it so it shall stay. In the pic it's in weedy mode (forward) so it's not easy to accidently go weedy at the wrong moment.
In fact the only use I have found for it is during those moments when you can turn the amp up, Its great to play a riff out of phase for an a pre-intro then come in on full HB or SC mode

Not sure if this helps you at all but feel free to ask if you want any more info.

Cheers

Ian

PS...thanks once again Gittarasaurus

That's pretty cool.
I'm not sure it is what I'm looking for though.

I really want to be able to get the coil nearest the bridge + the neck single coil at the same time, for max twang. I like the switch for series/parallel for the bridge, but maybe it should be a three position toggle: coil tap, series, parallel, plus an/off mini-switch to turn on the middle pickup plus a Gibson 3-way to switch between bridge only, bridge + neck, neck only.

Finally, a 3rd mini-switch to go bypass.

Gittarasaurus, would that be a difficult wiring chart? Especially now that I've finally figured out how to spell your screen name?

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Re: Request for Wiring Intent Discussion and Wiring Chart

Post by gittarasaurus on Tue Mar 19, 2013 7:54 am

looking closely at seymour duncan website info, it says this:

"P-Rails are different to most humbuckers. In a normal humbucker, a screw coil will always cancel with a slug coil – whether from the same pickup or another humbucker. However, with the P-Rails, they’re set up so that the same coils will cancel each other’s hum. So two P-90s together will cancel hum, as will two rail coils."

with pickups built in this way, a middle pickup will sound very different when added to each of the other pickups. it will be out-of-phase with one of them and produce a very diminished signal.

the other thing i found interesting was the triple shot mounting rings. they could give you most of the options you are looking for (series,parallel,rail,both,P90). they look to be very, very simple to hook up. when using those rings for output configuration, you will need to use only a common pickup selector switch. $50 seems a bit much for trim rings, but 4 mini switches and 2 trim rings, well, that is not too much. and as easy as they seem to be, it is a winner in my book. and they seem to be nearly invisible once installed. i just don't know about how easy it is to operate the switches when playing, but overall it looks like a good innovation.

another very cool thing i noticed about the triple shot mounting rings, is that they will fit standard humbuckers, so can be used on any 4-wire humbucker pickup.

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Re: Request for Wiring Intent Discussion and Wiring Chart

Post by Brainfertilizer on Tue Mar 19, 2013 8:55 am

The guitar I want to put them on wouldn't really look good with the triple shot mounting rings.

Also, I don't understand pickup wiring enough to instinctively understand the out-of-phase problem. Is there any way to switch the phase of the middle pickup to be back in phase? That's what the third push/pull on the Dimension IV/Dynasty does, right?

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Re: Request for Wiring Intent Discussion and Wiring Chart

Post by gittarasaurus on Tue Mar 19, 2013 10:21 am

the seymour duncan pickups seem to have been designed to be installed in pairs. one pickup is reverse-wound-reverse-polarity to the other, so they act as noise cancelling when connected together. so any other pickup added to the matched pair will have to deal with that issue.

the neck and bridge pickups on a Dynasty are built to be the same pickup basically, so the middle pickup has a consistent phase relation to both the other pickups. when the reverse phase switch is engaged, then it still has a consistent relation to each of the other pickups.

you could resolve that issue with the P-Rails by simply using 2 neck pups or 2 bridge pups. in order to get the noise canceling effect, the magnetic polarity of the middle pickup should be opposite of the others, so if the middle has a south-up magnet, the p-rails should have a north-up.
i'm not sure if there is that much detail in the specifications that come with most pickups, but you may be able to find out thru some technical support contact. you could choose neck or bridge, whichever would be a correct match for your middle pup.

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Re: Request for Wiring Intent Discussion and Wiring Chart

Post by Brainfertilizer on Tue Mar 19, 2013 10:33 am

Got it. That makes sense, and is very helpful.

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Re: Request for Wiring Intent Discussion and Wiring Chart

Post by Westbone on Tue Mar 19, 2013 1:58 pm

What does your guitar maker think?

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Re: Request for Wiring Intent Discussion and Wiring Chart

Post by Brainfertilizer on Tue Mar 19, 2013 2:10 pm

I am 90% certain this is what I want:

I know I want an H/S/S configuration, basically.

I want the bridge HB and neck Single Coil to be controlled by a Gibson-style 3-way (your normal 3-way switch).

I want the middle single coil to be controlled by an on/off 2-way mini-switch.

I want a bypass switch that bypasses all tone/volume/switches.




Things I'm not sure of:

Do I want a traditional HB or a P-Rails in the bridge?

Do I want a tradition single coil or a P-90 in the neck?

Do I want the bypass switch to be just the bridge pickup, or all the pickups?

If I want a P-Rail, do I want you to use the Triple Shot Rings or a separate 3-way mini-toggle?

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Re: Request for Wiring Intent Discussion and Wiring Chart

Post by Brainfertilizer on Tue Mar 19, 2013 2:16 pm

Westbone wrote:What does your guitar maker think?

If I give him a wiring diagram, he'll do it for me. He puts more of his thought into the guitar design and construction than the pickup configuration.

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Re: Request for Wiring Intent Discussion and Wiring Chart

Post by gittarasaurus on Tue Mar 19, 2013 3:02 pm

you are going to drop a good bit of money on your custom built guitar. how about a little bit of $$ to give a real tryout to some of the combinations you are considering

maybe you can find a beater guitar for cheap, and try out some of the pickup combinations. there are squier guitars available on craigslist here for $50 almost every day. i have found first act to be a good solid test-bed guitars, as well (i also have one from their custom shop, very nice inDD!). i have an aria pro II STG series ($50) i also use to experiment

it doesn't have to be a pretty job to get some real ear-time for the pickups and/or switches.

pickguards, swimming pool routing, make changes much easier. rough cuts, missing screws don't matter, you just need enough to hold it in there for a test drive.

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Re: Request for Wiring Intent Discussion and Wiring Chart

Post by colt933 on Tue Mar 19, 2013 3:18 pm

I suggest that trying to do it all with one guitar is not the way to go. I have tried it many times - I wanted what you want.

In the end, it's just easier to do it with 2-3 different guitars - for me.

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Re: Request for Wiring Intent Discussion and Wiring Chart

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