Pickup control wiring

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Pickup control wiring

Post by David_A on Mon Nov 17, 2014 10:19 am

I like a guitar to have one master volume, so that the loudness can be quickly adjusted regardless of which pickups are selected. On both of my Westones (Rainbow and Session) there is a separate volume (and tone) for each pickup. If you want to change the volume when both pickups are selected then you have to try to adjust both volumes by the same amount or it will affect the balance between the pickups. I'm wondering if it would be possible to replace the two volumes with a master volume and a balance control. Here's a rough sketch:


Has this been done before? I'm worried that wiring the balance permanently to the two pickups will cause a drop in their output, so maybe it would need an isolating switch. I'm also unsure about the resistance that the balance would have to be rated at.

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Re: Pickup control wiring

Post by Barry on Mon Nov 17, 2014 11:15 am

Mr. Duncan could be your friend: CLICK HERE
Not sure what you'd want to do with the 2 leftover control holes though?

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Re: Pickup control wiring

Post by gittarasaurus on Mon Nov 17, 2014 11:57 am

it seems to me that if you went to a balance control, you would lose the subtlety of control offered by separate volume knobs

how about the tone controls, do you want to retain separate tone controls?
it not, then...

 you could convert one of the tone pots to a master volume control, wired in after the 3-way switch. you retain individual volume controls for each pickup for blending and then have master volume/master tone for main control

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Re: Pickup control wiring

Post by Westbone on Mon Nov 17, 2014 12:31 pm

ala Gretsch guitar
http://www.gretsch-talk.com/forum/attachments/technical-side-things/24330d1352400799-5435t-50s-wiring-image-3082593512.jpg

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Re: Pickup control wiring

Post by David_A on Mon Nov 17, 2014 1:16 pm

Yes, I think that could be the answer!  cheers
The individual volumes could be set to give the right mix, and then left alone. I would then be able to adjust the volume and tone with the two 'master' pots. To see the wiring used in a Gretsch proves that it works.
Now I'll have to decide if I'm brave enough to re-wire one of my guitars ...

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Re: Pickup control wiring

Post by Westbone on Mon Nov 17, 2014 1:24 pm

Least you won't have to make any extra holes on a normal 2 vol. 2 tones.

Have fun getting at all the pots... Smile

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Re: Pickup control wiring

Post by Barry on Mon Nov 17, 2014 1:47 pm

(Hee, hee)
Of course!
Should'a seen that one! Yes yes!

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Re: Pickup control wiring

Post by Westbone on Mon Nov 17, 2014 6:53 pm

David_A wrote:Yes, I think that could be the answer!  cheers
The individual volumes could be set to give the right mix, and then left alone. I would then be able to adjust the volume and tone with the two 'master' pots. To see the wiring used in a Gretsch proves that it works.
Now I'll have to decide if I'm brave enough to re-wire one of my guitars ...
That's how this ones wired.

Easy job to do.

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Re: Pickup control wiring

Post by David_A on Mon Nov 17, 2014 7:47 pm

That's a lovely guitar - I feel a GAS attack coming on. Delicious  It's obvious where the master volume is on this one, but if I were to mod my guitar using the four existing holes it could get confusing, especially when swapping from one guitar to another. Maybe I will just have to convert all of my 4-knob guitars (there were 9 of them at the last count)!  pale

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Re: Pickup control wiring

Post by Westbone on Tue Nov 18, 2014 12:01 am

Master V, Master T at the top.

Two pup volumes at the bottom.

Simple enough.

As for getting confused, that's another story.... Cool

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Re: Pickup control wiring

Post by Adey on Tue Nov 18, 2014 6:48 am

My Westbury Deluxe is set up with two volumes and two tones. 

Each works as you would expect if neck or bridge pick-up is selected.

If both pickups are selected, then either volume acts as a master. Not sure how it is wired, but there is a spider's web of it in the cavity as it does coil taps and phase malarkey stuff too.

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Re: Pickup control wiring

Post by David_A on Wed Nov 19, 2014 9:29 am

The Westbury sounds complicated, but you must have plenty of interesting sounds to choose from.  Thinking 2
Isn't it odd how the sound can be so completely different between two guitars when you have both humbuckers on together? Some makes of pickup mix together really well, producing what I would describe as a 'bell' tone. Others just seem to fight each other and you can't get a pleasing mix. That's partly why I've been thinking about an alternative wiring layout. I'd be able to pre-set the best sounds, and it would be easier to swap from one guitar to another.
There is one other problem though. Those last couple of numbers on the volume (8 to 10) can cause a HUGE difference in the sound, as well as the volume! At one time I used a volume pedal to get round that one; I could just leave the guitar volume on 10 if I wanted to. I also had the ability to produce a 'bowing' effect (I never could get the hang of using the guitar's own volume for that).

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Re: Pickup control wiring

Post by gittarasaurus on Wed Nov 19, 2014 12:33 pm

Adey wrote:My Westbury Deluxe is set up with two volumes and two tones. 

Each works as you would expect if neck or bridge pick-up is selected.

If both pickups are selected, then either volume acts as a master. Not sure how it is wired, but there is a spider's web of it in the cavity as it does coil taps and phase malarkey stuff too.
the way it works just depends on how the potentiometers are connected to the pickups. no extra wiring required.

 geek

separate volume pots are wired before the 3-way switch. for this example, lug 3 on the volume pot is connected to ground.

if the pickup is wired to the first lug and the output is wired to second lug (the wiper), then either volume pot will cut the signal off when both pickups are engaged. because the wiper is connected to the output, if you ground the output, no sound. this is probably how your Westbury is set up. not truly a master volume, but it will cut off all output.

if the pickup is wired to the wiper (lug 2 or center) and the output is wired to lug 1, this controls the pickups independently, pickup output sweeps from full output to the other end of the 500k pot and a ground point. the 500k element nominally blocks the ground connection from affecting the output signal. as the pot is rotated, the pickup signal is sent to the point of least resistance, either output or ground.

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Re: Pickup control wiring

Post by Westbone on Wed Nov 19, 2014 2:01 pm

Sorted..... Laughing

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Re: Pickup control wiring

Post by David_A on Wed Nov 19, 2014 2:03 pm

Yes, thanks gittarasaurus, your explanation makes perfect sense.
Do you have any opinion on which configuration works better?  scratch

I suppose the only way to get fully independent control of the pickups is with an active circuit.

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Re: Pickup control wiring

Post by Westbone on Wed Nov 19, 2014 2:12 pm

David_A wrote:

I suppose the only way to get fully independent control of the pickups is with an active circuit.

No!

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Re: Pickup control wiring

Post by gittarasaurus on Wed Nov 19, 2014 2:26 pm

it is each player's choice what is "best"
and that is subject to change depending on the situation

the wonderful thing about electric guitars is that they can be set up in whatever way the player is seeking in controls and configurations

many guitars these days have stereo output. eg. bridge piezo + magnetic pups

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Re: Pickup control wiring

Post by Westbone on Wed Nov 19, 2014 3:23 pm

Too right Mike.

There's 100's of configurations, just what suits one.

In search of the lost chord...... Laughing  buy/try more guitars Twisted Evil

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Re: Pickup control wiring

Post by Barry on Wed Nov 19, 2014 11:43 pm

Yeah, Mike needs more guitars.  Snackin




(Bloody enabler.)

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Re: Pickup control wiring

Post by gittarasaurus on Sun Nov 23, 2014 11:36 am

Twisted Evil

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Re: Pickup control wiring

Post by David_A on Sun Nov 23, 2014 3:03 pm

In reply to Westbone's emphatic 'No!' I have to disagree ...

A pickup is an inductor, and will have a natural fundamental resonance fequency. This will be affected by what is connected to it. For instance, if you connect a capacitor to it of the right value you can make a tuned oscillator (as in an old radio). Now I know that the internal resistance of most pickups is high, and this makes them perform more like resistors than inductors. However, if a guitar has low 'impedance' pickups (I have just such a guitar), the sound of the pickups can be noticeably altered by connecting different size capacitors.
If two pickups are connected together, you are connecting two inductors and each will have an effect on the other one's sound. The only way to keep the pure sound of each pickup is to either (a) have a separate output for each (stereo output) and let the amplifier do the mixing, or (b) have an active mixing circuit built into the guitar.

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Re: Pickup control wiring

Post by Barry on Sun Nov 23, 2014 3:46 pm

David_A wrote:In reply to Westbone's emphatic 'No!' I have to disagree ...
Wait for it...  Naughty

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Re: Pickup control wiring

Post by Westbone on Mon Nov 24, 2014 12:17 pm

Barry wrote:
David_A wrote:In reply to Westbone's emphatic 'No!' I have to disagree ...
Wait for it...  Naughty
Nothing to wait for Bazza...  Laughing.   Sorry, not going to  even try to explain.... Rolling Eyes. The only way is active...NO! or stereo,(your 2nd choice) NO!
There's plenty out there on the interweb thingy, go figure.

Emphatic indeed... Smile

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