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Thread: What did the Burns "Wild Dog" wiring do?

  1. #1
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    What did the Burns "Wild Dog" wiring do?

    Burns guitars that use a 4-position rotary switch have the "split sound" and "wild dog" settings, in addition to the more demurely labelled "treble" and "bass".

    What exactly did the "wild dog" setting do, in terms of how the pickups were deployed or wired?

  2. #2
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    It's been a while since I've seen one, but I have a diagram somewhere.

    Low impedance windings, wired in and out of phase and in series/parallel, is what I remember. I'll have to see if I can find the diagram.

  3. #3
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    Google says:

    If you wanted your own sound from a Tri sonic it was too bad, the guitar already decided for you what tones you required. The rotary switch gave you a choice of Treble, Jazz, Split Sound a forth position labelled “Wild dog.”

    Each pickup was actually two pickups with two separate coils and these were switched via a complex arrangement of the rotary control. So with three double pickups there were six coils to switch, sadly the designers limited the outputs of these to just four options.

    So, “Wild dog” was actually an out of phase sound with very high treble, “Treble” was the bridge pickup, “Jazz” was the neck and centre pick ups and “Split sound” was a something quite original. The coil under the treble three strings on the bridge pickup was paired with the coil under the three bass strings in the neck pickup. Thus the sound was “split”, the treble strings were very treble and the bass strings very bassy. Actually Gretch once made a guitar with two bass strings and four normal and Chet Atkins made an album with it, just sounded like two separate guitars.

    These pickups were actually low impedance with a matching transformer built into the instrument. The coils were not wound onto the magnets as in a Fender Strat type design but were wound separately and then placed into the housing around the magnets. Because of this loose design the pickups could be quite microphonic but they do have a sound of their own, Brian May used Burns pickups in the famous guitar he built and plays.

    Sadly, the quality of the Trisonic wiring left a bit to be desired nothing was screened and the whole wiring loom used to be laced up with a single black cable, which they didn't bother to earth. By any standards it could pick up quite a bit of hum and noise, earthing the lacing cable would virtually cure that.

    Burns Guitars

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    Thanks for that. Still doesn't really tell me exactly what was being placed out of phase with what else.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Hammer View Post
    Thanks for that. Still doesn't really tell me exactly what was being placed out of phase with what else.
    Mark,

    See this web link for the Burns patent.https://docs.google.com/viewer?url=p.../US3249677.pdf

    Each pickup is actually two individual pickups, one for the lower EAD strings and the other for the higher GBE strings. See his patent to see how he switches and combines various combinations of the three pickups with six pickup sections. He used two low to high impedance matching transformers inside the guitar.

    Joseph Rogowski

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    Have not been able to find anything on the diagram yet (I'm talking about paper files here), but maybe this weekend.

    The patent info pretty much explains what's in there. Each pickup is two coils set to humbuck kind of like a Fender 12 string pickup, but are wound as a low impedance coils.

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    Makes for good commuter-bus reading. Plan to get to it tomorrow morning. Thanks Joe. Much appreciated.

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    The last Burns I worked on with a Wild Dog position had a low value series capacitor connected, with the middle and bridge pickups switched out of phase. I've also seen one with just the bridge pickup used with series cap.

    A lot of people didn't like the sound at the time, so this position is the one most likely to be messed around with. It sounds way too thin with a clean amp, but with a distorting amp or pedal, the absence of any real bass gives a much better definition and crisper sound.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mick Bailey View Post
    The last Burns I worked on with a Wild Dog position had a low value series capacitor connected, with the middle and bridge pickups switched out of phase. I've also seen one with just the bridge pickup used with series cap.A lot of people didn't like the sound at the time, so this position is the one most likely to be messed around with. It sounds way too thin with a clean amp, but with a distorting amp or pedal, the absence of any real bass gives a much better definition and crisper sound.
    Reminiscent of the Jerry Donahue Tele, that sticks a cap in series with the neck for one of the N+B positions, and purportedly gets a Strat-like cluck.

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