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Strat with a bridge-on-switch? Easy mod for HB

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  • Strat with a bridge-on-switch? Easy mod for HB

    I know that there aren't too many around, but some Fender Stratocasters have a stock bridge-on button (view photo). I use to call it the "Tele-switch", because it allows to play the neck and the bridge pickup together. My Mexico-Strat has this button.
    Recently I came across an easy way how to expand the sound possibilities of such a switch by adding a humbucker option.
    The starting point of this mod is that the bridge-on wiring uses only one side of the switch, so there is one more switching possibility for free. This can be used to switch the outgoing wire (to ground) of the bridge pickup between a ground connection and a connection to the middle pickup for a full serial humbucker wiring between the two pickups. It is clear that this can be used only when the bridge-on option is inactive, that is when the button is up.
    The advantage of this wiring is that you don't have to add any switch, just two new wires. The downfall however is that you lose your Strat standard configuration. In fact you'll get a split standard config, that is, when your button is pulled your positions N and M are standard, while position B is a humbucker. This configuration resembles in fact a HSS Strat, though position M+B is the middle pickup alone. When your is button is pushed, it is the positions B and M that are standard, while on position N and M+N you'll have the bridge-on configuration.
    Thus you don't lose any traditional sound, but sometimes you'll have to use the bridge-on button to find all of them. Eventually this can be a bit confusing, but I think that roaring humbucker sound is worth it. The sound possiblities of this guitar go from stock 7 to 8.

    I have drawn a diagram to illustrate it all.
    This diagram shows the actual wiring of my Mexico Strat, which is a bit more complicated since I added also a phase reverse switch for the neck pickup (the switch with the X in the diagram). It adds three more possibilities for a total of 11 and I'm really pleased with some of the options. The bridge-neck parallel is simply marvellous, while the B+M-N combination is a really funny effect like playing through a cheap 70s transistor radio (remember Wish You were Here). I like to use for reggae rhythms and Police songs. But this is not the point here. I wouldn't reccomend to build all of my wiring, since it is quite
    easy to get lost on my Mexico Strat. Morevoer it was very difficult to find the second button (In the end I used a rare awfully green television switch, covering it with a pencil tap to make it look almost the same as the original button).

    But the humbucker option is a useful and extremly simple mod for the bridge-on button. In my diagram I've evidenced the necessary changes in purple, so you can ignore the rest.

    Together with the diagram I've posted two photos of my Mexico Strat (one with the original bridge-on button and another taken after the second button was installed).
    Attached Files
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