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Wiring help- 3 humbuckers coil tap

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  • Wiring help- 3 humbuckers coil tap

    Hi All-

    First post and need help with a project. I picked up a 1999 gibson sg body and neck that is in good shape but no electronics- pickups, pots or switches. It is cut out for 3 pickups.

    A little ambitious but I want to put in 3 dimarzio humbuckers and coil split them. I dont want to drill for switches so using push/pull pots for the switching would work. I want the north coil to be active when coil tapped.

    Thinking about using a Stewmac 6 position freeway switch for pickup selection since this gives the most options. Using page 2 of this link I think I have the wiring I think I have the through the switch right.

    http://www.stewmac.com/freeinfo/i-0040/i-0040.pdf

    Wiring of the pots and coil tapping is making me dizzy. Anyone that can check or suggest changes would be a great help.

    Another question is grounding. The ground wire to the bridge is in place. Any suggestions on simplifying the grounding circuits would also be appreciated.

    Thanks in advance for your help.

    John


    Click image for larger version

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  • #2
    Hi John,

    Great idea and a clean design! I'm sure you will have some fun with this system.

    Is there any significance to your desire to have the north coil active when tapped. Is this on all three HBs? If you use the the single coils separately it will not make a difference, but when combining them, two single coils in parallel can effectively be hum-bucking if one of them is reverse polarity and reverse wound. I'd recommend wiring your taps so that the S coil is selected on the middle humbucker (unless you're thinking to combine bridge and neck single coils more often). To select the S coil instead of north, you'd wire the action of the switch so that the center tap was shorted to red (hot) instead of green (ground) when the switch was active.

    Looking at your drawing, it doesn't seem as if the center taps are connected, maybe it's just the way it's drawn. If the switches are DPDT, then the two halves of each switch (center lug plus top and bottom) are NOT connected to each other. without putting black and white on the same lug, you won't get any of the humbuckers to work right. You only need half of each switch to coil-tap a pickup. With that said, personally I'd wire it so that when pulling a switch, I'd engage the taps on two humbuckers at once. I like single coil sound, but I *never* use just one -- way to much noise for my taste -- I always use two in parallel.

    Go for it, and keep us posted on your progress!
    If it still won't get loud enough, it's probably broken. - Steve Conner
    If the thing works, stop fixing it. - Enzo
    We need more chaos in music, in art... I'm here to make it. - Justin Thomas
    MANY things in human experience can be easily differentiated, yet *impossible* to express as a measurement. - Juan Fahey

    Comment


    • #3
      edited
      Last edited by eschertron; 03-05-2013, 02:35 AM. Reason: double post
      If it still won't get loud enough, it's probably broken. - Steve Conner
      If the thing works, stop fixing it. - Enzo
      We need more chaos in music, in art... I'm here to make it. - Justin Thomas
      MANY things in human experience can be easily differentiated, yet *impossible* to express as a measurement. - Juan Fahey

      Comment


      • #4
        Thanks

        Good comments and thanks for the advice.

        You are right the white and black should be together on the switch. I thought the switch bridged together the right and left sides but you are correct they need to be together on one lug.

        I have not thought much about using the S coil over the N coil in the different options but I will try it and see how it sounds.

        John

        Comment


        • #5
          I'm not sure the effort will be worth it, but then I was never fully persuaded of the value of 3 humbuckers on an SG in the first place. The short scale, combined with the way the neck joins the body, means there is precious little contrast between neck and bridge pickups to begin with, so not much between the middle and either of those as well. Plus, the pickup switching never lent itself to the sort of tonal variation obtainable on a Strat.

          Personally, I suspect that a simple switch to cancel a coil on the neck and bridge is going to give you about as much tonal variation as you'll be able to hear at any sort of appreciable volume. A person might get more value out of wiring up one of the Tone pots to be like the Reverend "Contour" control for bass cut.

          I'm not trying to be a downer. I just find a lot of the rabid pursuit of every possible permutation and combination can lead to a guitar you have to operate like a safe combination, for very little return in terms of audible tonal variation. I like having lots of tonal variation on tap when I play, but it has to be accessible as I play.

          Comment


          • #6
            Well, a car doesn't need two or four tailpipes either.
            "Enzo, I see that you replied parasitic oscillations. Is that a hypothesis? Or is that your amazing metal band I should check out?"

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Mark Hammer View Post
              I'm not sure the effort will be worth it, but then I was never fully persuaded of the value of 3 humbuckers on an SG in the first place. The short scale, combined with the way the neck joins the body, means there is precious little contrast between neck and bridge pickups to begin with, so not much between the middle and either of those as well. Plus, the pickup switching never lent itself to the sort of tonal variation obtainable on a Strat.

              Personally, I suspect that a simple switch to cancel a coil on the neck and bridge is going to give you about as much tonal variation as you'll be able to hear at any sort of appreciable volume. A person might get more value out of wiring up one of the Tone pots to be like the Reverend "Contour" control for bass cut.

              I'm not trying to be a downer. I just find a lot of the rabid pursuit of every possible permutation and combination can lead to a guitar you have to operate like a safe combination, for very little return in terms of audible tonal variation. I like having lots of tonal variation on tap when I play, but it has to be accessible as I play.
              Good points. The body is cut for 3 pickups so 3 are going in. The project is to get as many combinations possible from the 1 switch/ 3 humbuck configuration using the standarg gibson setup of 1 switch and 2 vols and 2 tones. The setup is not that bad considering this will not be a simple guitar and more of a studio then stage instrument.

              The next step will be to add an active buffer on the 4th coiltap that will address more in tonal variation. I wanted to check on the basic wiring first.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Mark Hammer View Post
                I'm not sure the effort will be worth it, but then I was never fully persuaded of the value of 3 humbuckers on an SG in the first place. The short scale, combined with the way the neck joins the body, means there is precious little contrast between neck and bridge pickups to begin with, so not much between the middle and either of those as well. Plus, the pickup switching never lent itself to the sort of tonal variation obtainable on a Strat.

                Personally, I suspect that a simple switch to cancel a coil on the neck and bridge is going to give you about as much tonal variation as you'll be able to hear at any sort of appreciable volume. A person might get more value out of wiring up one of the Tone pots to be like the Reverend "Contour" control for bass cut.

                I'm not trying to be a downer. I just find a lot of the rabid pursuit of every possible permutation and combination can lead to a guitar you have to operate like a safe combination, for very little return in terms of audible tonal variation. I like having lots of tonal variation on tap when I play, but it has to be accessible as I play.
                Everyone needs to try some of that at least once.
                I did some of this with a HSH PickGuard I built.
                Mine were MiniBuckers, but I had more options than a man could possibly play.
                I still have it and drag it out now and then.
                You really need one main switch and probably 2 push pulls.
                Didn't analyze all of it but like was stated earlier, you can split 2 buckers on one DPDT switch.
                You could do a phase reverse on the middle pickup with one of the other DPDT if you haven't already.
                Have fun, that's what DYI is all about!
                T


                "If Wishes Were Horses, Beggars Would Ride!" Scottish Proverb 1600s
                Terry

                Comment


                • #9
                  As always, do give the Peavey T-60 tone control a look. It lets you pan from single coil, through to both coils, through to both coils with treble cut. A very flexible control.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by big_teee View Post
                    Everyone needs to try some of that at least once.
                    I did some of this with a HSH PickGuard I built.
                    Mine were MiniBuckers, but I had more options than a man could possibly play.
                    I still have it and drag it out now and then.
                    You really need one main switch and probably 2 push pulls.
                    Didn't analyze all of it but like was stated earlier, you can split 2 buckers on one DPDT switch.
                    You could do a phase reverse on the middle pickup with one of the other DPDT if you haven't already.
                    Have fun, that's what DYI is all about!
                    T
                    +1

                    I have modded each of my electric guitars in this way to some extent. [ASIDE] that's why I have a bunch of inexpensive guitars! [/ASIDE] By the time I was on my second and third frankenmutt, I had decided which combinations I didn't need and I reduced the component count (number of switches), so as to make the guitar easier to operate in a live setting. What I've found is that I can't live without the fender 5-way style "superswitch", 4P5T (not a paid endorsement). I'm intrigued by the "freeway" switch, as the last guitar I acquired is a LP-styled guitar, and like Hole in 1 I don't want to butcher the guitar to get some flexibility.
                    If it still won't get loud enough, it's probably broken. - Steve Conner
                    If the thing works, stop fixing it. - Enzo
                    We need more chaos in music, in art... I'm here to make it. - Justin Thomas
                    MANY things in human experience can be easily differentiated, yet *impossible* to express as a measurement. - Juan Fahey

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I've been thinking about this myself with a double-cut-LP clone routed for 3 pickups. What I came up with was using 4-pole 6-position rotary switch in place of the pickup selector, topped with a black chickenhead knob...it preserves the "feel" of the SG (even adds a bit of retro cool, IMO), and thus far I've seen too many reports of the StewMac switches being a bit fragile. I've also thought of ganged/stacked 500k pots as a means of adding flexibility and freeing a knob position up. It's been substantially easier on the two custom hot-rails strats I built; I simply put the tap leads for all 3 pickups on a 3PDT mini-toggle tucked between the volume and pickup selector. Another option: A DIP switch mounted to the body, accessed using a stylus thru a small hole in the control cover...not impractical for a recording guitar, but a real PITA for a gigging/jamming axe.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Braindancer View Post
                        I've been thinking about this myself with a double-cut-LP clone routed for 3 pickups. What I came up with was using 4-pole 6-position rotary switch in place of the pickup selector, topped with a black chickenhead knob...it preserves the "feel" of the SG (even adds a bit of retro cool, IMO), and thus far I've seen too many reports of the StewMac switches being a bit fragile. I've also thought of ganged/stacked 500k pots as a means of adding flexibility and freeing a knob position up. It's been substantially easier on the two custom hot-rails strats I built; I simply put the tap leads for all 3 pickups on a 3PDT mini-toggle tucked between the volume and pickup selector. Another option: A DIP switch mounted to the body, accessed using a stylus thru a small hole in the control cover...not impractical for a recording guitar, but a real PITA for a gigging/jamming axe.
                        Thanks - I will check out the rotary switch. I am getting to the physical wire layout and it is a challenge.

                        Comment

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