May 27th, 2012, 11:26 AM
Here is what I am working with.. p-90 neck, hot rail middle, and tele single coil bridge. The goal is to have the p-90 and bridge working off the 3 way like normal. p90/p90+bridge/bridge. I have a push pull tone control installed, that I want to act as a ON/OFF switch for the hot rail in the middle... I also have a on/on/on dpdt switch I am going to use on the rail for series/split/parallel control..
I have everything wired up like this
The issues I ran into.. I had to reverse the p90 wires or it threw the p90+bridge out of phase (sounded THIN and WEAK) after reversing it sounds righteous. Does that sound normal...
Now the rail.. I got it cutting on and off with the push pull but when I turn it on it seems to quiet everything down. Hard to explain. Also don't notice a difference in HB and split like I have using this pup in the past.
Is there a better way to accomplish what I want.. p-90 and bridge full function and the ability to ADD the middle if I want.. Being able to split the middle is really the only thing I have to have, I rarely ever used series or parallel.
I have fiddled to the point of confusion..
May 29th, 2012, 12:56 PM
The schematic you are using doesn't apply to your set up. Take the 4 wires from the rails and figure out which pair is which rail. There should be a red black white and green. You can do this by cliping leads from an analog meter to them. Take a screw driver and lay it sideways on the rail whichever rail pushes the most energy to make the meter needle move is the one you are currently attached to. The needle may move backward but thats ok just reverse the wires. For the Fred on my strat I had to wire them reverse pol to get them to play nice with the single coils. Now you will find out which way to wire your hot rails to play nice with yours. Connect 1 coil of the hot rail to the neck pup at the main switch. String up the guitar. Switch to the neck. Does it sound full or super thin? Open it back up. Reverse the pol of the same hot rail coil. Put it back together and listen again. Which ever sounded fuller is the in phase way of wiring it. You can check the p90 to the bridge pup like this too. Now once you know which pickup wires are positive and which are negative it all gets much easier. Now using that same screw driver laying sideways or parallel to the pickup lay it down on the bridge pup with the meter attached to the bridge. Pull the screw driver away. Watch the needle movement on your dc meter set to the lowest voltage setting. If whien pulling the screw driver off the needle moves positive mark that pickup south. If pulling the screwdriver off moves the needle negative, mark that pickup north. Note laying the screwdriver down will have the opposit affect. Do this for all 4 coils, the bridge, the p90, and each rail coil. You now know which magnets are north and which are south. The hot rails has one of each. Wire the guitar as a normal tele without the extra switches or the rails in circuit. Make sure the positive of the bridge and the positive of the p90 are both wired to the switch and the negatives are wired to the back of the vol pot grounded. Ground the shield wire from the rails to the vol pot. If your bridge was North then connect the negative of the north hot rail to the ground back of volume pot. Take the positive of the north rail and the negative of the south rail to your switch (the same terminal) connect the other side of your switch to ground. When the switch is off you will have no connection other than the series north to south rail connection. When the switch is on the north rail its shorted to ground and out of the circuit. Connect the positive of the south rail up to your other switch. Connect the other side of that switch to the common on your 3 way tele switch. Now when that switch is on your hot rail is in circuit with either or both of the other pickups. If you want it to be a single coil use the other switch to cut the coil. With the dpdt switches you have it would be easy to swap coils or swap pol for out of phase tones.
Personally if it were me I'd just get rid of the extra switches and use the 4 pole 5 way strat switch. You could have bridge, bridge middle tapped, middle as a humbucker alone, p90 alone, and 1 more combination, either p90 bridge or p90 middle tapped or not. All with one slide switch. Add the S1 and you get a world of possibilities but how many will you use? I have humbucker single single and use pos 1 as humbucker, pos 3 middle, pos 5 neck, pos 2 is coil cut humbucker with middle hum canceling, pos 4 is middle neck, but I have a push switch that swaps the middle with a voila from the humbucker for the tele sound. It's also hum canceling. I had to figure out the north and south poles and the polarity just like I described here, to get it all to work this way. Took an hour or so to get it all wired up. I also mod the tone pots and wire it up 50s style. I found all 3 pickups at the same time to be useless. The out of phase tones do not appeal to me. Rather have a rickenbacker for that. I have not tried series wiring. I'm sure it adds something, but it's basically how humbuckers are wired and I never wanted my single coils to sound like buckers. Hope this helps. I may have some odd autocorrect related typos.
If none of this makes sense send it to me and I'll wire it up for a modest fee. Should be able to do some series or out of phase stuff too.
May 29th, 2012, 02:40 PM
makes sense to me. I think I got the coils messed up on the rail. I will check them like you suggested.
I have the p90 and bridge sounding perfect.
June 1st, 2012, 12:57 AM
Finally had time to dig back into this today. Thanks man you nailed that perfectly.. Turns out I had the wires all kinds of backwards on the rail.. I also decided to make it less complicated.. I used a on/off/on switch for the middle pickup.. ON in the first position if normal humbucker (both rails in series), off is exactly that OFF, and on position 2 is the north rail. Sounds SWEET... I get the tele twang of just the bridge, that sweet 90/bridge combo, then the beefy neck on my switch... If I want to make the bridge have a touch more growl I kick in the north rail.. Reminds me of position 2 on a strat. If I want full on growl I run bridge, bucker, and p90...It sounds pretty wild.. The 90 and the bucker sound like a SG to me.. ACDC land for sure..
I am happy..
I did leave the push pull tone pot in there, I may decide to bypass the tone with one of the pups and just straight to the output jack.. Something to play with in the future.. For now back to playing.. This tele is a Swiss army knife of tone now..
Thank you sir for the nice explanation on how to figure out pups that I didn't have diagrams for..