Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups

Hendrix strat wiring

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by TG, Mar 27, 2004.

  1. TG

    TG Doctor of Teleocity

    I read on another forum about how Jimi Hendrix wired his strat (at one point, anyway) like a tele with the neck and bridge pickups on a 3 way switch (which were stock at the time). The middle pickup was wired separately to one of the tone a volume straight to the output. The other tone pot became a master tone, presumably.
    I'm waiting for a set of Lace Hot Gold pickups to arrive and I'm going to try it. Having the 3 tele-style switch settings would suit me alot better onstage. Being able to blend the middle pickup in to get those 'inbetween' strat sounds makes more sense than having them on the switch where I have to switch past them every time I access the settings I actually use.
    The only drawback I can see is the inconvenience of having to turn down the main volume and turn up the middle volume to get the middle pup on its own...but I probably would use the neck/bridge setting in preference anyway.
    The more I think about it the more sense it makes. I mainly use a tele and I always have a hard time with a strat. This should help.
    Whatcha think?

  2. Mark Davis

    Mark Davis Telefied Ad Free Member

    Mar 2, 2003
    Bakersfield Ca.
    All Jimis Strats were stock he never had any different wiring at all. Stock everything except his amps were modded so they could take the wide open volumes.

  3. TG

    TG Doctor of Teleocity

    I went back to where I read it ( and the info apparently came from Bill Lawrence. And other people elsewhere have said that he did alot of experimenting on guitars so it's not impossible, even if most of them were stock.
    But I don't care if he did or didn't (I'm not even that much of a fan of his). I just like the idea of the mod.

  4. Ringo

    Ringo Poster Extraordinaire

    Mar 16, 2003
    Memphis TN
    re : All Jimis Strats were stock....

    "All Jimis Strats were stock"
    Just curious, how do you know that Mark?
    I've read many posts about different wiring schemes that Jimi supposedly used.
    The guy was a gearhead, he bought every new toy that came out, all kinds of guitars and other instruments.
    Jimi had a tech- Roger Mayer -who did mods to his wahs and fuzz pedals

    Jimi used modded amps, why not guitars? Seymour Duncan says he made some pu's and gave them to Jimi while he was working in England.

    As far as the wiring for the Strat, you can do a blender pot to get the bridge and neck combo, the schematic is at the Fralin site and elsewhere, there are also switches that will do the Tele combo but you lose just the middle pu, or the ultimate Strat wiring can be achieved by using one of Deaf Eddie's switches, you have stock sounds, Tele sounds, FAT Gibsonish sounds and more

  5. Mark Davis

    Mark Davis Telefied Ad Free Member

    Mar 2, 2003
    Bakersfield Ca.
    Cause the Woodstock Strat and his favorite Black Strat that he played on Band of Gypsys have been dissassembled and documented as pure stock both of them and those were his 2 favs.

    I have about 150-200 pics of Jimi and none of his Strats have any extra switches or buttons anywhere.

    No one back then did anything to their guitars except play them and change the strings.

  6. TG

    TG Doctor of Teleocity

    He had more than those 2 guitars during his career, and from what I've read he messed around with some and played others they way they were. I find it hard to believe that someone as musically innovative as he was wouldn't think about his guitars as well. And we're only talking about rewiring. That doesn't mean buttons and switches necessarily.
    And that last statement simply isn't true. Tele players commonly rewired their guitars in the 50s and 60s. That's why Fender eventually changed the wiring to the modern way in about 1967. That's what players were doing themselves. And guitars were stripped down and painted, converted to left-hand use, etc. Les Paul constantly tinkered with his guitars. Modding guitars wasn't as common as it is today, but you can't say that it didn't happen at all. And if Bill Lawrence said that at least one of Jimi's guitars were rewired why not believe him? Presumably he was there.

  7. 5965

    5965 Tele-Holic

    Apr 15, 2003
    I'm open to the possibility, but I haven't heard anything that would suggest it was done routinely. Just because he had one rewired doesn't mean he even liked it. He did have other people working on his pedals and amps, but there again, it wasn't Jimi.

    In either case, I'm not aware of any sound on his Strat recordings that he got which couldn't be gotten from a stock Strat, and I can't recall him messing with anything much except the volume pot.

    There are certainly a number of good alternative wirings, and I'll be interested to see how you like yours.

  8. Billy Claire

    Billy Claire Tele-Holic

    Mar 20, 2003
    Outside Boston MA
    he owned lots of strats... he wasn't going to have time to mod them all. I seriously suspect anyone who makes Hendrix claims when it comes to stuff like this. Just like the hit of acid under the headband thing, to me they're all Hendrix legends.

    Still, there is that picture of him playing the strat with the tele neck on it...

  9. Ringo

    Ringo Poster Extraordinaire

    Mar 16, 2003
    Memphis TN
    No one back then did anything to their guitars ....

    I beg to differ, as mentioned Les Paul didn't play his guitars stock, he was an incurable tinkerer.
    So was Chet Adkins, he changed pu's, necks - all kinds of things.
    And so did many other famous and not so famous players.

    A friend of mine who was playing for a living in the 60's , had a part's o caster that he traded for back then.
    It was made out of a 56 Strat neck, 50's Tele body, real Gibson PAF's, and a Varitone.
    Recently he put the PAF's and the neck in a Strat body, and made a stock Tele out of the body.
    The same guy - in the 60's - installed a fuzz pedal into his Tele.
    So a LOT of guitarists were trying "new" things , just like they do today.
    Just because 2 of Jimi's Strats were stock doesn't mean that others didn't have some wiring/pu mods.

  10. auger

    auger Tele-Meister

    Eddie Cochrane

    P90 in the neck position of his Gretsch in the 50s.
    Don't know about Jimi's guitar wiring though.....

    Have you guys seen this Jimi site, great pictures, some interviews.....

    watch out for blanket statements, it can get hot under them....hehe

  11. 5965

    5965 Tele-Holic

    Apr 15, 2003
    Debating tactics aside, the statement is essentially correct, and the fact that a handful of people did doesn't prove anything either. Thanks for the link.

  12. Mark Davis

    Mark Davis Telefied Ad Free Member

    Mar 2, 2003
    Bakersfield Ca.
    Hendrix would go to Mannys Music in New York buy 15-20 Strats either black or white cause they photograph better and play them stock.

    Joe Walsh Red Rhodes and a few others in the late 60's were doing a few mods to things but it was mostly amps.

    It was nothing like it is today back then. Sure a few people put Humbuckers in Teles and swaped pickups around but as far as wiring mods making the neck and bridge play together etc just wasnt done till a few years later.

    As I remember I didnt see any articles by Tom Anderson till the early 70's on wiring mods since Jimi died in 1970 and also since any of his known guitars have been dissassembled and found to be pure stock its all stories.

    I'm 53 years old worked in guitar shops all during my teenage years and I was and still am a giant Hendrix fan if there really were some Hendrix wiring mods believe me I would have already tried it.

  13. 5965

    5965 Tele-Holic

    Apr 15, 2003
    Mark, those statements correspond with my understanding and overview from that period, as well.

    Most of the 'mods' were just cheap fixes of broken equipment with available parts. The circuit stuff started with GP.

    Still, anything is possible, and if somebody has a track that shows some sonic evidence of guitar mods that can't be gotten another way, I'd like to listen to it.

  14. genelovesjez

    genelovesjez Friend of Leo's

    Mar 17, 2003
    Toronto, Canada
    There's so much misinformation about Jimi and his gear. I think the important thing is that Jimi's two favourite Strats, his 1968 White Maple and his 1968 Black Maple, were stock. Jimi did own many Strats, so it's possible that some were in different states, but it seems that he had no complaints about the way they were wired (other than using the "in-between" setting frequently). I'm also not aware of Jimi buying 15-20 at a time either - I think his lifetime total for black Strats was around 6 and white Strats around 7, with various red, blue and sunburst Strats rounding out the total to about 22.

  15. Blazer

    Blazer Doctor of Teleocity

    Dec 2, 2003
    The Netherlands
    Other tinkerers in the sixties

    Let's not forget Jim "Roger" McGuinn who usually gutted the electronics room of his Rickenbacker 370/12 triple pickup 12 string and put the insides of a color sound treble booster in them and hotwiring the bridge pickup leaving the other two pickups disconnected. That's how he got that sound.

    Or Alvin Lee who stuck a strat pickup between the humbuckers of his Gibson ES 335 and installed a Guild tremolo on it (Later removed)

    And then there's that picture of Pete Townshend assembling a partd caster from a tele body, a Jazzmaster neck (identifyable because of the binding) and strat pickups, presumable a mesh of left overs from Fenders he had smashed.

    Or Jack Bruce who had Dan Amstrong (yes that one) fit a diode into one of his Gibson EB 3 basses (he owned a total of four) that gave him that raw buzzsaw sound he was known for at low volumes, so he didn't have to turn up his marshall amps so loud to get that roar that became his trademark sound.

  16. TheGoodTexan

    TheGoodTexan Doctor of Teleocity

    Apr 28, 2003
    Nashville, TN
    Back to the question at hand...

    The question from TG was GLARING to me...I'm surprised that no one else picked up on it...

    The "Hendrix Strat wiring mod" in today's terms, isn't this know as the Brent Mason mod?

    3 pups, a 3 way switch wired normal to bridge and neck pups, and a seperate volume knob for the middle pup. Yep - that's it. ;)

  17. TG

    TG Doctor of Teleocity

    Does anyone have a picture or a link to where I can see how Brent Mason has his guitar, then? I'm curious now.

  18. Mark Davis

    Mark Davis Telefied Ad Free Member

    Mar 2, 2003
    Bakersfield Ca.
    That schematic is at Seymour Duncans site.

  19. TheGoodTexan

    TheGoodTexan Doctor of Teleocity

    Apr 28, 2003
    Nashville, TN
    Here you go

    This is really close to the correct wiring scheme here...but there is an error. You'll have to reverse the tabs on the volume (blend) control for the middle pickup. In other words, wire it as a mirrow image of how it currently is. I learned this the hard way.

    It is fun to try, but it is not very user friendly, and I don't know of many people besides Brent himself that actually use it - you have to make a volume adjustment every time you change the pup selector switch.

  20. Big Cookie

    Big Cookie RIP

    Mar 17, 2003
    Ennis, Texas
    Hendrix' Tech

    I have seen Les Paul and Chet Atkins many times more than I had the opportunity to see Jimi (only twice). The glaring difference is that Les' and Chet's guitars lived long enough to be modded. Eric, who was Jimi's guitar tech has been quoted several times stating that he had all that he could do to keep putting the remaining pieces together until more strats were purchased. The only "mod" that Eric would swear to is that Jimi used to re-bend his whammy bars by hand.

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