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Wiring a humbucker w/4-way switch

Discussion in 'Tele-Technical' started by thaus, Jan 12, 2009.

  1. thaus

    thaus Tele-Holic

    550
    Jul 8, 2007
    Canada
    Hello:

    I have a telecaster with a Lollar Imperial humbucker in the neck and I wish to wire it to a 4-way switch. Would like to get it working like this:

    1 Bridge pup
    2 Bridge & Neck
    3 Neck (coil tapped)
    4 Neck

    Is this possible and can anyone point me in the direction of any schematic?

    Thanks in advance
     

  2. Deaf Eddie

    Deaf Eddie Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Mar 17, 2003
    Sunny San Diego, CA
    IF your humbucker is four-conductor, that's an easy one:

    [​IMG]

    Here's another good one:

    [​IMG]

    The 4-way switch is pretty easy to wire to get just about anything you want out of your two pups, the hard part is that you have to pick just FOUR of the possible combos.
     
    spellcaster, stinkey and dgraves like this.

  3. Wardpike

    Wardpike Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    52
    Feb 16, 2008
    St. John's, Newfoundland
    good job, Eddie!!
     

  4. thaus

    thaus Tele-Holic

    550
    Jul 8, 2007
    Canada
    Thanks Eddie! Should have just asked the wiring guru in the first place!!:D
     

  5. Groovin_Joe

    Groovin_Joe TDPRI Member

    Age:
    33
    4
    Jan 29, 2009
    Kanata

  6. Deaf Eddie

    Deaf Eddie Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Mar 17, 2003
    Sunny San Diego, CA
    [​IMG]

    Don't forget that the bare wire in the lead bundle (not shown) goes to ground on the back of the volume pot.
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2009

  7. Groovin_Joe

    Groovin_Joe TDPRI Member

    Age:
    33
    4
    Jan 29, 2009
    Kanata
    Thank you Eddie!!!
    Just one more question. In split mode what coil is working and which is not? Technically this is for a bass guitar with a musicman humbucker in it. I know you are a tele forum but it seemed that you got to the point quicker than any bass forum that I found. I play guitar too and do own a tele. You guys are great!

    Thank you again.

    Adam
     

  8. Groovin_Joe

    Groovin_Joe TDPRI Member

    Age:
    33
    4
    Jan 29, 2009
    Kanata
    also... does it make a difference if the cap. is soldered to the back of the tone pot? As I have that already done.
     

  9. Deaf Eddie

    Deaf Eddie Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Mar 17, 2003
    Sunny San Diego, CA
    As indicated in the drawing, this scheme will leave the screw coil active, the slug coil gets shunted (off).

    If you want to change that, it just takes a quick change of TWO of the lugs on the 3-way: clip the pink jumper between the two lugs (lower half), and add a jumper from the green lead to the open lug (upper half). The hot pink jumper that crosses the switch (upper to lower) is the series connection, and that's unchanged.

    It doesn't matter where the cap's grounded leg hits ground, as long as it hits ground. The back of either pot is fine. This drawing just shows it the way Leo did it - he uses the grounded leg of the cap to connect the grounded lug of the volume pot to its case. If it's all grounded, it's all good.
     

  10. Groovin_Joe

    Groovin_Joe TDPRI Member

    Age:
    33
    4
    Jan 29, 2009
    Kanata
    Thank you Eddie. This bassist thanks you! You saved me tonnes of time. And I am assuming that the main ground from the bridge goes to the back of the volume pot as well? or the tone pot? shouldn't matter as they all lead to ground.
     

  11. doug

    doug TDPRI Member

    39
    Apr 25, 2003
    Boston,MA USA
    Regarding the two 4-way switch diagrams, I assume they'll work fine for two humbuckers as well (that is, a humbucker in both the neck and bridge). Given the way the two diagrams are wired, I assume the inner coils would be made active. Is that correct?
     

  12. Deaf Eddie

    Deaf Eddie Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Mar 17, 2003
    Sunny San Diego, CA
    Are you asking if BOTH pups can be coil-shunt by the 4-way? Then, yes.
    Are the drawings here correct for that? NO. They would have to be a bit different.

    It's not quite clear to me what you want to achieve. Tell us what you want and we'll see what we can do for you...
     

  13. newtwanger

    newtwanger Blackguardian. Ad Free + Supporter

    Feb 11, 2007
    Quebec, Canada
    I'm confused, maybe it's the terms being used "coil tapped" (which I think is incorrect for what's happening here), "coil-shunt", and "coil-split".

    Could someone clarify this and also explain what happens when you have a switch that takes the red&white and runs it to ground (I'm sure I've seen that too.)

    thanks
     

  14. doug

    doug TDPRI Member

    39
    Apr 25, 2003
    Boston,MA USA
    Sorry about the confusion. In essence, I was asking

    o whether your diagrams would work, as is, if the bridge was also a humbucker. For example, your first diagram would result in

    1. Full neck humbucker
    2. Neck humbucker shunt
    3. Full neck humbucker and full bridge humbucker (in parallel)
    4. Full bridge humbucker.

    If so, I'd like this arrangement: I don't really care for the additional bridge humbucker coil shunt a 5-way super switch would offer.

    o I wanted to confirm which of the coils would be active as a result of the coil shunt per you first diagram.
     

  15. doug

    doug TDPRI Member

    39
    Apr 25, 2003
    Boston,MA USA
    ...Actually, would the 4-way switch be capable of this arrangement (swapping the first two):

    1. Neck humbucker shunt
    2. Full neck humbucker
    3. Full neck humbucker and full bridge humbucker (in parallel)
    4. Full bridge humbucker.

    Thanks!
     

  16. Deaf Eddie

    Deaf Eddie Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Mar 17, 2003
    Sunny San Diego, CA
    Here's my take on it: Shunt? Split? Tapped?

    So, I would consider these schemes to be coil-SHUNTS. We're not disconnection one of the coils (SPLIT), and we're not TAPPING into the windings of a coil.

    As for the how and why of coil-shunts, you've heard the old rule that electricity ALWAYS follows the path of least resistance? OK, then!

    When you connect the SERIES PAIR junction (here, where the red and white are soldered together) to ground, you are making a "short-cut" path for the signal, so that instead of traveling through BOTH coils, one after the other (aka "series"), it can bypass one of the coils and go straight to ground - SHUNTING one of the coils out of the circuit. Basically, ONE of the coils then has both its hot AND ground both connected to ground - so, the juice don't run through it, it takes the short-cut bypassing it, and you only "hear" the other coil. With Seymour Duncan and DiMarzio pickups, shunting to ground typically leaves the slug-polepiece-coil active, and shunts the adjustable-screw-polepiece-coil.

    You could also "SHUNT to HOT" to play the OTHER coil (the screw coil), instead. When I do coil-shunts on a pair of humbuckers, I try to shunt one to ground and one to hot, so that it leaves a noise-canceling pair when I play them together.
     

  17. Deaf Eddie

    Deaf Eddie Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Mar 17, 2003
    Sunny San Diego, CA
    Yes, the diagrams and switch don't care what kind of a bridge pickup you have. The switch only "sees" the bridge pup's hot lead, and the switch will work to get the combos listed just as you predict, with the coil-shunt only affecting the neck humbucker.

    The way I have them drawn up, they shunt to hot, leaving the screw-coil active in a Seyour Duncan humbucker. Since I haven't found a way to shunt them to ground using a 4-way, you could simply rotate the pickup on the guitar to make the screw coil either the "inside" or "outside" coil.

    Or, you could get a bit goofy with the leads to change which coil is left on. I'm just using the simple S-D installation stuff as an example.

    A thought: S-D pups are out of phase with Fender pups, so with a Fender bridge pup, you would have to wire the S-D neck humbucker with GREEN as its hot (to the 4-way) and BLACK as the ground. In that case, with this scheme you'd get the slug coil left active.

    Remember, different pickup manufactures use different color codes and different construction, so don't just use the colors I used UNLESS you have a S-D humbucker. For another brand of pups, the end result of shunting to hot may be that the slug coil left active. It varies, brand to brand.

    Yes:

    [​IMG]
     

  18. doug

    doug TDPRI Member

    39
    Apr 25, 2003
    Boston,MA USA
    Thanks! I really appreciate your taking the time to respond.
     

  19. RunawayJim

    RunawayJim TDPRI Member

    Age:
    41
    8
    May 20, 2009
    Chattanooga TN
    Wow! This really is a great forum. So much good info! I'm in the process of building a Tele. It's the first Tele I've had, and I'm really looking forward to putting it all together - just waiting on lacquer to dry right now =)

    Curious question on this topic though. I've got a SD "Little '59" HB for my bridge pickup and a SD Hot Tele single coil for the neck. I'm no wiring guru by any means...

    From what I've read, most people will wire the 4-way so that they have bridge, both (series), both (parallel), and neck. Apparently this is the most common, but this thread got me thinking. What if I wanted to do bridge, bridge (coil-shunted), both, then neck? Would I rather have the pickups in series or parallel and what exactly is the difference? Also, not to sound stupid, but coil-shunted would mean that my bridge would function as a single-coil, right? And which coil would I use? Also, what would the wiring scheme be for those?

    Thanks in advance for the help!!!

    -Mark
     

  20. Deaf Eddie

    Deaf Eddie Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Mar 17, 2003
    Sunny San Diego, CA
    You can wire the 4-way to give you your bridge pup in coil-shunt, although many players find that coil-shunting the single coil-sized humbuckers just gives them a drop in gain, rather than a new and different timbre as it does with full-sized humbuckers. So, your bridge pup would be working as a single-coil pickup, but it wouldn't SOUND like a Tele single-coil bridge pickup - just a weaker version of its humbucker tone. It IS easy to wire it up that way, if I haven't scared you out of it.

    The stock modern Tele middle throw is the pups played in parallel. This is a sweet, "clucky" tone.

    The 4-way mod (wired as Fender intended) adds a combos playing the pups in series, which is a fatter and slightly louder tone, reminiscent of a humbucker.
     

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