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5 way switches... terrible idea

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by Digital Larry, Jun 20, 2020.

  1. Digital Larry

    Digital Larry Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    I know, I know, maybe sometimes they are OK.

    Like everyone's pretty used to Strats by now. Even though the bridge has no tone control.

    My Yamaha AES800 has 2HB and a 5 way. The in-between settings give twangy single coil combos that none of my other guitars can quite do. That one I've learned to live with.

    I've finally come to feel pretty strongly that guitar controls should be "A" on one end and "B" on the other end, and anything else between A and B should interpolate accordingly. Typical 3-way wiring does this pretty well. Bridge is nasally and twangy, both together is warm with a bit of mid cut, and neck is bassy. THAT makes perfect sense. Don't need a user's manual or electrical engineer to explain it.

    H-S-H guitars? How does anyone keep track of that? The quietest settings are 2 and 4?

    I have a Peavey Reactor set up with a 5-way and I was gonna fix it up with some crazy HOOP cap and then I just decided heck with it, I'm putting a 3-way back in and a separate toggle for the lil 59 in the bridge for parallel vs. series humbucking. And then I'm giving it away!

    Either I'm coming to accept something I've suspected for many years, or my aging brain is giving me problems it didn't used to. Now some of you are going to show up with no-switch no-knob guitars and that's OK too. I don't think I'd go that far but at least you know what to expect when you grab it and have fewer excuses about why you can't write a song.
     
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  2. Ricky D.

    Ricky D. Doctor of Teleocity

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    I love all the switching when I play by myself. All the time in the world to zero in on what I want. Different world playing with others. Nobody wants to hear you clicking through five different sounds looking for that perfect one. Bridge, neck, or both, one of those will be good enough if you can play in the first place.
     
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  3. Mike Eskimo

    Mike Eskimo Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Do I like the 2 and 4 quack positions on a strat ?

    Fine when Alex Chilton does it, or Hubert or early buddy guy and maybe some drunk era Clapton.

    Otherwise no. I hate the two and four.
     
  4. Torren61

    Torren61 Poster Extraordinaire Gold Supporter

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    Eric Johnson is rolling over in his grave...
     
  5. SixStringSlinger

    SixStringSlinger Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    I think some of us are underestimating the importance and value of knowing what a particular guitar is capable of and how to get it to do what you want/need before taking the stage with it.

    There can be (sometimes pleasant!) surprises along the way, but there's no reason you shouldn't be able to dial in a pickup/volume/tone setting that's reasonably close to what you need on the fly unless some of the equipment involved is utterly brand new to you, in which case you probably shouldn't be gigging it just yet.

    If simple guitars are your thing, great! I have an Esquire and I love it. But none of my more complex guitars pose any challenge to getting the sounds I want.
     
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  6. JohnnyJumpUp

    JohnnyJumpUp TDPRI Member

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    ...preparing to solder up a 5 way for my Telecastramolator.
     
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  7. Ricky D.

    Ricky D. Doctor of Teleocity

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    I'm right there with you, Mike. My roots are 60s soul/ R&B. That's Les Buie and Jimmy Nolan with James Brown, bridge or neck+bridge. 2 or 4 on a Strat is 70s disco-funk like Nile Rogers/Chic. Not really funk at all. And not for me.
     
  8. Thinline casket

    Thinline casket Tele-Meister

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    I'm a tele guy, 3 thinlines.

    My strat has a 3-way switch and tone controls for bridge and middle. It still sounds like a duck. I rarely play it.
    :lol::D:cool:
     
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  9. bgmacaw

    bgmacaw Friend of Leo's

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    Here's my solution, 3 3-way mini-toggles instead of a 5 way.

    20200620_125808.jpg
     
  10. CordovaNate

    CordovaNate TDPRI Member

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    I'm right there with ya OP.

    I built a Craykinstein (Cray/Warmoth)with a 1-3/4 nut, 3-way switch and used a pickguard without control holes pre-drilled so I could place my 1 Vol, 1 Tone, where I wanted.

    I love it!
     
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  11. Digital Larry

    Digital Larry Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    I know everyone's different and some people really can manage the complexity. I'm finding that I can't, at least not when I'm trying to be creative musically. The 10-possible-sounds guitar is interesting on paper and just about useless to me in real life. I'm looking for more straightforward solutions all around (and fortunately finding them). Just took me a long time to realize what was going on.

    I had some 2V/2T HB guitars which I just could not get the hang of. Got rid of those. So when a 1V/1T 2HB guitar arrived at the local guitar shop, I knew I was in trouble. Fortunately it's actually really nice and I like it a lot, even after several months.
     
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  12. bgmacaw

    bgmacaw Friend of Leo's

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    Technically, my Carvin Bolt kit shown above has 26 options. I end up only using about 3 or 4 on a regular basis. I've been considering refinishing it, getting a new pickguard and going with a HH configuration instead since I rarely use the middle pickup.
     
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  13. Digital Larry

    Digital Larry Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    I'm reminded of a cartoon from my childhood.

    Guy is carrying a bike.
    "Owner of ten-speed tired of having to make all those decisions".
     
  14. Mike Eskimo

    Mike Eskimo Telefied Ad Free Member

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    The absolute best strat mod is tone pot for bridge pickup and the ability to use the neck and bridge together - and blend them
     
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  15. Digital Larry

    Digital Larry Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    26! Sent my mind racing. What is 26? It's 3^3 - 1. So which is the duplicated or "doesn't matter" setting? See, I love this sort of thing as a mental exercise like Sudoku.
     
  16. Sev112

    Sev112 TDPRI Member

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    Every day my guitar and amp sounds different, so I just switch it in the direction that makes it sound best today
     
  17. soulgeezer

    soulgeezer Poster Extraordinaire

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    Five positions is too complex? I’m guessing thirteen television channels is confusing, too?
     
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  18. nojazzhere

    nojazzhere Doctor of Teleocity

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    Uh....let's not jump the gun......
    Eric's still alive and kicking! ;)
     
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  19. tap4154

    tap4154 Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I've wired both of my Strats to have a tone control on bridge, and both have the bridge/neck option. One of my favorite tones.
     
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  20. tap4154

    tap4154 Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I'll bet he's rolling over in his bed.
     
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