Brent Mason's blend knob wiring diagram?

Discussion in 'Just Pickups' started by tonedreamer, Apr 9, 2014.

  1. tonedreamer

    tonedreamer Tele-Holic

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    I was planning on buying a custom Brent Mason Valley arts/Gibson guitar with the 3 pickups and blend knob because I really like the tone he gets on his bridge pup with a little of the middle pup blended in. Problem is, Valley arts doesn't make them anymore, and Gibson is a special order thing and you have to wait for a price quote, which I haven't heard back from them yet, and I imagine it will be pretty pricey. Is there a wiring diagram for this configuration? Could I do it myself? Here's a video



    I watched a tribute to 50 years of George Jones hits, and he was playing live in the band backing all the artists singing George jones hits, and you could really hear what I'm talking about in some of his solos and fill ins in that video.

    You can hear it at the intro to this song also:



    Another good example: from 1:30 to 2:00

     
  2. editorjuno

    editorjuno Tele-Afflicted

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    TDPRIer Terry Downs -- a fine picker and an engineer by training -- did an extensive study of Brent's guitar and posted the diagram here a couple of years ago. IIRC it's pretty simple, basically it's a normal Tele circuit with the middle pickup blended in via an extra pot wired as simple variable resistor for that blend effect. The Strat wiring scheme Bill Lawrence designed for a pre-fame Jimi Hendrix back in the day is very similar, although I think Brent's guitar has 500K pots, probably to get extra highs from the prototype Duncan stacked-coil pickups, which have no distance between the two coils and thus have mutual inductance issues. If you use (IMO) better noiseless pickups -- e.g. Bill Lawrence (Wilde) or Kinman -- you probably can stick with 250K pots.

    Here's Bill's diagram to get you started -- a little TDPRI search action should turn up Terry's fairly easily:

    [​IMG]
     
  3. Derek Kiernan

    Derek Kiernan Friend of Leo's

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    Yeah, editorjuno beat me.

    You want to use the middle pickup as a filter. Mixing volumes in a passive setup never works well, which is why having an independent tone control that brings in a pickup gradually as you dial it back is a great option. If you connect it like the wiring diagram above, you get a wide range of tonal variation.

    You can see Bill Lawrence doing something similar with the neck pickup in his two pickup Esquire in this demo from a year ago: Bill Lawrence demo 03/27/13
     
  4. editorjuno

    editorjuno Tele-Afflicted

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    Here's Terry's spiffy (PowerPoint!) diagram -- the only differences from Bill's old Strat circuit are the coil split feature for the middle pickup (via a push-pull switch on the tone pot), the (optional) treble bypass cap, and the aforementioned 500K pots:

     
  5. 4pickupguy

    4pickupguy Poster Extraordinaire

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    On paper, this looks like a disaster, it would be very hard to deal with the hottest pup in the middle. Brent sure makes it work. Blending would be the secret i'm sure. He gets some great sounds for sure.
     
  6. tonedreamer

    tonedreamer Tele-Holic

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    Brent definitely makes it work. It still has that tele bridge twang, with just a little of that out of phase quack, but not too much. It's about as country as you can get.

    I have a Lindy Fralin blues special as my bridge pup, I wonder if it would work with the red hot stack in this configuration.. what's the difference between that and the vintage lead stack? I know the Fralin is overwound.
     
  7. jj69

    jj69 Tele-Meister

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    I want to try this configuration on my telephone, already gave the vintage stack and mini hb but don't want to ruin the look of my telephone do does anybody know if the hot stack would work as a stealth pick up under the pick guard bad it'd quite a hot pup?
     
  8. tonedreamer

    tonedreamer Tele-Holic

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    Doing some more research, I thought about the push/pull and don't think I would use it. I found this on Seymour Duncan's sight. I noticed the pots were 250k instead of 500k. What do you guys think?

    3pickup_tele_blend.jpg
     
  9. Derek Kiernan

    Derek Kiernan Friend of Leo's

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    What pickups are you planning on using? The pickup won't be mixed in until pretty far into the taper, so 250k pots work well if the pickups you're using sound good with that load on them in your setup.
     
  10. editorjuno

    editorjuno Tele-Afflicted

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    Badly designed circuit IMO because the guitar would have two de facto volume controls -- one for the bridge and neck pickups and the other for the middle pickup -- rather than a true master volume and a blend knob. I'm actually surprised Duncan's people published it -- IMO it's not a good scheme at all, very counter-intuitive and awkward to use on stage, especially if you're accustomed to the standard or four-way Tele setups. It also has the famous Gibson (and Fender 72 Custom Tele) flaw: turning either of the two volume knobs all the way down will silence the entire instrument, so there's no way to use to guitar without at least some middle pickup signal involved.

    The push-pull in Terry's diagram is actually optional -- it's there because it's in Brent's guitar and Terry wanted to be accurate. You can just connect up the middle pickup as in Bill's diagram (one lead directly to the blend pot and the other to ground) and use a normal audio taper pot if you don't need the coil split. It may be that the particular pickup in Brent's guitar sounds good split and blended, even though used that way it will add some hum to the signal, so he wanted that available.
     
  11. tonedreamer

    tonedreamer Tele-Holic

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    Plan on using lindy fralin blues special in bridge, hot stack in middle, and stock mim neck pup. But I don't know much about pots and pickups or wiring
     
  12. tonedreamer

    tonedreamer Tele-Holic

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    Ok, one more question. Where's a good website to order these components like the pots and knobs and such? And also I can't seem to find a "red" hot stack seymour Duncan pup. Found black and white, which I think would look better anyway. Are they the same thing? And they're for a strat, do I need the middle/neck pup? Some say they're for the bridge but they all look the same
     
  13. I own a Tele

    I own a Tele Tele-Meister

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    does the mini humbucker, have anything to do with the pots beings 500k?
     
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