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Changing tone of pickups with switch?

Discussion in 'Just Pickups' started by etype, Jul 24, 2019.

  1. etype

    etype Tele-Afflicted

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    So I am putting together a one pickup partscaster (Jazzmaster body). I am going to use the roller knobs for tone and volume. The easiest way to get a pickguard is to have the upper jazzmaster controls cut into the pickguard. But with one pickup, I don't really have a use for the switch... or DO I? Could I select a tone pot (say 500k) and then use the switch (and a couple resistors) to make the tone knob (or tone and volume) essentially 333K or 250K? Or what else could I do with a switch (besides adding a second pickup!)?

    The one pickup is going to be a gold foil (Mojo UK) neck pickup (about 6.1K).
     
  2. awasson

    awasson Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    You could switch in different caps to change the centre of the frequency that the tone affects. You could use two knobs or a dual pot with stacked knobs to have one for bass and the other for treble. You could use a switch to take the pickup directly to the output jack, bypassing the volume and tone entirely. Lots you can do.

    Volume control resistance is usually dictated by the pickup. Small single coils are generally best with 250k bigger singles like P90’s and humbuckers usually work better with 500k pots.
     
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  3. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity

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    Aren't there pick guards available without that upper control stuff? One pickup why complicate all that...
     
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  4. tubelectron

    tubelectron Tele-Afflicted

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    In the same vein, I was thinking about the circuit of a possible Esquire built, using the classic 2 pots and 3-pos selector arrangement :
    - pos.1 = pickup alone, direct wiring, no control at all.
    - pos.2 = pickup with volume control, no tone control.
    - pos.3 = pickup with volume and tone controls.

    -tbln
     
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  5. bricksnbeatles

    bricksnbeatles Tele-Afflicted

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    switch to toggle between low pass and high pass?
     
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  6. etype

    etype Tele-Afflicted

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    I am sure I could, but Warmoth only does the upper control holes as a unit. And that got me wondering if there was something cool that could be done.
     
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  7. hopdybob

    hopdybob Tele-Afflicted

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    look at the varitone like in the BB king guitar setup,
    maybe your pickups has 4 wires , than series/parallel is an option
     
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  8. tfarny

    tfarny Friend of Leo's

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    With a standard DPDT switch, On / off / on, you can do a lot of things. But a Gibson Toggle is on/on/on SPDT. The only thing you could with that is some variation of Smaller cap / Both caps (center position) / Larger cap. It could work and be useful and it would look nice, but it's not going to be able to do much else besides that.
    I like the IDEA of doing special mods like this, because it's not the kind of thing that will matter if you use it wrong on a stage. But I probably wouldn't bother myself - if you like simplicity enough to have a one pickup guitar, why have a bunch of extra controls?
     
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  9. Antigua Tele

    Antigua Tele Friend of Leo's

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    A kill switch is really useful if you play with other people.
     
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  10. Guitarteach

    Guitarteach Doctor of Teleocity

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    Switching in a cap inline with the hot can alter the tone... give a bass cut for funky bits
     
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  11. wabashslim

    wabashslim Friend of Leo's

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    A small cap in parallel across the pickup sounds good for distortion, not so great clean IMO. The size of the cap varies with the pickup's impedence and what sounds best to you. Most of my guitars have this on the bridge pickup with a push-pull tone pot to switch it in. With the right combination you can get something like the Boston sound, if that's something you'd like.
     
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  12. The Angle

    The Angle Tele-Holic

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    I'd probably choose a 4-wire pickup and use the switch to flip between single and double coil mode. I suspect that would give a broader range of tones than alternate caps.
     
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  13. Skydog1010

    Skydog1010 Tele-Afflicted Gold Supporter

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    Then there's always Varitone (tm) Gibson.

    Can be accomplished two ways, electronics FX, or rotary switch with a myriad of resistors and capacitors. Check out Gibson, ES's 345, 355, and the most famous of all the Lucille model. Epiphone Lucille used an FX board changed by rotary switch.
     
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  14. etype

    etype Tele-Afflicted

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    My initial thought was that the Jazzmaster has single coils with 1,000k pots, but then has the rhythm circuit on that switch that darkens it up considerably (of course, that setup needs the seperate pots). But then I wondered what else I could do?
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2019
  15. MickM

    MickM Poster Extraordinaire Platinum Supporter

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    wire it like an Esquire with the Eldred mod.
     
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  16. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

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    .

    I was going to say a 3-way on/on/on switch for parallel/single/series -- if you had a four wire humbucker.
    Or a four wire humbucker on a 4-way Tele (also used on the J Marr Jaguar) for "neck' single,parallel, bridge single, series humbucker

    If you are using a single coil Jazzmaster pickup then:
    -Arlo Cocked Wah circuit (use the Fender Esquire ACW circuit)
    -Varitone rotary switch with a bunch of capacitors and/or resistors (Epiphone varitone circuit)
    -Reverend Bass Contour circuit

    -
     
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  17. voskarp

    voskarp Tele-Holic

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    You could do this... or not. I've thought about doing it once...

    upload_2019-7-24_22-29-7.png

    Just never put the tone control halfway, it would be silly!!!:p
     
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  18. etype

    etype Tele-Afflicted

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    Haha, I need to show this to my tech to even know what it's doing!
     
  19. voskarp

    voskarp Tele-Holic

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    It just reverses the tone knob.

    If you roll off 1/3 it will be 2/3 off if you hit the switch. Full on will be fully rolled off.

    It is kind of stupid anyway... it's just... you can do it.
     
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  20. Derek Kiernan

    Derek Kiernan Friend of Leo's

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    You can do a small cap, a blend, or an inductor-based filter (with a cap before for reducing midrange). If you're not inspired to try anything in particular, just simplify the guitar and leave it cleaner without the extra wiring up top. I'm the sort of person who will wire a 5-position switch for a two pickup guitar sometimes, but also rip out the stock wiring and go minimalist in cases where the wiring is useless to me. I try to almost always keep it to 1 Vol 1 Tone in the circuit at any time, and make some smaller adjustments with resistors if the bridge pickup is too bright.

    There's no need to turn every guitar into a swiss army knife since it's a tool for your playing. Always go for the simplest setup relevant to you.
     
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