Unheard-of Strat Mod - Anyone?

AustinPaul

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Among my many Strats is my beloved '74 hardtail. It needs a new vol pot, so I'm thinking of trying something on it. Vol-neck, vol-middle, concentric vol/tone-bridge. I would keep my 5-way, but make what is the usual middle pickup, be set for neck/bridge. Having the ability to blend pickup vols, or to just be able to go from a lower vol neck rythm to a wide open bridge vol for a solo. No different than what one does on a Les Paul, or the like.
 

Gaz_

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Won't the phases be out on the neck and bridge? I looked into this a loooooong time ago, it depends on which magnet pole is "Up" I think strats go N-S-N so if you blend the bridge and neck, they cancel each other out. Someone smarter will know, that's just my knee jerk, what I'd be looking into.
 

AustinPaul

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What I'm picturing would be the same scheme as the current Amer Pro II (edit: for the neck/bridge) . So my tech might recommend using the push-push switch from the Pro 2.
 

Audiowonderland

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Won't the phases be out on the neck and bridge? I looked into this a loooooong time ago, it depends on which magnet pole is "Up" I think strats go N-S-N so if you blend the bridge and neck, they cancel each other out. Someone smarter will know, that's just my knee jerk, what I'd be looking into.
They won't be hum canceling but they will be in phase
 

radiocaster

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There are various ways to do it.

The strat has the most illogical wiring. originally you could only get one pickup at a time.

Earlier 3 pickup hollow bodies had a setting on the switch which allowed all three. Sometimes they didn't have a switch, but 3 volume controls. Sometimes 3 tone controls as well.

Some people have wired strats with a blend for the middle pickup.

I have also thought that 3 concentric knobs could be interesting. I have experimented with 2 volumes, one for the bridge or neck, and another for the other two, but I found that limiting as well, especially since I didn't feel like buying a concentric knob and pot.
 

AustinPaul

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There are various ways to do it.

The strat has the most illogical wiring. originally you could only get one pickup at a time.

Earlier 3 pickup hollow bodies had a setting on the switch which allowed all three. Sometimes they didn't have a switch, but 3 volume controls. Sometimes 3 tone controls as well.

Some people have wired strats with a blend for the middle pickup.

I have also thought that 3 concentric knobs could be interesting. I have experimented with 2 volumes, one for the bridge or neck, and another for the other two, but I found that limiting as well, especially since I didn't feel like buying a concentric knob and pot.
The good news is that a new tech I'm going to try just happens to have a degree in electrical engineering. If he can't figure it out, well then, he might have been at the bottom of his class!
 

radiocaster

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The good news is that a new tech I'm going to try just happens to have a degree in electrical engineering. If he can't figure it out, well then, he might have been at the bottom of his class!
It's quite easy to figure out how to wire, harder to decide where and what controls you want to put in there if you don't want to order a custom pickguard.
 

String Tree

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Among my many Strats is my beloved '74 hardtail. It needs a new vol pot, so I'm thinking of trying something on it. Vol-neck, vol-middle, concentric vol/tone-bridge. I would keep my 5-way, but make what is the usual middle pickup, be set for neck/bridge. Having the ability to blend pickup vols, or to just be able to go from a lower vol neck rythm to a wide open bridge vol for a solo. No different than what one does on a Les Paul, or the like.
I say Go for it.
If you don't like it, you can always change it back.
 

AustinPaul

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It's quite easy to figure out how to wire, harder to decide where and what controls you want to put in there if you don't want to order a custom pickguard.
It's even easier for me to ask him to accomplish this feat for me. But all kidding aside, I've done a lot of pickup and pot soldering, but once it gets to a certain point, well nowadays, I'd much rather be playing my guitars. It simply takes more time than I'm willing to invest.
 

timbgtr

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I hope it works for you! I’ve always done the reverse, substituted a master for separate pickup volumes, so I can adjust volume with one knob without adjusting tone, whether using a single pickup or combined pickups. For a Strat, where two of the five positions are combined (N+B and M+B for me), that convenience would be hard for me to give up.

I have an old SG which I’ve wired with just a master volume and tone for the neck pickup (with the other two holes used for Duncan P-Rail switches6. And for me, one of the good things about a cheap Epi Dot Studio 335-wannabe is that it has just a master volume and tone. But as Bruxit just said, you can always go back, so go for it!
 

AustinPaul

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Yea, for me it's how spoiled I've been with Les Pauls, SGs, etc. I'm constantly using less volume on the neck pickup, more on the bridge, and then in-between blending neck/bridge. Too bright, roll off some bridge vol, too dark, roll off some neck. It's as effective as a tone control. That is exactly what I'm trying to achieve with this mod. Since I never have a need to roll tone from the bridge/middle pickups, I'd rather put that knob to better use (for me!). I've got 9 Strats, so it's not like I'm going to miss out on anything. ;)
 

NoTeleBob

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I'm a fan of three concentric - volume and tone on each pickup. But, IMO, you really only need four pots total: volume for each pickup and then a master tone. However, if you're doing concentric, do all three.

I don't see any reason to do what you suggested: tone on bridge only. You can make it a master tone with the same functionality at no additional cost or effort. So even if you go with your proposed approach (one concentric pot/s), make it a master tone.
 

NoTeleBob

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I hope it works for you! I’ve always done the reverse, substituted a master for separate pickup volumes, so I can adjust volume with one knob without adjusting tone, whether using a single pickup or combined pickups. For a Strat, where two of the five positions are combined (N+B and M+B for me), that convenience would be hard for me to give up.

I have an old SG which I’ve wired with just a master volume and tone for the neck pickup (with the other two holes used for Duncan P-Rail switches6. And for me, one of the good things about a cheap Epi Dot Studio 335-wannabe is that it has just a master volume and tone. But as Bruxit just said, you can always go back, so go for it!

A nice trick on a 4 control SG (or LP, etc) is Volume for each pickup, tone (treble cut) and bass contour (bass cut).
 

willietheweirdo

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I'll be doing 3 vols on my next strat, but no tone.

Rather than give up the quintessential strat middle position, consider using a free-way switch to get that B+N sound:
1655323518020.png

I'm on the fence myself—I doubt there are any songs that will benefit from a strat B+N sound that can't already be quite satisfied by the strat 2 & 4 positions... I mean, let a strat be a strat, right? How much time would I really linger on some quasi-tele sound that no one can quite put a finger on?
 

tfarny

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I don't tend to change pickups much or at all mid-song, preferring to increase the volume instead of needed, or step on a boost pedal, or just pick harder (usually). I mostly change pickups when I want a different attack. I will sometimes play a song with the pickup switch in middle position and then change to the bridge for the solo if I want that sharp attack.

To me a strat is already confusing, so having thee MVs would not work. At all. But we all have different approaches.
 

wabashslim

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I have 3 Strat pickguards (but no Strats anymore); all wired up with 5-way Superswitches & 3 push-pull pots. Putting the 5-way in the middle w/volume pot down selects the M pickup, volume UP changes to N-B without affecting any other positions. Tone 1 is a master for all 3, Tone 2 is a smaller cap for B only. Middle alone or all 3 on weren't possible that way but no loss to me. Sorry, I never sketched out a schematic or I'd post it. Try googling "Tele-Strat" or something similar.
Multiple volumes on a Strat is intriguing.
 

AustinPaul

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I'll be doing 3 vols on my next strat, but no tone.

Rather than give up the quintessential strat middle position, consider using a free-way switch to get that B+N sound:
View attachment 994346
I'm on the fence myself—I doubt there are any songs that will benefit from a strat B+N sound that can't already be quite satisfied by the strat 2 & 4 positions... I mean, let a strat be a strat, right? How much time would I really linger on some quasi-tele sound that no one can quite put a finger on?
If I just had 1-2 Strats, it'd be a different conversation, but I think this would be a fun change.
 




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