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Wiring Diagram for Vari-tone: bass cut + treble cut

Discussion in 'Tele-Technical' started by guildguy516, Oct 1, 2020.

  1. guildguy516

    guildguy516 TDPRI Member

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    I've installed a few Vari-tone switches on Teles so I can optimize the treble cut of different capacitors. I'm now looking to do a Vari-tone where positions 3 is the bypass, positions 2 and 1 cut bass, and positions 4, 5, and 6 cut treble with different value caps.

    I understand high-pass filters function differently than the grounding of low-pass filters, however, I'm am unsure how to apply a high-pass filter without a potentiometer. Some help or a wiring diagram would much appreciate!
     
  2. beanluc

    beanluc Tele-Meister

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    The bass-cut goes in a different place in the circuit than a treble-cut does, so, you won’t be able to do this with just a 2-pole rotary selector. It’s not a matter of just using different cap values.

    Maybe with a 4-poles.

    I recommend you forget about the bass-cut part until after you figure out how to do normal Varitone wiring. I think this is a pretty good resource: https://www.unofficialwarmoth.com/index.php?topic=3856.0

    Only after you know how to do a normal varitone selector for the treble tones, you can learn where the bass-cut control and capacitor go in the guitar circuit. The first mod in this article has good text and diagrams: https://www.premierguitar.com/articles/21112-three-must-try-guitar-wiring-mods And once you get both that and the treble solution above, you can apply what you know to wire a switch to select among a variety of bass-cut capacitors.

    Once you understand how both of those different circuits work, it’s conceivable that you could wire them both into a 4-pole rotary selector. Since it’s two separate switches on one selector, you can implement switching in two different parts of the guitar circuit.
     
  3. Zepfan

    Zepfan Doctor of Teleocity Gold Supporter

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    Whenever a large amount of choice is added, I find that there's really only 2 choices I like out of the group which can be a disappointment. Later though, some of those other choices could get used.

    Many people used to add a high or low filter pass between the pickup and switch by wiring a capacitor inline with the pickup's signal wire on Gibby type guitars and didn't involve pots. The Fender Esquire switching for change in tonal caps to the pots was useful.

    I made a small 3-way tone switch on my avatar guitar that offers 2 tone cap choices(.022/.033) for use in the master vol/tone pots, but also has a tone circuit bypass that I find very useful. That's something that can be done with a no-load tone pot as well. I find myself just using the .022 cap or the no-tone circuit the most because there isn't much difference between the 2 cap values, so a .047 would be better choice over the .033. It's good to try a few options out.
     
  4. beanluc

    beanluc Tele-Meister

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    I’m on my ipad which makes it pretty hard to include diagrams but it really (really!) is as simple as eliminating the pot and wiring the cap directly to ground. That’s all the pot does, is select how much resistance there is between the volume and the capacitor-to-ground. Zero resistance is, tone full-on (or, turned-all-the-way-down).

    (To be precise, it’s a variable resistor, not a potentiometer, in the case of a tone control - a volume control is wired as a potentiometer but a tone control is not. The same control can be wired either way. That’s why three of its lugs are used in the volume control but only two in the tone control.)
     
  5. wabashslim

    wabashslim Tele-Afflicted

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    To be redundant a high-pass filter is putting a cap in series with the pickup hot lead. What you want to do is easily possible with a multi-pole switch but it's a separate circuit from the high-cut stuff. It's going to get really crowded in a regular Tele.

    Passive in-guitar electronics is simple enough I don't see why anyone can't figure it out for themselves after a little studying of symbols and applying a little logic. Then not only can you get just what you want but also know what is & isn't possible or useful.
     
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