Wiring Question- 5 way switch and then some...

Discussion in 'Tele-Technical' started by MonkeyJefferson, Sep 22, 2020.

  1. MonkeyJefferson

    MonkeyJefferson Tele-Holic

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    I just traded a friend for a John 5 HH Tele, that I am going to rout and install 3 Single Coil Vistatone-style HB-sized pickups in. So nothing more technical here than any of the multitude of Nashville options.

    My question is, I'm changing out the switchplate, installing the 5 way Nasville switch on th eplate, and this comes with a 3 way in the traditional Custom spot- is there anything cool I can do with this switch?

    I'm always looking for jazz tones, I love the Eldred and Arlo mods on a regular pickup.....

    Open canvas...what would you guys do? I'm not great with soldering and all that, but I'm improving, I'd love to hear some ideas.
     
  2. garrett

    garrett Tele-Afflicted

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    You're fairly limited due to the design of the switch. It's either option A, option B, or A/B together in parallel. Whatever you do, there's no "off" unless you leave one end empty, which effectively reduces it to a two-way switch.

    The first idea that pops into my head is you can use it to change the capacitor(s) for the tone control. For example, put a .01 uF cap on one side and a .022 uF cap on the other. Since parallel capacitance is additive, the middle position would give you .032 uF.

    If you don't mind replacing the toggle, you could put in a double pole on/on, on/on/on, or on/off/on switch to give you some more options.

    If you're not married to having a blade on the plate, you could put a 6-way rotary where the toggle is. You could then get the usual Strat selections, plus outside pickups.
     
  3. beanluc

    beanluc TDPRI Member

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    I just wired my HH tele with a normal 3 way switch as follows:

    1 - bridge both coils
    2 - bridge 1 coil, neck 1 coil, in series, half out of phase
    3 - neck, both coils. I'm probably going to wind up adding an extra tone capacitor to this position to warm it up.

    If this is of interest, I'll see if I can show how it was wired.
     
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  4. MonkeyJefferson

    MonkeyJefferson Tele-Holic

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    This intrigues me . So I could use this 3 way toggle to give me two different tone control settings, and the normal in the middle? Would the .01 uF cap darken the tone? I'd love a nice wacky, dark jazz comping tone at a flick of a switch!

    "Parallel capacitance is additive" is exactly why I asked the question! I'm going to figure that out.

    While I have an extra pickup in my mix, I'm just figuring all this out, and dig hearing about experiences folks here have. Thanks!
     
  5. garrett

    garrett Tele-Afflicted

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    Here's what I'm thinking. I haven't actually tried such a thing, but I think it'll work. The idea is to change the amount of high end that gets rolled off by the tone pot.

    I'd put a lower value cap on one side, which means less treble roll-off. I like .01 uF to get a nice jazzy honk when the tone knob is all the way down without making the guitar a mud machine. Or you could try a .0047 uF.

    Then you can put something with higher value like .022 uF, .033 uF, etc., on the other side for more treble roll off.

    When the switch is in the middle, both caps would be active, so it will be the darkest setting with total capacitance equal to cap1 + cap2.


    [​IMG]
     
  6. beanluc

    beanluc TDPRI Member

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    Well, here's the scheme I described above.

    My pickups only have three conductors, south-start and north-finish are in one wire. So in the diagram I just showed them wired together, in a white wire with green stripes.

    Four pickup conductors:
    Red pickup wires: Hot (normally, but this neck pickup's phase is reversed)
    Black pickup wires: Ground (normally)
    White: North finish
    Green: South start

    The capacitor on the yellow switch-jumper wires, in position between the white-and-green wires, is .0015uf (1500pf) and is what makes the middle position HALF out of phase. One could eliminate that cap if they want full OOP, and reverse neck-black and neck-red if they don't want OOP at all.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2020
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  7. MonkeyJefferson

    MonkeyJefferson Tele-Holic

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    I dig this a lot. Would you say it's a satisfactory split coil sound? You must get a lot of different tones out of this.
     
  8. MonkeyJefferson

    MonkeyJefferson Tele-Holic

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    I've played a hollow body of some sort for jazz for many years, and my teles for honky tonk and swing. The thing I always hated with teles is volume/tone issue when you pot down the tone too far- it kills the juice. I never knew that was what this "treble roll off" was all about until a friend told me.

    I am now trying to fix many decades of bad tone juice, and I want to add that feature to every tele I ever see now, though since I've never used one, I'm still not 100% that I know what I'm saying!

    I do like to park my neck tele tone WAAAY down, and keep it there, and I hope to with these Vistatones as well, and any added shape and volume would be great.

    I also wonder how those extra tone settings would change the bridge sound. Very cool.

    One more question, if I may!

    The difference between the .01 and the .047- how would you compare the two? You think, knowing I'm not using a standard tele bridge, and that I'm going tone down on the neck and neck/middle, clean, that the .01 is the good call for my style?

    This feels like an intuitive solution, I can still use the volume and tone pot normally, and you get extra beaver settings with the switch. Thanks again!
     
  9. tfarny

    tfarny Friend of Leo's

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    Yeah, there are a million ways you could do it. What tones are most important? How do you use controls - do you mess with stuff mid song? Are you looking for weird sounds or just a couple good sounds?
    I’ve done a lot of wiring schemes. I’ve realized that I basically want a three way switch to control two pickups, MV in a good finger friendly place, and a tone pot that doesn’t get real dark. Easy to operate while playing music. Maybe one trickeration thing, but I don’t want any of the switching possibilities to result in tones I don’t like, like OOP, or accidental kill switch positions. But we all use guitars differently.
     
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  10. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

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    I would stop right there. Install regular single coil pickups: Strat Neck, Jaguar Middle, Tele bridge (with a steel baseplate). Then I'd wire it with the Armstrong Blender mod.

    That mod gives you stock SSS with the 5-way switch, but a second tone knob (second tone on a Strat, or a stacked dual concentric tone knob on a Tele) a blender to go from SSS to HSH or anywhere between. From a Strat to PAF to Super Strat hot HSH.

    Then the only question is if you spend more time on SSS use a 250k volume pot or more on HSH end use a 500k volume pot.

    .
     
  11. MonkeyJefferson

    MonkeyJefferson Tele-Holic

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    I do love the Arlo mod on an Esquire, but I was going for a Supro Tritone, and that extra switch just begged the question.

    The idea of a jazz tone I could flick up a notch for a solo from a darker comping tone is appealing to me, I’m enjoying all the fresh ideas here.
     
  12. tfarny

    tfarny Friend of Leo's

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    Yeah, and the nice thing about wiring is that it's always pretty easy to change it. You might want to use alligator clips and buy several caps of different values to learn about how they sound, before your solder your favorites in there. Other fun mods, just to think outside the box, are volume bypass or volume and tone bypass. That gives you the chance to have a volume bump for soloing but still retain a simple to use MV. Another fun one is a rotary switch like PRS used to use for pickups, put 4 or 5 different caps on it. I made a bass many years ago and that turned out to be a super cool mod - I could get from a real edgy tone with no cap at all to a real dark, reggae/old strings kind of tone with a .1 cap.
     
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  13. beanluc

    beanluc TDPRI Member

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    Well, three :D But seriously.

    Between these three positions (neck humbucker, bridge humbucker, and both with coils split and half-out-of-phase), and the use of the tone control (which sharp observers will notice is wired to the volume's output instead of input, the Fezz Parka slash 50's-wiring config), I get plenty of tones.

    I'm satisfied. The half-out-of-phase config makes the pair of single-coils in series sound more single-coily and less series-y (which just sounds like another humbucker). You know how they say, Strats quack and Teles cluck? This gives something in between but without the huge volume loss that single-coils in parallel would have, compared to each of the full hummers. It also gives a nice midrange honk that I am loving, especially with overdrive.

    It's a similar frequency response profile to, but just not quite the intensity of, the Eldred or Arlo cocked-wah wirings. I tested a number of close-but-different cap values for that phase cap in order to pick my favorite one.

    Like I said originally, I do still want to darken the neck pickup further with an additional tone cap, probably on a switch, and I also plan to add a bass-cut control (third knob), but I've already got a pretty versatile guitar here.

    The only other thing I might consider in the future is a master coil-split switch that would coil-split both pickups at once - I'm never going to need to split them individually.

    But right now I'm not missing the single-pickup single-coil sounds. I haven't been looking for more single-coil sounds than what I'm getting from my middle position. I mean, heck, I actually fully expect that the bass-cut tone control will stand in for that anyway, brightening the full-hummers to where I'll miss the single-pickup, single-coil switching options even less than I already do.
     
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