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Wiring wizards, some help please?

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by BMusic, Mar 7, 2021.

  1. BMusic

    BMusic Tele-Meister

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    I’m coming to the end of of my first partscaster creation, which is a thinline tele-style with dynasonics and a kind of unique control layout that I’m on the verge of cracking, but I desperately need help to bring it over the finish line.
    IMG_4770.jpg

    As my friend says, it’s a Tele that thinks it’s a Gretsch.

    Here’s the dream: master volume, master tone (not pictured above—it'll be on the lower horn), and independent volume controls that are only active in the middle position. So in positions one and three, it’s basically tele—all neck or all bridge, only affected my master volume and master tone—and in position two, it’s a blend of the two that I can dial in as I like with the two independent volumes, and it’s still going through master volume for easy, one-touch volume adjustments that won’t mess with the balance.

    Here’s the diagram (very layman-like, but that’s what I am), which utilizes a 3-way super switch; for whatever it’s worth, I have simplified the way the two volume controls return to the switch, so that they now each come back to their own “2” terminal, and then a jumper joins the two common terminals (the problem I’ll describe existed both before and after this change):
    wiring.jpg

    Here’s the problem, which is solely in middle position: with both pickup volumes down, I still get bridge output. If I then turn up the bridge volume pot, the output gets a little louder, and I think the tone changes. I’m testing things by tapping on the pickup magnets, so I can’t be 100% what the effect is, but what I instinctually think is happening is that I’ve got bridge signal always present, and when I roll up the pot, I’m adding a second bridge signal to it.

    For what it’s worth, this is the second time I’ve wired this up, with different pots the first time, so I don’t think it’s faulty electronics. Just, maybe, a faulty concept.

    Also for what it’s worth, if I disconnect the wire from the bridge volume back to the switch, I get nothing from the bridge pickup in position 2. So that always-there bridge output is not bleeding through the switch; it definitely has to do with the way it’s wired.

    More weirdness abounds: the bridge pickup is significantly less buzzy than the neck pickup. I guess that might be to be expected if those two bridge signals are working together to cancel noise. BUT the other thing is that if I roll up ONLY the neck pickup, that always-present bridge output diminishes significantly. Is that weird?

    I hope not. I hope one of you experienced electronics guys/gals will say one of two things:
    1. That’s not weird; you’ll always have this issue because of [insert electronics concept here] and there’s really no way around it.
    2. That’s not weird; you just need to [insert wiring fix here].
    So, hive mind, whaddaya got?
     
  2. dogmeat

    dogmeat Friend of Leo's

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    not sure I can untangle all you want to do but you have the switch wipers going to the V pots. that makes them impossible to separate off to another V pot without interacting. maybe put the pup outputs on the wipers and use the pins to go to the pot destinations

    do you have a wire from the neck's cover back to ground?
     
  3. Jay Jernigan

    Jay Jernigan Tele-Afflicted

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    I'm thinking....
    Did a Les Paul with two independent volume and tone controls, master volume on the upper horn, no switch.
    Individual volumes muddied the tone, treble bleed circuits didn't help. Different value pots might have helped, idk, didn't get that far.
    The super switch kinda throws me a little; I have a hard time following my own squiggly lines, ha!
    I'm thinking...
     
  4. Lowerleftcoast

    Lowerleftcoast Friend of Leo's

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    Your diagram does not show the bridge vol pot or the neck vol pot backs grounded. If the bridge vol pot back is not grounded then the signal could still get to the MV pot.
     
  5. BMusic

    BMusic Tele-Meister

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    Yes, sorry, for simplicity on the diagram, I combined the pickup ground and pickup cover ground, but I’ve soldered them together, and then to the top of the master volume pot (for both pickups).

    Regarding your suggestion: I think I understand. You mean pup to switch and then to pots, yes? But won’t that cause the individual V pots to affect the level even when the switch is in position one or three?
     
  6. BMusic

    BMusic Tele-Meister

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    Oops—you are correct about my diagram, but yes, I have all three pots connected to each other with ground wire.

    It does seem like a ground problem, doesn’t it? Weird that it’s only affecting the bridge pickup. Makes me wonder if my soldering is bad. The only thing I haven’t redone is the solder point at the bridge pickup cover. Hmm...
     
  7. BMusic

    BMusic Tele-Meister

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    Yeah, I considered redrawing for public consumption, haha.

    I totally get that the superswitch is kinda the oddball here, and I’ve already surmised that it may limit my responses. Really, its only purpose is to try to isolate the individual volume controls to middle position. If I can’t do that, I may as well go with a toggle, and a more traditional Gretsch approach.
     
  8. Lowerleftcoast

    Lowerleftcoast Friend of Leo's

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    Couldn't hurt to reflow the ground connection.

    I don't think it has anything to do with how these function (or not), but the *in* and *out* on the neck pot and bridge pot are reversed if you are trying to make a *proper* voltage divider.

    The bridge vol pot super switch connection to terminal 2 of the unused section is redundant.
     
  9. Lowerleftcoast

    Lowerleftcoast Friend of Leo's

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    If there are treble caps across the pots, some signal can get through if there is any resistance on the path to ground.
     
  10. BMusic

    BMusic Tele-Meister

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    I shall! Oh man, if this fixed it, I would die of glee. I’m ready to stop messing around, string her up and let her sing.

    My understanding was that this was how one arrived at independent volume controls (that don’t affect each other)—a la Gretsch rather than Gibson.

    Yeah, in a total noob move, I thought it was too easy to bring them both back to the same 2 terminal. I’ve actually adjusted since (in an attempt at isolating them) and they each go to their own 2, and then I’ve connected the commons. I’m totally down for going the simple way. Hell, maybe that’ll fix it, haha
     
  11. BMusic

    BMusic Tele-Meister

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    There are treble bleed circuits on all V pots. So some of my ground connections are shoddy? That would make sense, as I’ve only been soldering for 10 months...
     
  12. Lowerleftcoast

    Lowerleftcoast Friend of Leo's

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    Not necessarily, sometimes a pot will never get all the way to zero Ohms.
    Below is a pot used as a "voltage divider". Note the signal *in* is on terminal 1. Your wiring is not using the pot as a "voltage divider". Your bridge and neck pots are wired with the signal *in* on terminal 2 (the wiper). There is a difference although it may not be important with your B and N volume pots.

    potvoltagedivider.png
     
  13. jvin248

    jvin248 Doctor of Teleocity

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    .

    I'd simplify your controls, dropping the superswitch and going with a regular 3-way plus a simple toggle switch to select which bank of pots you want active. It's a 'pot switcher' not a 'pickup switcher'.

    Toggle turns on/off the individual volumes and the masters.
    Then you only work with two position on/on switch with three or four lugs per side.


    .
     
    Jay Jernigan likes this.
  14. BMusic

    BMusic Tele-Meister

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    Okay, update: I didn’t find the source of the problem, but I assembled it anyway so I could hear what was happening in terms of actual tone.

    The good news is that it sounds awesome and the tonal control and flexibility are great.

    The bad news is I don’t know what’s going on. In middle position, both volume knobs all the way down gives me a thin bridge pickup sound. As I roll the volume pot up, it gradually morphs into a somewhat thicker, darker bridge pickup, as if the sweeper is changing the phase relationship between two copies of the bridge pup output. When it’s up full and I add in the neck pickup dimed, I get the sound one would expect—that classic quacky middle position sound. Maybe somewhat darker than the in-your-face tone of the individual dynas should create, but very pleasing nonetheless.

    So.

    I can just leave this as-is...my weird little Dynacaster...or simplify somewhat, maybe wire it up in straightforward duo jet style (or even jazzmaster style). It’s all a question of how much it will eat at me. It’s like it has a third nipple.
     
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