View Single Post
Old 09-02-2007, 08:21 PM   #45
J Kennedy
Human being with feelings
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: ocean mists
Posts: 858
Default Rebirth of the Fender Strat part 1 of 2


(No laughing at my art work).

As said, these wirings are about as simple as things can get. I’ll break the strat mod into a couple posts. To get every conceivable sound variation a strat can make, meaning all phasing combinations and any volume from any pickup, alone or in combination, all you need are two miniature double pole – double throw center off switches. Radio Shack has these, cheap and they will work solid for years. A third switch would be needed if you are doing this on a 3-pickup guitar that doesn’t have the standard Fender knife switch. This would include guitars with the 3 position switch where the center position turns multiple pickups on (like the standard Gibson toggles). More on this later after the strat is reborn…

The DPDT center-off switch is a 3 position switch with 6 terminals on the bottom. The outer 4 terminals are soldered in the criss cross manner shown in the graphic. Either set of end terminals take the hot and ground wires from a pickup. The center two terminals are the ground and hot leads. Hot goes to exactly where the pickup hot was wired onto the knife switch originally. Ground can go to anywhere that is grounded. There is no absolute hot or ground to the input or output, from the reference of the switch itself, but it is nicer to keep the wiring the same for both switches. That way, throwing all switches in one direction has the same phase effect. Note that there are 3 pickups but only two switches. The bridge pickup stays in tact, no rewiring required with this simplest approach.. Only the middle and neck pickups are wired to the switches. Mounting these switches onto the pickguard is easy, because the two switches fit nicely between the 3 knobs on a strat. Best end results in all of this will depend on the grounding process for pickups and body cavity described earlier, but you can do this before grounding to get an idea of what it will sound like. Use a rubber band around the knob shafts to align your drilling location, marking the centerpoint between the knobs under the rubber band. Things will look nicer when you’re done.

All that’s left is to reassign the tone controls which I’ll get to shortly. End product will take a strat to where no strat has gone before. Note that you can just do this for now and will get two new out of phase sounds you didn’t get before. These are the not so neat sounds though...interesting but probably not all that useful, though the tone controls will have a greater effect on the range of sounds than if the pickups were in phase. These two sounds are the reverse of the Hendrix or quack sound as it was called, running 1+2 out of phase or 2+3 out of phase. Rewiring the two tone controls breaks all limitations getting access to where the real sounds are, exquisitely completing the process.

Gentlemen, start your drill motors.

Regards to all,
John K
Attached Images
File Type: jpg switch.jpg (43.5 KB, 310 views)

Last edited by J Kennedy; 09-02-2007 at 09:11 PM.
J Kennedy is offline   Reply With Quote