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Setup:
1 x Volume w/ Push/Pull, 1 x Tone w/ Push/Pull, 2 x Humbuckers 4-wire

Desire:
Volume switch neck pickup from series coils to parallel coils, humbucking mode 
Tone switch bridge pickup from series coils to parallel coils, humbucking mode

Contraption:

I have not put the whole screen and grounds, but just the main signal wires. Would this achieve the stated desire?
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Comments

  • ICBMICBM Frets: 56921
    Yes.

    Improvement - on the DPDT switches, don’t make the black series link wire like that, it increases unreliability by passing through both switch poles. Use a diagonal link from one top terminal to the opposite middle terminal instead. Best of all, use an ‘x’ linkage with two diagonal wires.

    Did you want “50s” wiring? If not, move the tone cap connection to the pickup terminal on the volume pot - that will give more consistent tone control sweep.

    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone." - Walt Kowalski

    "Just because I don't care, doesn't mean I don't understand." - Homer Simpson

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  • AmigoAmigo Frets: 63
    edited September 13
    ICBM said:
    Improvement - on the DPDT switches, don’t make the black series link wire like that, it increases unreliability by passing through both switch poles. Use a diagonal link from one top terminal to the opposite middle terminal instead. Best of all, use an ‘x’ linkage with two diagonal wires.

    Good point, duly noted, thank you.
    ICBM said:
    Did you want “50s” wiring? If not, move the tone cap connection to the pickup terminal on the volume pot - that will give more consistent tone control sweep.
    Very well pointed out. As far as I understand it, the difference between the '50s and the modern wiring is the location of the tone filter. On the '50s it is AFTER the volume pot, and on the modern wiring it is BEFORE the volume pot. I would like the more consistent tone sweep of the modern, but as the discussions I read online are mainly focused on guitars with independent volume and tone controls, I was wondering how it would translate on a guitar with just one volume pot and one tone pot. Is the consideration still valid? Also, my guitar is a hollowbody with low-wind humbuckers coming, might be benefitting from 50s? I am still getting my head around this.
    https://www.fralinpickups.com/2020/03/01/50s-wiring-vs-modern-wiring/
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 56921
    The benefit of '50s' wiring is that it causes less treble loss as you turn the volume control down when the tone is up full, because the tone control is effectively being turned up - its resistance remains constant but the volume control resistance parallel with it to ground is going down.

    The downside (or upside, for some people!) is that when the tone control is turned down, the treble roll-off is then *increased* as you turn the volume down, because there's a series resistance between the pickup and the tone control. In other words, both controls become more interactive than they are with 'modern' wiring.

    I find it irritating though, I prefer the controls to not be interactive like that - I'm not a micro-fiddler with the knobs, I like them to work consistently at all settings.

    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone." - Walt Kowalski

    "Just because I don't care, doesn't mean I don't understand." - Homer Simpson

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  • Dave_McDave_Mc Frets: 1109
    edited September 14
    Amigo said:
    As far as I understand it, the difference between the '50s and the modern wiring is the location of the tone filter. On the '50s it is AFTER the volume pot, and on the modern wiring it is BEFORE the volume pot. I would like the more consistent tone sweep of the modern, but as the discussions I read online are mainly focused on guitars with independent volume and tone controls, I was wondering how it would translate on a guitar with just one volume pot and one tone pot. Is the consideration still valid?
    I think it's largely the same with a master volume and tone. I have it on a few guitars (one a LP-style with volume and tone per pickup, one with volume per pickup and master tone, and one with master volume and tone) and I don't notice a massive difference between them, they all work in mostly the same way.

    Another downside, in addition to what @ICBM said, is that if you roll the volume down, rolling the tone down tends to roll off even more volume before it rolls off tone, if that makes sense. (That might just be me phrasing the downside he mentioned in another way!)

    The upsides I guess are that for some guitars it's vintage accurate (so it "suits" certain guitars), and it does retain a fair bit more treble when rolling down the guitar volume controls while arguably feeling and sounding a bit more natural (though less effective) than a treble bleed/pass capacitor. I guess another upside might be (hopefuly @ICBM can confirm if this is true or not, I'm not sure) that I've seen some people say that with the controls all up full, with 50s wiring the guitar seems a bit more "alive" and brighter than when wired in the more conventional modern way.
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 56921
    Dave_Mc said:

    Another downside, in addition to what @ICBM said, is that if you roll the volume down, rolling the tone down tends to roll off even more volume before it rolls off tone, if that makes sense. (That might just be me phrasing the downside he mentioned in another way!)
    Yes.
    Dave_Mc said:

    I've seen some people say that with the controls all up full, with 50s wiring the guitar seems a bit more "alive" and brighter than when wired in the more conventional modern way.
    Which is nonsense. When the volume control is up full there is no difference whatever.

    It does sound arguably more 'natural' at lower settings of the volume control though - a treble-pass can add too much and sound a little shrill or spiky, even with a very carefully chosen cap value.

    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone." - Walt Kowalski

    "Just because I don't care, doesn't mean I don't understand." - Homer Simpson

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  • Gibson Fifties Wiring is a classic case of a little learning being a dangerous thing.

    Guitarists have heard or read that this approach to control wiring is "better" but haven't the faintest idea of why this might be so.

    Rather than perform experiments to demonstrate what the difference might be, folks just repeat the mantra.

    On vintage instruments, there is a monetary incentive to keep wiring as original as possible. In this instance, "better" means (potentially) more lucrative.

    Most of the time, a recent purchase is not living up to fantasy expectations. "There must be something wrong with it. It must be that thar PCB wiring harness. I'm gonna change that."
    Be seeing you.
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 56921
    Gibson Fifties Wiring is a classic case of a little learning being a dangerous thing.

    Guitarists have heard or read that this approach to control wiring is "better" but haven't the faintest idea of why this might be so.
    Because "50s" is always better than "modern"... it's in the rules.


    Most of the time, a recent purchase is not living up to fantasy expectations. "There must be something wrong with it. It must be that thar PCB wiring harness. I'm gonna change that."
    Slight tangent, but I've found that the problem with the PCB in modern Gibsons is actually due to the connectors, not the PCB - remarkably, the small amounts of resistance the connectors introduce can bugger up the tone as well as cause unreliability. You wouldn't think that little a resistance matters, but it does...

    Removing the connectors and soldering the wiring directly to the pots *still on the PCB* fixes the reliability issues *and* the tone, without the expense and hassle of replacing the whole loom. But I'm sure that a lot of people won't believe this, "because PCB is bad".

    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone." - Walt Kowalski

    "Just because I don't care, doesn't mean I don't understand." - Homer Simpson

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  • Of course the PCB doesn't line up with the woodwork either, which rather adds to the issues...

    Anybody'd think that a large production organisation like Gibson would use modern technology, rather than ensure it doesn't work properly!
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  • Dave_McDave_Mc Frets: 1109
    ICBM said:
    Dave_Mc said:

    Another downside, in addition to what @ICBM said, is that if you roll the volume down, rolling the tone down tends to roll off even more volume before it rolls off tone, if that makes sense. (That might just be me phrasing the downside he mentioned in another way!)
    (a) Yes.
    Dave_Mc said:

    I've seen some people say that with the controls all up full, with 50s wiring the guitar seems a bit more "alive" and brighter than when wired in the more conventional modern way.
    (b) Which is nonsense. When the volume control is up full there is no difference whatever.

    (c) It does sound arguably more 'natural' at lower settings of the volume control though - a treble-pass can add too much and sound a little shrill or spiky, even with a very carefully chosen cap value.
    (a) Is that "Yes" to it being another downside, or "Yes" to it being the same as the one you mentioned but just described differently? :D 

    (b) That's what I'd have thought :D 

    (c) Yeah... also at certain settings. It's virtually impossible to find a capacitor value which sounds "right" at all points of the volume control. Even if it's "just right" at some settings, it often is completely wrong at others. I think 50s is probably overall more natural, but at the same time it often doesn't keep enough treble for my liking... it's a lot better than "modern" wiring (without a treble pass cap) in that respect, but I still think I prefer a capacitor for rolling back to sparkly cleans from high gain. I reckon modern without a treble pass probably is the most natural of all, apart from the treble loss. I guess the absolute best of both worlds is having the capacitor on a switch, but you don't always have enough spare pots for that if you need them to switch something else. Even if you do, sometimes it's hard to be bothered doing it, since it's a fair amount of extra faff for not a whole heap of gain... :D 
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 56921
    Dave_Mc said:

    Is that "Yes" to it being another downside, or "Yes" to it being the same as the one you mentioned but just described differently? :D
    Yes as in the tone control appears to affect the volume as well, when both are turned down a fair way.

    :)

    Dave_Mc said:

    It's virtually impossible to find a capacitor value which sounds "right" at all points of the volume control. Even if it's "just right" at some settings, it often is completely wrong at others.
    It is impossible. Even if you pick a cap value which is identical to the cable capacitance - which is the main cause of the treble loss - it won’t sound exactly the same, because it doesn’t account for the series and parallel resistances of the volume pot which produce a basic tuned filter, or the Fletcher-Munson curve - so you don’t even hear a quieter sound as having the same frequency response, even if it does!

    :D

    The best you can do is something which subjectively sounds about right with your particular pickups, cable, amp settings etc.

    Especially as, like you, I prefer it to actually get slightly brighter as you turn down because that gives what I prefer in a cleaner sound vs a more heavily distorted one - but other people may prefer the other way round.

    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone." - Walt Kowalski

    "Just because I don't care, doesn't mean I don't understand." - Homer Simpson

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  • Dave_McDave_Mc Frets: 1109
    edited September 17
    ICBM said:
    Dave_Mc said:

    Is that "Yes" to it being another downside, or "Yes" to it being the same as the one you mentioned but just described differently? D
    Yes as in the tone control appears to affect the volume as well, when both are turned down a fair way.



    Dave_Mc said:

    It's virtually impossible to find a capacitor value which sounds "right" at all points of the volume control. Even if it's "just right" at some settings, it often is completely wrong at others.
    (b) It is impossible. Even if you pick a cap value which is identical to the cable capacitance - which is the main cause of the treble loss - it won’t sound exactly the same, because it doesn’t account for the series and parallel resistances of the volume pot which produce a basic tuned filter, or the Fletcher-Munson curve - so you don’t even hear a quieter sound as having the same frequency response, even if it does!

    D

    (c) The best you can do is something which subjectively sounds about right with your particular pickups, cable, amp settings etc.

    (d) Especially as, like you, I prefer it to actually get slightly brighter as you turn down because that gives what I prefer in a cleaner sound vs a more heavily distorted one - but other people may prefer the other way round.
    (a) Thanks. That also makes me wonder, are there some tones you can't really get with 50s wiring? Because the tone control is more or less a second volume control when the main volume is down below full, if you happened to like a tone on a modern-wired guitar with the volume and tone down to, say, 5, it would be pretty hard to get that with 50s wiring. (Of course, the flipside is that there are some tones you can get with 50s wiring that you can't get with modern.)

    (b) That's kind of what I figured, I gave up long ago trying to get something which sounded right at all settings- as long as it sounds pretty good at the setting I usually use, I'm happy.

    That's actually very interesting about the cable capacitance. I'm wondering now what capacitance my cable is. I think I'm currently using a Cordial CSI 3 PP Gold (I had to look that up, I don't know it offhand!), and according to the specs it's 82pF/m so that's 246pF for the 10ft cable. I'm guessing the connectors add more capacitance, too? I think I'm currently going straight into a buffered tuner so that would be the entirety of cable affected (apart from what's in the tuner before it hits the buffer, I guess). But that's not a million miles off what I prefer for a treble pass capacitor (usually 180pF to 220pF or so), maybe just a little brighter (the capacitor) since I like it a little sparklier, as you said in (d)

    (c) Yeah definitely. It seems to be very dependent on how you use it, what type of music you're playing etc.. Pedals affect it an awful lot, too- even for someone who likes them (treble pass caps), something like a fuzz face or rangemaster would mean I wouldn't need a cap at all. I have a timmy on most of the time, and while it's not as effective as those, I do feel I don't need just as high of a treble cap value because of it- it adds a little glassiness to the treble when it's on, especially the less you have the treble cut rolled back.

    (d) Yeah. I guess my ideal clean tone is black panel Fender, so that explains the sparkliness. Probably with a treble pass cap and high gain amp you're getting something more like a Marshally clean, but it's still not a million miles away. I could understand someone who hated sparkly cleans not liking treble bypass caps at all, though.

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  • TJT1979TJT1979 Frets: 61
    I don’t have as much experience as others in this thread, but I have done some testing regarding 50s/modern wiring. Just playing with different setups in the guitar with crocodile clips. 

    My favourite for not losing treble when rolling back the volume is the Kinman mod. The interactive 50s wiring annoys me. Most treble bleed circuits have just a capacitor which can get pretty harsh. Some have a resistor and the cap in parallel. These are a bit better. 

    The Kinman mod is the resistor and capacitor in SERIES. This has given the most natural feeling option whilst retaining sparkle and not getting harsh.

    I always try a few resistor values when installing...

    The quoted 130K resistor (all over the web - just search for Kinmad Mod) is based on 250K pots. I tried a bunch of values and in all cases the best option was for the resistor to be roughly HALF the value of the pot. 

    eg in a strat with 250K pots, try starting with a 130K resistor. From there you can change it for more or less treble when rolled back by changing the resistor. Lower values will give you more treble when rolled back. Higher values will be darker when rolled back. 

    For 500K pots I tend to end up with 220-240K resistors, depending on the pickups. If you stick to 130K it’ll sound horrible. 

    The cap value could also be changed but I’ve stuck with the standard value which is quoted everywhere. 
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  • Dave_McDave_Mc Frets: 1109
    ^ Oh dear I think I tried 100k (closest value I had) when I tried the Kinman version... with 500k pots. That being said, I prefer brighter, so that probably wouldn't have been a major problem for me. My big problem with the resistor versions was that they messed up the volume pot taper- Kinman was better, but still far from ideal (unless using a value closer to half the volume pot value helped!).
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