SITE UPDATE: Subscriptions are now available, for image uploads and no ads. Check the sticky thread in Recent Discussions for more info.

Push-pull pot wiring

Hi all,
I'm finishing up a Stratocaster build and need a little help with the wiring.

Hoping to end up with an HSS strat (1 volume, 2 tone knobs) which I can coil split the Humbucker using a push-pull pot (on the 2nd tone knob) so that my 2nd position sound can be either humbucker + middle or coil split humbucker + middle. 

I have a 5 way switch, 2 regular pots (b250k) and 1 push-pull pots (b500k). I will also order some 0.022uf / 0.047uf capacitors as advised.

Pickups will be:
- Neck - Fender Pure Vintage 59 single coil
- Middle - Fender '54 custom shop single coil
- Bridge - Seymour Duncan JB humucker


I have no wiring experience so if anyone could help me with advise on how I should connect all of these I would be extremely grateful! (I've tried to label each connection point below to make it easier to explain).


Pics:









0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom

Comments

  • JonathangusJonathangus Frets: 2803
    This has the push-pull on the volume, but the principle is the same:


    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom
  • ICBMICBM Frets: 62416
    edited August 5
    As you probably expect, it makes no difference to the pot wiring if you use the push-pull for the bridge tone, the rest of the connections are still the same.

    First, if your pots are all B (linear) they won't work properly as tone controls. This might not be a problem if you don't use them as 'normal' tones but just want to have the rolled-right-down sound or 'hand wah'. (Or don't use them at all but want the guitar to look right .)

    In the diagram, the tone caps are the wrong way round - the .022 should be for the humbucker and the .047 for the single coils. (NB, the correct values are .022uF and .047uF, not 0.22uF and 0.47uF.)

    Ideally, you also need a 470K resistor to simulate a 250K volume pot when the single coils are selected. You can wire this so it works correctly when the bridge pickup is split as well. To do this, connect the resistor between terminal 5 in your pic and ground. Connect terminal 4 to the volume pot hot (terminal 3), and terminal 6 to the neck/middle tone pot hot (terminal 2).

    Does that make sense?

    "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

    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom
  • FunkfingersFunkfingers Frets: 10839
    I suspect that this thread is more of a which wire connects to which terminal question.

    The fly in the ointment will be the magnet polarity and electrical phase relationship between the pickups. 
    Be seeing you.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom
  • ICBMICBM Frets: 62416

    The fly in the ointment will be the magnet polarity and electrical phase relationship between the pickups. 
    Yes - best to not cut the pickup wires short (including the ground wires of the single coils) until you've reassembled the guitar and checked that all the sounds are correct. With a 4-conductor bridge pickup and unshielded single-coil wires it will be possible to make it work though.

    The one exception might be that you can't get the split bridge/middle setting to be hum-cancelling with the coil you prefer to be active, but that's probably not a major issue given that at least three of the other sounds cannot be either.

    "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

    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom
  • FunkfingersFunkfingers Frets: 10839
    edited August 5
    You can split the humbucker to your preferred coil, be in-phase and remain hum-cancelling but this may involve connecting the four conductors in a different order to most schematic diagrams. 

    If Fender has been faithful to its production history, the Fat '54 pickup should be North Up magnetic polarity. 

    1959-60 was the transition period to South Up. Hence, the PV '59 could be either. 

    Two single coils of opposite magnetic polarity but same coil winding direction results in a thin, weedy sound and no hum cancellation.
    Be seeing you.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom
  • Johnny333Johnny333 Frets: 84
    Thanks so much for the speedy in-depth responses!

    Re the B (linear) pots, I really wasn't sure which to get and chose these as thought they would provide a more gradual sweep but I can order some A if those are the standard?

    I'm a little lost of the final part about the 470k resistor. Would this still be needed if I otherwise switch my volume pot from 250k to 500k?


    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom
  • Johnny333Johnny333 Frets: 84
    You can split the humbucker to your preferred coil, be in-phase and remain hum-cancelling but this may involve connecting the four conductors in a different order to most schematic diagrams. 

    If Fender has been faithful to its production history, the Fat '54 pickup should be North Up magnetic polarity. 

    1959-60 was the transition period to South Up. Hence, the PV '59 could be either. 

    Two single coils of opposite magnetic polarity but same coil winding direction results in a thin, weedy sound and no hum cancellation.
    Thanks, the seller I bought the pickups off advised me to wire them opposite to avoid them being out of phase. E.g. '59 yellow to ground, black to switch. '54 black to ground, yellow to switch. Does that sound right?
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom
  • ICBMICBM Frets: 62416
    Johnny333 said:

    Re the B (linear) pots, I really wasn't sure which to get and chose these as thought they would provide a more gradual sweep but I can order some A if those are the standard?
    A is log, which is what you need for a smooth taper on the tone pots - linear for tone will give an abrupt on/off at the bottom of the turn, and do nothing between about 2 and 10. Linear can work well for volume, but if you prefer to use the volume to clean up an overdriven amp you probably still want Log.

    Johnny333 said:

    I'm a little lost of the final part about the 470k resistor. Would this still be needed if I otherwise switch my volume pot from 250k to 500k?
    It's only necessary with a 500K volume pot - because the single coils will sound quite shrill with 500K alone. The problem with using a 250K volume is that it may make the full JB sound a bit muddy. The 470K resistor gives a simulated 250K volume when in parallel with the 500K pot.

    (470K is the nearest standard value to 500K - there are complicated reasons for this apparently odd number! - the difference isn't audible.)

    "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

    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom
  • Johnny333Johnny333 Frets: 84
    Ok great, so if I’m understanding correctly I should order one A500k volume pot and 2 A250k (tone) pots plus a 470k resistor?

    Would you also recommend using 0.022uf caps, 0.047uf caps or a combination?
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom
  • koneguitaristkoneguitarist Frets: 3871
    edited August 5
    I generally use bottom tone pot as volume for coil on HB.
    no switches. Just solder red and white together then onto tone put input with output to earth. Allows you tone on all three pickups and various degrees of coil tap to get best mix with middle pickup. 
    Never bothered with changing Volume to 500k via a resistor for HB, never found the need. Just keep it simple and easy to use. 
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom
  • Johnny333Johnny333 Frets: 84
    I generally use bottom tone pot as volume for coil on HB.
    no switches. Just solder red and white together then onto tone put input with output to earth. Allows you tone on all three pickups and various degrees of coil tap to get best mix with middle pickup. 
    Never bothered with changing Volume to 500k via a resistor for HB, never found the need. Just keep it simple and easy to use. 
    Thanks, that's an interesting approach too. Do you use a 250k volume pot then? And does this not technically roll off some of the high end / output on the humbucker?
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom
  • ICBMICBM Frets: 62416
    Johnny333 said:
    Ok great, so if I’m understanding correctly I should order one A500k volume pot and 2 A250k (tone) pots plus a 470k resistor?

    Would you also recommend using 0.022uf caps, 0.047uf caps or a combination?
    A500K volume, A250K/.047uF tone for the singles, A500K/.022uF tone for the humbucker, 470K resistor.

    While I agree with koneguitarist that simple works well enough, I do find that using the ‘correct’ values does sound subtly but noticeably better.

    "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

    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom
  • Johnny333Johnny333 Frets: 84
    ICBM said:
    Johnny333 said:
    Ok great, so if I’m understanding correctly I should order one A500k volume pot and 2 A250k (tone) pots plus a 470k resistor?

    Would you also recommend using 0.022uf caps, 0.047uf caps or a combination?
    A500K volume, A250K/.047uF tone for the singles, A500K/.022uF tone for the humbucker, 470K resistor.

    While I agree with koneguitarist that simple works well enough, I do find that using the ‘correct’ values does sound subtly but noticeably better.
    Thanks so much mate, I've gone ahead and ordered all those parts so just need a little help with the connections now. Any chance you could share a schematic that would help me link it up correctly (with the push-pull on the humbucker tone knob)?
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom
  • ICBMICBM Frets: 62416
    Johnny333 said:

    Any chance you could share a schematic that would help me link it up correctly (with the push-pull on the humbucker tone knob)?
    It's the same as the schematic above, but with the push-pull swapped to the lower tone pot, the caps the other way round, and the 470K resistor connected as described.

    "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

    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom
  • koneguitaristkoneguitarist Frets: 3871
    Johnny333 said:
    I generally use bottom tone pot as volume for coil on HB.
    no switches. Just solder red and white together then onto tone put input with output to earth. Allows you tone on all three pickups and various degrees of coil tap to get best mix with middle pickup. 
    Never bothered with changing Volume to 500k via a resistor for HB, never found the need. Just keep it simple and easy to use. 
    Thanks, that's an interesting approach too. Do you use a 250k volume pot then? And does this not technically roll off some of the high end / output on the humbucker?
    Yes a 250k, and never really found it an issue with treble roll off as most of us try to tame treble anyway. By taming bridge treble a bit helps with clarity on neck pickup selections anyway. 
    Whatever wiring you do is a compromise, best to just use what works for you. 
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom
  • Johnny333Johnny333 Frets: 84
    ICBM said:

    Ideally, you also need a 470K resistor to simulate a 250K volume pot when the single coils are selected. You can wire this so it works correctly when the bridge pickup is split as well. To do this, connect the resistor between terminal 5 in your pic and ground. Connect terminal 4 to the volume pot hot (terminal 3), and terminal 6 to the neck/middle tone pot hot (terminal 2).

    Does that make sense?

    Just trying to figure this out! When you say 'terminal 5', are you talking about on the push-pull (F)?

    E.g: 
    F5 > 470k resistor > Ground
    F4 > D-3
    F6 > E2

    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom
  • Johnny333Johnny333 Frets: 84
    Here's an updated schematic, just need help with the 470k resistor now! 



    Also, will this wiring allow me to use the coil-split Humbucker with the middle pickup in the 2nd position?

    Thanks :)
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom
  • ICBMICBM Frets: 62416
    Johnny333 said:
    Here's an updated schematic, just need help with the 470k resistor now!
    Connect the 470K resistor between terminal 9 on the push-pull and ground.

    Connect terminal 10 to the volume pot hot (terminal 1) or the 5-way switch (terminal 5 is probably the most convenient).

    Connect terminal 8 to the neck/middle tone pot hot (terminal 2) or the 5-way switch (terminal 1).

    The purpose is so that the resistor is engaged in all switch positions when the humbucker is split, but only in the single coil positions when it isn't. Hopefully that makes sense :).

    Johnny333 said:

    Also, will this wiring allow me to use the coil-split Humbucker with the middle pickup in the 2nd position?
    Yes.

    You will find it makes less difference to the sound than you may expect - that's normal. It's because the middle pickup is much lower impedance than the full humbucker so it will dominate the mix and you'll still get more of a 'single coil' sound. It will be different, just not drastically.

    "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

    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom
  • Johnny333Johnny333 Frets: 84
    Thanks @ICBM hugely appreciate your help!

    Think this should be what you're describing? Have I also got all the right values for the pots and capacitors in the right place?




    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom
  • ICBMICBM Frets: 62416
    Yes, that all looks right.

    For convenience, you may want to connect the ground end of the resistor to a closer grounded point than the volume pot, which is fine. Even the ground tab on the pull-switch (7) will work, or the pot body.

    Still don’t cut the pickup wires short yet in case you get an unexpected phase issue!

    "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

    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom
Sign In or Register to comment.