3 pickup and Free-way Switch - help me troubleshoot

Discussion in 'The Custom Shop' started by nagha, Jan 6, 2014.

  1. nagha

    nagha Senior Member

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    Greetings -

    Last year, I bought an Epi Black Beauty 3 with the idea of modding it. I picked up GFS VEH bridge/neck and GFS Mean P90 neck. I wanted to be able to use the P90 in series with the humbuckers. After extensive research, I decided I would go with the Free-way 6 way switch. I wrote to the company and Alasdair kindly provided the following schematic (see below).

    Briefly, the following scenarios are available:

    1 - Neck
    2 - Neck/Bridge (parallel)
    3 - Bridge

    4 - Neck SC + P90
    5 - P90
    6 - Bridge SC + P90

    There are 3 vol pots and 1 master tone pot with a push/pull. Pulling the tone knob should put the P90 in series (rather than parallel).

    My problem is that I have wired it as per the diagram. I just can't seem to make it work. I don't know if it's my wiring (probable) or the schematic. I was hoping that throwing more brains at the problem would identify a possible schematic problem.

    Thanks!
     

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  2. VintageGuitarGuy

    VintageGuitarGuy Senior Member

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    What original epi components are you using?
     
  3. nagha

    nagha Senior Member

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    None.

    All the pots are new. The capacitor is new. The wiring is new.

    The only Epi parts are the hardware.
     
  4. nagha

    nagha Senior Member

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    So here are the measured outputs. I completely redid the soldering tonight. There's some buzz that I need to eliminate. The measurements confirm what I would expect from each pickup. I ran the numbers in excel to make sure that the resistances would be what one would expect from serial/parallel equations.

    The output is thinner and weaker than I expect when I put the P90 in serial mode. I don't know what to make of that. I was expecting a slighlty louder and bigger sound when putting the pickup in serial wiring with the humbucker. :hmm:

    Again, any help is greatly appreciated.
     

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  5. tonedragon

    tonedragon Senior Member

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    I have a SG 3 that had a six way rotary switch. Could not change from bridge to neck on the fly while playing live without ease. Finally decided on a regular three way switch. Three master volumes and a master tone control. All pickups are louder and fuller sounding. Good luck on your quest for tone.:lol:
     
  6. nagha

    nagha Senior Member

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    I sorted out the issues. I was having phase issues with the P90 so I reversed the wiring. I also cleaned out some of the soldering. I will post some samples when I get time. It's awesome. These are the combinations I'm able to achieve:

    Neck HB
    Neck + Bridge HB (parallel)
    Bridge HB

    Neck HB + P90 serial
    Neck + Bridge HB (parallel) with P90 serial
    Bridge HB + P90 serial

    Neck SC + P90 parallel
    P90 solo
    Bridge SC + P90 parallel

    Neck SC + P90 serial
    P90 solo
    Bridge SC + P90 serial

    Obviously, when I turn P90 volume down to zero, I can get neck and bridge SC by themselves. It's pretty awesome and I am having lots of fun exploring all the new tone options. I highly recommend it for anyone with a 3 pickup Les Paul/SG to try. I think the P90 adds a whole different dimension that a 3rd HB doesn't bring to the table.

    The Free-way 6 way switch (part 0055-g on Stewmac) is very sturdy and the documentation is very clear. The support they provide is top notch. And for the functionality it provides, it's worth every penny.
     
  7. sebass

    sebass Junior Member

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    Are you still using this 6 way switch 2 years later. Did you end up playing with different pups as well?
     

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