3 Pickup Custom Wiring HELP...

Grey N

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Hello all,

I hope everyone is doing well and staying safe. I was hoping to get some help with a wiring schematic. I'm good with soldering but rubbish at reading schematics, so a dumbed down version would be GREATLY appreciated.

Ok, so I have a 3 pickup LPC. I am replacing the pickups with Monty's PAF's (4 wire). I have 4 Mojotone 500k push/push pots and a variety of Russian PIO capacitors to try out as well.

I would like to set it up so that toggle switch functions as a regular 2 pickup LP where the toggle up is the neck, down is the bridge and middle is neck/bridge.

Then I would like to have 3 volume pots (one for each pickup), each acting as split coil via the push/push function. Then a master tone knob but the push/push there acts as a kill switch for the middle pickup, so that I can activate/deactivate the middle pickup in any position.

I would also like to do this with 50's wiring. I hope that all makes sense. Please let me know if it doesn't.

Thank you all in advance for any help. Truly appreciate it.

G
 

CB91710

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Master tone by definition is "50s" wiring.
50s wiring moves the tone input from the pickup side of the volume pot to the output side.
With a single master tone, it must be connected directly to the output of the switch/hot of the output jack.

The rest is quite simple.
You would replace the "special" 3-pickup toggle with a standard LP style toggle, and the neck and bridge would be wired as per normal LP without the connection to the tone pots.
The P-P function is just the addition of a grounded switched connection to the coil taps... nothing special there.
The middle pickup would be wired to its own volume pot, either before or after running through the P-P switch on the tone pot.

Now...
1 - Interactive or non-interactive volume controls?
2 - If interactive (which would be conventional LP), do you also want the middle pickup volume control to be interactive with the other two?

The answer to question 1 will determine whether or not you can ever run the middle pickup by itself. If the neck and bridge are interactive (which is 50s, and indeed modern), then rolling off the active pickup will ground the output jack and also silence the middle pickup.

There are several ways you can configure the volume controls and blender for the middle pickup:

1 - All controls interactive = No middle-only available, middle pickup kill switch must be between the volume pot and output jack.
2 - Independent volume control = Volume pot wipers are connected to the pickups, middle pickup kill switch can be before or after the volume pot.
3 - Independent volume control, middle pickup volume acts as master = This is an interesting combination. The N/B pickups are connected to the volume pot wiper. The middle volume pot wiper connects the output jack, the middle pickup kill switch is between the pot and pickup if you want the master volume active at all times, or the switch goes between the volume pot wiper and output jack if you only want the master active with the middle pickup.

I could come up with probably 2 or 3 more ways to interact the volume controls, it just depends on what you want.
 

Grey N

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Wow. Thank you for your fast and in-depth reply!

I would like the option of running the middle pickup by itself, so whatever allows me to do that would be my preference. I think that would give me the possibility of running each separately and every paired combination as well. So the second option you explained would be what I’m after, I think.

Thank you for clarifying 50’s wiring as well. That’s super helpful.
 

ARandall

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The only way I can think of to get middle alone (quickly) is to sacrifice 1 coil split so that you have a kill switch for the toggle selection.
Otherwise you just have to roll the toggle selected pickup down with its volume pot.
 

CB91710

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The only way I can think of to get middle alone (quickly) is to sacrifice 1 coil split so that you have a kill switch for the toggle selection.
Otherwise you just have to roll the toggle selected pickup down with its volume pot.
Ya, independent volume control... select bridge and roll the volume down would leave the middle only.
The bridge volume pot will still load the signal, but no matter how it's wired, there's going to be some variation from 500k to as little as 166k
This would perhaps not be a bad application for 1m pots, though that'll be REALLY bright when running a single pickup with the coil tap active.
 

Grey N

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Hmmm. Thanks for the information, everyone. I suppose if it’s not possible to use the master tone as a kill switch for the middle pickup, I would be fine with having the middle pickup push/push as a kill switch for it instead. So I’d use 3 push/push pots for the volumes and one standard 500k pot for the master tone.
 

CB91710

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Hmmm. Thanks for the information, everyone. I suppose if it’s not possible to use the master tone as a kill switch for the middle pickup, I would be fine with having the middle pickup push/push as a kill switch for it instead. So I’d use 3 push/push pots for the volumes and one standard 500k pot for the master tone.
On no... using that as a kill switch for the middle pickup is simple (as per the diagram).
The issue is quickly going from bridge, neck, or the pair to the middle alone.
Activating the middle pickup is quick, but it will run with whatever the toggle is set to, so getting the middle by itself would be a 2-step of activating the middle pickup with the tone knob, then rolling the volume on either the neck or bridge to 0.

If you are only switching between middle and bridge for a particular song, then you could leave the neck volume on 0 all the time, and then use the toggle to kill the bridge pickup.... but either way, it's going to be a 2-step pickup selection.

An alternative would be to wire the bridge and neck volumes traditionally (interactive), with a master tone, and then use the 4th hole for a rotary pickup selector... make the toggle a dummy.
But that would eliminate the ability to independently split the coils on one of the pickups... you would need to wire two of the three pickups to one of the two P-P switches, so both would be either humbucking or single coil.
It also adds complexity in selecting the bridge-neck together... would require a 4-pole 6-position rotary switch.
 

Dazza

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With my LPB-3 I tried every possible wiring scheme, wrecking a set of pots in the process, and decided on this method for practical use. I didn't like independent volumes or 2 pickups connecting on 1 volume, or the middle with no volume control as some schemes do. You might get some use out of what I did, though I only have 2 conductor pickups so less options.

I put the push/pull pot as the middle volume. To me it made sense to use 1 motion to engage the middle pickup and have immediate control of its' level, rather than needing to move to another knob. I also kept the middle pickup in phase. There is natural phase cancellation when the middle is combined with the other(s) because they are physically so close and magnetic fields overlap. Historically I found they came wired in and out of phase, though I'm convinced the quacky tone will have some believing its OOP when it's not. Wiring the middle properly out of phase gave a much thinner, weaker result than the typical bridge/neck OOP PG type tone which I'm a fan of, but not so with the bridge/middle combination. I wired a typical 3 way Gibson switch, then added the middle pickup direct to the 3rd volume pot, then a master tone. This does not allow the middle alone however without using independent volumes.

One consideration is that all 3 pickups will now be on 1 tone, so selecting the 'best' volume pot value for each pickup will help balance them out. For eg if you like to roll your bridge pu tone pot back as many do, then the neck pickup will also have it's tone rolled off. I chose a high value vol pot for the neck and much lower for the bridge as a compromise. .

atlas-selector-wiring-diagram-elegant-jack-plate-wiring-diagram.jpg


Daz
 
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Grey N

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Wow. This forum is fantastic. Thank you all for such awesome input and help. So many options to consider, based on all of your examples. I truly appreciate it. I think I’ll start with the first schematic and test it out to see what I need based on my playing habits. Then I’ll try the other diagram to see how that feels. I’ve got some extra pots to use if need be. I’ll try to post my results once I settle on something that suits me. Thank you all once again!
 

CB91710

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The main difference between our drawings (other than the omitted coil tap) is Daz has configured his with interactive volume controls, so any active pickup will act as a master volume, but it does eliminate the option of middle-only.
 

CB91710

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For comparison... the original Gibson wiring, 2V-2T:

LPC.jpg
 

Grey N

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Ah, okay! Gotcha. You’ve all really helped make things a bit more clear for me. Thanks so much. Looking forward to start soldering! Thank you!
 

Dazza

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I liked the unique tone of the middle humbucker alone, but there was something about independent volumes I didn't like. Just can't recall at this moment what it was. The back panel was off that guitar for months on end while I tried every wiring combination and different pickups to best match it and suit my needs. I had fun doing it though certainly ran myself in circles and cooked some pots in the process. They were intentionally stunt pots until I figured it out.

Enjoy
Daz
 

Christosterone

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Here’s one of mine....splits all 3
but u could do a shutoff instead

 

Grey N

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Haha, that's awesome. I look forward to leaving the back plate off for a while while I fumble around.
 


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