4 way tele switch

lee1964

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Ok , I admit my wiring design skills are well below par.

I’m currently making an Esquire Tele guitar but it has a neck pickup hidden under the pick guard so it is a touch more versatile, I have done this in the past and it works fine for me with the drop in output as it gives you a clean signal when switching to the neck position.

The only thing I’ve always found is, the standard 4 way switch is not intuitive at all.

Bridge
Bridge + neck parallel
Neck
Bridge + neck series

So here’s what I’m thinking, rotate the switch 180 degrees then wire the bridge pickup to where the neck pickup would solder to and then wire the neck to the bridge solder points
Hopefully giving me these what I think is a more intuitive switching option.

Bridge + neck series (hot)
Bridge (standard)
Bridge + neck parallel ( standard Tele)
Neck ( standard)

Hum cancelling in position 1 and 3

I think I’m right?

Lee
 

warprider

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No need to rotate anything really. Theres a wiring scheme for whatever order you prefer.

What might be intuitive to you might not be for everyone else.

Dont forget to add wire/ground the neck pickup cover if it's not already.
 

lee1964

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I’m actually using a lollar strat pickup hidden under the pick guard so I should avoid the grounding issue

Do you have a link to the wiring diagram that you are mentioning?

Lee
 

CB91710

Not Michael Sankar
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Drawback is that puts the bridge pickup in one of the "notch" positions and not easily activated by a "mindless" whack.
Could be an issue if you are a lead player, but if you primarily play the bridge/neck series, then it is a better arrangement.

And no, you don't need to rotate the switch. The contacts are what they are.

Here's an alternate modification that puts the bridge at one end and the neck at the other, with the two notch positions being the two combinations:

modified Tele_4_way_Phostenix Bridge, B+N Parallel, B+N Series, Neck.jpg
 

lee1964

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Thanks for that but I’d really like to get the switching combination I’m talking about
Do you have a diagram for what I’m talking about?

Lee
 

lee1964

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I guess I should clarify my thought process.
Turning the switch through 180 degrees means I follow the exact wiring diagram I’ve used in the past, with the only mod being that I swap the hot wires for the bridge and neck pickups.
The path of least resistance?
My other thought process in the switching combinations is that it goes from highest output to lowest as the switch is Moved through the positions, I mostly use the neck and parralel positions as a clean sound due to the lower output from the neck pickup being mounted under the guard. On my current esquitre with a 4 way I’m predominantly playing in the series position but it just messes with my head being up in what would traditionally be the neck position.

Lee
 

CB91710

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The thing with the idea of flipping the switch and just swapping the pickup connections is that, due to the series/parallel options, both wires on the neck pickup are involved. You can't just rotate the switch and swap the yellow from the bridge and white from the neck, because the black from the bridge does directly to the volume pot, and the black from the bridge pickup is only connected to the circuit in positions 2, 3, and 4.
Thus, reversing the function of the pickups would require moving the ground connection as well as the hot.
This complicates things, as the bridge pickup has the grounded plate, which is connected to the bridge, which is grounded to the controls.

Here is the standard 4-way wiring as you have it now.


Tele4-Way.jpg



The 4-way switch is effectively a mini "superswitch" in that it does not have shorting contacts, but I'm not confident enough in the interaction of the ground side of the circuit to try to draw a modification.
You can see that in the #2, 3, and 4 position, the neck black wire is connected to either the green (ground) or to the jumper that goes to position 4 on the upper half of the switch.

On the switch, the contact assignments are as follows:

"TOP"...........C......1......2......3......4
-------------------------------------------------------------
"BOT"...............1......2......3......4......C

So normally, the bridge hot is connected to S1-common. In position 1, it is connected to the neck hot as well as the volume pot, but the neck ground is open so it is not actually in the circuit.
In position 2, the bridge hot is connected to the same points, and the neck ground is connected directly to ground so both pickups run in parallel.
In position 3, the connections to the hots on BOTH pickups is open... but with the wiring from the white to red, the neck hot is ALWAYS connected to the volume pot, so the bridge pickup is removed from the circuit. The neck ground remains connected to the green

Here's the standard 4-way mapped out with the switch connections to help visualize the circuit paths. Blue jumpers are the switch contact positions.


Tele4-Way-Switched.jpg
 

lee1964

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Thanks for that, now I really have a major brain hurt.

Maybe I’ll just try my idea and see what happens, worst case scenario I have to rewire the switch back to a standard config.

Lee
 
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lee1964

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Hi
Your earthing comments just sank in, I’m seeing your point

lee
 

CB91710

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Exactly... I was trying to work it out and my brain kept hurting.

Maybe go back to a 3-way and use an S-1 switch to toggle the series option? LOL
 

lee1964

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I wonder if I could isolate the bridge pick up so it’s not grounding to the bridge plate?

Lee
 

CB91710

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I wonder if I could isolate the bridge pick up so it’s not grounding to the bridge plate?
I'm sure it can be done the way you want, but like I said, I'm not familiar enough with the Tele wiring to attempt to try to draw up a plan without actually doing it to verify it.
Maybe @ARandall has some ideas.
 

lee1964

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Ok, thinking out loud...
If I were to mount the bridge pickup directly to the body thus isolating it from the bridge plate earthing issue, I think my wiring idea will work.
Any thoughts?

Yes I do see it will be a pain to adjust pickup height as I’d have to use a screw driver through the bridge mounting holes to adjust the pick up height, however once the height is set all should be good.

Lee
 
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lee1964

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It’s amazing what insomnia can do for you,

I just found this wiring schematic, which is exactly what I was hoping to achieve
A163C431-1E54-40C0-B8B4-3FCC2B3882FA.png
 

CB91710

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There ya go.
I knew it was possible, but I couldn't wrap my head around it.
 

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