Embarrassing Pickup Wiring Error

Gryphon

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I have an 80's Yamaha SG which is very Les Paul-like but also has push push tone pots to independently tap each humbucker. About 15 years ago one of the push push switches broke, so I figured I'd have to live with switching both on one pot and moved the respective wires from the (broken) bridge DPDT switch over to the neck DPDT switch (combine blue and black cable pairs in stock image below). As expected, the one switch then tapped both humbuckers when pressed.

Fast forward 15 years and I found myself playing my 91 LP Std far more than the Yam SG. It has a much wider range of tones, the Yam SG seemed bland. This month I decided to fit some Wolftones to my LP Std, so Wolfe built me some Marshallhead V2s which I fitted and set up.

As most of you will know, setting up PAFs requires time and effort to get the tone and balance you expect from each humbucker. Finding the right level for the bridge relative to the neck on the LP Std took me a while but after multiple tweaks it was perfect.

Then, flush with success setting up the new pickups on the LP Std I decided to check the setup on my Yam SG to see if I could improve it some. So, with all the pots at 10 I strum the Yam on neck pickup, listen carefully, then switch to bridge and do same. It was EXACTLY the same. Like the switch was doing nothing. At this point I realised something was wrong - both humbuckers just could not sound exactly the same, level and tone....

Well, it seems they can if you connect the coil split wires from both pickups to the same posts on the same DPDT switch. The crazy thing about this error is that the volume and tone switches work just like they should, depending on how the selector switch is set. So if one tone pot is set different to other, the pickups sound different, and they change significantly when split or not. In reality, the pickups are working as one combined set of coils.

Easy fix of course, I just undid what I did and left the bridge humbucker split connector open, so it's always on humbucker now. Guitar sounds WAY better. Just hope it doesn't take me 15 years to undo any other errors I might have made.

SG Wiring.JPG
 

brokentoeswalker

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It's lovely.

Now that its wired correctly you almost have a whole new guitar again.

Cheers
 

Gryphon

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A few months down the road I'm wondering if it's possible to coil split both humbuckers using the one serviceable DPDT switch I have left. I think it might work properly if there is no connection across the 'common' poles (the middle 2 of the 6), so that the bridge pickup tap is attached to left pole and neck to right pole, but not to each other.

The mistake I took 15 years to find was having the tap wires from both pickups connected via a bridge wire across the common poles; provided that is cut, will this work as intended?
 

BadMongo

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You can find the push/push pots - I've seen them a number of places but I believe they're all made by Alpha, and fit US knobs so that might be a deal-breaker unless the Yamaha already has them (although a single US-splined black speed knob could probably be found pretty easily). I put one in my History for out-of-phase. I mean it's fun to tinker, but you could definitely not have to deal with putting them on a single switch.
 

Gryphon

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You can find the push/push pots - I've seen them a number of places but I believe they're all made by Alpha, and fit US knobs so that might be a deal-breaker unless the Yamaha already has them (although a single US-splined black speed knob could probably be found pretty easily). I put one in my History for out-of-phase. I mean it's fun to tinker, but you could definitely not have to deal with putting them on a single switch.
Good advice. I showed away from replacing the pot as I knew the spline wouldn't be US spec.
In any event, I'd prefer to have both pickups tapped on one pot. I can't ever see me needing to have one tapped and the other not.
 

Gryphon

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Sadly it seems the DPDT switches in the Yamaha dont have completely independent poles. The center left and center right lugs are connected internally so I cannot tap both humbuckers using just one switch.
 


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