Tag Archives | legacy

4-Way ‘bucker Tele Wiring with Sweet Switch

I came up with an interesting mod to the 4-way Tele wiring I posted previously.  I’m really a big fan of the 4-way switch option.  Maybe 4 is my magic number and 5 is just to complicated for me, I don’t know.

Anyway, what I’ve done here is take the Custom 4-Way wiring and add a Master Bass Roll Off, similar to what I put in the 4-way Strat wiring.  This type of bass control comes from the G&L Legacy.  I would recommend using dual stacked pots.  Unfortunately, I don’t think you’re going to find a 250k/1MC pot, but you can definitely find dual 250k as well as 250k/500k.  I haven’t evaluated how awkward or inconvenient it might be to stack the tone with the volume, leaving the bass by itself, but it’s here for your information.  You can always drop the bass control by shorting out its connections.

As shown, the wiring is humbucking in all positions,

  • Full Bridge Humbucker
  • Half Bridge/Half Neck in Parallel
  • Full Neck Humbucker with extra bass roll off (C3)
  • Half Bridge/Half Neck in Series

The 2nd thing I’ve done is to replace the bridge-activated tone control with a fixed “sweet spot” tone roll off that is paired with a traditional tone control.  What this does is allow for some extra roll off when using the bridge position, but also let the master tone do its thang.  C4 is the fixed “sweet” cap and will usually be a smaller value than C1.   You’ll have to experiment for find the right setting for you.  R2 should be 1M Ω.

Coldcraft_3k_4w_tele_humbucker

I’ve also left on the 500kA Volume pot.  This will brighten the guitar in all positions, giving the tone switch and control more signal on which to work the magic.  Last but not least, I’ve added 2 coils to the setup, representing the additional options when using humbucking pickups in the neck and bridge.  Shorting L2 and L4 will return the diagram to the 4-way single coil wiring.

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4-Way Hum-Free Strat Wiring

After the post on my 4-way Tele wiring scheme, someone asked how I would prefer to wire up a 3-pickup strat.  Not really being a strat-guy I tried to come up with something unorthodox using the same 4-way switch as my Tele wiring.  Traditional Fender wiring for the Strat gives the following options,

  1. Bridge (No Tone)
  2. Bridge/Middle (Tone 1)
  3. Middle (Tone 1)
  4. Middle/Neck (Tone 1+2)
  5. Neck (Tone 2)

Now, my 2nd guitar growing up was a Strat-style, so I am quite familiar with the ice pick bridge that comes from the lack of tone control.  I’m also not a big fan of hum, so after spending some time brainstorming, I came up with the following 4-way wiring scheme for a 3 single-coil Strat.

4way Strat Wiring

I’ve opted for a Master Tone control, and a Master Bass control, as used by Leo Fender when he designed the G&L Legacy.  The Legacy was Leo’s final say on the Strat-style guitar.  You may also notice that this wiring includes an extra cap to ground (C3).  I have not tried out this wiring yet, but it would seem to me that it would be quite smooth, without the ice-pick that annoyed me so much.  The bass control would definitely keep the guitar from sounding muddy.

On to the pickup combinations.  What I’ve done here is only used 2-pickup combinations, either in series or parallel, and always with the bridge pickup.  The combination of the bridge with either the neck or middle should work to balance out the highs and lows for a full sound.  In my experience with the Tele parallel/series, I would expect the series settings to be slightly louder and warmer, whereas the parallel combinations would be brighter and punchier.

One last caveat.  To achieve true, hum-cancelling operation, you must use/wire reverse wound, reverse polarity Middle/Neck pickups relative to the Bridge pickup.  You may see this used on a parts-caster in the near future.  Actually, its the refinished body of the Strat I mentioned.

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