How to wire the stock 3 way pickup selector switch to these 3 parallel/series combinations?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by NoiseNinja, May 15, 2020.

  1. NoiseNinja

    NoiseNinja Active Member

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    So my question is if it would be possible to wire the stock 3 way pickup selector switch om my SG to switch between the following parallel/series combinations of my neck and bridge humbucker pickups, which both got 4 conducting wires, making it possible to connect the individual coils as one should wish :


    - Neck with it's 2 coils in series

    - Neck with it's 2 coils in parallel + Bridge with it's two coils in series

    - Neck with it's two coils in series + Bridge with it's two coils in series

    (using any position of the switch that would make the given combination in question possible)


    If this indeed would be possible then a detailed description on how to do so would be very much appreciated, or even better a schematic, as my understanding of electronics on a more technical level is seriously lacking, as it might be clear from my question.

    If not possible then I actually got a spare 2 way 6 pin on/on mini switch, that I assume could be used instead, to switch between the 2 coils of the neck pickup being either in series or in parallel, and which I would be able to install on my guitar using either the hole where the tone pot or the volume pot is currently installed, since I never actually use either of them, always playing with both the volume and the tone turned all the way up, but how would that then make my wiring look (though I would really much prefer if it can be done just using the stock 3 way switch)?

    In order for you to know what we are dealing with it's an Epiphone SG Standard from 2012 with 1 master volume and 1 master tone pot (which also works as a momentary kill switch when pushed down), and then a 3 way pickup selector switch.
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2020
  2. plankton

    plankton Well-Known Member

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    You can't do that with the normal 3 way switch. It only has two connection points for an incoming signal, the middle position just gives you both. You would also need some form of a DPDT switch to change a pickup from series to parallel.

    I saw a super switch, at Stew Mac I think, that looks like a standard 3 way toggle but gives you heaps more options, maybe check them out. Push Pull pots are often used too when you want extra switching options without drilling more holes and changing the look of the guitar.

    Lots of great wiring diagrams online, Seymour Duncan is a good place to start but there's plenty others. Good luck.

    One of the best ways to get different tones out of a guitar is by using those volume and tone knobs. You can probably get a greater variety than using a complicated switching system. :thumb:
     
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  3. NoiseNinja

    NoiseNinja Active Member

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    Thanks for your reply @plankton

    And to other people who might want to be helpful in providing an answer to my question, never mind, I found the answer I was looking for.

    So I decided to email my question to IronGear, the company I ordered the pickup in question from, and they replied to my inquiry in less than an hour with a link to a very on point and easy to discern wiring diagram for how to wire their 4 conductive wire humbucker pickups up to a 2 way On-On switch, like the one I mentioned in the OP, in order to be able to switch between the 2 coils of the humbucker being either connected in parallel or series, just like I had in mind, in case the stock 3 way switch wouldn't work for this, which @plankton kindly clarified for me that it wouldn't.

    So far I am really impressed and positively surprised by the service level of IronGear.

    Also the package that I ordered, according to the tracking service, should arrive already Monday, even if I ordered from outside my own country just yesterday, and that even being a Friday, the absolutely fastest I ever experienced receiving any of the stuff I have ordered though time, even from companies that recites in my own country.

    Time will tell if I will get equally impressed and positively surprised by their actual products, the pickups that I ordered from them, but if there is any truth to what I read from countless people singing praise to these cheap pickups across several guitar related forums all over the internet I think that I very well might just be.


    This isn't actually the wiring diagram that IronGear send me, which was specifically for their pickups, according to the color code they use for the wiring, as in which color is hot and which is ground from the respective coils, but to be helpful to others who might have the same question, here's a more general wiring diagram, that should be useful for all humbucker pickups with 4 conductive wires and several different kind of switches, given you want to be able to switch between the coils of the a humbucker being in parallel or series connection, and given you know which wires are what on the pickup in question:
    [​IMG]


    And this is a chart showing which kind of color code most of the major pickup manufactures respectively uses:
    [​IMG]

    (Edit!!!: Doh!!!... Just noticed now that this color code chart actually does include the color code that IronGear uses for their pickups. Could have saved their customer service the inconvenience, had I just actually studied that chart a bit closer, without just assuming that it wouldn't include IronGear)
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2020

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