This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
DIY Fever – Building my own guitars, amps and pedals
Blog Guitars » Amps » Effects » Misc » Software Reviews » Clips About Links
Kondensatoren Capacitors Vertrieb von Kondensatoren Capacitor Sales www.capacitor.de National Electrical Code 2011 National Electrical Code (NEC) Order now for safety & compliance. NFPA.org/NationalElectricalCode Bursa Mobil Bekas Cari Mobil Bekas, Cek Kondisi, Harga & Mesin. Lengkap di berniaga! www.berniaga.com
Guitar Wiring 101
Table of Contents
Single coil wiring: what can you do with single coils and how to wire a Strat Humbucker wiring – Les Paul: how to wire a Les Paul or similar guitar Humbucker wiring – 4 conductor: how to wire 4-conductor pickups Coil-tapping: how to take advantage of coil-tap and get more sounds Multi-pole switches: how to get the best out of a Super switch Volume controls: how do volume controls work Tone controls: how do tone controls work and how to make them better No-load tone pots: what are no-load pots and how to make your own Treble bleed: what are treble bleed circuits and which one is the best (for me)
Single coil wiring
Single coil pickups are the simplest to wire because they typically have only two leads – hot and ground. Some humbuckers have their coils connected internally and are pretty much the same to wire as single coil pickups. That’s why we will call them both “two conductor pickups”. Ground leads are typically connected to a common grounding point and hot leads are switched in and out of the circuit. Let’s take a look at standard Strat-style switch.
Note: looking from the terminal side, bridge terminal is the one closer to neck pickup!
1 of 8
each pole would look like this. amps and pedals http://diy-fever. When middle pickup has reverse polarity. Typical strat wiring has two tone controls – one for middle and one for neck pickup. Schematic above shows position 2 that connects both bridge and middle terminals. The first thing you want to figure out is which terminal is common. The result is below: Humbucker wiring – Les Paul Les Paul style pickup selector switches are simple and easy to wire. Since both pickups are grounded and both their hot leads are connected to output. What happens in position 4 (both neck and middle pickups on)? Both pots will be switched on and will be in parallel. Middle position (both pickups): nothing is connected to the common lug which means that both pickups are left in the circuit. common terminal of the second pole is connected to the common terminal on the first pole (pickup output) and neck and middle terminals of the second pole are connected to their respective pots. The only difference between 3 and 5 way switches is that 5 way switch connects two terminals with the common in positions 2 and 4: center and one outer terminal. Complicated part about wiring a Les Paul is having separate tone and volume controls for both pickups and having longer leads between control cavity and the switch. Lead position (bridge pickup only): switch connects neck pickup to the common lug (ground) but leaves bridge pickup in the circuit. To do this. image below shows how it’s typically represented on diagrams. Common is connected to ground and out goes directly to the jack. We will use the remaining pole to switch tone pots. That way. We want to switch neck/middle tone control on when neck/middle pickup is on.com/misc/guitar-wiring-101/ It usually has 8 terminals – two poles with 4 terminals each. we have them connected 2 of 8 11/12/2011 20:14 . the second pole will switch the output to the neck tone control as intended. To wire three two-conductor pickups we only need one pole.Guitar Wiring 101 : DIY Fever – Building my own guitars. we will select one pickup in positions 1-3-5 and two pickups wired in parallel in positions 2-4. Note that terminal on the left is connected to the lever all the time – that’s our common terminal. Each pole has one common terminal and 3 switched. noise will cancel out in positions 2-4 and they will be wired in so called “humbucking” mode. Represented as a schematic. I’ll go through standard Les Paul wiring and explain what happens in each position. Common goes to volume pot input and 3 switched terminals are connected to pickup outputs. When neck pickup is on. Moving any tone pot would change the overall resistance to the tone cap and change the tone.
That’s why it’s useful to have both options available. and if they don’t they should measure infinity. Rhythm position (neck pickup only): similar to Lead position. Multi-pole switches (aka 4-pole switch. Having coil tap gives us a couple of wiring options: Series coils (standard): connect the hot lead to output.com/misc/guitar-wiring-101/ in parallel. Coils are connected in series but two humbuckers are paralleled. amps and pedals http://diy-fever.Guitar Wiring 101 : DIY Fever – Building my own guitars. each pole has one common and 5 switched terminal which makes a total of 24 terminals. volume and tone controls come before the switch and switch output goes directly to the jack. Coil-tapping This technique is only possible with 4-conductor pickups or pickups that already have coil-tap lead instead of all four leads. two poles each. Common terminals are usually the outer two terminals 3 of 8 11/12/2011 20:14 . Manufacturers have their own color code. Below is color code diagram for common pickup manufacturers. Splitting the humbucker #2: by grounding the hot lead and connecting the coil-tap the output we’re left with the coil closer to ground. bridge pickup is shorted to ground which leaves us with neck pickup only. With that many connections you can wire pretty much any pickup combination you can imagine. Humbucker wiring – 4 conductor 4-conductor humbuckers are fun to wire because they offer many combinations to play with. Note: unlike Strat-style wiring. Parallel coils: ground the coil tap and connecting ground and hot leads together to output. aka Super switch) These are the most versatile 5 position switches around. Coil tap is a connection between two coils in a humbucker and is sometimes referred to as “series link”. What we’re left with is the coil closer to the hot lead. Splitting the humbucker #1: by grounding the coil-tap and connecting the hot lead to output we’re rendering the coil closer to ground useless because both of it’s leads are grounded. ground lead to ground and leave the coil-tap unconnected. To verify that you got the leads right try to measure DC resistance across each pair of leads. Some pickups have asymmetrical coils and even symmetrical coils will sound different because the one closer to bridge will sound a bit brighter. Leads that belong to the same coil should measure a couple of kilo ohms. so make sure you find the right color code before connecting anything. Don’t mistake this with internal series connection in each humbucker. Vintage style pickups have their coil tap enclosed in the pickup which means that we can’t play with it. Some pickups have another bare wire which is there for shielding and should always be grounded. They have 4 poles. Poles are mounted on two wafers.
5. 1. so more signal passes through. Pole 3 connects neck pickup coil tap to pole 4 which connects it to the output. two poles on the front wafer are outlined with different colors. Position 1 (bridge humbucker. parallel connection): this one is more exciting because all poles do something. I marked poles 1-4 right next to the common terminals. Volume controls Volume pots are wired as simple voltage dividers. When maxed. 2. Position 4 (inner coils. Position 5 (neck humbucker. Now. 4. effectively splitting the bridge pickup. What we end up with is a coil from bridge pickup coil tap to hot lead and a coil from neck pickup ground to the coil tap. Poles 1. they are paralleled. Pole 1 connects bridge pickup coil tap to the output through pole 2. 3. Higher settings have higher resistance to ground and lower series resistance. series connection): This is similar to position 1. Diagram below shows switch diagram with all 4 poles outlined in red and all terminals marked – C stands for “common” and 1 through 5 are terminals that get connected to the common in a certain position. Pole 1 connects bridge pickup coil tap to ground. 2 and 3 do nothing and pole 4 connects neck pickup hot lead to the output. Below is a diagram taken from DiMarzio site and wires two humbuckers. That leaves us with pole 2 which connects bridge pickup hot lead to the output (volume pot input). these two coils will be paralleled. Image below shows multipole switch. let’s go through one example of wiring using a Super switch and hopefully you’ll figure out how it works somewhere in the process. so we’ll ignore them. amps and pedals http://diy-fever. Each humbucker has it’s coils connected in series and humbuckers themselves are connected in parallel. parallel connection): This is similar to position two just inverted. The only downside is that these switches are physically larger than most other switch types and mounting them in cavities routed for some smaller switch may be tricky. Position 3 (both humbuckers): Poles 1 and 3 do nothing. Again. Pole 2 connects bridge pickup hot lead to the output and pole 4 connects neck pickup hot lead to the output. 3 and 4 do not have any effect in this position because nothing is connected to terminals that correspond to position 1. Position 2 (outside coils.Guitar Wiring 101 : DIY Fever – Building my own guitars. Pole 2 connects bridge pickup hot lead to the output. volume pot has zero series resistance and full pot resistance to 4 of 8 11/12/2011 20:14 . That leaves us with bridge pickup coil from ground to coil tap and neck pickup coil from coil tap to hot lead. Because of the way poles 2 and 4 are connected. series connection): poles 1.com/misc/guitar-wiring-101/ on each wafer. Pole 3 grounds neck pickup coil tap and pole 4 connects neck pickup hot lead to the output.
If you ask me. That’s ok for some applications.Guitar Wiring 101 : DIY Fever – Building my own guitars. they aren’t worth the hassle. To help you decide between cap values and composition. Two most commonly used tapers are linear and logarithmic. Input goes either directly from the selector switch (Strat style.8nF or even smaller are reported to work quite well (I used 10nF in my latest mod). You’ll notice that once it reaches zero sound gets very muddy very fast. However. amps and pedals http://diy-fever. What’s common between them is that they are installed across guitar volume pot (input and output lug). That way we won’t affect pot operation at higher settings (510K is very close to 500K) but at lower settings it will prevent it from reaching zero as we’re always adding 10K in series. To let all the frequencies through you can either get a no-load pot or make one.022uF (22nF) to 0. so volume pots need to have logarithmic taper in order for us to hear smooth transition between quieter and louder settings. Linear taper.com/misc/guitar-wiring-101/ ground. Signal takes the path of least resistance and most of it will go though. Fender pots have annoying click and it’s not easy to mess with your own pots for very subtle result. If volume jumps suddenly in the first 20%-30% of volume pot range and then does almost nothing in the rest of the range. They can be either assigned to a particular pickup (Strat or Les Paul) or work as master tone control (Ibanez and others). Treble bleed circuits (or bright caps) are there to compensate for treble loss and make guitar sound at lower volume as close as possible to sound with volume maxed. With low pot values (250K) it will be more noticeable than with higher (500K and 1M) pots. so that resistance between the wiper and the opposite lug reads infinite when maxed. Another thing to bear in mind is pot taper. Capacitor values usually traditionally range from 0. There are several different treble bleed circuits used or recommended by guitar/pickup manufacturers. No-load tone pots Even with tone control maxed some high frequencies get cut. Treble gets attenuated faster which results in treble loss when volume is rolled down. Treble bleed Volume pots don’t attenuate all frequencies consistently. Additionally. Output goes either to the output jack for Strat style guitars or to the switch for Les Paul style guitars. as name suggests. That’s because we have zero resistance between the signal and the cap. To make your own just cut (or cover with nail polish) the element near the end. It hosts a couple of useful videos with cap value and composition analysis. CTS makes them for Fender and what they do is simply break the connection between the wiper and conductive element when pot is maxed. Tone controls Most guitars have at least one tone control installed. Note: no load pots won’t work for volume control! Don’t try to use them. Our humanoid ears work in logarithmic fashion. some signal. To prevent this. but not for volume pots.047uF (47nF) but many people find these values too large and install much smaller caps instead. master volume control) or from hot pickup lead (Les Paul style. linearly increases resistance throughout it’s range. Values of 10nF. it’s likely that you got a linear pot instead of logarithmic. That’s why typical pot values for brighter single coil pickups is 250K and for warmer humbuckers 500K or sometimes even 1M. some people put a small resistor (10K or so) between the pot and the cap. Typical volume pot setup is shown below. it’s a variable low-pass filter. separate volume controls). 5 of 8 11/12/2011 20:14 . they have an indentation so once they reach maximum setting they “click” and it’s not that easy to turn them back. Electronically. Lower the resistance. at lower settings it should read as usual. check out this site. more treble gets cut which means that higher pot values will sound a bit brighter (typically 500K vs 250K). mostly treble will be lost. 6.
That’s very easy to do for strat or super switch. but with very low settings (30% or lower) it gets really bright. Comments 4 Responses to “Guitar Wiring 101” 1. you can use multimeter to see which contacts get connected in which position. the bridge has 4. Note: some folks actually prefer volume pot treble roll-off. Cap paralleled with a resistor. So far. It has one standard 5-way switch. It’s supposed to provide more consistent treble bleed but having a resistor paralleled with the pot will mess up pot taper. but there are some tricky ones. where does one get data sheets on these selector switches? It seems the manufacturers do not publish mechanical drawings or data sheets. This configuration works well with higher volume pot settings. I installed 1nF cap in series with a 130K resistor and it works awesome. one tone (controlling the middle and neck) and one coil-split/tappable tone controlling the bridge. Reply Bancika says: 02/01/2011 at 19:10 I haven’t seen 2-pole switch with 6 contacts per pole. It’s got 2 humbuckers in the neck and bridge positions and one single coil in the middle. one volume (controlling all pickups – master volume). sometimes even bigger. Method I use to reverse-engineer a switch is mentioned above – once you figure out common contacts and poles. ranging from 100pF to 500pF. There are three pots. Isaac says: 07/01/2011 at 03:59 I need to figure out the wiring for a guitar I’m currently building. Typical values are 560pF and 300K. JoeC says: 02/01/2011 at 18:43 Is the mulit-pole switch available as a 2-pole. Kinman recommends this for single coils but it works rather well for humbuckers too. The neck humbucker has only one wire. As for the data sheets. like those Megaswitches stewmac sells. I spent hours on Google with no success looking for detailed information. this is my favorite treble bleed circuit. DiMarzio and Seymour Duncan recommend this configuration. Could someone help out? Is this even possible to do? Thanks Reply 2. Resistor is there to limit the effect of the cap and having it in series with the cap means it shouldn’t affect pot taper as much. Cheers 6 of 8 11/12/2011 20:14 . Larger cap means wider frequency range. some PRS have 180pF or so. 5-way single wafer switch? Also. so you should try few different setups and find the one you like. Cap in series with a resistor (shouldn’t matter which comes first). Ibanez uses 330pF on many RG models. If you have enough space just get a 4-pole and ignore two poles you don’t need.com/misc/guitar-wiring-101/ Single cap. Those are internally pre-wired to give certain pickup combinations not possible with a standard strat switch.Guitar Wiring 101 : DIY Fever – Building my own guitars. I haven’t seen any. amps and pedals http://diy-fever. so treble jump isn’t as sudden.
com DIY Stompboxes Doctor Tweek Free Stompboxes Gaussmarkov Marvel Amps 7 of 8 11/12/2011 20:14 . amps and pedals http://diy-fever. Thank you! Watch on YouTube Random Photos DIY Links Aiken Amps AX84.com/misc/guitar-wiring-101/ Reply 3. Very cool website to learn from it the basics of wiring and understand how guitar parts work .Guitar Wiring 101 : DIY Fever – Building my own guitars.:) Reply Leave A Comment Name (required) Mail (will not be published) (required) Website Like the site? Consider making a small PayPal donation by clicking on the link below. Yamadron says: 23/09/2010 at 13:37 Thanks for the information.
org About The idea behind this site is to share my experience with Do It Yourself approach to guitars. written with DIY enthusiasts in mind.com/misc/guitar-wiring-101/ Planet Z Sabro Design Sloclone Forums Solid State Guitar Tube Data Sheet Locator Valve Wizard Vintage Amps Recent Posts Now accepting bitcoins! Added tutorial on staining maple tops Mark IIc+ preamp done! Guitar wiring article added! Shredneck completed! Popular Pages 5 watt SLO AX84 4-4-4 Black Box Pre Dr Boogey Software Squier Upgrade Administration Log in Entries RSS Comments RSS WordPress. amps and pedals http://diy-fever. a free piece of software for drawing circuit layouts and schematics. Also.Guitar Wiring 101 : DIY Fever – Building my own guitars. amplifiers and pedals. this is the home of DIY Layout Creator. Whether you want to save a couple of bucks by performing a mod or upgrade yourself instead of paying a tech. or want to build your own piece of gear from scratch. I'm sure you will find something interesting here. Copyright © 2011 · All Rights Reserved · DIY Fever – Building my own guitars. amps and pedals The Structure Theme by Muku Studios and Jeff Milone · RSS Feed · Log in 8 of 8 11/12/2011 20:14 .