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J with Master/Blend/Tone plus Series/Parallel?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by StuartV, Jan 10, 2014.

  1. StuartV

    StuartV Out of GAS!! Supporting Member

    Jul 27, 2006
    Bristow, VA
    I have a J that I wired as Master/Blend/Tone (pickups in parallel, of course). Now I'm thinking I'd like to have an option for Series mode.

    1) When a J (MBT or VVT) is in Series mode, do the individual pickup volume controls still work? E.g. on a Fender J with the S-1 switch, when in Series, do the 2 Volume controls still work to control each? Or does Series mode make it where both pickups are always on equally, and just one Volume pot controls them both?

    2) The answer to #1 may tell me my answer to #2, but the next question is, can I wire a J to have M/B/T and also a Series/Parallel switch? I'm thinking of maybe replacing just the Master pot with a Push-Pull switch pot.

    3) If it's feasible, then does anybody know if there's a wiring diagram out there for this? I have found one for VVT with the S-1 switch, but I have not found MBT with S-1.

  2. StuartV

    StuartV Out of GAS!! Supporting Member

    Jul 27, 2006
    Bristow, VA
    I guess part of what I'm asking is, even if the S-1 switch makes it where there's only one Volume that controls both pickups, CAN it be wired in such a way that the pickups are in Series but you can control the individual volumes of each pickup?
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  4. StuartV

    StuartV Out of GAS!! Supporting Member

    Jul 27, 2006
    Bristow, VA
    Annnd... the more I think about it, the more I am convincing myself that, in Series mode, any resistor that, for example, reduces the bridge pickup volume would, of necessity, have the same effect on the neck pickup volume - since they're in series, after all.

    So, I think I've answered my own question - Series mode automatically means only one volume control and both pickups are always the same volume.

  5. When pickups are wired parallel, volume controls are wired as voltage dividers. There is a series resistance and a parallel resistance that is referenced to ground. When pickups are wired series, however, the volume controls must be wired in a different fashion. There is only a parallel resistance, and for the pickup that is on the "hot" side, there is no reference to ground. (In other words, the pot simply varies the output impedance of each coil.)
    With that being said, if you want individual control, you will need a number of switch poles to rewire the volume pot. You can do it, but it will take many poles.
  6. Nope. Resistance parallel to a pickup reduces its volume, while leaving the other pickup uneffected. However, since the pickups are in series, the total output is also going to drop a bit.

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