3-way switch for Neck pickup, Series & Bridge pickup configuration

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Gabriel Rodvien, Jun 14, 2021.


  1. Gabriel Rodvien

    Gabriel Rodvien

    Jun 14, 2021
    Hello everyone.

    I've looked at dozens of threads on this topic, and I've come close to getting the answer I need but I never feel 100% confident in the information I'm given.

    Here's what I want to do. I have a Yamaha TRBX605FM, and I'm upgrading the preamp to an Audere Classic 4 band preamp. I don't want a blend knob, and would rather have a 3 way switch. I want to do Neck Pickup Solo, Both in Series, and Bridge pickup Solo.

    From what I can find, a Gibson 3-way switch would get me close, but they can only be wired in parallel(?), and I would really prefer having them in series for that 2nd position. I have the pickups in series right now (as in the hot wire of one pickup going into the negative of the other), and I love the way it sounds like this.

    Could anyone point me in the right direction? What switch would be the best option to go with, and if a wiring diagram is available, could anyone help me find that? I'd appreciate any and all help with this endeavor. And once I have it all wired up, I will post sound clips to show how it sounds when it's hooked up properly.

    Side note: I also know a 4-way configuration is an option as well, to retain that parallel sound. Would this be just as easy to do? I don't know how much I would use it, but having options is always nice.
     
  2. sunbeast

    sunbeast Supporting Member

    Jul 19, 2006
    Denver, CO
    For just a 3-way option, the easiest wiring is with an on-off-on 3-way switch (just to reiterate- on-off-on rather than the standard on-on-on) hooked up like an old Danelectro guitar as in this diagram: upload_2021-6-14_16-14-11.jpeg
    Just pay attention to the pickup switch connections- in your case the center lug (green here) would be connected to the series bridge connection between your pickups (the + from one pickup going into the - of the other), the yellow connection to a ground connection and the red would be both the hot lead from the leading pickup (whichever pickup you have going directly to the output connection right now) and the output connection to your preamp/volume/etc. Which way the pickup switch is oriented will be dependent on which pickups are wired as your “leading” and “following” pickups in your series connection right now.

    A 4-way style switch that’ll work as you want may be a little harder to source. The best bet there that I know of would be a blade-style like those found in Strat or Tele guitars. Otherwise an easy alternative is just to keep a standard 3-way parallel pickup switch and add another switch (like a push-pull switch pot) for the series/parallel option.
     
  3. Gabriel Rodvien

    Gabriel Rodvien

    Jun 14, 2021
    Ok so just to clarify, and this may be a silly question, but in that diagram, are there only 3 lugs on the switch? Or are there 3 rows with 6 lugs total? And would that change how I connect the wires to the switch?

    Thank you for your help
     
  4. sunbeast

    sunbeast Supporting Member

    Jul 19, 2006
    Denver, CO
    You only need a single row for this wiring (this is called SPDT, single-pole double-throw). You can use a DPDT on-off-on instead and just use either the top or bottom trio of lugs. Again, just ensure it is an on-off-on type switch.
    You can wire an on-on-on switch to do the same, but would require different wiring
     
  5. Gabriel Rodvien

    Gabriel Rodvien

    Jun 14, 2021
    Ok I think I can wrap my head around it. Thank you so much my friend! I appreciate the help. I'll either update this thread or make a new one showing off how the bass sounds.
     
  6. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
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