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Can I split these switches?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by fourstringbliss, Apr 24, 2009.


  1. fourstringbliss

    fourstringbliss Supporting Member

    Oct 5, 2003
    Puyallup, WA
    I've got a G&L L2500 Tribute and I want to rewire it a bit. Attached are wiring diagrams for an outer singles/parallel/inner singles switch and a series/parallel switch. The wiring diagrams have them on 4PDT on-on and on-on-on switches. I'd rather split them into neck pickup and bridge pickup switches.

    Could I split the series/parallel from one 4PDT on-on switch to two DPDT on-on switches? Could I split the outer singles/parallel/inner singles from one 4PDT on-on-on switch to two DPDT on-on-on switches?

    Thanks!
     

    Attached Files:

  2. sunbeast

    sunbeast Supporting Member

    Jul 19, 2006
    Los Angeles, CA
    Four switches- getting crazy here! The answer is yes- the 2 halves of the switch act seperately from each other functionally, so they could be split with no problems (just trace what all the wires are actually doing and this shoud be pretty obvious). The only recommendations I would make are- A. seperate ground connections on the 3 and 9 lugs of the series/parallel switch, B. Hard-wiring the "backplate wires" from lugs 8 and 5 of the single coil switch to ground rather than to the switch at all, and C. Remember that the single coil switch must be in the middle (parallel) setting in order for the series setting to work properly for that pickup.

    Karl
     
  3. fourstringbliss

    fourstringbliss Supporting Member

    Oct 5, 2003
    Puyallup, WA
    Thanks! That's what I figured. I'm with you on the separate switch grounds. I got a hold of Femto (the guy who made the diagrams) and he said that wiring the backplate wires to the switches is vital because the green pickup wire and the backplate wire are connected each pickup a the same point (almost like they're the same wire). I don't know the reasoning behind why the neck backplate wire is connected to the bridge switch, but he said it works and is silent in all positions (except for the 60 cycle hum you'd expect when you've got a soloed single coil).

    I'll actually have five switches when I'm finished! Originally, I had thought that I'd do a joint series/parallel switch and split the single coil/parallel switch into two. That would mean that I'd have to stow the Z-mode switch inside somewhere but it also meant that I'd lose the ability to have one pickup in series and the other in single coil mode - I like that sound. I'm going to drill two more switch holes (one between each of the existing switches) so I can have the Z-mode switch, both single/parallel switches, and both series/parallel switches. Talk about versatile!! This is really making the most of these pickups!

    I'll post pics when I'm finished.
     
  4. fourstringbliss

    fourstringbliss Supporting Member

    Oct 5, 2003
    Puyallup, WA
    I think I'm going to have the switches in this order (as you go from neck to bridge):

    1. Z-mode
    2. Neck series/parallel
    3. Neck outer single/parallel/inner single
    4. Bridge series/parallel
    5. Bridge outer single/parallel/inner single
     
  5. sunbeast

    sunbeast Supporting Member

    Jul 19, 2006
    Los Angeles, CA
    On my US G&Ls, the "backplate wire" was indeed the same wire as the green pickup wire- the green wire was attached to the coil start of the pickup, then soldered directly to the copper plate on the back of the pickup, with another green wire soldered to the copper plate and hardwired to ground in the control cavity- this effectively grounded the copper plate (to shield the pickups) and grounded the green pickup wire at the same time. The problem with this when you do the single coil mod is that the green connection is no longer hardwired to ground- so in some coil settings, the copper plate (which in turn grounds the polepieces and shields the pickups to some degree) is no longer grounded. Ideally, the copper plate from each pickup should always be grounded regardless of pickup settings (otherwise you may find some settings to be more noisy, or find that you get a "buzz" or "pop" anytime you hit the polepieces with your fingers in some settings- an audible result of your fingers grounding them vs. an external connection).

    I got around this by unsoldering the green wire that went from the pickup to the copper plate and soldering on a longer wire to the pickup- giving me two green wires per pickup (one for the green coil start and one hard-wired copper plate groundwire). Ideally, the copper plate from each pickup should always be grounded regardless of pickup settings (otherwise you may find some settings to be more noisy, or find that you get a "buzz" or "pop" anytime you hit the polepieces with your fingers in some settings). I have never owned a Tribute, but was under the impression that they had the 5 wires coming from the pickups already- one of which I assumed to be a ground wire from the copper plate. Its possible that this 5th wire is a ground wire from the shielded pickup cavity instead (my US G&Ls have never had shielded pickup cavities, but I think Tributes may).

    I should add that DavePlaysBass's newer document about doing the single coil mod eliminates the need to fuss with the copper plate wiring by changing the way the 3 way pickup switch is wired (though it may or may not work for your applications).

    Karl
     

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