DiMarzio Wiring Options

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Bill Kennedy, Sep 17, 2002.

  1. I have a set of old, original DiMarzios in my 70's Jazz bass. They have four wires on each, but only two are used in the standard installation. I installed them myself according to the instructions that were included. The instructions mentioned possible wiring options for the other wires, but didn't give any specific diagram to do anything but the standard installation.

    Since I did the modification 20 years ago, I don't really remember what the other wires do. Has anyone wired these pickups with alternate configurations? If so, please describe how the bass sounds with the alternate wiring.

    Are other switches involved?
  2. DiMarzio has provided for Series/Parallel wiring forever. This is a good thing. See my thread in Pickups for the DP146 Will Power Middle.

    The Model J pickups (I have a set) are also 4-wire. Two of the wires will be connected together for standard series mode, or all 4 wires can go to a DPDT mini toggle to provide switching. This is the same technique the Fender RB5 uses and it provides a very wide range of tonality, especially on a J bass, where each pickup is individually switched.

    Series mode is fatter and louder, where Parallel is less loud and fat, but has a beautiful clear tone.
  3. Thanks for the info. I have the Model J pups. I'm pretty happy with them as is, but thought it might be fun to experiment.
  4. I have a set of Model J that are getting ready for my MIM J fretless. And yes, they are going in with full series/parallel switching.

    Check out my DiMarzio Will Power Middle thread in this section for lessons learned during installation.

    The big thing to do is prewire your DPDT mini toggles with push-on connectors, then solder those after installed. Leave 8 inches of wire so you can trim to length for your installation. I'd encourage you to be anal about matching color coding with the DiMarzio pickup colors to avoid mistakes. Heat shrink tubing makes for a tasty completion to the project.
  5. Thanks again for the advice.

    I have another question that you can probably answer. Is the standard wiring configuration series? Based on the very high output and deep tone my guess is that it is series.

    If the parallel wiring results in a clear tone, it might work very well with a preamp.

    I've never been wild about the slap tone with these pickups. I would like something with more top end sizzle. It sounds like this mod might give me that.
  6. My intent is to have both options available on my J for the cost of a few bucks in Radio Shack parts.

    I posted my P-bass and DP146 series/parallel observations on another board and generally got dissed for it. I could not care less about the nay sayers, as the modification works well for me. I'm very pleased because my P now has two unique tones and both are quite usable.

    If you think you might enjoy parallel mode on your J, then go for it. Roscoe Beck did, and it is still on his RB5 signature bass today. Mine had a noticeable different tone in parallel mode. I don't slap, so I don't know if it would be useful or not. The mod itself is dirt cheap, so the price is right. Even if you never use it again after installation, you can always be "different" with a mysterious pair of mini-toggles on your bass. Warp drive engagement switches...
  7. bgavin,

    Can you provide a wiring diagram for the dpdt switch?

    I think I'll buy a replacement control plate to install the switch in. The bass is a 74 Jazz and I don't want to drill the original.

    Is it possible to do this mod with a push-pull knob?
  8. Here is a link to my drawing for the DPDT switch wiring. The color coding is for a split-P DiMarzio DP146 pickup. Other pickups will work the same way, just pay attention to the color coding.

    Link to Series/Parallel Wiring
  9. ganttbos

    ganttbos The Professor Supporting Member

    Dec 18, 2001
    New Orleans area
    You mention above pre-wiring push-on connectors to go on the mini toggle poles. Where do you get the push-ons, Radio Shack?
  10. Hi Gantt,

    My first thought is trying Radio Shack. If I can find 'em, I'll post the part number. If not, I will have to hit a specialty electronics store, etc.

    I did the soldering directly on the switch for my P-bass, and found I would have been better off fabricating the wiring to push-on pins, then soldering those pins to the switch. I used a jeweler's magnifying eyepiece so I could get in close for an accurate job, but it is still a pain. Very small working conditions.

    Also, the MIM control cavity is very deep and this allows for "straight down" wiring installation from this switch. There is little clearance side-to-side, so this straight down works well. When I do my MIM J fretless, I will pre-wire the two switches as above.

    [ edit ]

    Off-topic, but Chelsea is still really digging the cab... too bad I didn't get it sooner, because she blew out the speaker in my Peavey Minx 110.