Pickups Serie Parallel Switch

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Halxbass, May 27, 2005.

  1. Hi I have two Ken Smith Soapbar pickups and I'd like to install a Serie/Parallel switch for each. Anyone know about some schematics somewhere on the net?
  2. These are humbuckers?

    If so, all you have to do is get a DPDT switch that in one position connects the ground of coil A to the hot of coil B and in the other position it connects the hot of coil B to the blend or volume pot and connects the ground of coil A to ground. The ground of coil B can just go to ground all the time and the hot of coil A goes to the blend or its volume.

    To do both you need two DPDT switches. Either get some push/pull pots or mini toggle switches.

    Do you know how to solder?

    Here's a schematic from www.guitarnuts.com.

  3. FBB Custom

    FBB Custom TalkBass Pro Commercial User

    Jan 26, 2002
    Owner: FBB Bass Works
    You'll have balance problems in any switch setting where one pickup is series and the other is parallel. A better idea is to get one 4PDT pickup and do both of the pickups (using Geoff's diagram) on one switch.
  4. paintandsk8

    paintandsk8 Pushin' my soul through the wire...

    May 12, 2003
    West Lafayette, IN
  5. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    They way we do it in the shop is NO problem with the Balance. The Problem is when people try doing it themselves. Also you can either ruin the wood by drilling or put the Switch in a place that leaves you no room for future upgrades.

    Now, if it's not a Smith Bass, then you have only half to worry about as we don't do work on other brands but do sell switches wired up for our pickups..
  6. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    What exactly is the effect, Matt? Does the series pup overpower the parallel one? I was thinking it would, since (out of the circuit) it develops twice the voltage.
  7. This has been my experience. My Dingwall has a series/parallel switch for the pickups and the signal is noticably louder in the series setting for the exact reason that you describe. You could rig up a circuit that would balance them out, but that'd be a little more work.
  8. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    So, potentially, if you had a A/series/parallel/B selector for the two pickups with no blend or separate volumes, (a la Dingwall), then if you had series/parallel within each pup, you could then get a "all of one, hint of the other" tone by putting one in series and one in parallel.
  9. Indeed my bass is not a Ken Smith. (No disrespect to your basses) I just loved the Ken Smith Sound but I wanted to sound a little bit different from the other Ken Smith's owner. I would have like to do it the Ken Smith way but I figured you guys didn't work on any other basses. I bought all my hardware from your shop and I would have like see a real Smith Schematic to now how it's done the Ken Smith way.

    I will understand if it's not possible.

    By the way thanx to everyone who replied.

  10. fullrangebass


    May 7, 2005
    I do not like to get really technical, but Sheldon Dingwall has made what you just said (and a bit more than that) on my OMT Z1 bass (look in the gear reviews). He really nailed all possibilities (regarding the limitations of the control cavity). And I am one very happy bass player. :)
  11. Marcus Willett

    Marcus Willett Supporting Member

    Feb 8, 2005
    Palm Bay, FL
    Endorsing Artist: Bag End - Dean Markley - Thunderfunk
    I've got a 5 with Bart soapbars wired with 2 vol knobs and a 3 way switch (series/single/parallel) for each pickup. It's quite a versatile setup, and sometimes using say the neck in parallel and the bridge in series (any balance problems can be addressed with volume knobs) yields some nice tones. Or vice-versa for a very beefy tone with a hint more definition.