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PREVIEW: Ultimate 47 tone pickup switch...

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by bassbenj, Mar 9, 2010.


  1. bassbenj

    bassbenj

    Aug 11, 2009
    I have a modulus bass with three pickups. The arrangement originally was simply three toggle switches: one for each pickup. My G&L also uses a lot of mini toggle switches but they allow not only the switching of pickups but also the ability to place them in series or parallel. I like that feature. A recent thread was about a switching kit (for a three pickup Strat) that allowed 35 different "tones" by having switches for series or parallel and for phase. That got me thinking.

    I really didn't want my final three pickup switch to be any different from the three switches on there originally. But I did really want something a bit more advanced than the series parallel of the "patented" tone switch. What I wanted was to still have three switches (I think the phase switches are unnecessary as out of phase pickups don't sound so hot anyway) And then for each pickup I wanted a choice of series or parallel or off.

    The attached information gives the ultimate switching diagram. I even give you part numbers of the switches you need to buy. It's expandable to any number of pickups or down-gradable to two pickups. I have built it into my Modulus and I LOVE this thing! it goes all the way from the super dark thump of all three pickups in series to the thin bright tone of a single bridge pickup.

    No need to ponder a schematic diagram as I've included a wiring diagram as well. Note that these switches are SPECIAL. And not cheap (Like $20 each!) But they are available from mouser.com.

    I haven't quite figured out what to do with my G&L yet as on that one I'd like single coil options as well, but I am going to try this switching method on one of my strats next. I'll say this. It sure is a HUGE improvement over the simply on-off parallel wiring my bass had originally. Putting a series option on my SX really convinced me of the utility of series/parallel switches.

    And if you do want phase switches just for fun, I included that circuit and wiring diagram in there too.

    Check it out! :hyper:

    Oh, and by the way. Since it takes at least two pickups to be wired in series, some of the switch settings (those with only one pickup on for example) are identical. For example a single pickup set to series is the same as the same pickup set to parallel. However TWO pickups set to series are NOT the same as two set to parallel. You still can count up 12 different tones without the phase switches. With the phase switches three pickups will give 47 "tones".
     

    Attached Files:

  2. BassLife77

    BassLife77

    Nov 13, 2009
    San Diego
    great mod. three 4DPDT switches would be better than drilling 6 holes for 6 DPDT's. those 4DPDT switches can be found on ebay for $2 - $3 with free shipping
     
  3. bassbenj

    bassbenj

    Aug 11, 2009
    I'm not sure what you are saying. The 4 pole switches I'm using are not 4PDT. But an on-on-on three position variety. Some terminals are connected in center "on" position. They were designed for use as a DP3P toggle switch!

    And if the 6 DPDT's you refer to are the 35 tone setup, I'd point out that mine also takes 6 IF you want to have phase switches as they do. And their switches (as you point out) are dirt cheap in comparison. Adding phase to mine only takes 3 DPDT switches, however.

    The difference is that mine gets ALL the combinations not just the double ones. Plus, it has the advantage that the "off" position is on the series/parallel switches rather than the phase switches! That way if you don't use the phase switches (I'm a bit skeptical of out of phase pickups being a "tone" you'd want) you still have selection of series-Off-Parallel for each pickup. But it costs more unless someone finds a cheap source of these special switches. I've also used this same switch to do a "single coil" option on my G&L. But pricey. But not pricey I suppose compared to forking out for a new set of boutique pickups.
     
  4. BassLife77

    BassLife77

    Nov 13, 2009
    San Diego
    oops I typed the wrong part number in Mouser search. Thats an expensive switch. The lowest price I've seen is $16. can't get it 5 for $10 on ebay :meh:
     
  5. BassLife77

    BassLife77

    Nov 13, 2009
    San Diego
  6. bassbenj

    bassbenj

    Aug 11, 2009
    I'd say no. It appears to be a standard 4PDT. The difference is that in an On-On-ON switch there are connections made between some terminals even in the center position.

    I have reproduced the important part of a switch data sheet in my drawing. Look at the switch drawing of the bottom of the switch with numbered pins (lower right) Then note the string of number to the right of that. These pairs of numbers show the pins shorted in each position of the switch. There are three positions and each is "on" in a sense. on-on-on!


    4PDT switches are very useful for bass controls but aren't what I used here. For example, a simple 4PDT switch is what is used in a G&L bass to switch between the two humbucker coils being in series or in parallel on both pickups. Nice feature to put on any bass with humbuckers or MFD pickups.
     
  7. 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.

     
    Dec 2, 2020

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