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Question re series wiring a Jazz

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by slipitin, Jan 23, 2014.

  1. slipitin

    slipitin Guest

    Jul 26, 2002
    Please excuse my ignorance and answer me this:

    If I turn the bridge pup all the way down and leave the wiring as parallel will this sound different to re-wiring in series and turning the bridge pup all the way down?

  2. In series, you don't get individual volume controls. You get a master volume, and a non-functioning volume pot.

    Unless you want to hardwire a bass for series wiring. In that case, you can wire individual volume pots to vary the impedance of each coil.
  3. slipitin

    slipitin Guest

    Jul 26, 2002
    Oh, so in series both pickups are always on like the two parts of a split p pup, and if you ran the current through the bridge then the neck pup in series hardwired, turning the bridge volume down would mean there's be nothing going through to output?

    I'm being dumb, I know.

    Just that I previously had a Jaguar bass and preferred the bridge pup always off but definitely still noticed a difference in having the the series/parallel switch set to series, and this doesn't make sense to me,...surely if the bridge pup was off it would sound exactly the same in series or parallel? It didn't seem to.

    I'm now getting an MIM fretless Jazz and wonder if I could achieve the same thing tonally ...
  4. Troph


    Apr 14, 2011
    Kirkland, WA
    Most "series jazz" wiring diagrams you'll find online do NOT allow independent volume control in series mode. For those configurations, there is typically a single "global" volume control which applies to both pickups at the same time.

    But you can wire in series to retain independent volume control of each pickup. The trick is to think of each pickup as a "module" taking the output from the previous module as input (or ground in the case of the first pickup), and blending in a variable amount of the pickup using the pot. Each pot gets wired so that one end is connected to the previous stage as well as the negative terminal of the pickup. The opposite pot lug is wired only to the positive terminal of the pickup. The wiper is then wired to the next stage.

    In answer to your question, if you wire in series this way, then the answer is Yes: soloing a particular pickup yields the same output signal as parallel wiring. (Actually, in "full solo" mode, the series option works slightly better for solo'd pickups because there is less "leakage" of signal to ground from the pickup -- half as much, in fact, for a 2-pickup instrument). The limitations are in the "blending", because rolling off any of the "downstream" stages (i.e., the bridge pup) will reduce total output volume until the pup is removed completely. So volume control is a bit tricky and non-linear, IIRC.

    I think the reason this wiring isn't more popular is that it's more complex to switch back-and-forth with parallel wiring using a single DPST switch. By contrast, you CAN switch back-and-forth between parallel and "global volume" series wiring, and lots of diagrams are available to do that.

    Most people are unwilling to wire in series full-time.
  5. slipitin

    slipitin Guest

    Jul 26, 2002
    This is helpful, thanks Troph.