Selector Switches

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Geoff St. Germaine, May 11, 2005.

  1. I'm working on a fairly complicated switching system for the pickups in my 8 string in place of a blend or vol/vol setup. It will be a switch and volume setup. So, my question is, does anyone know of any placed to get multipole, multithrow switches. I'm looking for a 6P8T, but so far all I've found that would work is a mil spec 8P8T that is explosion proof or something and is about $75.

    Anyone have any ideas?

  2. Tim__x


    Aug 13, 2002
    Alberta, Canada
    Perhaps you could disassemble one of those serial port switches. I've only seen 4-port versions but you might be able to find a 6-port.
  3. One solution I have already is a transistor switch, but I'd honestly rather not have the hassle of this type of switch in the bass. I have worked the switching out that I want using 4PDT switches, but it needs a lot of them and they have to be set in certain orders to get the 8 positions and if they are in other orders I wind up with strange combinations of the leads of the pickups that I don't want.

    I think I'll look up some switching for guitar humbuckers. With all the phase switching they do there has to be some sort of multipole, multi throw switch around that I can use.
  4. Scott French

    Scott French Dude Supporting Member

    May 12, 2004
    Grass Valley, CA
  5. Tim__x


    Aug 13, 2002
    Alberta, Canada
    I wasn't suggesting an active switch. Most parallel and serial port A/B(C/D) boxes use one massive rotary switch.
  6. Suburban


    Jan 15, 2001
    lower mid Sweden

    Might be something for you. You may also ask e.g. JP or Dingwall directly, they use ssimilar setups. And Heiko at BassLab, Scott at Birdsongguitars...and I bet a few more!

    And of course, there may be some at the local radio repair...
  7. Yeah, I know that you weren't suggesting that.

  8. Yeah, I might talk with Sheldon Dingwall. My Dingwall has a 4 position switch though, and I doubt he does any more. I'm going to try to rework the circuit somehow and get the number of throws I need down and try to incorporate a second switch.
  9. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    I'm finding a lot of 4-port (4T) switches. Could you use two of them., with an additional 2T switch upstream? It would then allow you to instantly switch between one of your first 4 settings and one of the second 4.
  10. nateo

    nateo Schubie Fan #1

    Mar 2, 2003
    Ottawa, Ontario
    Let's just add a PIC, a couple of 7 segment LEDs, and a 10-key number pad. Then we'll wire the PIC up to run a series of MOSFETs to turn the various leads on and off. In fact, if you're really on the ball you could work out a pseudo-code language for your number pad that would let you pick new combinations on the fly.

    Just imagine, at a gig you would have to furiously type on your bass to get the tone right for the next song.

    So awesome.

  11. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    Also, does anyone make rotary switches that can be ganged by stacking? I thought I saw something like this once. The stack might be too long for a conventional guitar mounting, but you could mount it to a top edge à la acoustic guitars or David King.
  12. Well, one fortunate thing would be that the bass is 3 inches thick, so there's plenty of depth to work with.

    I have heard of this stacking and saw a few mentions of doing it, but I never found any parts.

    As far as your suggestion of the DT switch, I was able to redesign the circuit for this and I'm seeing if I can get a 4P4T switch from Sheldon Dingwall, as he uses a rotary one in his basses (and I think he provides them to JP).
  13. Juneau


    Jul 15, 2004
    Dallas, TX.
    As well as Pete Skjold. I think Sheldon actually designed his, maybe he could build you a custom one or be able to help with specific parts.
  14. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    Sounds something like what I was thinking of for a four pickup arrangement. Two pups into one Dingwall A/series/parallel/B switch; other two pups into another switch; outputs of the two switches into a third switch. Could also be used for the four coils of two humbuckers (not all positions would be humbucking), or for the four coil pairs of two Bartolini quad coil pups.
  15. Actually, it's not quite as complicated as there aren't truly four pickups in the system. I only need one 4PDT switch for the coil taps and then a 4P4T switch for series/parallel/bridge/neck. It's for a set of Nordstrand fat stacks.