Series or Parallel Wiring

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by grumpy_dog666, Jan 7, 2009.

  1. i'm about to replace the pickups in my MIM Jazz.

    Both stock pickups are going and i'm going to get the DiMarzio Model J Pickups, but am wondering should I wire them in series or parallel?

    What is going to be the audible difference running these in series or parallel?

    Do you think it would be an easy mod to get some switching to go between series and parallel?
  2. If you go series you connect the pup's to each other. You then lose individual control of each pup-they behave as one large pup. One volume, one tone. It is quite a common mod, but if you want to be able to switch from series to normal parallel, you'd have to install an additional switch. A push/pull volume pot works well for this.
    If I were you I'd simply wire 'em parallel, the way they were.
    The audible difference? In series it sounds totally different, not like a Jazz at all. Hard to explain. It's a thick sound.
  3. stflbn


    May 10, 2007
    Series is usually louder, punchier, and bigger sounding overall.
  4. if i were to change to a push pull pot for series/parallel switching, what type of pot?

    250k or 500k......not a big electronics guy
  5. I like series a lot. It's definitely not your normal jazz sound, but it's nice and big. The mod is pretty easy, from what I remember.
  6. 250k usually. 500k's will make it a little bit brighter, but not much. StewMac has 'em.
  7. heavyhitter


    Jan 24, 2008
    You will need switch of some sort to switch back and forth.

    I believe Dimarzio recommends 500k pots but 250's work fine, thats what I use.

    For the Dimarzio's I would suggest using the standard wiring. Just solder the white and black wire to together on each pick up.
    I tried doing it teh other way and they sounded thin and weaker.

    You can always try both, just twist them together and use tape and then find the tone you want then solder it.
  8. heavyhitter


    Jan 24, 2008

    Actually you want these in Series because the "series" of each pick up completes the connect of the humbucker.

    When you put the white and black wire together you are completing the "series".
  9. Ah, didn't know all four conductors of each pup were accessible for fiddling. Thought we were talking about the usual 'series vs parallel J bass' topic. This is within each pickup. Dimarzio says EACH pickup can be wired series OR parallel.

    But then beyond that, you STILL have the ser/par option for the pair of pickups together.
  10. Lobster11

    Lobster11 Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2006
    Williamsburg, VA
    Exactly. The two coils within each pickup can be serial or parallel to each other, and then the two pickups can be either in series or parallel with each other. The most common arrangement is probably serial wiring within each pickup, and then parallel wiring between the two pickups. The latter means that you can control the volumes of the two pickups separately or relative to each other -- i.e., with two volume pots or a blend pot -- to get different tones from different blends. The former means that each pickup alone is humbucking, so panning toward one or the other won't generate hum. You can add switches to make various other combinations available, but things start to get complicated.
  11. wow. information overload. was going to run the individual pickups go series anyway.

    it was whether to run the pickups together run in series or parallel. I'll see if I can get them to put a push pull pot for switching.
  12. Blues Cat

    Blues Cat Payson Fanned Bass Strings Owner Commercial User

    May 28, 2005
    Katy, Tx
    Payson Fanned Bass Strings Owner
    You want the ability to do both. Series will be more woolly. They both sound great though.
  13. Ach


    Jan 24, 2008
    why is everyone say that there's no way to use two volumes while pickups are in series? What about shunting pickup with a pot? ;)
  14. Blues Cat

    Blues Cat Payson Fanned Bass Strings Owner Commercial User

    May 28, 2005
    Katy, Tx
    Payson Fanned Bass Strings Owner
    I'm using Big Singles w/a 4way rotary pu selector switch, Neck, Series, Parallel, Bridge.
  15. ok - recap.

    got the pups, and a pushpull pot.....sent them to a luthier, who has just got back to me saying that its almost impossible to do the way i was thinking....for a few reasons...

    1. preamp is physically connected to the volume pot.......

    2. the active electronics means that its got a 25k pot, and its tough to get a 25k push pull pot, meaning that the 250k pot will not work......

    do these sound accurate, or what, cause i didn't quite follow him.....
  16. There are other ways of doing that but it would involve drilling a hole for a DTDP switch.

    The Series/Parallel mod can be done on the cables *before* it leads into the pre, although you'd have to turn the mixer to one extreme while it's being used.
  17. cool - thats what i thought he meant