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Stereo Wiring (revisited)

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Markpotato, Aug 2, 2012.


  1. Markpotato

    Markpotato

    Jul 19, 2012
    Eureka Springs, AR
    Luthier, Sorrentino Guitars
    I came up with a diagram I like. Not tested yet, but running it through my mental guitar wiring diagram processing unit, I think it should do just what I want with no problems.

    Here's the diagram:

    StereoMonoSeriesParallel.

    3-way switch
    Series/parallel switch
    Stereo/mono switch
    Two volume and tone circuits
    Two Jacks

    In Mono, only Jack A is connected and the series/parallel switch also redirects the pickups from one volume and tone circuit to the other.

    In Stereo, parallel, the neck pickup will only go to Jack A and Vol and Tone 1, and bridge will only go to Jack B and Vol and Tone 2. When the 3-way is selected to only one pickup, the other pickup and corresponding output are not connected. When series mode is selected, both pickups go to both outputs through Vol/Tone 2.

    In both Stereo and Mono, the 3-way switch is bypassed in series mode (both pickups are connected) and hot always goes to Vol/Tone 2
     
  2. can I ask, what specifically do you want the stereo setup for?
     
  3. samurai1993

    samurai1993

    Jun 6, 2010
    Chile
    Nice experiment! I'm doing something similar, but with the switching in the jacks themselves (a la rickenbacker) and only with one tone: While in mono, it acts as a master tone, while in stereo, the tone is just bypassed. I did it that way because I thought: If I use stereo, it will always be in a controlled situation, not live, so I'll always have better ways of managing my tone. That way I removed some clutter from the circuit.
     
  4. Markpotato

    Markpotato

    Jul 19, 2012
    Eureka Springs, AR
    Luthier, Sorrentino Guitars
    Yeah I know most people would never use it, that's why I made it optional with a switch to make it more like a regular bass, though a little more versatile.

    I want stereo pretty much solely for recording. Also thinking about adding some kill switches for each output for some interesting effects.

    Samurai: Exactly why I have that mono/stereo switch, so when I don't need stereo, I don't have extra stuff to deal with. The switch will probably be located on the side where the jacks are, embedded in the guitar a little.
     
  5. Not to be negative, but this is quite overcomplicated. The series/parallel switching can be done with three poles, and there is no need for a mono/stereo switch, as that's usually done with break terminal-equipped jacks that will switch with the insertion of a connector.
     
  6. Markpotato

    Markpotato

    Jul 19, 2012
    Eureka Springs, AR
    Luthier, Sorrentino Guitars
    If you actually read what everything does, and looked at the signal paths, #1 No the series/parallel can't work with three poles, #2 The mono/stereo switch is necessary for the controls to do what I want them to.

    If you can have the controls do everything I have them doing with a 3PDT switch and a terminal equipped jack, show me.
     
  7. There are several ways to do it.

    How about four pole series/parallel switching with two poles for series/parallel, and two poles to bypass the pickup selector and remove the second volume/tone in series mode. That way inserting one cable with the switch in parallel gives two volumes and tones with a pickup selector, and one volume/tone in series. Then, inserting two cables gives two volumes/tones with a pickup selector and two outputs, in parallel, and one volume/tone through one output only, in series. Note, however, that the second output will have an infinite output impedance in series mode when both outputs are used, so it may be necessary to place a resistor across the output to prevent things from getting noisy.
     
  8. Markpotato

    Markpotato

    Jul 19, 2012
    Eureka Springs, AR
    Luthier, Sorrentino Guitars
    Does it isolate one pickup to one set of vol/tone controls to one output and vice versa to the other? So that when you turn knobs for output A it does nothing to output B?
     
  9. Stereo/parallel- Fully independent controls. One volume/tone and output per-pickup.
    Stereo/series- One volume/tone into one output. The other volume/tone does nothing, and the other output is open. (Again, a resistor may be necessary to drop the output impedance to prevent hum.)
    Mono/parallel- Fully independent controls into one output existing at both jacks. (Except when both pickups are used, then the volumes will interact in the usual way, with the wiper terminals being used as outputs. You can use the wiper terminals as inputs, if you like, but then you will vary input impedance against the pickups. See threads on "50s versus 60s Les Paul wiring.")
    Mono/series- One volume/tone into one output existing at both jacks.
     
  10. Markpotato

    Markpotato

    Jul 19, 2012
    Eureka Springs, AR
    Luthier, Sorrentino Guitars
    I don't see how that would isolate one pickup, vol/tone and output from another. Maybe I'm missing something. In your explanation you were saying to eliminate the mono/stereo switch correct?

    I appreciate your input, I'd like to make this a little simpler if it is indeed possible.

    I'm gonna see if I can work it out on paper.
     
  11. I'll draw the diagram if you want it.

    Mono/stereo switching is done with break terminal-equipped jacks.
    7712281948_3dff0b7fae_c.
     
  12. Markpotato

    Markpotato

    Jul 19, 2012
    Eureka Springs, AR
    Luthier, Sorrentino Guitars
    Sure if you don't mind that would be awesome. Then I can get where you're coming from. Again I appreciate the input. It took me a long time to get to the diagram as it is.
     
  13. Look this over.
    7712745892_7e9bf21077_o.
     
  14. Sorry, to clarify, it's one volume/tone into one output on jack 1 only. If jack 2 is used, there will be no signal from it in series.
     
  15. Markpotato

    Markpotato

    Jul 19, 2012
    Eureka Springs, AR
    Luthier, Sorrentino Guitars
    I like it, it does eliminate a switch, but what I would like even more is if it could switch to the 2nd volume and tone controls in series mode. I've never played with a terminal equipped jack before. This is different from having a single stereo jack right?
     
  16. What do you mean? You can swap the pickups around so that series routes to the bridge pickup's controls instead of the neck pickup's.
     
  17. Markpotato

    Markpotato

    Jul 19, 2012
    Eureka Springs, AR
    Luthier, Sorrentino Guitars
    Yeah that might work. So with the jacks you're talking about there's two physical output jacks right? Cause I have a bass that actually has a stereo output jack for some reason.
     
  18. There are two ways to do it. One way is with two mono outputs, so that stereo mode uses two cables; the other is to do it Rickenbacker style with one "mono" jack, and one "stereo" jack that has one signal at the tip and one at the ring. With the first method, you will use one TS "mono" jack, and one TS "mono" jack with a break terminal. For the Rickenbacker style, you will use one TRS "stereo" jack, and one TS "mono" jack with a "make" terminal rather than a "break." This would be a terminal that connects to the tip only when a connector is inserted, as opposed to only when a connector is not inserted.

    If you want only one jack, that would have to be a TRS "stereo" jack, and a SPDT switch to toggle the second output between the tip for mono, and ring for stereo. Most would consider this overcomplicated to need an actual switch for mono/stereo, unless you cannot have two jacks on the bass.
     
  19. Markpotato

    Markpotato

    Jul 19, 2012
    Eureka Springs, AR
    Luthier, Sorrentino Guitars
    I may end up trying both my diagram and yours. I'm undecided. I'll need to buy another jack to try yours, but I'll already have plenty of switches for mine.

    Could you tell me more about why you like the way you have your volume and tone pots set up? I read a few forums on 50's vs modern Les Paul wiring and it sounds like some people like it, some people don't. I had my diagram set up like a regular Jazz Bass. I might try both ways and see which one I like better.
     
  20. The wiper terminal varies the output impedance while the pickup coils see a nearly constant input impedance, so the tone does not change as the volume is adjusted. The disadvantage is that rolling either volume down too far when both pickups are used in mono will mute the output, so you are sacrificing some degree of control. Doing it the other way around with the wiper terminals varying input impedance means that the volume pots will give a variable impedance load on the pickups, but you will have independent control in mono mode with both pickups selected.

    It probably goes without saying, but in mono mode with both pickups selected, the tone pots will interact, as they are parallel to each other when both volumes are up.
     

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