I used the mini strat bridge pickup and controls on my homemade lapsteel- without the pickup selector but with the volume and master tone control. The '50s and 60's wiring doesn't have the tone knob connected to the bridge pickup. The smaller capacitor value won't be as dark and may give you a perception of the low mids you're looking for. No. Applied Whammy Bars 101. That’s because the middle pickup is wired directly to the output. One tone control is for the neck pickup, and one is for the middle pickup. In other words, yes you can afford to pay a tech to do this because it hardly takes any time or effort to do. The special "soft V" neck profile (the shape of the neck in cross section) on the Jimmie Vaughan Tex-Mex Strat is sculpted to Vaughan’s own exacting specs, with a distinctly comfortable fretting-hand feel that takes the more pronounced sharpness of a ’50s "V" profile and "softens" it into a somewhat more rounded shape. The neck pickup is based on a '54 Strat pickup with oversized alnico 3 magnets. Middle pickup and neck pickup together; Position 5: Neck pickup only; Note that there is no means of having all three pickups on at once. I hope you’re encouraged now to try this simple mod. (Mid) Switching: Special 5-Position Blade Configuration: HSS POSITIONS Position 1. If you ever feel the need to even things up, simply install a jumper wire to allow the bridge and middle pickups to share the same tone control. Design, CMS, Hosting & Web Development :: ePublishing, On PremierGuitar.com, "Sponsored Content" refers to articles, videos, or audio recordings that are produced or curated by an advertiser but that. I think the bridge tone mod is one of the best mods you can do to a strat. Switching for Neck / Middle / Bridge The switch you want to use for this circuit is a DPDT on/on/on switch. The Strat-O-Blaster is designed to enhance the sounds of any Strat type guitar which uses 3 pickups. With the middle pickup volume. [self-published source] [self-published source] The Strat Plus Deluxe was introduced in 1989 with pickup and tremolo variations. No announcement yet. Guitar Schematics. If you want to control your bridge pickup using the front tone control, along with the neck pickup, simply connect the piece of wire one terminal further to the one labeled “to neck tone,” and you’re done. This was the lead tone for Western Swing, and back in the good old days of the fifties there was simply no need for a tone control for the bridge pickup. I'm a fan. Of course, the strat middle pickup is commonly used in association with the bridge or neck pickup, and it’s pretty much standard practice to split the coil of a neck or bridge humbucker when used with the middle single coil in the ‘2’ and ‘4’ positions on the pickup selector switch. Honing Your Axe. Do you need TBX for bridge-alone tone control? Thus, the bridge pickup selection has no tone control wired to it whatsoever. The bridge pickup has no tone control. Ready to get started? If when you take apart your Strat you're confused as to which terminals to connect together with that small wire, just follow the wire from the Tone 2 pot to the switch. But as you will see, it’s still a very effective, useful and flexible modification. I love that tone. It's routed to the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th position of the pickup selector instead. Your Pedalboards 2020: Part Deux, 3. Front Coil of Bridge Pickup and Middle Pickup (Lead Tone Control) Position 3. Until then, keep on soldering and always remember: play LOUD! /* Add your own Mailchimp form style overrides in your site stylesheet or in this style block. The Gallery. Terms Of Use. The EJ strat's bridge pickup should have the bottom tone control attached to it. #mc_embed_signup{background:#fff; clear:left; font:14px Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif; width:100%;} Next month we will talk about the master volume and master tone wiring in a Stratocaster. Stock (OEM) Guitar Wiring Diagrams. The Strat Plus was produced from 1987 to 1999 and was equipped with Lace Sensor pickups, a roller nut, locking tuners, a TBX tone control and a Hipshot tremsetter. You can even use humbuckers…..imagine that! Forum-Related Info. Is there anything bad about wiring in tone control for the bridge-only setting? Even with the tone control fully opened, a little load is added to your bridge pickup, especially with the standard 250k pots, to smooth things out. There have been several models of Stratocasters over the years that do in fact use the Tone 2 knob (the one near the bottom of the guitar) to affect the bridge-only pickup selection. How would you compensate with a tone control to take the brightness off a Strat neck pickup on a 500K volume pot. This is a common modification used to free up the second tone pot location for an additional switch or optional control. However the tone controls do work for the other four switch positions. Wherever it connects, you know you've got the "correct side" of the switch and know where to solder in that the small wire. Before a pickup swap, you could try adding a .010uf capacitor to the tone pot. I am looking to build a strat from scratch and would like to use the Armstrong wiring with one volume and two tone pots. When not working at his guitar workbench, he plays country, rockabilly, surf, and flamenco. Dirk Wacker lives in Germany and has been a guitar addict since age 5. Guitars. This mod is really easy to do. Chances are good that this will do it for you, and save you some bucks! Leo Fender liked the pedal steel-like lead tone; he described it as “bell-like with shimmering highs” (today you’ll often hear “penetrating highs”). It makes the bridge pickup so much more useful. Harmonious Notes. OK, so I have a H-S-S Strat which is wired with a master volume control, a tone control for the middle pickup and a tone control for the neck pickup. The bridge pickup is "always on 10" no matter what you do with either tone knob. In the photo above, you see four terminals on top and four on the bottom (one is hidden from view on the bottom, but trust me, it's there). The wires shown from the neck pickup, middle pickup, etc are the "hot" wires. Taylor Grand Theater Urban Ash Demo - PG Gear Spotlight. Reference Articles. Strat players have long struggled with over-bright bridge pickups, prompting aftermarket pickup … Yes, most. At this time, Western Swing was very popular, and not just in California, where Leo Fender lived and worked. You can dial in a lot of different tones with the tone control, especially when using a tonecap with a much smaller value than the stock 0.022uF. The other side connects your master volume and two tone controls (blue is Tone 1 above and red is Tone 2). Naturally, you can also use an additional switching device with this method. Welcome back to the world of Stratocasters. Hello. The bridge pickup has no tone control. Fender has created the most popular way to use the extra outputs with its multiple tone controls on the Fender Stratocaster. The Fender Strat features one volume control and two tone controls. For example, several American Strats in the 1990s featured what were called TBX tone controls, and many that were delivered with TBX (if not all of them) did have tone control for the bridge-only pickup setting. We recommend moving this block and the preceding CSS link to the HEAD of your HTML file. Middle and Neck Pickups (Lead and Rhythm Tone Controls) Position 5. In the last fifty-four years, tastes changed a lot, and now few Stratocaster players use the bridge pickup alone … Lutherie and Repair. As you know, the standard Stratocaster has a master volume and two tone controls, one for the middle and one for the neck pickup, but none for the bridge pickup! All it takes to get tone control on the bridge-alone setting it to solder a very small wire between two terminals. Add a master tone control. Each pickup is unique in structure and performance. Thanks The original wiring is designed for 1950s clean playing. This was the lead tone for Western Swing, and back in the good old days of the fifties there was simply no need for a tone control for the bridge pickup. It’s because stock Strat wiring leaves the bridge pickup unconnected to a tone control. In his spare time he plays country, rockabilly, surf and Nashville styles in several bands, works as a studio musician and writes for several guitar mags. As a side note, it's worth mentioning that Strats from this period had a three-way pickup selector: neck, middle, and bridge. But I received tons of emails asking for some more easy-to-do mods, so I will show you two more very easy mods for your Stratocaster before we start talking about the anatomy of the pickup selector switch. "Soft V" Neck Profile. Middle pickup is reverse wound/reverse polarity. There's nothing bad about it at all. 18. This is the easiest guitar to play with your fingers, For the guy who can't decide between a Strat and a Tele - Fender Deluxe Nashville Telecaster, Help with guitar setup (it's more than just adjustments), Nickel plated vs pure nickel guitar strings. He is also a hardcore DIY guy for guitars, amps and stompboxes and also runs an extensive webpage, The COVID Files: Inside the Mod Garage Shop During Lockdown, How to Get the Most out of Hum-Sing-Hum Wiring, Mod Garage: Trad Strat and Bridge 'Bucker Tones, Mod Garage: 7 Tele Bridge Pickup Alternatives, JBE Pickups Releases the S-Deluxe Chunky Bridge Pickup, 1. Full Bridge Humbucking Pickup (No Tone Control) Position 2. Position 3: Middle pickup only; Position 4. The problem is, the middle pickup aren't controlled by any tone pot and is always in open/full. Strat Tone control modification question. Tone Control Discussions. The five-way switch gives Strat players plenty of versatility in tone. This is also the reason why a lot of people are buying replacement pickups for the Strat’s bridge position: they’re looking for a warmer tone with decent high-end. If you want to add even more flexibility, you can route this connection to a simple On/Off SPST switch, or a push/pull or push/push pot with an SPST or more common DPDT switch—the same as we did with the seven sound mod. In the last fifty-four years, tastes changed a lot, and now few Stratocaster players use the bridge pickup alone because the sound is too trebly and shrill to them. To understand why Fender did this, you have to take a look at the past. No. In a diagram view, the terminals look like this (and I have one part circled for a reason): One side of the switch is wired to connect the pickups. Simply solder a little wire between the Tone 2 terminal and that open terminal, and ta-da, you've got tone control for the bridge-alone pickup selection. Simply solder a piece of wire between the two terminals shown, as shown in red, and your rear tone control will affect the bridge pickup as well as the middle pickup—easy, no? Click diagram image to open/view full size version. My strat is set up HSS, and I have recently started using the middle pup in combination with the humbucker w/o tapping it, and I like it. Truly a great set if you are looking for that early strat tone. Wired here on your choice of guards! He was a confessed Western Swing fan, so this was the sound he had in mind when he developed the Stratocaster concept. The middle pickup, based on a '63 Strat pickup, uses specially treated alnico magnets and is reverse wound to cancel hum when used with the neck or bridge pickup. Standard American and Mexican Strat pickguard 2002 & Newer fit. I read that this delta tone circuit tone pot should control the middle and bridge pickups but in this case, the tone pot only has effect on the bridge pickup. Fender has produced various 'deluxe' modern American Stratocasters with special features. Strat with a push/pull switch on the neck tone control to allow neck+bridge and neck+middle+bridge pickup combinations. He hates short scales and Telecaster neck pickups, but loves twang. Strat - SSS Modern This wiring is called “modern” because Fender began using it in the 1980s, as opposed to the 1950s. YOUR CHOICE of pickup and pickguard colors! However, I would like to have the upper tone control the neck and mid, while the other tone pot controls the bridge pickup. It’s invisible, reversible in ten seconds, and all you need is a short piece of wire and a soldering iron—so this mod is also one of cheapest ever. It was designed that way by Mr. Fender himself, as in Leo Fender, the guy whom Fender guitars are named after. 3 Pickup Guitar. I have some of mine so the bottom tone knob just controls the bridge; and on others I have the jumper so the bottom tone knob controls the bridge and the middle pickups. The effect is the same. The Phostenix Pages. Ive heard it done and I used to play a 3/4 scale strat in my youth with master tone control. You set the amp for your brightest lead sound with the bridge pickup, the middle pickup with its tone control is for rhythm and the neck pickup with a separate tone control is for twangy pseudo-basslines. Does this mean your Stratocaster guitar is defective? However, I know of no Squier Strat that has Tone 2 wired for the bridge-only pickup setting. The Fender Stratocaster showed up around April 1954 as a follow- up to Leo Fender’s first genius strike: the Esquire/Telecaster guitar. Originally, I wanted to start by talking about the anatomy of our new friend, the standard Stratocaster 5-way pickup selector switch, because I think it’s important to understand how this switch works in developing your own mods, and of course to really understand what we’re doing here each month. Especially neck and middle. Re: Is the middle pickup on a strat useful? 7 sound Strat wiring diagram with three single coils, 5-way lever switch, 1 volume and 2 tones. What Leo wanted with the Stratocaster is a pickup position that sounded similar to a steel guitar; something that really, really stood out with a somewhat piercing and shrill sound (typical for pedal steel guitars of the time). Design Modules. Get your Strat souped-up with some extra girth and power whilst keeping the classic pickups, layout and your original traditional strat sounds too. This strat has a delta tone circuit and the bridge pickup was replaced with SD hot rails. Wire a master tone and use the other tone pot as a 250k volume for the neck and middle pickups. If all of this sounds too scary to do on your own, every good guitar tech knows how to do this ridiculously simple modification. On the majority of Stratocaster guitars whether made by Fender or by Squier, when you select the bridge pickup alone, neither of the tone controls affect the sound. The third knob/second tone knob becomes a blend pot, allowing you to blend in the bridge and neck pickup (no middle pickup) on the 1 and 5 positions. Standard Strat wiring from Fender has NO tone control for the bridge pickup. Disconnect the middle tone control from the circuit altogether and connect the neck tone control directly to the input or output tag of the volume control. That means you have no tone control over the middle pickup, but it just seems to work better that way. Adding a single tiny jumper wire from the neck tone tab to the unused bridge tone tab can give you tone control for neck and bridge pickups (they are not on at the same time). He’s also a hardcore DIY-er for guitars, amps, and stompboxes and runs a website on the subject (singlecoil.com). Privacy Policy | No. Guitar Wiring. It's a cool mix of strat quack, but with the full bucker tone. The middle knob becomes the master tone knob, and for those of you who were in a predicament like me, this adds a tone control for the bridge. When you take apart your Strat and look at the switch, you'll see this in plain sight. */, Copyright ©2020. Example 2 Often, you can find the tone-split mod together with the BPTC mod for even more flexibilty— many Strat players favor this one. This way you’ll receive an additional tonal possibility, because you can switch between the stock tone (without tone control) and the new option (with tone control). This is the wiring you all know, with the bridge pickup without a tone control, and an individual tone control for the middle and the neck pickup. The pickup selector then becomes your 'channel switch'. The tone is great, and the price is better! This month we will talk about the easiest—but very effective—mod I can think of: giving your bridge pickup a tone control. Some made by Fender do have Tone 2 (the "bottom" tone knob) wired so that the bridge-only pickup setting has tone control. What Leo wanted with the Stratocaster is a pickup position that sounded similar to a steel guitar; something that really, really stood out with a somewhat piercing and shrill sound (typical for pedal steel guitars of the time). Middle Pickup (Lead Tone Control) Position 4. Otherwise, put the 250k back in for the master volume and a resistor to the bridge pickup. Dirk Wacker has been addicted to all kinds of guitars since the age of five and is fascinated by anything that has something to do with old Fender guitars and amps. The circled part you see above is what you'd need to connect if you want Tone 2 to also control the bridge-alone pickup tone setting. Next month we will talk about how to rewire your Stratocaster for a master tone plus master volume configuration. I’m sure many of you will find what you’ve chased for so long. Contact him at [email protected] (Neck), Tone 2. Suggestion Box. I have a squire strat … Strat style guitar with a single master tone control. Position 1 is the Bridge pickup, Position 2 is Bridge + Middle, Position 3 is just the Middle pickup, Position 4 is Middle + Neck, and Position 5 is Neck. Go to this page, scroll down to DPDT Switch, and look at Diagram D (a totally different type of switch than the one used in the previous diagram). Strat style wiring diagram with three single coils, 5-way lever switch, 1 volume and 1 tone. Also note that there’s some quite interesting history behind the Strat’s pickup switch. It was designed that way by Mr. Fender himself, as in Leo Fender, the guy whom Fender guitars are named after.