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My current build will have a 4-pole mag pickup with ~4k resistance. I want to wire it like a Fender Esquire so I will have volume and a tone control with three positions. The classic wiring diagram is this:
My questions are: With a 4k ohm resistance pickup, will the values shown above work? Are the 250k pots right or should I go to 500k? I'm assuming there isn't a lot of difference between .05 and the more readily available .047 caps (I have a bag full of orange drops)? I also need a bit of help with the switch wiring. I have a 3 position switch like this:
Lugs 2&3, 4&5, and 6&7 are bridged together, 1&8 are seperate, and there are two ground lugs on the body. The wiring diagram shows bridged terminals, however, they are not numbered. Can someone help me out with numbering the connections? Also, if anyone has tried wiring a similar set-up, how did it turn out?
Any help here is greatly appreciated!
just opinion, but i would stick with the 250K pots initially at least. pos#3 (or 1 depending on your outlook) is volume straight to jack, without the load of the tone pot, which will raise the frequency respose of the pickup. going up to 500k pots will also raise the frequency response of the pickup, and you may find yourself looking for a tone control to roll back. it depends on your pickup though, and with a 4 string, what strings you are using. if you are running the 4 bottom strings you might want the treble, if you are running the 4 top strings, the top might be a little too ice-pick.
also, lots of people find the esquire #1position (the fixed tone spot) too muddy to be much use, but there are a bunch of variations which are reported to be much more useful. have a look here for more esquire wiring diagrams than you'll ever need.
can't help with the switch, but suggest you'll need to un-bridge those lugs and use a multimeter to check the connections.
this diagram i found may help. i know it's for 5 way switches but they work exactly the same way in the 1-3-5 positions as a 3-way...
Eric, thanks for your input. I'm assuming the letter designations refer to pickup positions as B=Bridge, M=Middle and N=Neck with C=Common (?) ground. Unfortuneately, I don't see how this would apply to the wiring I'm attempting with just one pickup, but then again, I admit to being a compleat idiot when it comes to this stuff. I guess I really need someone to convert the original Esquire diagram above to incorporate this 1-8 numbered switch.
the switch on the left is the standard fender switch, and the one shown in your schematic. your switch is very likely one of the two on the right, and with a multimeter, or even a light bulb and a battery, you should be able to switch through the 3 positions and mark which terminals contact for each position, and compare with the drawing.
if you are unaware, all the switched drawn above are 2-pole switches, ie. they are acually 2 switches with a shared lever. on the 2 sided switches, one set is on each side. the C lug is the wiper - it connects to N pos 1, M pos 2, B pos 3 on the one side. the terminals on the other side do the same at the same positions, but the two systems are seperate unless you wire them together. the in-line switches do exactly the same thing.
if you can work out your switch and draw as above, then you just need to transpose the wiring from your schematic with your switch ie, the wire that goes to N(1) on the fender switch, goes to N(1) on your switch.
hope that's clearer, and sorry if this is stuff you already know.
Eric, thanks again. If I understand you correctly, the positions on the left side of the Fender switch would correspond to the in-line switch as B=1 M=2 N= 3 C=4 and the right side would be C=5 B=6 M=7 N=8, is that right?
yes fella, i would say that is the most likely combo.
i would still recommend mapping the switch with a multimeter though.
snip through the links,
determine which contacts are the wipers,
run the positions through and check that your numbers work the same as the drawing.
it's WAY easier to do this with a loose switch than trying to figure out why things don't work on a wired up guitar. if you don't have a multimeter you could use a 1.5v battery and an LED. or really any circuit you can insert the switch into to check for contact.
remember... assumption is the mother of all f***ups.
Thanks again, Eric. I think I got it. I'll post the corresponding numbered-lugs-to-alpha lugs in another discussion so more people can see it. Although I have another wierd problem that has come up....
How's this project going?
I'm interested because - in theory - you probably ought to change some of the component values if you're using that 4.4k ohm pickup in place of a standard Esquire pickup and you want similar sounds. That's because the pickup is a component in the circuit and it's electronic characteristics affect the tonal characteristics of the circuit as a whole. The odds are that your pickup will have some different tonal characteristics - although not necessarily what people might predict (eg. the way people quote ohm values for pickups is usually pretty bogus - what they've got is generally the DC resistance, which is a significantly different thing from the impedance)
Putting ideas into practice is another matter though - the best way to find what you're looking for often seems to be trial and error - so I'm keen to know how your efforts worked out.
On that particular build, I was not happy with the results, even though I tried several different cap values. Wound up just using a .047 cap as a straight tone control, no switching.