Learn how windings change string vibrations, thereby affecting the tone and output of a guitar pickup.
In the last article we discussed all of the different guitar pickups available to the guitar player. So, we should now have a good idea why we would use each type and we should also have a rough idea of how each type works. And from that last article, we probably also remember that the most popular kind of guitar pickup is the passive type, and that it uses a magnet and the windings of a wire coil to create your sound. Continue reading “Windings and How They Affect Tone & Output – Building Your Own Electric Guitar Pickups – Part 2”
If you would like to learn more about guitar pickups, what the different types are, how they are created, how they work, and even how to build your own, then this is the place to get started.
This is the first in a series of articles in which we will detail every aspect of the guitar pickup. We’ll discuss, with as much detail as possible, how pickups work, the different types, and when to use each. So, let’s get started. Continue reading “Understanding How Pickups Work – Building Your Own Electric Guitar Pickups – Part 1”
A number of things to consider when deciding about the differences in plating; we'll break it all down here.
This time we are going to talk about gold plated vs silver plated guitar jacks. We’ll discuss which one is better and what makes these superior to standard ones so you can decide whether or not purchasing them is worth the cost.
Continue reading “Gold Plated vs Silver Plated Guitar Jacks – What’s the Difference?”
If you'd like to add a dash of “Strat” tone to your Tele, you've come to the right place! In this article, we'll help you set up your Tele for Nashville Style wiring.
So, first things first. What is the Nashville Style Tele, how is it wired, and can you can modify your Telecaster so it produces its tone?
A Nashville Style Tele is just a Standard Telecaster with three pickups instead of two, and a five-way selector switch instead of a three-way selector switch. This Mod was created by Tele players looking to coax some Strat style tones out of their Telecaster while still retaining that crucial Neck + Bridge pickup combination not found on the Strat.
Continue reading “Modifying Your Tele for Nashville Style Wiring”
Do you want to add a 'Tele' sound to your Strat? How about all three pickups at once? Try this Seven-Sound Stratocaster Modification.
The Seven-Sound Strat Modification is an easy mod that you can make to your guitar to give you more tone versatility, and despite its name, you can make this mod on any type of guitar that has three pickups and a five-way switch.
The five-way switch gives Strat players plenty of versatility in tone. 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. What the five-way switch does not provide is a way to select the Bridge + Neck pickup, or a way to select all three pickups at once. This is exactly what the Seven-Sound Strat Mod (also sometimes referred to as the Gilmour mod) provides for us.
Continue reading “The Seven-Sound Strat Modification”
You can use any kind of switch, but since the mini toggle takes up very little space once it's in place, you might agree that it's the best choice for this kind of project.
Why a Mini Toggle Switch?
A humbucker pickup contains two coils, and with a simple modification we can use a switch to “shut off” one of the coils, causing it to sound and act like a single coil pickup. The choice to use a mini toggle switch is purely aesthetic; you can use absolutely any kind of switch that you want to but you will need to modify your guitar to hold it. A mini toggle requires drilling a hole that is less than 1/4 inch and takes up very little space once it is in place.
If you have the type of guitar that requires you to drill a hole through the wood, into the electronics compartment to add a toggle switch, then I recommend taking it to a pro, unless you really know what you are doing. If you’re lucky enough to have a Stratocaster or another type of guitar with those large pickguards that give you access to the electronics by removing them, then you can probably drill a small hole in the pickguard and add the toggle switch yourself if you are very careful and have the tools.
Continue reading “Mini Toggle Switch (DPDT) – Use This to Coil-Split a Humbucker Pickup”
Have you ever wanted to turn off one of your humbucker pickup coils?
Well, here we’ll talk about how to wire a humbucker pickup so that it can be split into a single coil pickup using a push-pull pot. For the split you need a four-wire humbucker; you cannot split a two-wire without first modifying the pickup itself. Each coil has a Hot and a Ground, and a determination must be made as to which is which before we get started.
Continue reading “Coil-Splitting a Humbucker Pickup with a Push-Pull Pot”
Here's a look at guitar wiring, and how to make sure your pickups are in-phase with each other. Here, also, is an examination of polarity and how to wire pickups in series, or parallel.
So we’ll start with the basics of guitar pickup wiring by examining what it means when guitar pickups are wired in-phase, out-of-phase, series, or parallel. The first thing we’ll need to do is understand a little about how our pickups are made and how they work.
Continue reading “Guitar Pickup Wiring: Phase, Series, and Parallel”
Does your tone get muddy when you turn your volume down? Learn how a treble bleed circuit fixes this problem.
The treble bleed circuit is one of the easiest mods that you can perform on your guitar, but it is also one that might require extensive experimenting before you’re able to get it perfect. The treble bleed is meant to preserve treble loss as you turn down the volume control on your guitar, by creating a very simple high pass filter to counteract the high frequency loss inherent in the volume control. You will want to add this mod to your guitar if you feel that rolling off the volume causes your tone to change too dramatically, thus becoming muddy or dull.
Continue reading “Basic Guitar Electronics – Treble Bleed Circuit Wiring (aka Volume Kit)”
If I have a humbucker in the bridge position of my Telecaster, can one of the coils be turned off with the three-way switch?
A reader asked about turning off one coil of the bridge humbucker in his Telecaster via the three-way switch. What he proposed is:
1. Neck pickup
2. Neck + one humbucker coil
3. Both humbucker coils
While I guess the answer might be technically “yes,” I am going to say the answer is in reality: “no.”
The reason is that we do not use “both coils” in the humbucker. We actually run one coil into the next coil, and it might be better to look at a humbucker as a Single Figure 8 Coil instead of two separate Single Coils. We can “split” the humbucker by running a (switchable) wire to Ground right where the one coil meets the other coil. This actually “shorts out” the second coil; it doesn’t shut it off. So, in order to split the pickup we need a path to Ground. The three-way switch in a Telecaster is a “Hot Wire” that selects which of the Hot pickup leads to send to the Volume pot. There is no ground connection available and adding one will short out the entire guitar. Without a ground we cannot split the pickup.
Continue reading “Can I Split a Humbucker With a Three-Way Switch?”