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in a two-HB guitar, is the middle position usually "parallel"?


dougbeens

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In a two-humbucker guitar, such as a Les Paul or my Ibanez Artist, is the middle selector position typically parallel-wired?

 

Is the parallel middle what causes that slightly "hollow" tone when the two pickups are together?

 

Is there a way to wire the middle position so that the humbuckers are in series with each other? .... Would that give a more "true humbucker" tone?

 

I'd like for the middle position to have that true, fat humbucker tone, not the typical middle-quack.

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Originally posted by dougbeens

In a two-humbucker guitar, such as a Les Paul or my Ibanez Artist, is the middle selector position typically parallel-wired?


Is the parallel middle what causes that slightly "hollow" tone when the two pickups are together?


Is there a way to wire the middle position so that the humbuckers are in series with each other? .... Would that give a more "true humbucker" tone?


I'd like for the middle position to have that true, fat humbucker tone, not the typical middle-quack.

 

Typically the middle position is both in parallel. It's much easier to make a switch that puts them both in parallel in the center than to put them both in series.

 

I'm trying to think of a way to get them both in series. I've thought of one, but it would mean having the neck pickup connected to the hot lead (i.e. as an antenna) when the bridge is selected. And even that would require an ON-ON-ON switch, which I've only seen as a min-toggle.

 

You could instead leave the main switch as is and add a push pull pot to switch the parallel to series. This is a common mod for tele style guitars and jazz basses. (and something I'm planning on doing to one of each of those :) )

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Typical Les Paul type wiring will have both picks on and in parallel in the middle position.

 

Yes, this can sound somewhat hollow or quack-like depending on the pickups, strings, etc.

 

A regular LP type switch will not allow for series connection of the pickups but you could change out a pot to a push/pull pot to achieve the series connection.

 

But you might not enjoy that sound either. Two humbuckers wired in series, unless very low output, will probably sound like a wall of mud.

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I think the five way swith on some of Schecter's 2 HB guitars do that kind of switching - between parallel and series. I could be wrong about that, though, and I don't know exactly how it's wired. I do remember seeing that somewhere, though. It may be the Blackjack guitars, but some model in Schecter's line has a 5-way swith and push-pull pot that allows coil tapping and series/parallel wiring.

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Originally posted by d_dave_c

I think the five way swith on some of Schecter's 2 HB guitars do that kind of switching - between parallel and series. I could be wrong about that, though, and I don't know exactly how it's wired. I do remember seeing that somewhere, though. It may be the Blackjack guitars, but some model in Schecter's line has a 5-way swith and push-pull pot that allows coil tapping and series/parallel wiring.

 

 

Yeah, with a 5-way there's all kinds of options. Fender makes the Super-Switch which is a 4 pole 5 position switch. Compared to the standard strat switch which is really a 2 pole 3 position switch with bridging. The super switch opens up all kinds of posibilities.

 

I just rewired a Jackson Pro guitar with HSH config. The switching is

 

1 - Neck Humbucking

2 - Split Neck and Middle

3 - Neck and Bridge (both Humbucking)

4 - Split Bridge and Middle

5 - Bridge Humbucking.

 

The Volume pot is push pull an selects between series and paralle for the neck pickup while the tone pot does the same for the bridge.

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Originally posted by ThomasD

Typical Les Paul type wiring will have both picks on and in parallel in the middle position.


Yes, this can sound somewhat hollow or quack-like depending on the pickups, strings, etc.


A regular LP type switch will not allow for series connection of the pickups but you could change out a pot to a push/pull pot to achieve the series connection.


But you might not enjoy that sound either. Two humbuckers wired in series, unless very low output, will probably sound like a wall of mud.

 

 

I have no experience with that but Paul Gilbert at one point used two DiMarzio Super Distortion wired in parralel.

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IN standard LP wiring each humbucker is "internally" wired with its two coils in series.

 

In the middle position the two humbuckers (each of which has its coils in series) are wired in parallel with each other.

 

You could wire it (with an appropriate switch) so that the middle position was all four coils in series but as has been said it'd probably be rather muddy - you'd get enormous output too.

 

What might be more useful would be to have the middle position be either the two outer coils or the two inner coils wired in series - you'd get comparable output levels to the other two positions, but a different sound.

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