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Sound Quality

This is where things got interesting.

After my conversation with the fine fellow at Hohner, I put it aside for a few months while I built some other units.  Finally got my curiosity up and took it apart.  The pickups are indeed double coil singles, are wired like Andersons, Green/Red, Black/White, and a bare ground. So the unit did have stacked singles, like a Strat with humbucker singles. Wild!

I pondered a while what to do, and even bought the switches to inlay into the pickguard. Ended up not using them.

While going through a few wiring books I own, I stumbled across the Steve Vai wiring diagram, which stacks his pickup coils in reverse polarity parallel, although he had a combination of humbuckers and singles.

I measured ohms, and the two coils on each pickup read about 1.8 to 2.5 ohms difference in each pickup.  I then simply temporarily hooked the second coil of each in parallel with the first.  Since they are all basically wired the same, I figured they would all have the same polarity. Carefully laid the pickguard back in place with one string and checked.  Wrong polarity.  Reversed the leads, (Now white with green, and red with black), and tried again. Like a thundering humbucker gone wild!!

Proceeded to wire each coil to the five way switch by simply stacking the second coil in each pickup on top of the original coil.  This is probably similiar to what Hohner did, but with some caps in their little black box to change tones more, and they somehow used the tone knobs to filter in the second coils.

Put it all back together and WOW, what a howler!  I love the tone!.  On top of that, the bridge pickup is the second tone knob, (don't know if that was original or when someone took out the black box), so you can roll off a little that squeaky bridge pickup, giving positions 4 and 5 a much more rock tone, but you can still have the twangy tone with position 5 and the tone at 8-10. Middle pickup has no tone. Full on.

Overall, this thing now has four great positions and only one somewhat weak one, position two.

It would take a LOT for me to trade or sell this one.


Reliability/Durability

Since i didn't change anything on the exterior, and the pickup coils are all soundly soldered to the five-way, should not be a problem. Might break a speaker or two somewhere down the line...


General Comments

Who knew?  Hohner put stacked coil singles in a fairly cheap guitar designed in Germany and built in Korea.  With the beautiful finish, the mean sound, and the five positions to play with, this thing can do it all now. Probably sounds better and is easier to tame than it originally was with the capacitor box.

If you have one of these, or come across one, tear out the box and stack them coils to turn your Hohner Strat copy into a raging three humbucker killer!!!




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