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Thread: SMB 4a 3-coil alnico for music man - help please!

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    Default SMB 4a 3-coil alnico for music man - help please!

    hi

    I just bought a SMB 4a 3-coil alnico for music man which I have put in an Ibanez ATK 300.

    The pickup came with no wiring diagram, and the shop I bought it from directed me to the duncan web site.

    I have found the Music Man 3 way switch diagram in the support section but this is for the stock 3 way blades switch found in music mans and dosent really translate over to the Ibanez 3 way mini toggle switch.

    Ive got it working with the stock iabanez switch but this has some filtering introduced and doesnt work well with the smb 4a 3 coil pickup, so I am using the pickup wired as per the passive music man pickup schematic and running it through the Ibanez preamp.

    The pickup sounds great and is working fine and I think running in series, but i would like to hear how it sounds in split and parralel configs and be able to switch that in real time with a 3 way mini toggle switch.

    Is it possible to use this pickup with a 3 way on/on/on mini toggle switch?
    Last edited by Nonkertomph; 07-25-2007 at 08:50 PM.

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    Default Re: SMB 4a 3-coil alnico for music man - help please!

    Ive just tried the Series/Split/Parallel diagram from the other electric category
    but all I get is a very loud sound(series?) on one position and a very quiet out of phase sound on the other 2 positions.

    Any help appreciated.

    Thanks and best regards

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    LoveMachineologist jeremy's Avatar
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    Default Re: SMB 4a 3-coil alnico for music man - help please!

    welcome to the forum!!


    the series setting will be significantly louder and thicker sounding than parallel or split. ive never used the 3 coil mm pup only the two but they sound great.

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    Default Re: SMB 4a 3-coil alnico for music man - help please!

    Quote Originally Posted by jeremy View Post
    welcome to the forum!!


    the series setting will be significantly louder and thicker sounding than parallel or split. ive never used the 3 coil mm pup only the two but they sound great.
    Hello Jeremy, thanks for the reply, yes these pickup sounds great.

    But, how do I wire this pickup to a 2 way on/on/on mini toggle switch?

    I could have bought a 2 coil and saved myself a bit of dough, but I paid for a 3 coil and I would like to be able to use it for 3 sounds.

    Surely this is possible? There was no schematic with this pickup and none of the online diagrams have been any help.

    Please help me with this.

    best Regards

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    LoveMachineologist jeremy's Avatar
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    Default Re: SMB 4a 3-coil alnico for music man - help please!

    you should have recieved a wiring schematic in the box with the pup, i would contact duncan and have them email or snail mail you directions.

    how many wires come off the pup?

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    Default Re: SMB 4a 3-coil alnico for music man - help please!

    Quote Originally Posted by jeremy View Post
    you should have recieved a wiring schematic in the box with the pup, i would contact duncan and have them email or snail mail you directions.

    how many wires come off the pup?
    This pickup came in a piece of bubble wrap and a cardboard warranty card, thats it. (350$ pickup=bubble wrap???)

    There are 4 colored wires and one bare; green, black, red, white and a bare silver. Typical duncan humbucker wire colors.

    I have followed the directions to wire a duncan humbucker to a 3 way on/on/on switch, but no joy. After modifying the wire positions I was able to switch between what I believe to be parallel and series, but not single coil.

    I believe this switch is ok.

    I think I have been able to achieve single coil operation. but not when I can switch between the other 2 tones.

    ive just used the 'contact us' link on the main web page and requested a schematic. hopefuly this will happen.

    Thanks again for the reply.

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    Default Re: SMB 4a 3-coil alnico for music man - help please!

    Well I emailed Seymour Duncan last week, still no joy.

    This is way bellow the standard of service and support I would have expected of SD.

    1) Pickup is shipped in a piece of bubble wrap -without- a schematic.

    2) No response from emails requesting a schematic.

    Any help?

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    Default Re: SMB 4a 3-coil alnico for music man - help please!

    duncan gets loads of emails so it may take some time for them to get back to you.

    when you got the pup, was it in a plastic box with a Basslines insert?

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    Mojo's Minions frankfalbo's Avatar
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    Default Re: SMB 4a 3-coil alnico for music man - help please!

    We'll get it sorted. The pickup he's describing is generally a direct replacement into an Ernie Ball/Music Man preamp. I've never seen it in person, but I'm pretty sure the MM preamp has wire colors written on the circuit board and it's as easy as replacing the old wires for new. To install the pickup without a preamp, or with another preamp is where the confusion begins. I think we've got some diagrams around for "non-standard" installation and we'll get them out there for everyone. But typically this is used in a direct color-for-color replacement for the EB/MM.
    Last edited by frankfalbo; 08-02-2007 at 10:04 AM.

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    Ultimate Tone Slacker sufferinrewind's Avatar
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    Default Re: SMB 4a 3-coil alnico for music man - help please!

    Quote Originally Posted by frankfalbo View Post
    We'll get it sorted. The pickup he's describing is a Custom Shop pickup and is generally a direct replacement into an Ernie Ball/Music Man preamp. I've never seen it in person, but I'm pretty sure the MM preamp has wire colors written on the circuit board and it's as easy as replacing the old wires for new. To install the pickup without a preamp, or with another preamp is where the confusion begins. I think we've got some diagrams around for "non-standard" installation and we'll get them out there for everyone. But typically this is used in a direct color-for-color replacement for the EB/MM.
    Actually, the pickup isn't custom shop.

    http://www.seymourduncan.com/product...tml#smb4a3coil

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    Mojo's Minions frankfalbo's Avatar
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    Default Re: SMB 4a 3-coil alnico for music man - help please!

    You are correct, thank you. I thought he had purchased a Custom Shop version of this pickup. The SMB 4a is our standard offering for the three coil MM replacement.

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    Default Re: SMB 4a 3-coil alnico for music man - help please!

    I did receive a reply from SD with a schematic attached.

    Unfortunately, this schematic was virtually identical to the 'Series/Split/Parralell' schematic found in 'Other electric' which I have already tried.

    The only difference was that the bare (silver) wire was not drawn in.

    This schematic does -not- work for this pickup with a 3 way on/on/on switch.

    I replied to the email I was sent, asking if the silver wire needed to be attached to the same lug as the green wire, but got no reply.

    After lots of -wasted time- I was able to switch between 3 different sounds, but one of them was -very- quiet, and I dont know If I actually had it set-up how it should be.

    ie; One one switch position the coil closest to the neck was loudest when tapped with a screwdriver, on another the coil closest to the bridge was loudest when tapped with a screw driver.

    I never actually recorded the combinations of wire placements that I stumbled apon, but at one time I swear that -both- coils had the same volume when tapped on with a screw driver.

    But the 'Series/Split/Parralell' schematic found in 'Other electric' states that parallel should be quieter than split mode....

    I have no idea what this pickup is supposed to sound like parallel/series or single coil as there are NO WIRING DIAGRAMS THAT WORK with a 3 way on/on/on switch.

    I bought this pickup for a recording project and simply -must- get to work now. I only need ONE sound, but I wanted to find out what was the most desirable before I started recording and also be able to switch sounds at some stage of the use of this pickup. I cant wait any longer and am not in a position to go through the process of returning it and waiting for a replacement that may end up with exactly the same issue, or downgrading to a plain double coil.

    If there is anyone from SD even remotely aware of how this pickup functions I have wired it up thus; green and bare to ground, red and black soldered together and connected to nothing, white to hot output.

    When I tap on the pickup with a screwdriver the coil closest to the bridge is
    loudest.

    Do I have paralel, series or single coil? Ideally Id like to be able to switch between all 3 sounds. Surely there must be a way to get this to work!!!

    Ive already lost 3-4 inches of wire as they become progressively more 'dog eared' from constant soldering, attaching, detaching, re-attaching, twisting.
    Ive given up as I dont have the time to waste on this.

    Ive not given up hope that SD can provide a schematic for a correct wiring
    for this Pickup to work with an on/on/on mini toggle switch.

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    Default Re: SMB 4a 3-coil alnico for music man - help please!

    This forum really moves quickly, keeping track of posts here is tough, each time I want to check this I have to do a search.

    SD, please, any help?

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    Default Re: SMB 4a 3-coil alnico for music man - help please!

    Quote Originally Posted by Nonkertomph View Post
    This forum really moves quickly, keeping track of posts here is tough, each time I want to check this I have to do a search.

    SD, please, any help?
    BUMP

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    Default Re: SMB 4a 3-coil alnico for music man - help please!

    are you located in the usa? if so i would call duncan.

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    Default Re: SMB 4a 3-coil alnico for music man - help please!

    Quote Originally Posted by jeremy View Post
    are you located in the usa? if so i would call duncan.
    Thanks for the reply Jeremy.

    No, I live in Australia.

    Ive already been in touch with the store who ordered the pickup for me.
    They contacted the distributors, who pointed me to the SD website.

    Maybe you could help me with a few ideas?

    A) If this pickup is in series mode should -both- coils have the same volume when tapped with a screwdriver?

    B) If this pickup is in parallel mode should one of the coils be louder in volume when tapped with a screwdriver?

    C) If this pickup is in single coil mode, should it be louder than parallel mode (as the schematic for series/parallel/split found in 'other electric' category states it should be).

    D) When I change wiring and find that the loudest coil switches between front and back, what is going on?

    Answers to these questions should help be determine what I am listening to when experimenting with wiring.

    Any help greatly appreciated.

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    Default Re: SMB 4a 3-coil alnico for music man - help please!

    Bump

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    Default Re: SMB 4a 3-coil alnico for music man - help please!

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    Default Re: SMB 4a 3-coil alnico for music man - help please!

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    LoveMachineologist jeremy's Avatar
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    Default Re: SMB 4a 3-coil alnico for music man - help please!

    i wish i could be more help but i have no idea how the three coils are wired and since there is only wires for two sets of coils i have to assume that two of the coils are internally connected, probably in parallel but i have no way of knowing.

    in general both coils in series or parallel should have about the same volume but with that third coil that could do some weird things.

    in single coil mode on a two coil pup yes the single coil typically would sound louder than parallel but the frequency response is different so that may alter what you hear as louder

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