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Thread: Three humbucker PRS wiring with 5-way 4-pole lever switch

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    Default Three humbucker PRS wiring with 5-way 4-pole lever switch

    Hi everyone,

    I hope that I am not being redundant here. I found this diagram signed by Steve Ahola for a two humbucker PRS-style wiring implementation using a 5-way 4-pole lever switch instead of a rotary switch:

    http://blueguitar.org/new/articles/b...tr/prstrat.pdf

    I noticed that depending on what pickup you are using the colors of the wiring for a given pickup may change like this:

    Black -> Green
    White -> Red
    Red -> White
    Black -> Green

    Also, I think that it is possible to add a third humbucker using one or two DPDT push-pull switch doing this (third humbucker is Bnew, Wnew, Rnew and Gnew):

    1) ground Gnew;
    2) short WN, WT and Wnew;
    3) make one of the push-pull switches change the B and R wires of a given humbucker to, respectively, Bnew and Rnew;
    4) repeat this for the second push-pull and second humbucker and you should be able to get any combination of two humbuckers.

    I figure that if you flip the magnet of one of the three humbuckers then you should always get two noise-cancellation combinations of humbuckers and one non-noise-cancellation combination.

    I have not tested this, it would be nice if someone could confirm that it works.

    bowzee

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    Default Project finished I

    Hi Everyone,

    I finished installing all of the PUs on my Cort X-11 using the three-humbucker-PRS-wiring (Paul Reed Smith), and I am posting because someone might be interested in the results. I would call this a beginner’s level project, it should take you a couple of hours assembling and maybe a couple more tweaking. I used three PUs: a SH-2n, a STK-S4m and a TB-5, as posted here:

    http://www.seymourduncan.com/forum/s...ad.php?t=72810

    This is what I did:

    1) I found out that the TB-2n does not fit the neck position, so I got a SH-2n, as described here:

    http://www.seymourduncan.com/forum/s...ad.php?t=79330

    (still no reply from the local SD rep.; whatever, I’ll try to sell it someday).

    2) I purchased a 5-way 4-pole Fender Super Switch.

    3) I also purchased a 500 kOhm DPDT linear volume pot, labeled B500K, so I ended up with both of my pots being DPDTs, which is necessary for the three-humbucker-PRS-wiring.

    4) I assembled everything in place. For the STK-S4m, because it is not a humbucker, the red “coil tap” wire must be connected with the “white wires” in Steve Ahola's diagram and also replacing a “red wire” (i.e., so the STK-S4m's red wire gets connected to two places). Please note that one of the humbuckers does not follow Black-White-Red-Green as in the diagram, it follows Green-Red-White-Black and (therefore) I am using Steve Aloha’s “white wires” and “red wire” terminology loosely.

    5) I figured out that everything was working OK, but the sound was thin, so I flipped the magnet on the bridge TB-5, which was very simple (totally doable in 10 minutes or less). Be careful with the wax, it gets spread all over!

    6) After a lot of fiddling, I got to the conclusion that the D'Addario 9-42 strings (ELX 120) that I was using were not sounding right. When plucking the low-E string I was getting an “aaa-uuu-mmm” mistuning (I don't know how else I should describe this, maybe E##, E#, E, Eb, Ebb), so I changed them for some D'Addario 9-46 strings (EXL125). These sound ok, but the volume of the D string was a bit low on both of the humbuckers so I tweaked the corresponding pole screws.

    7) I also figured that over-tweaking the humbucker pole screws may cause you to get less variation; you actually want one of the coils on a humbucker to sound a little different from the other one, for PRS wiring I mean, so you will get more tonal “color”.

    8) To adjust the height on the PUs, I kept switching between positions 1 and 5 trying to get position 3 to be a perfect blend of them, for each combination of two PUs. I did this by ear after I got to the conclusion that a frequency analyzer was totally useless.


    The guitar sounds great now. I seriously recommend this whole procedure.

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    Default Project finished II

    There are a few observations though that may be important:

    9) The STK-S4m sounds different but quite similar to the TB-5. Maybe it would have been a better idea to get one of them (either one) exchanged for something else in order to obtain a greater versatility.

    10) By what I observed empirically, the red wire on the STK-S4m is not exactly in the electromagnetic “middle” of the coil. This means that two of the combinations with the humbuckers in parallel give you almost no sound at all (bridge-middle position 2 and neck-middle position 4). Because I still get all of the other combinations with the middle coil (five to be exact) I don’t find this to be so important.

    11) PRS wiring using two (or three) humbuckers will not necessarily be hum-free. This is duh-obvious now I guess: it happens because one coil on one humbucker will, most likely, generate a different quantity of hum than another coil on another humbucker... The good part is that it will (at least for me it did) cancel most of the hum!

    12) This is my first three PU guitar so, this also sounds kind of duh-obvious now, I discovered that there really isn’t a lot of “free space” under the strings, so it is hard to pluck without touching a PU. It makes me think that using the three-humbucker-PRS-wiring will give you more versatility, but it may have a downside depending on the way or style you play. I really don’t mind hitting the PUs a little and I think that more versatility is great.

    Hope this helps! bowzee

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    Default Re: Project finished II

    Quote Originally Posted by bowzee View Post
    10) By what I observed empirically, the red wire on the STK-S4m is not exactly in the electromagnetic “middle” of the coil. This means that two of the combinations with the humbuckers in parallel give you almost no sound at all (bridge-middle position 2 and neck-middle position 4). Because I still get all of the other combinations with the middle coil (five to be exact) I don’t find this to be so important.
    Just an updade: I got a new preamp and all of the sudden the guitar started to work using these positions! I would call them ultra-brite.

    bowzee

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