5 Easy Strat Wiring Mods You Can Do On a 5 Way Strat Switch- Part 3

I am sure the anticipation has been killing you. We all know how exciting switches are right?! Well your wait is over, and today we are going to show you 5 easy Strat mods you can do with a standard 5-way Strat switch. If you just joined us on this adventure and need to get up to speed we recommend checking out Part 1 and Part 2. For the rest of you let’s jump right in!

strat wiring mods - fig 1AQuick recap (standard 5 way switch wiring)

In Part 2, we walked you through a standard Strat 5-way switch wiring scheme.  If you remember we added a jumper from A0 to B0. One of the biggest advantages of connecting both sides of the switch via a jumper is that we can better utilize the tone pots.

Let’s take second to remember the standard Strat 5-way switch wiring from Part 2 (Fig 1A). The tone pots were connected to B2 and B3. The downside to this wiring is that the only way we can use a tone on the bridge pickup is in position 2 (bridge + middle).

strat tone controlsWe don’t have the option to use the tone pot on the bridge by itself (position 1). So what’s a guitarist to do? In my 5-year-old voice: “But, I want to have a tone on all my pickups… waaaah.” Well, you may not be able to have an independent tone for each pickup (we only have two), but we do have a nice, easy solution that just may make you drool uncontrollably.

5 Easy Strat Wiring Mods

fig 1 B strat wiring mods

Next let’s take a look at Fig 1B. Notice anything different? We moved tone 2 to B1 (bridge) and connected a jumper between B2 and B3. Moreover, the jumper was created by pushing back more of the cloth from the tone 1 lead wire so it would extend to terminal B2. Didn’t even need an extra wire! Cool eh?! Ok, so why would we do this? Well, now our neck and middle pickups share the tone 1 potentiometer and our bridge pickup gets its own tone control. Now each pickup’s tone can be adjusted when we select either the pickup by itself (position 1,3, and 5)  or when in the “in-between” positions (2 and 4). Here’s a breakdown of Fig 1B:

Position 1 Bridge = Tone 2 | Position 2 Bridge + Middle = Tone 1 or Tone 2 | Position 3 Middle = Tone 1 | Position 4 Middle + Neck = Tone 1 | Position 5 Neck = Tone 1

By jumping B2 to B3, we open up some new possibilities. Let’s take this a step further and look at few combinations in how to wire a 5 way switch you can try:

Fig 1

FIG 1 (Standard Strat Wiring)

1. Position 1 Bridge = No Tone

2. Position 2 Bridge + Middle = Tone 2

3. Position 3 Middle = Tone 2

4. Position 4 Middle + Neck = Tone 1 or Tone 2

5. Position 5 Neck = Tone 1

 

 

 

fig 2

FIG 2

1. Position 1 Bridge = Tone 2

2. Position 2 Bridge + Middle = Tone 2 or Tone 1

3. Position 3 Middle = Tone 1

4. Position 4 Middle + Neck = Tone 1

5. Position 5 Neck = Tone 1

 

 

 

fig 3

FIG 3

1.Position 1 Bridge = Tone 2

2. Position 2 Bridge + Middle = Tone 2

3. Position 3 Middle = Tone 2

4. Position 4 Middle + Neck = Tone 1 or Tone 2

5. Position 5 Neck = Tone 1

 

 

 

fig 4

Fig 4 

1.Position 1 Bridge = Tone 1

2. Position 2 Bridge + Middle = Tone 1 or Tone 2

3. Position 3 Middle = Tone 2

4. Position 4 Middle + Neck = Tone 1 or Tone 2

5. Position 5 Neck = Tone 1

 

 

 

fig 5 master tone

Fig 5 Master Tone

1.Position 1 Bridge = Tone 1 or Master Tone 2

2. Position 2 Bridge + Middle = Tone 1 or Master 2

3. Position 3 Middle = Master Tone 2

4. Position 4 Middle + Neck = Master Tone 2

5. Position 5 Neck = Master Tone 2

The master tone mod can be used a few different ways. For instance, in the above wiring, we have Tone 1 connected to B1 (bridge), but we can also connect Tone 1 to B2 or B3 as well. Have fun with this one!

By now you should have a thorough understanding of how to use the 5 way switch to mod your guitar. Next, all you have to do is kick back and play!

 

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1 Comment

  1. There’s only “1” Strat Mod that makes any sense – to get the fullest range of tone options –

    and that is the Chromacaster Mod –

    http://deaf-eddie.net/

    Suprised you haven’t heard of it ?

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