The P-Rails Wiring Bible, Part 3

Posted on by Richard Irons

If you’ve read the other two articles in the series, hopefully by now you’ve got a good understanding of the different ways we can wire P-Rails pickups. Let’s take a look at some of the more common configurations (throughout the article, you can click each diagram for a larger version).

Here’s a simple one:

 

In this diagram, we have a single on/off/on mini-toggle switch controlling both pickups. In the middle position, the P-Rails both act as series humbuckers, and then in the two outer positions, the individual coils–the rail and the P-90–are activated individually.

The next diagram is fairly similar. However, this time, we’ve used two separate switches so that the pickups are controlled individually. This allows you to use a P90 sound and a humbucker sound together, for example.

This one’s a little more complicated:

It uses two push/pull pots in conjunction with each other. It’s actually performing a very similar task to using a Triple Shot mounting ring – but in this instance the two switches are acting on both pickups at the same time, allowing all four modes as long as both pickups are always in the same mode. Both pickups are wired in the same way to the different sides of the DPDT switch on a push/pull pot.

Of course, it would be a simple matter to adapt this to a system with four push/pull pots – just take one side of each push/pull and move it to its own new position on another push/pull pot.

Of course, if you want to, you can come up with combinations. Maybe you’d like a mini toggle to quickly switch between some modes, but you’d like to hide some other modes behind a push/pull switch. Maybe you’d like to use a 5-way switch to auto-split the pickups in certain positions. As long as you have the right switches available, your choices are unlimited. The four wires from the P-Rails allow you to wire any combination of coils you can think of.

Of course, if you have any questions then do ask – there’s always someone ready to help.

Part 1
Part 2

Written on October 26, 2012, by Richard Irons

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Comments (31)

  • Richard Irons 6 years ago

    I just bought myself a p-rail but I can only find on-off-on(i’ve got 2 of these) and i’d like have all four modes. is it possible?

  • Richard Irons 6 years ago

    I wire my prails with a 5 way super switch and a 2 way switch. My selector goes like this, 1 bridge humbucker, 2 bridge single, 3 both single, 4 neck single and 5 neck humbucker, with the 2 way switch i can select the single to be either the p90 or the rails.

  • Richard Irons 6 years ago

    I’d like to do the opposite of option #2. I want the down position to be the parallel mode and the up position to be series. What do I change to achieve this?

    • Richard Irons 6 years ago

      you must move the wires that link both push/pulls from the “outer” position in the diagram to the “inner” contacts of the p/p, move the black wires from the inner to the outer contact of the volume p/p and the the same with the green wire in the tone pot. remember to move the wires going to the pick up selector and the one to ground to the outer contacts as well

    • Richard Irons 6 years ago

      basically flip the switch diagram upside down.

  • Richard Irons 6 years ago

    I purchased Seymour Duncan P-Rails. They sound really really great. But unfortunately I get really huge hum issues. Only if I touch my volume knob, the hum disappears. Have you got any idea, how I can solve this problem? I used the first diagram on this page:

    http://www.seymourduncan.com/images/support/schematics/2_prails_1v_3w_mini.jpg

    I build it in my Fender Jim Root Telecaster. So I have no idea, what to do now. Would really appreciate your help.

    Thank you very much and best regards.

    Cheers

  • Richard Irons 6 years ago

    Trying to install these in a telecaster. Wondering what the 2 pushpull option looks like wired to a tele three way switch.

  • Richard Irons 6 years ago

    I need some help wiring 1 neck P-rail and 1 bridge humbucker with coil spliting. I have two push/pull pots, but i really don’t know how to setup because the original schematic of my guitar uses a different wiring.
    The humbucker has only three wires: red, white and bare.
    Any help???

    • Richard Irons 6 years ago

      I need wiring assist for a similar setup in a custom built Tele except w/ SD VIntage Stack split at the bridge. 2 push/pull w/ 3-way tele toggle. Currently have PRails (neck position) split push/pull down for P90 up for Humb. Not using Rail alone because the builder told me “SD doesn’t recommend using the Rail alone”?? Current config I have a heavy buzz when I TOUCH the strings in PRail Humb mode. I assume this is a ground issue?

  • Richard Irons 6 years ago

    Any diagrams for 2 p-rails, 3-way p/u switch and 2 mini toggle switches? Thanks

    • Richard Irons 6 years ago

      I did one by myself based on the ones found at current SD web page. I just did a minor modifications and everything working as desired. The only gap i still have is that the Rail by itself in the Neck PR sounds too low compared to the bridge PR. Im not sure if the PUP was defective or that’s the way it should be. Send me an email and i forward to you my diagrams.(yayovich@hotmail.com)

  • Richard Irons 6 years ago

    How would three PRails be wired for an Epiphone Black Beauty using three push pull pots and a single tone control?

    • Richard Irons 6 years ago

      Using a 5 way selector switch replacing the 3-way selector to allow bridge-only, bridge+middle, middle-only, middle + neck, neck-only selection.

  • Richard Irons 6 years ago

    I purchased a pair of P-Rails and would like to wire them up to a guitar w/two DPDT switches and a 5-way selector. The pickup configuration on the guitar is H-S-H. Can you give some pointers on that? THanks!

  • Richard Irons 6 years ago

    Hello,.. I am curious, these diagrams are very in depth and for that I am grateful, but in my specific situation I am only using a bridge p-rail by itself, but still want to utilize the three tones from the pickup. That being said, would I need to use an on/on/on switch to utilize all three (p-90,humbucker,single coil) or an on/off/on switch? ..and if so would that mean if I was required to use the on/off/on that when in off mode it is using the whole pickup and that when in one off the two on modes it would be selecting the rail or the p-90?

    Thank you

  • Richard Irons 6 years ago

    anyone have a diagram for 1 P-rail in the bridge with 1 volume, 1 tone knob??

  • Richard Irons 6 years ago

    well done with the Bible..thanks..

  • Richard Irons 6 years ago

    I am thinking about installing a P Rail in the bridge position of a tele. I like the neck pick up as it is. I feel like I have 2 choices.
    1. Install a 3 way switch with a push-pull pot. Neck position would activate the neck pick up only. Middle position activate the rail only. Bridge position would activate the single coil and push-pull pot would activate the humbucker.
    2. Install a 5 way selector swich with the selector going from : 1. Neck only 2. Neck and Rail 3. Rail only 4. Single Coil 5. Humbucker
    I would appreciate your thoughts

  • Richard Irons 6 years ago

    hi..any diagram for a single prails with single volume and using a 3 way pickup selector to chose the 3 sounds(hum/p90/rail)..the yamaha pacifica 510v does it like this with 1 prails pickup.thank you

  • Richard Irons 6 years ago

    is it possible to have (p-90,humbucker,single coil) choices using lespaul style toggle switch that is on/both/on and only 1 p-rail?if so could someone tell me how to wire it?thanks

    • Richard Irons 6 years ago

      Ask this question on our forum and you will have an answer (with a diagram).

      • Richard Irons 6 years ago

        SD, this isn’t how you internet. Your article is missing pictures and I’m on a wild goose chase trying to find wiring diagrams. The last sentence of the article says to ask questions and you’re answering by diverting people to someplace else entirely, and you didn’t even give a link.

  • Richard Irons 6 years ago

    Where did the diagrams go?

  • Richard Irons 6 years ago

    Hi- I need the pics on page 3 of this- they aren’t appearing. Just picked up a used guitar with p-rails and I think the wiring is not correct.

  • Richard Irons 6 years ago

    FYI, it looks like the wiring schematics are online even though the Part 3 links are broken. You can find the schematic you want from http://www.seymourduncan.com/wiring-diagrams
    Can someone at SD make this a sticky or, better yet, fix the links?

  • Richard Irons 6 years ago

    Hi there! Just got a new P-Rails for my guitar neck position, but im having kind of truble figuring out how to wire this the way i wish to. I have a guitar with two Humbuckers ( both seymour duncan and the neck pickup soon to be P-Rails) it has got a 3 way toggle switch, 1 volume pot and a push pull tone pot.

    What i like to get is using the tone push/pull pot to alternate between the P90 and the rail, and that that same tone pot doesnt do nothing to the bridge pickup except be affected by the tone sweeper. ( No split coils on bridge pickup).

    Is this possible?

    Can anyone help me with the wiring on this one?

    Much appreciated!! thanks

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