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Thread: HSS with coil split wiring

  1. #1
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    Default HSS with coil split wiring

    Hi guys,

    Ive decided to go with a Warmoth built HSS strat and I want the choice to split the bridge humbucker with a pull/push pot.

    Would really appreciate your thought and comments on my wiring diagram below as im not sure if it will work or sound good.

    Im also open to comments on pickup choices, pots and caps values. Im sure some of you guys have tried out such combinations before.

    This is what im trying to achieve.

    1 master vol push/pull, 1 tone (neck and middle), 1 tone bridge.

    Thanks

    Click image for larger version. 

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    HSS wiring.pdf
    Last edited by TEOTM; 09-18-2017 at 05:53 AM.

  2. #2
    Ultimate Tone Slacker gregory's Avatar
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    Default Re: HSS with coil split wiring

    I can see you put a good deal of thought into this. It looks pretty good. I do have a few comments/suggestions.

    First things first:
    You want to use RW/RP for the neck pickup and the standard phase/polarity for the middle; otherwise, you will have to flip the magnet and reverse the wires of the JB in order for middle pickup and slug coil of the JB to be hum-cancelling when combined.

    Pot Values:
    A 500k volume pot and a 500k tone pot for the humbucker is generally a good idea. Depending on the pickup, you could get away with 250k for the volume and possibly 250k for the tone, but since you opted to tie the middle and neck singles to the same tone control, 500k makes good sense, especially when both tone controls would be combined when bridge + middle is selected. I'll touch more on this later.

    Cap Values:
    Your cap values are off by a factor of ten. They're supposed to be 0.022uF and 0.047uF. I prefer calling them 22nF and 47nF, so I will refer to them as such. When running a lot of gain with high output humbuckers, 47nF can be a pretty good idea, otherwise it can be pretty extreme. I'm not all that sure a JB has enough lower mids for a 47nF to be all that effective. You might even consider going in the other direction with 15nF or 10nF depending on what you want to get out of it.

    5-Position Blade Operation:
    Your diagram doesn't indicate that the coil-split will work when the middle and bridge are combined. I imagine that this is just an oversight.

    Recommendations:
    When I first looked at your post I didn't realize which pickups you were using and my initial suggestion was for you to use a Fender 5-way Super Switch. The reason was so that you could optimize the volume and tone controls, depending on which pickups were selected. However, you chose a JB for the bridge which can sound shrill with 500k pots. There's still the dilemma over having two tone controls active when the bridge + middle combination is selected. A 5-way Super Switch can solve that problem. In addition, a 5-way Super Switch will allow you to have more control over your pickup combinations. For example, you can automatically split the JB to the slug coil when it is combined with the middle pickup. That way you could have the push/pull toggle the JB between series and parallel operation. It is also possible to have the push/pull only be active when the JB is on by itself. A Super Switch can combine the neck and bridge in one of the 5 positions. Some people like to do this in the middle instead of having the middle on by itself, as another example.

    Even if you don't decide to go with a Super Switch, I would use a 250k volume control. I'd still go with a 500k tone control for the bridge, unless you find that you don't like the way it sounds above 7 or 8. I'd probably just use 22nF for the bridge tone cap as well, though I would definitely experiment with that value.

    As for split vs. parallel vs. series on the JB, I happen to really like the sound when it is split to the slug coil, either by itself or when combined with a middle single coil. When combined with an SSL-2, I would only ever use the JB's slug coil. When running the JB by itself, parallel can still sound very good, and has the benefit of being hum-cancelling.

    FWIW, I used a JB with an SSL-6T in the neck and an SSL-2 in the middle for many years. In the right guitar it can be a killer combination. The SSL-6T was standard phase/polarity and the SSL-2 was RW/RP. I flipped the magnet and reversed the wiring on the JB. I also added a low-pass shelf when the SSL-6 was tapped. The low-pass shelf helped make the tapped SSL-6 sound more like an SSL-2.
    Last edited by gregory; 09-18-2017 at 02:34 PM.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: HSS with coil split wiring

    Quote Originally Posted by gregory View Post
    I can see you put a good deal of thought into this. It looks pretty good. I do have a few comments/suggestions.

    First things first:
    You want to use RW/RP for the neck pickup and the standard phase/polarity for the middle; otherwise, you will have to flip the magnet and reverse the wires of the JB in order for middle pickup and slug coil of the JB to be hum-cancelling when combined.

    Pot Values:
    A 500k volume pot and a 500k tone pot for the humbucker is generally a good idea. Depending on the pickup, you could get away with 250k for the volume and possibly 250k for the tone, but since you opted to tie the middle and neck singles to the same tone control, 500k makes good sense, especially when both tone controls would be combined when bridge + middle is selected. I'll touch more on this later.

    Cap Values:
    Your cap values are off by a factor of ten. They're supposed to be 0.022uF and 0.047uF. I prefer calling them 22nF and 47nF, so I will refer to them as such. When running a lot of gain with high output humbuckers, 47nF can be a pretty good idea, otherwise it can be pretty extreme. I'm not all that sure a JB has enough lower mids for a 47nF to be all that effective. You might even consider going in the other direction with 15nF or 10nF depending on what you want to get out of it.

    5-Position Blade Operation:
    Your diagram doesn't indicate that the coil-split will work when the middle and bridge are combined. I imagine that this is just an oversight.

    Recommendations:
    When I first looked at your post I didn't realize which pickups you were using and my initial suggestion was for you to use a Fender 5-way Super Switch. The reason was so that you could optimize the volume and tone controls, depending on which pickups were selected. However, you chose a JB for the bridge which can sound shrill with 500k pots. There's still the dilemma over having two tone controls active when the bridge + middle combination is selected. A 5-way Super Switch can solve that problem. In addition, a 5-way Super Switch will allow you to have more control over your pickup combinations. For example, you can automatically split the JB to the slug coil when it is combined with the middle pickup. That way you could have the push/pull toggle the JB between series and parallel operation. It is also possible to have the push/pull only be active when the JB is on by itself. A Super Switch can combine the neck and bridge in one of the 5 positions. Some people like to do this in the middle instead of having the middle on by itself, as another example.

    Even if you don't decide to go with a Super Switch, I would use a 250k volume control. I'd still go with a 500k tone control for the bridge, unless you find that you don't like the way it sounds above 7 or 8. I'd probably just use 22nF for the bridge tone cap as well, though I would definitely experiment with that value.

    As for split vs. parallel vs. series on the JB, I happen to really like the sound when it is split to the slug coil, either by itself or when combined with a middle single coil. When combined with an SSL-2, I would only ever use the JB's slug coil. When running the JB by itself, parallel can still sound very good, and has the benefit of being hum-cancelling.

    FWIW, I used a JB with an SSL-6T in the neck and an SSL-2 in the middle for many years. In the right guitar it can be a killer combination. The SSL-6T was standard phase/polarity and the SSL-2 was RW/RP. I flipped the magnet and reversed the wiring on the JB. I also added a low-pass shelf when the SSL-6 was tapped. The low-pass shelf helped make the tapped SSL-6 sound more like an SSL-2.
    Hi Greg,

    Really appreciate your comments and suggestions.

    I would like to know how would a 250k and 500k volume pot differ when it comes to a HSS setup?

    From my understanding usually Strats with 3 single coils have all 250k pots, while a Les Paul with humbuckers have all 500k pots.

    As for the tone pots, im keeping the 2 single coils on 250k and 47nF while the humbucker is on 500k and 22nF.

    Thanks for bring up the 5 way super switch, I might look into it for further combinations.
    Last edited by TEOTM; 09-19-2017 at 10:42 PM.

  4. #4
    Ultimate Tone Slacker gregory's Avatar
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  5. #5
    Junior Member JohnWest's Avatar
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    Default Re: HSS with coil split wiring

    Not sure the topic helped me or not but this site query is something I should have been aware of. Thanks!

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