First guitar - like my schematic?


Master Member
Hi!  This is my first post and my first guitar.  It's a Les Paul trapped in a black korina Strat body.  I'm going to call it the "S-Paul".  :)

Anyway, S-Paul and I could really use your help

Here's a schematic I drafted up.  My father is an electrical engineer, so I know how to draw schematics, but I'm not an electrical engineer, so I'm not positive it'll work.  The controls are just two push/push pots.  One's a volume knob that switches pickups, and the other's a tone knob that splits the humbuckers.  What do you guys think?  Did I break something?  Will the coil split work?  The tone knob?

(Both push-push switches are DPDT but I only drew one of the throws for the pickup selector/volume knob, since the other is unused.)

That schematic is too hard to read, try a white background and black conductors.

I dont like your idea of a push/push to select pups, that means bridge or neck only , not both, or you could have one on all the time and add the other with push push, Coil splitting is over rated as well. 

I appreciate your criticism. man, but I've put a lot of thought into the control layout.  True, I'll only be able to select neck or bridge and not both, but I've never felt the need to turn on two humbies at once.  Also true that too many people are concerned with coil splitting (I'm looking at you, shredders!), but I occasionally like to hear the Strat quack out of my axe and I don't want to jam in a third pickup.  I have a Strat with single coils, true, but adding the push-push split costs me very little and makes my new guitar more versatile in the abstract.

If I'm out of line here please yell at me!  But I thought I knew what I was looking for.

Moving along...

I was just looking for a little QA on the circuit before I whip out the ol' soldering iron.  Anyone have a critique or a go-ahead for me?  Thanks!
dbw, your schematic is too hard to read without any labels of what the wires are. For instance, what wires out of the pups are which ?  It looks like you've got everything going to ground, for one thing.  I don't know, it'll help us non-electricians (cept for CB) if you make it look more like the nice clear ones on the SD website: You can just draw it up freehand in MS paint or whatever whiz-bang the maccers use.

And I do agree with Alfang that you lose more than you gain with your idea. The both-HB sound can be a pretty key sound, and I don't know why you would not want that option. A LP -type switch is simple, reliable, gives a visual indication of what's up, and can be placed out of the way somewhere. The other big problem with your idea is that you'll never be able to get both pickups + the coil split for the strat quack '2' sound; all you'll get is the crappy thin individual split hum sound. Finally, I would not trust the reliability of those push-push pots to be my main pup switcher, I think a robust purpose-made switch is better for that. Just add a LP switch and all those problems are solved. But it's your guitar, and that's why your building it, so don't feel you need to listen to my advice.

Well, give it a shot and if it doesn't work out, you can always drill another hole and add a switch.
You guys have given me some stuff to think about; I might add more controls.

But I'm still looking for any technical criticism on my schematic!  Thanks :)
We both said your schematic is too hard to read. Send us a more readable one and we'll definitely comment.
looks good but you forgot the ground on the # 3 (or #1 depending on how you lok at it) post of the volume pot. with out this the guitar never quite turns off.

your schematic looks ok but it may be hard for some to read. i guess it's not clear to all that only the intersections with the red dots are connected, maybe add some half circles at the points where they cross over.

good luck on your build
Good catch Dimitri!  Thanks.

Yeah, you gotta keep in mind that two nets crossing doesn't mean they're connected; only if there's a dot at the intersection.

Anyway I've been working on a version with a 3-way switch.  I think I'll use a rotary switch since I don't really like the LP toggles... kinda ugly and I always hit them by accident.  I found a 4P3T switch at Mouser that should blend in with the pots if I put the same knob on it.

Of course that means one of my push-pushes isn't doing anything.  Maybe I'll use it as a kill switch.
Here's the circuit from the first post in "paint" format.  The wires from the humbuckers are colored like Seymour Duncan humbuckers (with blue = white).

Here's another paint drawing... this one has the rotary switch configuration I mentioned earlier.  So if one of the the push/pushes breaks I easily short the switch (losing either the kill or the split, but I'd still be able to switch pups).

It also has the considerable advantage of letting me select both pups, giving me more options:

Vol on: kill
Tone on, position 1: bridge hb
Tone on, position 2: bridge hb, neck hb
Tone on, position 3: neck hb
Tone off, position 1: bridge split
Tone off, position 2: bridge split, neck split (I'd wire this to be hum canceling, which this drawing is actually not)
Tone off, position 3: neck split

Do you guys like this one better?
dbw    dude give it up, you can't design a guitar circuit to save your ass, NONE of what you have drawn will work, the only way it will work is if your solder something by accident.

Your most recent schematic, whats the wires on the tone pot push/push switch gonna do? answer is nothing,
then your leaving the tone pot , and connecting to the volume pot, so the tone pot is in series with the volume pot, parts of it won't work and the rest just isn't right,

Your previous schematic has each pup output going to the wrong leads on the push/push switch, that wont work either. that shcematic also has the signal going THROUGH the tone pot then to the volume.

Go to seymour duncan and study some real schematics

Theres a million schematics already out there, use one of them
Jeez, dude.  I don't know why you're being so nasty, but...

First of all, that is not a real schematic.  That's a pretty picture.  The black and green monstrosity in my first post is a real schematic.  But moving along...

Secondly, yes, you are right about the tone pot.  I ran the signal "through" the pot instead of "past" it.  But if you ignore my drawing and look at my schematic I had it right.  I drew the paint picture at work, without the schematic to look at, using the worst tool ever created (MS Paint).

As for the coil split and the first push/push... I have no idea how those switches are laid out.  Apparently the pole is the center two contacts and not the top two like I assumed?  Oh well, I would have checked that with a multimeter anyway before I started soldering.  This is why pictures aren't as good as schematics.

Finally, I've successfully rewired my little Peavey fat strat clone.  Was not difficult.  Apparently I'm not utterly retarded.  My dad taught me to solder when I was 8, and I've done a project or two since then.  Well, thanks anyway.  All the other posts I've read on this site have been very friendly, so I don't know what your problem is.

(...and now I'll put my foot in my mouth by making a correction to my original schematic... the net attached to pin 2 of the upper pole of the tone DPDT should be attached to pin 3 instead.)
DBW, correct the pole is the center two contacts, which is one of the problems I see, and Alfang may be grouchy but he is correct in his criticism of your schematic, which is what you asked for. There are a lot of these things already on the web, is his point, there's no need to draw them up as if you're inventing them. Don't worry though, this board is a friendly place overall.  :eek:ccasion14: btw, are you actually building a warmoth guitar? You never said. Please give us pictures ASAP if so, because
board-> pictures : zombie -> brains
Yes!  I am building a Warmoth.  The parts should be shipping in a few days or so.  It's an all-black korina hollow strat, with an ebony on rosewood neck.  Rear routed, SD Custom 5 and SD '59, recessed TOM/string-through, stainless frets... should be pretty awesome.  Once it's put together I'm buying a Marshall half-stack and cranking it until the upstairs neighbors call the cops!

Sorry I was so irritable, now that I've had a few drinks I'm much friendlier.  :toothy11:  Love ya, Alfang, hope we can be pals!

Pictures will be coming soon, fear not.  I'll link to a gallery in "just out of the box".
yea there wasn't technically much wrong with the first drawing, just an irregular control system and a missing ground.
the last one though needs some work.

for the push pull coil taps the commons are in the middle you'll need to connect the taps to these.
the tone mearly shunts the signal to ground through a capacitor. there is no need to use all 3 posts, just take the hot from the switch and and run it to the third post like you have it and also the third post on the volume. in parallel.
the center post on the tone gets the cap.

the kill switch, i think a toggle would be more useful. i guess the idea is to do wierd rythmic stuff by killing the guitar rapidly. dificult to do with a push pull switch. also simply shorting the signal to ground would be better. kills all noise including interference. just run the wire from the output to the switch and jack in parallel and run the switch to ground.

and now for the not as obvious. using the in between position and the coil taps together will give both p/u the same magnetic and electrical polarity
this will give you hum. not a huge deal but if you want to improve the design you can either switch the black and green wires and flip the magnet on one pickup.. OR you can solder the black and green together and use the red and white for the hot and ground although i cant remember off the top of my head which one goes where to get the correct phase.
DiMitriR33 said:
looks good but you forgot the ground on the # 3 (or #1 depending on how you lok at it) post of the volume pot.

Give that man a gold ceegar!

Glad somebody caught that - also -

So, whats so special about that schematic?  Its you're basic two pickups, selector switch, one tone one volume control type of circuit.  What am I missing here, other than its nice and easy to read?