Ganged on-off-on and on-on-on switch?


Google has failed me. Does anyone know of a ganged on-off-on and on-on-on switch? In other words, I'm looking for two differing internal switches with a single physical handle as the interface.

I'm trying to find my ideal control route for multiple pickup configurations so I'm not as focused on front-routing and pickguards for controls. I like the concept of using an on-off-on switch as an inner/both/outer coil selector and a 5 or 6-way switch for the bridge/parallel/series/neck (with some out of phase options thrown in) pickup connection. A single 2-pole switch works fine with dual humbuckers. However, an HSS setup requires one pole be swapped out for a separate on-on-on switch to handle the parallel connection of the single coils in order to keep the neck & middle quack that makes those singles worthwhile.

The workaround is of course to just drill for two different switches. However, I don't plan to ever use them in different positions so it seems like it adds annoying fiddly bits to manage when played. I'd prefer a single ganged switch if anyone knows of one.
I have been trying to unpack what you want to do overall with this wiring.

The guitar will be HSS
You will use a 5 or 6 way pickup selector switch.

The scheme you have in mind seems to need an on-off-on and on-on-on pair of switches. But you wonder if this can be done in one switch. I am not aware of such a switch though certainly it is possible to get a 4PDT switch in on on on or on off on for example.

What I have not been able to glean or visualise is what this circuit will do overall. Can you give a view of what you want to achieve in terms of pickup selection and switching?
How you plan to wire this and what each part is meant to do in relation to the above?
Do you have a diagram or sketch of this?

We can then perhaps come up with suggestions or tweaks as there may be a different way to do this.
No, the guitar will not be merely HSS. Picture one guitar with a swimming pool route or comparable routing overlays suitable for a pickguard, but with rear-routed controls. Pickup configurations will vary (HH, HSS, etc.), but the control holes drilled will be constant.

Assume 4 coils divided into 2 pairs. There will be at least one mini-switch for coil selection. In an HH setup, a single 2-pole on-off-on switch could handle both pairs of coils. This could be transferred directly to an HSS setup, but that would put the neck and middle pickups in series instead of the desired parallel quack that makes HSS worthwhile. The parallel SS pair requires an on-on-on switch for coil switching. That's an extra hole/control.

I am wondering if there is a suitable gang switch. A gang switch will fit in a single hole, but internally it is multiple switches. For instance, it is common to add poles to create multiples of the same kind of switch. However, I am wondering if anyone knows of a gang switch which is internally different kind of switches (with at least one pole on-off-on and 2 poles on-on-on).

If not, then two micro-switches it is.

[Edit: I realize you grok the switch request itself. I just figured I better try rewriting it all since it was found confusing.  :) ]
Not groking it.  Need a diagram or two showing the results of what you want.
I can say with some authority that there is no switch like that out there.  I think you need to find another way to accomplish your goals.

and like the other folks, I'm not catchin' what you're throwin' (as they say around here)
That authority being your years of pedal and guitar electronics, Mayfly. Understood.

Fortunately, the workaround is to just drill two holes for two separate switches. It works fine and it's still easy to wire. It's just slightly more awkward to play.

Anyway, here's a diagram of the desired-but-probably-fictional switch that I would theoretically use with HSS pickups if I could get away with a single miniswitch hole drilled.



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Put them close together and join the toggles with a small bar sort of like this to create a custom T toggle.


stratamania said:
Put them close together and join the toggles with a small bar sort of like this to create a custom T toggle.



Indeed, thank you. I was thinking of something like that. It's hard to say what I would use without the specific switches in front of me. Maybe I could layer excess material from the pickup pickguard to make the bar. If one of the switches was instead a normal size 3-way switch, maybe I could use the rubber cap to keep it from flying off. Alternatively, Google led me to these miniswitch caps. If couldn't put the bar underneath the cap(s) then maybe I could still wedge it on.
stratamania said:
Could you not make the wiring work with a 4PDT?

A 3-way 4pdt (on/on/on) switch would handle the single coils and their parallel connections fine. Likewise, it would handle the individual coils of the bridge humbucker fine. However, the problem is then reversed to how to get a series connection for the humbucker in the middle switch position. (Granted, I'm not picky about the switch positions themselves as long as the 2 circuits match. In other words, bridge north coil & middle pickup switch positions should match, series & parallel connection switch positions should match, and bridge south coil & neck pickup switch positions should match.) If this is possible, feel free to show me as I'm quite new to this.

:doh: [Edit: Meh. I just realized the out of phase portion of my Usage diagram isn't quite what I want. I should be putting my single coils out of phase and grounding the southern humbucker coil so there's one less wire to worry about when I get to the 5 or 6-way switch... Not that the muted out of phase humbucker coil mistake in the diagram is anything I'd be proud of either.]
Ok we have a diagram that you have done and a discussion of it might not be HSS as you might change it.

We really need to focus in on one scenario only.


What pickups will this guitar have for this scheme only?

Can you give a view of what you want to achieve in terms of pickup selection and switching?

With a 4PDT switch what do you want each of the pickups to do in each position?

What is the plan for a 4PDT witch in combination with a five or six way selector.

Please try to be really specific as that is the only way to do this. 

@stratamania: This is not to sound ungrateful and I apologize if it somehow feels too familiar or in any way condescending as that is not my intention. I honestly thought this thread was done multiple posts ago. I was going to use 2 switches with a possible attempt at joining them with a physical handle. I only asked for the dpt solution because you brought it up. Now you claim to not understand what was required so it's rather moot. I grok that you've had to deal with a lot of confused newbies, but understand from my perspective that you've just thrown out a random answer and then made demands on me in order to increase pressure on yourself in reply. Don't burn out! :)

In case you still need to calm stray thoughts, here's the info requested. Should your eyes become cartoon swirly at any point, please relax and value your time!

The only scenario that was asked about was HSS. The switch(es) will be swapped out when the pickups are swapped out so there is no magical switch that also fits my HH desires being asked for. I was just checking how many holes to drill.

There are dedicated coil selector controls. The neck and middle single coil pickups should be merged in parallel with each other or selected individually. The bridge's humbucker coils should be merged in series with each other or selected individually. (Perhaps you prefer to wire your HSS humbucker coils in parallel with each other? The 4pdt switch would indeed make sense for that. It's not my humbucker preference though.)

The gang switch I wanted for coil selection is apparently fictional. I currently have to deal with two switches unless another single switch solution is found. The positions are:
  • On-off-on switch: Bridge north coil. On-On-On switch: Middle pickup
  • On-off-on switch: Bridge coils in series. On-On-On switch: Neck & middle pickups in parallel.
  • On-off-on switch: Bridge south coil. On-On-On switch: Neck pickup.

The bridge coil selection output goes to its volume and tone knobs. The SS coil selection output goes to its own volume and tone knobs. The knobs are wired '50s style.

The 5-way super (or 6-way Freeway) switch is the last stop before the output jack. Due to the previously mentioned switches, it's soldered like I'm only dealing with two 2-wire pickups. With the bridge's south start grounded, there are 3 wires to consider. Those are the start of the single coil pair (from the SS volume knob), the ends of the single coil pair merged together, and the start of the bridge (from the bridge volume knob). Then I go through the permutations to solder selections for bridge, out of phase (probably series unless I get a 6-way to fit both), parallel, series, neck.

I want this specific layout because it's easy to mentally map and within my skills to wire.
Thanks for the additional information.

I do not think it is possible with a single switch, even using two poles of an 4PDT on on on for the bridge series link and jumpers between the poles you would end up with one of the positions not doing what you currently want two switches to do.  Unless you were able to modify a 4PDT on on on so one pole was on off on.


I don't have stray thoughts or give random answers and whatever my preference may or may not be for wiring HSS is not relevant. And, please don't make negative ad hominem jokes about burn out and valuing time etc towards myself or others.

I am asking some valid questions to zero in on what it is you are actually trying to do overall for this wiring scheme only. Which you now say is 
The only scenario that was asked about was HSS.
Earlier in the thread in response to validating that it will be HSS
No, the guitar will not be merely HSS.
, which may be interesting for a general discussion but not to zero in on something.
Since you are suggesting to use a 5-way super switch, its possible to allocate some of these options to the 5-way selector positions.  I don't know if its more intuitive to do this, or perhaps worse.  To simplify the layout you could use a push-pull potentiometer to select the "Out of Phase" option, which I guess you would not use very often.  I want to ask if you are interested in my suggestion before I post a wiring diagram.
These are the proposed combinations:

1.  Bridge Humbucker
2.  Bridge Split(inside coil) + Middle
3.  Bridge Split(outside coil) + Neck
4.  Middle + Neck
5.  Neck.

1.  Bridge Humbucker
2.  Bridge Split(inside coil) + Middle
3.  Bridge Humbucker + Series(Middle and Neck)
4.  Middle
5.  Series(Middle and Neck).

1.  Bridge Humbucker
2.  Bridge Split(outside coil) + Middle "OUT OF PHASE"
3.  Bridge Split(inside coil) + Neck "OUT OF PHASE"
4.  Middle + Neck
5.  Neck.

1.  Bridge Humbucker
2.  Bridge Split(outside coil) + Middle "OUT OF PHASE"
3.  Bridge Humbucker + Series(Middle and Neck) "OUT OF PHASE"
4.  Middle
5.  Series(Middle and Neck)

Please let me know if these are the combinations you wanted or if I may have gone wide of target.