How would YOU wire this?

JaySwear2

Active member
Messages
84
Got this VIP body early this year after some serious deliberation. It was an HxH configuration and I had Warmoth route for a middle singlecoil. I love the HSH configuration but hadn’t at all considered that it wasn’t routed for a blade switch! Whoops  :doh:  it’s routed for volume, tone, and a 3 way toggle switch.

My first thought was that I’d use a 5 way rotary switch for bridge, bridge and middle, middle, middle and neck, neck. Is this possible? I’m having a hell of a time finding an answer and even more trouble finding a rotary diagram as a switch instead of being used as a tone alternative. Then I thought maybe I could just wire a three way toggle for the two humbuckers and wire the single to its own volume. I’d be losing a tone control that way, but then I could have whatever pickups on whenever I wanted. I’m not a big fan of splitting humbuckers, so I’m not going to bother with any pickup splitting. I’ve even considered trying concentric pots to give me volume and tone, but not sure I love the look of them.

So, UW, what would you do with this body? Thanks!

https://flic.kr/p/2jxoBbR
 

JaySwear2

Active member
Messages
84
I think so! The VIP has a pretty decent sized control cavity. That would, if I could wire it correctly, give me the
Bridge
Bridge and neck
Neck

Then

Bridge and middle
Middle
Neck and middle

I had seen the Freeway before but thought it might be too complicated for me! It might be the solution though. Wiring is my kryptonite, that’s what I’m really worried about  :laughing11:
 

rgand

Senior member
Messages
5,934
JaySwear2 said:
I had seen the Freeway before but thought it might be too complicated for me! It might be the solution though. Wiring is my kryptonite, that’s what I’m really worried about  :laughing11:
The beauty of it is to find the wiring diagram you like on their site and follow that. No engineering background needed.
 

Rick

Senior member
Messages
4,541
I'm no wiring genius either and totally rely on the diagrams.  My last build I used my tech and including set up and soldering it was less than $100.  Parkway Music in Clifton Park, NY.  And ... I really dig the freeway switches.  They make it so much easier to find the sound you're looking for, instead of flipping a mini toggle and then hitting a push pull.
 

Cactus Jack

Senior member
Messages
484
RGand is spot on, and I'd personally opt for a Freeway switch and never look back. Also, I'd wire it up exactly as you described
 

Ace Flibble

Senior member
Messages
859
+1 on the freeway, though I've never been able to find a use for the 6th position on those things. Even 5 combinations is often more than I actually use with any given guitar.

Just for the sake of it, in case people search for this subject and happen upon this thread and don't fancy the freeway, one thing I've done a few times with my personal 3-pickup toggle switch guitars is to wire the toggle as if there's just two pickups (which two depend on the guitar, but usually I'll stick to the classic bridge & neck) and then use a push-push or some other on-on switch to add in the remaining pickup to whatever the toggle switch has selected. So in the neck & bridge example, it means you can't get the middle pickup by itself but you can get bridge + middle, neck + middle, and bridge + neck + middle. Or, and this is the one I've found most useful recently to the point I might replace my freeway guitars with this, is to wire two pickups to an on-on and then that switch goes to the toggle, with only one pickup wired permanently to the 3-way toggle. In my case I throw the bridge pickup directly to the toggle and the neck & middle go to the on-on, so I'm effectively switching between an HxH and an HHx guitar. (Or S, or P, or whatever type of pickups happen to be in it.) Since I rarely use more than two pickup tones in any given song, I can just set the on-on to whatever it needs to be for the next 4-5 minutes and then only have a basic 3-way toggle to worry about. Does mean you 'only' get five tones in total, but switching mid-song is a little more brainless and there's less to go wrong than with the freeway, which I've found is a bit too easy to accidentally flip to the wrong side in the moment.
 

WindsurfMaui

Senior member
Messages
329
JaySwear2 said:
Got this VIP body early this year after some serious deliberation. It was an HxH configuration and I had Warmoth route for a middle singlecoil. I love the HSH configuration but hadn’t at all considered that it wasn’t routed for a blade switch! Whoops  :doh:  it’s routed for volume, tone, and a 3 way toggle switch.

My first thought was that I’d use a 5 way rotary switch for bridge, bridge and middle, middle, middle and neck, neck. Is this possible? I’m having a hell of a time finding an answer and even more trouble finding a rotary diagram as a switch instead of being used as a tone alternative. Then I thought maybe I could just wire a three way toggle for the two humbuckers and wire the single to its own volume. I’d be losing a tone control that way, but then I could have whatever pickups on whenever I wanted. I’m not a big fan of splitting humbuckers, so I’m not going to bother with any pickup splitting. I’ve even considered trying concentric pots to give me volume and tone, but not sure I love the look of them.

So, UW, what would you do with this body? Thanks!

https://flic.kr/p/2jxoBbR

I'm no wiring genius either. I know that PRS guitars use a 5 position rotating knob for 2 humbucker guitars. It is just a 5 way switch in a rotating format. I don't like them because I can never remember where I am and how to get to the other settings without rotating the knob to one end or the other.

I'm currently doing a HxSxH build but I am taking a different approach. I'm building the HxH as one set up and the S as a second build on the same pickguard. I don't think a single coil mixing with a humbucker is going to give we any usable tone. So the Humbuckers are for one tone and the single coil is for when I want a single coil tone. It will take me drilling a hole for a toggle switch but since I'm building a Strat drilling through a pickguard won't be a problem. Good luck.
 

Bob Hoover Ross

Senior member
Messages
143
JaySwear2 said:
My first thought was that I’d use a 5 way rotary switch for bridge, bridge and middle, middle, middle and neck, neck.

I think you might get more usable tones out of a 5-way rotary switch if you wired it up the way PRS does:

Position 1: Humbucking treble (bridge) pickup alone
Position 2: Outside coils of both pickups in parallel
Position 3: Series single coils
Position 4: Parallel single coils
Position 5: Humbucking bass (neck) pickup alone

...but I'll be honest, one of the things I've realized after years of playing various guitars with rotary switches (a PRS CE24MT, and before that a Gibson ES-345TD w/ the Varitone) is that rotary switches suck for anything you need to do mid-song.
So if I had the body and pickups you do I think I might wire the two 'buckers up like a typical Gibson Les Paul or SG, and then just drill for a mini switch that could add the single coil to any other setting.
 
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