HSH with Tone Zone/?/Air Norton - Which single and how would you wire it?

PFDarkside

Senior Member
Messages
271
I’ve got a pretty cool body/neck combo here that is routed for HSH. I was debating EMG vs Passive. Let’s say I went for Dimarzio’s EVH-ish Tone Zone/Air Norton combo. What would you choose for the middle and what wiring choices would you make? (Assume a non-standard switch like a Superswitch, Schaller MegaSwitch or Freeway)

I see the J-Prestige guitars come with a True Velvet in the middle. I think they do the JEM wiring, splitting the bridge/neck in positions 2/4 and just going single in the middle. I’d be into the split 2/4 but a bridge/neck combo might be nice. Another option would be a noiseless Middle like an Area 61 and split it for 2/4 as well. Could do a Freeway for a few different options. Or maybe just Strat style 5-way with a push/pull to split the bridge/neck or do a push/pull for a neck on?


Thoughts? I can work on the wiring diagram after I figure out the options I want!

Also it had a drilled hole for a toggle, so that’s open for fun stuff too.
 
If you go the Freeway option I'd have one bank for strat style, then the other bank with series and more parallel options. Put in a switch to globally split the pups. As to pups, dealers choice.
 
DiMarzio DP175 True Velvet in the middle, 5 way wiring with bridge+neck in pos 3, push pull coil split on the volume knob.
 
It depends whether you want hum-cancelling pickup in middle position.

I would probably go for the old Dimarzio HS-2 and wire it so it uses the top coil only. That means it will NOT be hum-cancelling by itself in position 3. The advantage is the steel backplate + shrouding gives it good output when operating as a single coil. Other advantage is the Alnico 5 magnets, and the way it matches with 500k controls. The disadvantage of the HS-2 is the vintage staggered poles give uneven string balance. IMO, Flat poles or modern poles like the DP175 are likely to give better string balance. Other thing to note: The HS-2 is Not a great pickup for hum-cancelling as it kills a lot of output. Hum-cancelling can work with 500k pots, but it leaves a lot to be desired IMO.

 
If you do end up getting a True Velvet, select the DP175-S. The 'S' option in Dimarzio-speak means south magnetic polarity so it will be hum-cancelling with the slug poles of the humbuckers in positions 2 and 4.
 
Last edited:
To confirm you’d go:
P/P Down - B/B+M/B+N/N+M/N
P/P Up - Same but split Bridge and Neck
Maybe. I was falling asleep when I wrote that…

The True Velvet is a classic Ibanez combo with the AN/TZ set. As for what you do with the middle position wiring… I have not found much use for a middle Strat pickup by itself. If that’s a sound you like, stick with JEM wiring. IMHO parallel single coils bridge + neck is a much more desirable sound, but after a cup of coffee I’m not sure if I wouldn’t also just use the auto split on the 2/4 positions and ignore the coil split switch outright. You’d miss out on neck+bridge humbuckers in parallel.
 
Maybe. I was falling asleep when I wrote that…

The True Velvet is a classic Ibanez combo with the AN/TZ set. As for what you do with the middle position wiring… I have not found much use for a middle Strat pickup by itself. If that’s a sound you like, stick with JEM wiring. IMHO parallel single coils bridge + neck is a much more desirable sound, but after a cup of coffee I’m not sure if I wouldn’t also just use the auto split on the 2/4 positions and ignore the coil split switch outright. You’d miss out on neck+bridge humbuckers in parallel.
I’m thinking that a SuperSwitch/Multipole and a toggle like the following would be intuitive and sound good:

1. Tone Zone (series)
2. Tone Zone (split; N) & True Velvet
3. Tone Zone (series) & Air Norton (series)
4. Air Norton (split; N) & True Velvet
5. Air Norton (see toggle status)

Toggle pos.1 = Air Norton (series)
Toggle pos.2 = Air Norton (parallel)

This would act like a Strat except the middle is N/B, and allow a brighter sound in the neck if needed. All positions would be hum cancelling. Familiar positions from playing a Strat and should be some good tones.
 
I’m thinking that a SuperSwitch/Multipole and a toggle like the following would be intuitive and sound good:

1. Tone Zone (series)
2. Tone Zone (split; N) & True Velvet
3. Tone Zone (series) & Air Norton (series)
4. Air Norton (split; N) & True Velvet
5. Air Norton (see toggle status)

Toggle pos.1 = Air Norton (series)
Toggle pos.2 = Air Norton (parallel)

This would act like a Strat except the middle is N/B, and allow a brighter sound in the neck if needed. All positions would be hum cancelling. Familiar positions from playing a Strat and should be some good tones.
That makes sense to me. You may also consider a Gilmour mod if you do want that solo middle tone as well.
 
Thought about it and if you don't go with dimarzios then jb bridge; Lil 59 middle and regular 59 neck
 
I know, it's a classic combo. I'll give it some more thought, currently my favorite neck pick up is the dimarzio vintage mini humbucker ... not sure what would go in the middle or bridge though ...
 
I never tried the 59 but JB/Jazz was my first set of aftermarket pickups ever. My guitar teacher recommended them to me, had the same set in a Hamer he played and he always sounded great. I remember thinking how big they sounded compared to my stock Chinese Ibanez. Those pickups jumped to an Epiphone Dot when I hit my Alex Lifeson devotee phase where they still live today.
 
True Velvet works fine but I actually put a dummy pickup with no magnet in an HSH Ibanez RG with the Air Norton and TZ with a three-way switch.
 
Back
Top