Rotary Switch


New member
I'm new to guitar electronics so some of my questions may sound dum to some of you guys. Does anybody know if i can get a 5-position 6-pole rotary switch? The reason i ask is because i want to use this wiring for two humbucker but only use one switch. If i can't buy a 5-position 6-pole switch, is there a way that i can make one from two switches?

here is the link for the diagram i am using
its the last one on the page

brendan that you linked to for the diagram sells both the rotary switch and a PRS wiring kit with switch included for your two humbucker setup...
The one in the diagram is a 4p5t switch, not 6p5t

The "problem" with what you want - 6p5t is the size.  The way off the shelf switches are made, you can get 12 divided by the number of poles, per wafer.  That is, 1p12t, or 2p6t, or, 3p4t, or 4p3t, or 6p2t.  Commonly you'll not see the last item mentioned but they do it. 

So... to do a 2p5t switch, what they do is make up a 2p6t switch, and make it rotation-limited, being able to use only 5 positions.  You get that on one wafer.  If you want 4p5t, you need two wafers, and that will fit inside a 1-3/4 inch body depth.  However, for a 6p5t switch, you'll need THREE wafers and that will NOT fit in the space you've got to work in.

I've taken ALPHA brand "screw together" switches, and meticulously shortened the spacers and standoffs... and reduced the depth of a double waver switch by about 1/8 inch, making it "just fit" in a 1-1/2 inch body depth.  You can maybe get not quite 1/4 inch off a 3wafer switch, but it still wont fit in a 1-3/4 inch body. 

A source of oddball rotary switches is Surplus Sales of Nebraska, google them for the website.  I've used them, they're good folks.
The regular source for ALPHA switches is MOUSER Electronics

And finally.... a problem with rotary switches is that they are terrible in a gigging situation.  A toggle 3 position or even 5 on a Strat, is ok and gives you good tactile and visual feedback for changes while playing.  Rotary switches dont do that, except maybe 3 position ones.  The Gibson L6s used a 6 position switch, and while the tones were great, it sucked for live play because of that switch.  My latest (and maybe last) preferred wiring is a 3 position toggle and 3 way rotary, which lets you use the toggle for live play, and get the "other tones"  as needed.  You sorta get the best of both worlds there.

Here it is in its "experimental" form.  I've since replaced the pots, and made it neat inside there.  This was... just meant to prove the design and work out the values of the components.


You see a volume control at top, rotary switch, middle control at lower left, and treble at lower right.  The black thing with 2 wires is a 1.8Henry 55ohm impedance humbucking choke.  Uses three capacitors, the resistor has been eliminated.  This gives you five distinct and useful tones:  Bridge, Both in parallel, Neck, Both in series, Both 2/3's out of phase (gets the snarl, keeps the volume and low end).
Yah, I'm weird but I LIKE the ROTARY switch.
I got 2 guitars with it:



I say GO FER IT!~
Esteemed brother, and most Reverend Vic.... I agree.  But its not cuz of the switch!  Its all the shellfish and seafood lasagne man...  gimme some o' dat!