Suhr style HSS wiring with neck on and bridge split

kdas3

New member
Messages
24
Hi everyone,

I recently modified the wiring scheme that Suhr uses in their HSS guitars to include a neck on and bridge split option. The purpose of the Suhr style HSS wiring is to ensure that the humbucker sees a regular humbucker load (usually 500k vol and 500k tone = 250k load), and the single coils see a regular single coil load (usually 250k vol and 250k tone = 125k load). To do this, they utilise a 5 way superswitch (4P5T) which introduces resistors in parallel from hot to ground, in order to modify the total load in the circuit.

My modifications to the Suhr diagram include:

[list type=decimal]
[*]Neck on switch via push/pull on Tone 1.
[*]Bridge split via push/pull on Tone 2.
[*]Tone 1 affects positions 3-5 and Tone 2 affects positions 1-2. Here position 1 is bridge humbucker.
[*]A modified treatment of the bridge slug positions. Suhr treats the bridge slug coil like a regular single coil. I found that by doing this, the bridge slug was way too dark (using a bareknuckle humbucker). Maybe Suhr humbuckers are created specifically for HSS guitars, so their wiring makes sense in their guitars. And for you techies, in my wiring diagram the mid/bridge slug position sees a 250k load, and the bridge slug position sees a 200k load.
[/list]

I have included versions of the wiring diagram with and without switches. Also, I have implemented this wiring, so it does work. And others on other forums have too.

Edit: You need to be careful about your bridge humbucker's magnet polarity in order to get humcancelling in the mid/bridge slug position. Most single coils (eg Seymour duncan, Lollar, Fralin) are south up, so the RW/RP is north up. Pretty much all humbuckers have the bridge slug being north. So e.g., if you use Seymour duncan singles, you will need a flipped magnet humbucker. Bareknuckle will do this upon request, not sure about others. To make it more confusing, some vintage or vintage replica single coils are north up. Anyway, just be aware of this before you decide to implement this wiring!

Edit 2: The humbucker colour coding convention in this diagram is for a Bareknuckle humbucker. Please make sure that if you use SD or Dimarzio or etc, that you take this into account. The corresponding wire associated with each colour is listed in the top right corner of the diagram. And please note, most manufacturers will use 'North start' to mean 'Slug start' and similar for the other wires, but for this case this is not a good idea because if you do need to flip your humbucker magnet, your slug coil is now the south coil.

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mdurg68

New member
Messages
20
Thanks, that may come in useful. I have an old Ibanez 540R that I may redo the electronics in.

I used the Pete Thorn thornbucker pickups and wiring scheme in my current (first and only) Warmoth build. Their cust serv were very friendly and sent the diagram right away.
 

stratamania

Senior member
Messages
9,481
Welcome to the forum and thanks for your post. It is good to see a wiring solution being offered.

The colour codes of the wires on the humbucker seem a bit unusual. E.g. you have both of the starts of both humbucker coils joined which might give it parallel operation but is it meant to be or in series?
 

kdas3

New member
Messages
24
No it is series. Sorry it is confusing. For series operation usually the finishes get soldered together and the starts become the hot and ground respectively. And if you want to 'reverse the wind', you would solder the starts together and the finishes become the hot and ground. There's a note about this in the diagram. For my personal setup I needed to 'reverse the wind', hence why the starts are soldered together and the finishes are hot and ground. Regardless, it is definitely series operation.

And just remember you need to be careful about your humbucker magnet polarity if you want humcancelling in the mid/bridge slug position as explained in my edit. You cannot change the polarity by moving wires, you physically have to flip the magnet. I had a 30 email conversation chain with the tech at Bareknuckle trying to explain this to him (he wasn't convinced I needed a reverse magnet). Luckily I ended up convincing him, because if I didn't...well that would have been a very expensive mistake.
 

stratamania

Senior member
Messages
9,481
Yes the starts would be joined together in series which on a Suhr or Seymour Duncan pickup would be the red and white wires.

What I was wondering really was whether the colour codes you had used matched up with the wires on the pickups or were just random colours. e.g. were the colours meant to be Suhr wiring colours as the wiring in the diagram did not match what would be expected to go where.

 

kdas3

New member
Messages
24
Apologies, I understand your question now. The colour of the humbucker wires match Bareknuckle's colour coding convention. You will need to change the colour of the humbucker wires in the diagram so it matches your pickup manufacturer's colour coding convention. The role of each wire is given in the top right, so it should be a straightforward substitution.

When I drew this up initially it was only meant for myself. But I thought it was a pretty neat way to wire a HSS so I should share it around. Maybe I should have changed the colours to match Seymour Duncan colour coding convention as they are more popular.

Thanks!
 

kdas3

New member
Messages
24
With regards to swapping the roles for starts and finishes, the following picture explains the concept well. Notice that in all 4 configs the humbucker is in series operation. The issue is whether you need to 'reverse the wind', and whether or not when you do coil splitting, the correct the coil is selected or not.

https://www.buildyourownguitar.com.au/forum/attachment.php?s=9149fa2141af6e3424792f4592878a78&attachmentid=6297&d=1446389563&thumb=1

The post was given in this forum.

https://www.buildyourownguitar.com.au/forum/showthread.php?t=4475

If you want parallel wiring, the usual way is to solder the slug start and screw finish together, this becomes your hot. Then solder the slug finish and screw start together, this becomes your ground.

Edit: Rectified parallel wiring explanation (2 years later!). It is now correct.
 

stratamania

Senior member
Messages
9,481
kdas3 said:
Apologies, I understand your question now. The colour of the humbucker wires match Bareknuckle's colour coding convention. You will need to change the colour of the humbucker wires in the diagram so it matches your pickup manufacturer's colour coding convention. The role of each wire is given in the top right, so it should be a straightforward substitution.

When I drew this up initially it was only meant for myself. But I thought it was a pretty neat way to wire a HSS so I should share it around. Maybe I should have changed the colours to match Seymour Duncan colour coding convention as they are more popular.

Thanks!

Thanks for clarifying perhaps you could mention this in your original post what the colour coding is. It is not that I want to do the wiring I am making sure on behalf of others who may see the diagrams in the future. For example if someone took a Suhr or Seymour Duncan and followed each colour in your diagram it would not give the expected result.
 

kdas3

New member
Messages
24
Thanks, I have rectified the original post to include this information. I must say it didn't even cross my mind that people would expect Suhr 4 conductor colour coding in a wiring diagram with Suhr in the name! Haha. Again, information on what wire corresponds to what colour is in the top right.

FYI, for anyone reading this, when reading a wiring diagram you should always investigate whether the colours on your 4 conductor wiring match the wiring diagram. Suhr and SD do match, but for example Dimarzio does not.

https://i.pinimg.com/originals/1b/df/9f/1bdf9f300a1527b8daac3c4582d8744a.jpg

As you can see from this picture, all 7 of these humbucker manfacturers use different colours on their 4 conductor humbucker wiring. There is no widespread standard.

https://guitarelectronics.com/guitar-wiring-resources/humbucker-wire-color-codes/

Here is a good resource that lists the colour coding utilised by a multitude of manufacturers in their 4 conductor wiring.
 

gingataff

Active member
Messages
72
Just in case it's of interest to anyone, here are some pics of the wiring in my Suhr Standard HSS. As well as resistors to ground to correct the single coil load, the super switch has two tone caps, one for the humbucker and one for the singles. Can't say I've seen any other brand with this attention to detail.
 

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