Three way switch middle position parallel bridge


Junior Member
Hi! Question:

I have a 3 way blade switch with a single coil in the neck and a humbucker in the bridge.

Without an additional switch or push/pull pot, is it possible to wire this switch so that the neck position is the single coil, the bridge position is the humbucker in series and the middle position is the humbucker in parallel?

Based on my understanding, using DiMarzio humbucker wire colors:
Series = red:hot, white:black
Parallel = red:hot, white:hot, black:ground
In both configurations, green and exposed go to ground

I think you would need a 4way to do this.

A standard 4 way will not work either for what is being asked for.

Yes, it can give you the extra option of both pickups in series with each other in addition to parallel, but that is between two pickups. To be able to do the humbucker series/parallel switching in addition to the other elements of pickup selection, more than two poles are needed.

I am fairly certain there was another post asking almost the same thing a while ago and that there was a link to a tele switch with additional poles but I cannot find it now.

Of course, a 5 way superswitch could do this easily and you then have the option of having other positions also such as neck and bridge together etc.

Here is a useful thread discussing 5 way switching for a P Rails and neck SC. But similar logic applies to a normal humbucker. The thread has several diagrams - see page 2 for a superswitch wiring that is slightly simplified to what is on page 1 but achieves the same result.

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mini switch+4way
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Also I suggest reaching out to Freeway Switch, an English company. They have a 10 way switch that might be adapted to your plan. It would be the 5B5 3PU 2 pot diagram. Conceptually what you'd do is treat the humbucker as two single coils. So you'd get the humbucker South Coil, the the humbucker in parallel, then the North Coil, then the neck and north coil in parallel, then the neck coil, then switch to the second bank and you'd get the humbucker in series, then the neck and South Coil in parallel, then the neck and South Coil in series, then all of them in parallel, then the neck and north coil in series. It gets what you're looking for plus bonus settings.

They always responded to my wiring questions via email, and I've been using their switches for 5 years now, never a failure.

How to do it, I don't know but they will be able to tell if it's doable. I don't see why not but I'm not a wiring guru and just follow the directions.
FYI, this is how it's achieved in an RG with a 5 way

ibanez 5 way switch internal connections.jpg


  • ibanez wiring diagram with humbucker in series and parallel - 2.jpg
    ibanez wiring diagram with humbucker in series and parallel - 2.jpg
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FYI, this is how it's achieved in an RG with a 5 way

View attachment 58853

That is of course using an Ibanez 5-way 3PS1CGAE5 switch, which has different internal connections than a standard 5 way blade switch. So you have to take into account not just which terminal a wire connects to, but how the switch creates connections in each position.