Wiring options for 3 P-90's

exalted

Senior member
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723
I'm not sure what I should do in terms of wiring with my 3 P-90 Jazzmaster. Obviously a 5-way switch would be the most logical, but I'm not sure where I'd even put it.

It's front-routed, and I don't have any definitive ideas on wiring options. What would you all do?
 

greywolf

Senior member
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1,085
I'd do a 5 way .. it would be like a strat on steroids .. I have a 2 P90 setup and love the combintations.
 

exalted

Senior member
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723
After reading quite a bit, the way Gibson wires three-pickup guitars seems appealing...a three-way toggle with the middle always on and an adjustable volume...though maybe something more like this:

ettwug.jpg


But Gibson does that with humbuckers, and I'll be doing it with P-90's. I still want some humbucking options...could I wire it so the middle position of the switch (neck+bridge) would be humbucking? Or would that mean that the middle pickup would always be out of phase?

Also, if I did it like this, are there any other nifty options I could install if I used a push-pull for the tone pot, too?
 

exalted

Senior member
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723
Yeah, that's basically what I'm after, but I'm just worried about the humbucking options.
 

bpmorton777

Senior member
Messages
1,651
these are single coil. you might have a choice as to what polarity you get when you buy them. If they are custum wound Lolers or Fralins you could have them do it the way you want. You just have to decide what combos are going to be hum canceling.

Brian
 

exalted

Senior member
Messages
723
bpmorton777 said:
these are single coil. you might have a choice as to what polarity you get when you buy them. If they are custum wound Lolers or Fralins you could have them do it the way you want. You just have to decide what combos are going to be hum canceling.

Brian

Thanks for the input. I meant humbucking in the technical sense (hum-bucking)...not the type of pickup sense  :)

I am indeed going with Lollars. So I could have the neck reverse wound, and neck-middle and neck-bridge would both be hum-canceling options?
 

exalted

Senior member
Messages
723
bpmorton777 said:
that is what i said! :icon_jokercolor:

Brian

Haha. A novice like me can never be too sure!

I don't know...maybe I'll end up doing a 5-way switch...I just can't decide!

It doesn't look too shabby on this guitar

fretking-esprit-3-c-850-75.jpg


And since my JM is going to be one of Warmoth's new "split" types, the pickguard will look similar to that.
 

Unwound G

Senior member
Messages
835
What you need to find out is whether your middle P90 pickup is in reverse magnetic polarity and reverse wounded to the other two pickups.  This is often referred to as RWRP and can be ordered from most pickup manufacturers with this specification.

Next you need to learn about pickups connected in series or in parallel.

Assuming the middle pickup is RWRP to the neck and bridge pickups, you will have two more pickup selection choices.  If you use a Strat type 5 way switch, these are the switching options available :-

Position 1 - Neck pickup on.
Position 2 - Neck and middle pickups on in parallel (hum-canceling)
Position 3 - Middle pickup on.
Position 4 - Middle and bridge pickups on in parallel (hum-canceling)
Position 5 - Bridge pickup on.

Now if you add a switch to active the middle pickup to be on at all positions,

Position 1 - Middle pickup joins up to Neck pickup in series making this position work and sound like a humbucker for a fat and creamy tone without hum.
Position 5 - Middle pickup joins up to Bridge pickup in series making this position work and sound like a humbucker for a fat and biting tone without hum.

P90 pickups sound particularly sweet in the above 2 positions with the added versatility of emulating humbucker tones.
 

exalted

Senior member
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723
Thanks for the input! That sounds like a good idea. The Lollar website says I can get any of them RWRP.

The middle p90 would be wired up twice, essentially, right? Once to the 5-way switch, and then once directly to push-pull pot (and that output is attached directly to the 5-way switch's output)?
 

Mor Paul

Senior member
Messages
7,238
If you have a push-pull for the middle, couldn't you have a 4 way switch to give you the other tones?
1 Bridge
2 Bridge + Neck
3 Middle
4 Neck

Then have the push-pull to turn on the middle except for pos. 3.
 

exalted

Senior member
Messages
723
That would work (I didn't even realize they *made* 4-way switches...pretty interesting), but I think I can get more sound combos out of a 5-way with push-pull like Unwound suggested. And that's my goal for this guitar...get as much mileage out of it as possible.  :glasses10:
 

Mor Paul

Senior member
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7,238
Whoops, I didn't see the different series/parallel options.

Would you want a bridge+neck option in there.
 

exalted

Senior member
Messages
723
No, not really. But I don't want to go too crazy.

15mz9jk.jpg


The body will only be routed under the right section, so I'm working with limited room (and I don't want anything that will get in the way of my playing, of course).
 

Unwound G

Senior member
Messages
835
Exalted, I will try to draw a rough schematic for the switching options and email the  PDF file to you.

Hopefully, I can do it by tomorrow morning.
 

ironiguana

Active member
Messages
42
I did this one with 3 single coils (did not add phase switch):

http://www.guitarnuts.com/wiring/mikerichardson.php

Whats nice about it is that it gives you a bunch of parallel or series combos.  We're used to parallel combos, but putting them in series adds a bit of punch to them.  Virtual HB's.

Works well with single coils, could be cool with P-90's...
 
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