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ENGLErnieBallGraphTechBKP
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306 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys

I got a new endorsement (WHEY! :metal:) with Bare Knuckle Pickups which I am excited about, but since I'm going from Active EMG's to Passives for the first time, and considering what I plan to do, I am going to need a guru! Slightly disappointed that Bare Knuckle didn't feel they could help me with this, and I don't know where else to turn.

On the LACS I just sold, I used EMG Pi-2's emulated Phase Inversion, which I grew really fond of tonally, and I want to keep using phase inversion. I also want to do parallel switching too. So to summarise, this is what I would like in my Guitar:-

BKP Aftermath in the Bridge
BKP Nailbomb in the Neck
(Both have 4 conductor cabling)

A Stewart MacDonald "Free Way" Switch

Pickups wired to the switch as follows;

Position 1: Neck
Position 2: Both
Position 3: Bridge
Position 4: Phase Inverted Neck
Position 5: Parallel Both
Position 6: Phase inverted Both

Anyone who's able to help, thanks so much!!
 

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Mod Britannia
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7,233 Posts
That switch looks like a recipie for getting the wrong position live. I can understand why you'd want it as it fits into your Schecter. Personally I'd stick with the stock switch and fit some push/pull pots to do the switching. Seymour Duncan have a pretty comprehensive list of stuff accessed from this page. Key to getting right is knowning the colour codes, which this diagram tells you. BKP's have the same code as Peavey.
 

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Premium Member
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23,428 Posts
I'm a big fan of push/pull pots as well. I can't even stand 5-way blade switches. Whenever I get a guitar with them, I'll replace it with a tele-style 3-way blade, and push/pull pots to get extra sounds (if I need them).

Hitting the 2nd or 4th position on a 5-way is difficult live. Might take practice, but I'm generally so excited up there that it'd take years to get it right :lol:
 

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ENGLErnieBallGraphTechBKP
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306 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
That switch looks like a recipie for getting the wrong position live. I can understand why you'd want it as it fits into your Schecter. Personally I'd stick with the stock switch and fit some push/pull pots to do the switching. Seymour Duncan have a pretty comprehensive list of stuff accessed from this page. Key to getting right is knowning the colour codes, which this diagram tells you. BKP's have the same code as Peavey.
Not at all James. I went to Guitar Nation 2010 a couple of weeks ago and AllParts were there with them. Tried it out and it works far better than you'd think. Although it looks like a Les Paul style 3-way, it actually functions far better because it's not spring mounted. If you look at the top, there are 6 holes laid out in a grid. If you look closely, under one, there's a ball bearing or something. Each position locks into place solidly, and the switch moves more than the photo suggests. All in all, I think it's the best pickup switch I've ever seen!

Cheers for the wiring diagrams, that'll really help me!
 

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ENGLErnieBallGraphTechBKP
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306 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I'm a big fan of push/pull pots as well. I can't even stand 5-way blade switches. Whenever I get a guitar with them, I'll replace it with a tele-style 3-way blade, and push/pull pots to get extra sounds (if I need them).

Hitting the 2nd or 4th position on a 5-way is difficult live. Might take practice, but I'm generally so excited up there that it'd take years to get it right :lol:
I completely agree, which is why I want the Blade type gone. I am in fact replacing THAT switch with a StarrTech StarrSwitch 3+, because that section will control my piezo settings. Switch 1 will be Mags On/Off, Switch 2 will be Piezo On/Off and Switch 3 will be dark mid boost (Graph Tech's Acousti-Phonic).

Since I never use a tone knob, that'll be replaced with the Piezo's volume. The second volume again is something I don't need, so that'll be gutted out and replaced with the Free Way switch. I've spent a good month working on this design, and I'm really excited about it! I know it won't be everyone else's taste, but anyone who knows me, knows I like to have an overly elaborate pickup system, as I'm a Brian May fan lol. It's lucky I stopped before considering the Midi installation too :rofl:
 

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ENGLErnieBallGraphTechBKP
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306 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
so you got an endorsment deal with pups you've never played before? thats kinda weird
Not really. I said I hadn't owned them or installed them before. Didn't say I hadn't played them :p
 

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ENGLErnieBallGraphTechBKP
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306 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Here's my favorite wiring config for two 4-conductor humbuckers:

RG7620 of Doom: Project Picstory - Sevenstring.org
lol nice one! I wish I'd created a picstory for when I modified my RG7CSD-1 (which I just mailed to someone who bought it today). On that I has 4x Push/Push knobs operating 2x Coil tap, 2x Phase Inverters, 2x Volume, 1x EMG-SPC and 1x EMG-EXG. That was the most elaborate config I'd made, and desoldering switches from EMG's tiny PCB's was not easy!
 

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ENGLErnieBallGraphTechBKP
Joined
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306 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
That switch looks like a recipie for getting the wrong position live. I can understand why you'd want it as it fits into your Schecter. Personally I'd stick with the stock switch and fit some push/pull pots to do the switching. Seymour Duncan have a pretty comprehensive list of stuff accessed from this page. Key to getting right is knowning the colour codes, which this diagram tells you. BKP's have the same code as Peavey.
Just to reiterate, really grateful for the schematics. These should be just what I need :) Thanks dude
 

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ENGLErnieBallGraphTechBKP
Joined
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306 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Still totally tearing my hair out over my self inflicted wiring plan lol. Based on a few days of google searching, I may have to revise the design somewhat, mostly because I hear that making a humbucker out of phase with itself will sound like shit. I'd rather not have that! What I was trying to go for was Brian May's phase inversion tone on his leads, but on further study, it turns out that it's down to him having 3 single coils, and one is inverted from the other. Neck from Middle. Trouble is, I don't have a middle.

SO .... How would an H-S-H config work for phase inversion? Would a hot middle single coil work well being out of phase with a neck humbucker? Or would it be better to split the humbucker coils, and phase invert from the middle then?

The WORST thing that's doing my head in though, is this ....

Free Way Wiring Schematic

I haven't got a CLUE what I'm looking at here. Whilst I've just educated myself on SPST/SPDT/DPDT switching, this free way doesn't seem to conform to any of them! I don't know what any of these terminals are! I even rang the manufacturer, who didn't bloody know either lol. I'm waiting for them to get hold of the designer (a third party that commissioned them to make it) and ring me back.

Help!? :-/
 

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MG.org frenulum
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167 Posts
Here's what I see, looking at the 2vol/2tone schematic:

COM 1 and COM 2 are always active poles. COM 1 leads to the output jack, COM 2 is always grounded. No matter what you choose, these are always active.

Pos 1: Connects COM 1 with N1 and COM 2 with A2. Simple enough okay. What it means, I recon, is: N1 handling the neck volume pot, now active in the circuit. A2 grounding bridge pup (cancelling any leak tones from bridge pup). Neck pup soldered to neck volume (duhh) and ground. As should be. Thereby Pos 1 connecting the neck pickup, neck volume and tone circuits to the output jack. Circuit also grounded.

Pos 4: quick look as comparison to see how in this schematic splitting is done. COM 1 connects to A1 and N1, hereby activating the neck volume pot (good) and... now paying attention: also connecting the north and south finishes of the bridge pup. But, the bridge pup is also connected to the bridge volume pot, which is not connected but grounded, therefore grounding the bridge pup -> not affecting the circuit. So far we have only the neck pickup completely active in the circuit and also the bridge pup connected but grounded -> no sound.

Then the COM 2 attaches to N2. COM 2 is, again, a ground connection. It grounds the south coil of the neck pup. In this circuit it seems that the north start goes to the volume pot, as usual, and insted of the north finish and south finish soldered together and south start grounded (making the humbucking both coils active) the ground closes the circuit at north finish and ground at the same time the south coil.

Yeah that's a kinda gay-looking controller but nothing impossible, I'd think. As far as the terminals, if you look at the picture on the pdf, there's the little notch at the right hand side and the small bulk on the left hand side. Face the pup that way, staring at the bottom, and reference the terminals from the PDF.

Phase-inverting would propably be most useful and easiest to wire by making the single coil inverted - real simple, just look how the 2 conductors are normally wired, then do the opposite. Alone it wouldn't make a difference (since wether you add or cancel from nothing the sound would be ~same), but punching it with either of the HB's it would be phase inverted.

I'm sorry but I just can't see the freeway switch changing the phase of a humbucker alone. Quite frankly, I can't see any switch but an DPDT do a phase reversal and back -option. Seems like it would need at least one more terminal. Sorry dude :/
 

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ENGLErnieBallGraphTechBKP
Joined
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306 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Here's what I see, looking at the 2vol/2tone schematic:

COM 1 and COM 2 are always active poles. COM 1 leads to the output jack, COM 2 is always grounded. No matter what you choose, these are always active.

Pos 1: Connects COM 1 with N1 and COM 2 with A2. Simple enough okay. What it means, I recon, is: N1 handling the neck volume pot, now active in the circuit. A2 grounding bridge pup (cancelling any leak tones from bridge pup). Neck pup soldered to neck volume (duhh) and ground. As should be. Thereby Pos 1 connecting the neck pickup, neck volume and tone circuits to the output jack. Circuit also grounded.

Pos 4: quick look as comparison to see how in this schematic splitting is done. COM 1 connects to A1 and N1, hereby activating the neck volume pot (good) and... now paying attention: also connecting the north and south finishes of the bridge pup. But, the bridge pup is also connected to the bridge volume pot, which is not connected but grounded, therefore grounding the bridge pup -> not affecting the circuit. So far we have only the neck pickup completely active in the circuit and also the bridge pup connected but grounded -> no sound.

Then the COM 2 attaches to N2. COM 2 is, again, a ground connection. It grounds the south coil of the neck pup. In this circuit it seems that the north start goes to the volume pot, as usual, and insted of the north finish and south finish soldered together and south start grounded (making the humbucking both coils active) the ground closes the circuit at north finish and ground at the same time the south coil.

Yeah that's a kinda gay-looking controller but nothing impossible, I'd think. As far as the terminals, if you look at the picture on the pdf, there's the little notch at the right hand side and the small bulk on the left hand side. Face the pup that way, staring at the bottom, and reference the terminals from the PDF.

Phase-inverting would propably be most useful and easiest to wire by making the single coil inverted - real simple, just look how the 2 conductors are normally wired, then do the opposite. Alone it wouldn't make a difference (since wether you add or cancel from nothing the sound would be ~same), but punching it with either of the HB's it would be phase inverted.

I'm sorry but I just can't see the freeway switch changing the phase of a humbucker alone. Quite frankly, I can't see any switch but an DPDT do a phase reversal and back -option. Seems like it would need at least one more terminal. Sorry dude :/
Hey man

Thanks for looking into that for me. To be honest, I'm such an electronics moron that I still didn't quite understand it, to my embarrassment. I can't figure out what N is for. Why N? Why not C? Maybe C would confuse with common, I don't know. But I can't see how it works in any logical fashion. But then, I don't get On/On/On switches either. To me, it's like "Everything's on?! No off? What's the point?!" But as I said, that's my ignorance. Damn I wish there was a Guitar electronics course I could go on :(

So, instead I went to my old buddy Mike Dunn of Shotgunn mods, and he's going to draw me up a wiring diagram with a relay in it to achieve what I'm after. His electronics are legendary, and I know he'll sort me out :D

Cheers for trying though. I am a bit of a brick wall lol
 

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Registered
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1 Posts
Hi,

I just wanted to comment on the use of a Free-way switch in this application - the Free-way switch (as currently available) is optimised for the majority of guitar pickup configurations (coil tap, 3 pickups, active electronics etc) and it can not affect the phase relationship of any pickup combination. However, a number of new Free-way models will be available soon. One of these gives the normal 'neck/both/bridge' selections together with 'both pickups: in parallel-out of phase/in series-out of phase/in series-in phase' in the other three positions. This model does not necessarily require 4 conductor wiring, although you will need a separate shield wire for the neck pickup - if you do have 4-conductor pickups you can also wire in a coil tap option which works in all 6 positions - very versatile!
 

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ENGLErnieBallGraphTechBKP
Joined
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306 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Hi,

I just wanted to comment on the use of a Free-way switch in this application - the Free-way switch (as currently available) is optimised for the majority of guitar pickup configurations (coil tap, 3 pickups, active electronics etc) and it can not affect the phase relationship of any pickup combination. However, a number of new Free-way models will be available soon. One of these gives the normal 'neck/both/bridge' selections together with 'both pickups: in parallel-out of phase/in series-out of phase/in series-in phase' in the other three positions. This model does not necessarily require 4 conductor wiring, although you will need a separate shield wire for the neck pickup - if you do have 4-conductor pickups you can also wire in a coil tap option which works in all 6 positions - very versatile!
For those who hadn't figured it out, Switchman is in fact the visionary and creator of the Free Way switch (was just talking with him about it). I now know why I didn't know how to get it to do what I wanted, it was designed for a specific purpose, which did not coincide with my plans. Thankfully, (as he stated in his post) there will be variations on this switch coming soon that will, which I can't wait for! :D

Thanks Switchman, I look forward to seeing your products in the future.
 
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