To benefit from the series option, you need to use your Strat’s dual-pickup settings—bridge + middle or neck + middle.
This month, we again dive into parallel/series pickup switching for your Stratocaster. As you may recall from last month's column [“Stratocaster Parallel/Series Switching," December 2011], an individual single-coil Strat pickup cannot be wired in parallel or series by itself—you need a minimum of two pickups for this. To benefit from the series option, you need to use your Strat's dual-pickup settings—bridge + middle or neck + middle.
Fig. 1 shows how to wire two pickups in parallel with the option of running them in series. Here, both pickups are wired to a normal DPDT (aka 2PDT) switch. In the down position, both pickups are connected in parallel—the standard Stratocaster configuration. This setting yields maximum chime and twang. With the toggle in the up position, pickup No. 2's ground is lifted and no longer connected to ground. Instead, it's now connected to the hot output of pickup No. 1, with the red jumper wire on the toggle switch making the connection.
Note: With normal Strat pickups, this works right from the start, but be careful when using humbuckers with only two wires (shield + hot), or one conductor pickups, in which the pickup ground and the shield wire are not separated. If you're working with humbuckers, be sure to use a unit with a 4-conductor wire that has the pickup ground separate from the shield wire, or let someone who knows what he's doing convert your standard humbucker. Desoldering the metal case and working with the super-thin internal pickup wires requires the right tools and some experience to avoid ruining the pickup. Ungrounding the shield will work, but you'll hear a buzz when you touch the pickup's metal casing, because the metal case will be included in the pickup circuit. The same holds true for single-coils with a metal casing that is connected to the pickup ground—and this includes all standard Telecaster neck pickups! We'll discuss this topic in detail in future columns.
So how can we add series switching to a Strat? There are many ways to do this, and if you do a Google search you'll find several approaches to series switching. Unfortunately, some of them are simply wrong. Most use two additional switches or complicated rotary switching, or wild combinations of these elements—sometimes even in conjunction with a 5-way super-switch.
Yes, we have to move more wires for this mod than we've done before, but after more than three years of Strat mods, you're no longer a novice, right? Series wiring is one of the supreme challenges in Strat modding, but you can do it!
My favorite Strat series-switching scheme only uses one normal DPDT switch and only affects the dual-pickup positions.
Fig. 2 shows the schematic in all its glory.
As always, you can use an additional mini toggle DPDT switch for this mod. Or, if you Adding Series Switching to Your Strat BY DIRK Wacker don't want to alter the stock appearance of your Strat, you can use a push/pull or push/ push pot of your choice. Most push/pull and push/push pots include a DPDT switch, so this shouldn't be a problem.
Operating this circuit is very easy: With the switch in the down position, both pickups are wired in parallel—the standard setting—when you select position 2 or 4 (bridge + middle or neck + middle).
But flip the switch up in position 2 or 4, and the respective two pickups are then wired in series to beat the devil out of your tube amp. In the other single-pickup positions (1, 3, and 5), the DPDT switch has no effect. That's easy enough, isn't it?
Another benefit of this particular approach to series switching is that it moves only the minimum wires required to do the job. Simple and clean. (The only downside of this mod occurs if you also use the “seven-sound mod" on your Strat. In that case, it will not connect the bridge and neck pickup together in series as well. If you need both mods, there's no way around having to install a second additional switch or a rotary switch with enough poles to accommodate all the positions.)
The schematic also incorporates individual tone caps for the middle and neck pickups, something I highly recommend for series wiring. You should lower the standard values a little bit, to prevent your tone from getting muddy in the series settings. Try 0.015 μF for the middle and 0.01 μF for the neck pickup.
As you can see, I chose to connect the middle pickup to the DPDT toggle switch. Because the middle pickup is involved in both dual-pickup positions, you only need one switch to give you two new tones. (This also explains why this wiring won't work for the seven-sound mod's combination of bridge + neck pickup. The middle pickup isn't active in this setting.)
On this note, we'll close out our Stratocaster mod series and shift over to Telecaster and Esquire mods next month. We'll start with a brief inspection of your guitars and look at some cool mods to enhance their primary tone. Until then, keep on modding!
- Strat Series Wiring for a New Decade - Premier Guitar ›
- Three Must-Try Guitar Wiring Mods - Premier Guitar ›
- Mod Garage: Four Ways to Configure a 4-Conductor Humbucker ... ›
Kick off the holiday season by shopping for the guitar player in your life at Guitar Center! Now through December 24th 2022, save on exclusive instruments, accessories, apparel, and more with hundreds of items at their lowest prices of the year.
We’ve compiled this year’s best deals in the 2022 Holiday Gift Guide presented by Guitar Center.
Looking for a compact, “noiseless” way to plug in and play guitar? Check out the brand-new Gibson Digital Amp, available only in the Gibson App.
The new Gibson App simplifies the learning process and brings guitar playing to life for the current and next generation of guitarists in a modern, comprehensive, and intuitive way. The Gibson App is the place to take your guitar playing to the next level. New to the Gibson App is the Gibson Digital Amp, the ultimate starting amplifier for beginners and a flexible amp on-the-go for intermediate players and pros to get their sound anywhere. The Gibson Digital Amp is an accessible amplifier for both acoustic and electric guitars, and is currently available for Apple/iOS users--an Android version will debut next year.
Use the Gibson Digital Amp’s jamming guide to get started and transform your sound with built-in effects and pedals, jam to backing tracks, or use it in lessons and songs. The Gibson Digital Amp only requires your phone, and wired headphones for the best playing experience, no cables are needed. The amp features 3 acoustic mic presets, 4 electric amp presets, and 6 effects pedals.
The Gibson Digital Amp is the ultimate starting amplifier for beginners and a flexible amp on-the-go for intermediates and pros.
The Gibson App uses a unique two-way, interactive platform to teach guitar students how to do everything from playing their first note to shredding loads of songs. The Gibson App features interactive lessons with thousands of lessons and songs. Learn the songs step-by-step with video tutorials from superstar artists and pro guitarists in the “Gibson App Guide.” The Gibson App also includes the new Digital Amp, a built-in tuner, a metronome, Gibson TV, and new songs are added every week. New Gibson App Guides are added regularly and include Tommy “Spaceman” Thayer’s favorite iconic KISS guitar solos, Richie Faulkner’s (Judas Priest) “Guide to Metal,” Jared James Nichols’ “Guide to Blues,” CELISSE’s “Guide to Songwriting,” and more.
The Gibson App uses “audio augmented reality” to provide dynamic feedback to students as they learn and play. As you pluck a note or strum a chord, the Gibson App listens to your guitar and gives you real-time feedback on your playing. It also gives students a more contextual learning experience: Instead of learning chords and scales in a vacuum, you’re able to practice on a scrolling tablature that lets you hear how you sound with the backing of a virtual band. That means you can load up “Hurt” by Johnny Cash, “Brown Eyed Girl” by Van Morrison, “American Girl" by Tom Petty, “Nothing Else Matters” by Metallica, “Where is My Mind" by Pixies, “Country Roads” by John Denver, “I Hate Myself For Loving You" by Joan Jett, “Heaven” by Kane Brown, “Shape Of You” by Ed Sheeran, “Killer Queen” by Queen,“ Sweet Child O’ Mine,” by Guns ‘N Roses, “Run to the Hills” by Iron Maiden, “Roxanne” by The Police, and “Don’t Stop Believin’” by Journey, “Smells Like Teen Spirit” and “The Man Who Sold the World” by Nirvana, “Are You Gonna Go My Way” by Lenny Kravitz, and “Don't Look Back In Anger” by Oasis and hundreds more songs in a wide range of genres, to see how your play matches up with such seminal tracks.
As you’re playing, the Gibson App gives you feedback on timing and tone, ensuring that students are getting active input on how their play is developing. The Gibson App appeals to players of all levels, it’s not just for beginners looking to learn a few chords; the app can assist seasoned guitarists who are working their way through difficult riffs, want to learn their favorite songs, or polish their advanced techniques.
Players can also challenge themselves by speeding up or slowing the tabs. Like having a full-time guitar teacher, the Gibson App keeps track of all your progress and adjusts lesson plans accordingly. The Gibson App released a “backing track mode” which supports both lesson and song playback without headphones, so users can self-select what works best for their current environment. And that’s not all: the Gibson App also packs in a fully-featured digital tuner for guitar first-timers, there’s even a detailed lesson on how to tune your instrument, a multi-function metronome, players can connect to free one-on-one consultations with Gibson’s Virtual Guitar Tech team, and to direct links to the Gibson, Epiphone, and Kramer online stores for easy shopping for guitars, gear, apparel, and accessories.
Learn Guitar With The Gibson App
The Gibson App is more than a pocket-sized guitar teacher, it’s loaded with an archive of exclusive content and original programming from its premium and accessible award-winning online network, Gibson TV, featuring music icons telling their best guitar stories, with more episodes and installments added regularly. Users can watch Black Sabbath’s Tony Iommi share insights and tales from his decades-long career on the series “Icons,” dive into Joe Bonamassa’s assortment of legendary Les Paul guitars on “The Collection,” or see how Gibson’s iconic instruments are made in their Nashville factory from body to binding on “The Process.” There’s even a series called “The Scene” that focuses on backstage stories from hallowed music venues from coast to coast like The Troubadour and Grand Ole Opry.
The Gibson App free version features a few lessons a day; the premium version of the Gibson App offers full access and a 14-day free trial, then costs $19.99/£16.49 monthly or $119.99/£98.99 yearly.
For more information, please visit gibson.com.
This pickup captures the clear, bell-like single-coil chime of a classic P-90 when played clean and retains the tight mids and articulate low-end vintage growl and smooth sustain saturation when pushed into overdrive.
Belltone Guitars, as part of their Custom-Select System curated offering of pickups, has partnered McNelly pickups to create a one-of-a-kind retro-vibe P-90 pickup in the standard Filtertron size format. This pickup captures the clear, bell-like single-coil chime of a classic P-90 when played clean and retains the tight mids and articulate low-end vintage growl, and smooth sustain saturation when pushed into overdrive.
The McNelly P-90 Foil-Coil comes housed in a ‘raw’ nickel outer casing with a dull nickel foil face with metal mount screw gromets to complete the ‘new-vintage’ aesthetic, making it a perfect choice for your signature Belltone custom build. Available exclusively through Belltone Guitars.
Check out the Custom-Select System belltoneguitars.com to preview the McNelly P-90 Foil-Trons and all our standard and selectable components available to create your own signature Belltone. Then visit the Dream Lab on our website and select either model B-Classic ONE with its top binding or B-Classic TWO with its arm and body contours select your body color from our wide range of offerings, select your neck profile of either standard ‘C’ or thicker ’59 Round Back and either Maple or Rosewood fingerboard followed by your tuners, pickguard, and strings. Finally, review our curated custom-designed, and unique pickup selection to locate the McNelly P-90 Foil-Trons to complete your signature build.
Builds start at just over $2,300.00 with a custom case and shipping included.
For more information, please visit belltoneguitars.com.
McNelly P 90 Foil Tron video Sep27
DiMarzio, Inc. announces the Relentless P (DP299), the Relentless J Bridge (DP301), Relentless J Neck (DP300), and the Relentless J Pair (DP302) for 4 string basses.
DiMarzio, Inc. announces the release of the Relentless P (DP299), the Relentless J Bridge (DP301), Relentless J Neck (DP300), and the Relentless J Pair (DP302) for 4 string basses. The new Relentless P and Relentless J series pickups feature the Relentless cover designed in collaboration with Billy Sheehan.
As with the Relentless pickups, we removed all the hard edges from the standard P Bass and standard J Basspickups, and added an arch to the top of the pickups to bring the sensing coils and pole pieces closer to the strings. These improvements increase the dynamic range and make active circuitry unnecessary.
The Relentless P and Relentless J pickups incorporate Neodymium magnets and produce 70 percent more output than traditional passive pickups, and they’re dead quiet due to the incorporation of metal covers and foil-shielded cables. To dial in (or fine-tune) the individual string output, the Relentless P and Relentless J include eight adjustable pole pieces. These pickups also have a broad magnetic field so you can even bend notes without volume dropout.
DiMarzio’s extra shielding makes the Relentless P and Relentless J better for both recording and stage performances. We’ve mounted them onto robust .09375” thick circuit board base plates to eliminate the annoying protruding mounting screws — ultimately creating a more comfortable and consistent foundation to rest your fingers on.
The new Relentless P steps beyond the traditional P-Bass sound and can only be described as massive. It has more of everything: more volume, beefier lows, a growling midrange, and crispy highs with better individual string definition.
The Relentless J incorporates a new invention, (patent pending) parallelogram-shaped coils, offering an expanded mid-range punch, snappy highs, precise lows, and a new dimension to the sound of the Relentless series pickups.
Relentless P and Relentless J pickups will breathe new life into any bass, increase playability, and work well for any style of music from Motown to metal.
DiMarzio’s Relentless P, Relentless J Bridge, Relentless J Neck, and Relentless J pair are made in the U.S.A. and may now be ordered for immediate delivery.
Suggested List Price for the Relentless P is $169.00 (MAP $119.99).
Suggested List Price for the Relentless J Bridge and Relentless J neck is $155.00 (MAP $109.99).
Suggested List Price for the Relentless J Pair is $296.00 (MAP 209.99).
For more information, please visit our website at dimarzio.com.