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SurfGuitar101 Forums » Gear »

Permalink Neck on switch for Strat recommended

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I just posted about the Strat I recently rebuilt and I thought I'd add to my commentary by recommending one of the other things I did to it.

Well, first I installed some Fender True Vintage pickups and bought new pots to wire it like G&L does with their PTB system. This could justify its own post but I'll just say that it's a fantastic arrangement! I don't need or want the two tone controls Fender does, which don't even work on the bridge. But the Passive Treble Bass system can totally transform your sound when you roll the bass off in any of the positions.

But getting to the point, I used a Push-Push pot in the middle position that turns the neck pickup on. So when the selector switch is in the 2 position you get all three pickups on and when the switch is in the 1 position, you get bridge and neck pickups. This is a really great sound on a Strat! Totally different from any of the other positions and kind of addictive! It's a really simple one to install, too. Highly recommended.

G&L PTB Wiring (Note the crucial reverse audio "C" pot for the bass)

Neck-on Switch Wiring (actually, this diagram activates the bridge pickup rather than the neck but the routing is the same for either)

Last edited: Mar 28, 2019 02:35:01

This works too, and is very easy to wire up.

Thank you for posting this! I'm looking to fully redo an early-90's frankenstrat with some vintage noiseless pickups and maybe a ReRanch rattle can surf green paint job, and this sounds like a cool alternative wiring option to help transform it. Between this and your post about the Zero Glide nut, getting some great ideas here...

Member in good standing, Mentone Beach Syncopation Reverberation Association

I went with a neck-on toggle switch that I installed between knobs T1 and T2. The Strat is the only guitar I can think of - with a neck and a bridge pickup - where selecting only those 2 pickups is not an option without modding it.

Lorne (Shake_n_Stomp)
Mai Tai Surf:

formerly of The Hang-Ten Hangmen:

I highly recommend to do a no-load blender pot for the N/B combo. The magic of the blend is in the ratio's and a switch just gives you a 50/50 ratio. Anytime I want to take my strat, (which is often), into a jag/jm tone I use the neck position with a 65% N/ 35% B ratio. I tune the pickup height to give me those tones and it works incredibly well. I use my three way switch throughout a show and play 5-6 songs on the middle, 3-4 on the bridge and the rest are in the blend. It's a great way to get a full compliment of tones with a strat.

The Kahuna Kings

+1 what Stratdancer said. No load blender pot offers a huge range of tones.

Yup, I've done this very same thing on my Strat's too, but using a mini-toggle instead of a push/pull. Gives you that all-important Tele (N+B) configuration, and in some instances, the all-three setting (N+M+B) can be nice too. Its a fantastic mod, and I've noticed recently that Fender is now using it as the 'stock' wiring scheme on certain models of their Strat's.

"Heavy is good. Heavy is reliable. If it doesn't work, you can always hit them with it." - Boris the Blade

i used a push/pull pot in my volume position. I never like the bridge pickup on a strat, so the "down" position is neck on. have to pull up if I want to disengage neck pickup. did this mod 8 years ago and haven't looked back.

I'm going for the blend pot next to see how I like it.

I have been thinking about this for some time so after reading Stratdancer's post I took the plunge and installed a blend pot in one of my Strats. A quick internet search turned up the necessary schematics and looking through a spare parts box I found a suitable pot. The project took about 2 hours from start to finish.
After a couple of practice sessions I am happy with the results. The original tones of a strat remain unaffected, however adjusting the blend pot opens up a treasure trove of new tones. The cool thing about this mod if covering classic surf songs, it allows for using just one guitar to create both strat and JM/Jag tones. Not to say this can replace a JM/Jag but just offers the convenience of taking one guitar to a gig. Worship Martin

Great to hear MC. My jag tone is accomplished and patterned around my favorite jag tone from Satans Pilgrims. Neck and Bridge pickup are set fairly high with the treble side very close. This gives a bright biting tone. It takes a bit of adjustment to get it dialed in. It's by far the most used position.

The Kahuna Kings

As a convert to the 3-knob PTB system, I'm loathe to give one up to pull blend knob duty but maybe a concentric knob 2-pot assembly could be substituted for one of them if one with the proper pot values could be found.

Great mod, should be standard on 3 PU models! Bridge and neck together on a Strat sounds amazing, one of my favorite clean tones ever, and I'm a Jag guy. If i'm not mistaken, a Strat with that combo sounds a little less "quacky" than a Jaguar with both PUs on, due to the Jaguar having the neck PU RWRP. Where as on a strat the middle PU is of course the default RWRP PU, leaving both the neck and bridge in the same polarity. It's a minor difference in tone, but enough to note. Of course one could always put in a RWRP PU in any location.

Hello...I don't have the foggiest idea about the innards of the s1. What I would do is uncovering the multimeter and test 2 irregular hauls for congruity in both switch position, at that point choose if that works or in the event that I have to test another pair of drags. This or looking through the net to discover a type of article about how to wire the switch part og the s1.

pcb quote

Last edited: Oct 15, 2020 10:41:18

CTS Push Pulls are really nice. You get that expected medium torque turn, the usable tapers, the full-size pot, and a switch that is easy to pull. The small-pot push-pulls fight me when I pull 'em. CTS is great and I've installed 22 this year! You can also take 'em apart and swap wafers. I made 1MEG and 250K-no-load for my Jazzmaster.

I think that the PTB tone setup sounds like a great idea. If I were going to have a Strat, I think I would at least investigate using a pus-pull pot to creat a preset which selects pickups I & III when it’s pulled up and then reverts to the pickup selector when it’s pushed back in. I’d have to think it through, in order to be certain that the switch architecture would pull it off, but that would be an interesting way to add some versatility.

The artist formerly known as: Synchro

When Surf Guitar is outlawed only outlaws will play Surf Guitar.
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Dead Thread

On my parts strat, I did the alternative mod of wiring the neck to the middle position of the switch so I could get the bridge+neck combo. That gives up the bridge+middle combo, but I don't really use those standard 2 and 4 combos much at all.

But the push-pull mod is definitely a great way to go to get all the pickup options. Unless you want phase switching and series/parallel switching or a dead switch...

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