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  1. #1
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    Default Pickup wiring question

    Thanks to Elvir, I've become a diehard Zexcoils fan, and I just managed to sell my neck and middle DiMarzio Cruisers on ebay (they were in my swamp ash strat). I was initially thinking of getting the exact same Zexcoils (5O for the neck and 2 for the middle) as I currently have on my alder strat. Then, it occurred to me that I would possibly not get enough tonal variety between the two guitars, so I figured I'd get maybe the fat series or something like that. I emailed Scott at Zexcoils for some input, but I think I'd value your expert opinion at least as much as his, if not more.

    That said, I had another thought. What if I got one of their humbuckers (like the Juicy Bucker or the Convertible), and put in a three-way toggle for series/parallel/split? I'd definitely get a good range of options, but I'm confused about the kind of on/on/on DPDT switch I'll need. Apparently there are several versions of this switch and all won't work. Furthermore, I may need to get a switch with a longer shaft than usual to get through the wood, since I'm dealing with a rear routed beast.

    As always, thanks in advance, guys!

    Srini

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    It never ends! Hah! Yes, I would agree that you should get a different set of pickups this time. As we all know, the same set of pickups will sound a bit different in each guitar, due to various factors. Heck, someday you might want to swap the pickups between the two guitars, just to satisfy your unquenchable curiosity!

    Interesting, I didn't know there were different kinds of DPDT on/on/on switches. I thought the switches were all the same and you got the differences by wiring it differently. Oh well, ya learn something every day!
    Some contend that rock 'n roll is bad for the body & bad for the soul
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    Srini (06-13-2015)

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    Man....we can never stop tinkering, can we???? Thats a justification I had not thought about - wanting to swap pickups ay a future date - thank you, Stan!

    I think I've decided going with an interesting idea here. I'm going to get one of their humbucker models (in a single coil space), as I mentioned. but I found a site that has a great wiring diagram using a regular pot (250K or 500K, seems not to matter) instead of a DPDT switch. This way, instead of getting ether full HB or full single, you can get variations of each, sort like a blend pot, but using a regular pot.

    I have to try that!!

    Srini

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    DPDT describes the switching topology - double pole, double throw (a switch that has two independent sets of contacts and has two selectable positions). As such, they are all the same in that respect.

    However, it usually comes packaged in two basic forms for guitar use - as part of a push/pull pot or as a mini-toggle switch (a two-way toggle).

    The DPDT switch portions are the same in each case - they are just activated in a different (mechanical) manner. In the case of the push/pull pot version, the DPDT switch part of it isn't electrically connected to the potentiometer part (unless you wire it to be so), so they work independently.

    A DPDT switch usually uses the middle two contacts as the 'common' and switches to the outside pair of contacts for each of the two positions selected.



    I guess some switches might use one of the outer pairs as the common instead so there might be a slight variance that way in config. However, the basic principle is the same and either config will work the same if wired correctly. You will just have to use a multimeter to find out which is the common pair in the switch and work the rest out from there.


    The Fender S1 switch is a 4PDT latching button switch....but I digress.
    Last edited by Captain Bb; 06-13-2015 at 06:39 AM.
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    Hey, thanks, Cap'n! Always a detailed, factual and well thought-out response...:)

    You're right about the basic configuration of the DPDT, but I read that not all of them will work easily for this purpose because of the way they are configured internally (as you mentioned). That said, I've decided to take the pot route (not unlike my younger days....ahem...), and use this technique:

    http://smitspickups.com/coil-tapping/

    Scroll down to "The Potentiometer"

    This substitutes a regular pot (not a push-pull or push-push) for the DPDT switch. This way, with the pot fully one way, you're getting full HB and with the pot the other way, you're getting full single - anything in between is the blend of the two. To me that sounds perfect because if I find the HB voicing too thick for a particular application, I can roll off some of the fatness; and contrariwise if I find the single voicing to be too thin, I can roll in some girth. Of course, this is all theoretical for me right now.

    Sooooo......I've just pulled the trigger on a Convertibe Neck and a Vintage Single 2 (for the middle). I'm keeping the DiMarzio Transition for the bridge.

    http://www.zexcoil.com/Convertibles.html

    http://www.zexcoil.com/Singles.html

    I'll be sure to keep you all posted. I hope the wiring isn't too complicated for an amateur.....

    Srini

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    Ah yes, using a variable resistor to blend the effect is another interesting way of doing it.

    I have the same config on my Strat, where I've re-wired the second tone pot to blend neck and bridge pickups together in the outer two positions on the 5-way (all three blend together on positions 2 & 4).

    Hope your project goes well.
    I'm a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma.

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  9. #7
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    Thanks, Cap'n - I've used a Fralin blend pot for the neck and bridge position myself, and not found it useful - but thats because I don't particularly care for the bridge PU tone, or that blended Tele tone. But this application may be different, since I like both the HB and single tones in the neck position.

    Srini

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    Sorry to keep bothering you guys about this, but this could be a tad more complicated that I thought (then again, maybe not, but I don't know). The Zex HBs are set up differently from regular 4-conductor pickups, because they don't really have a coil split, but an internal series/parallel wiring like this:

    http://zexcoil.com/130405%20Silent%20Split%20wiring.pdf

    The pdf also has a wiring diagram for a DPDT push-push pot.

    If I were going to use a blend pot, I'll probably need something like this:

    http://www.stewmac.com/How-To/Online...ot_Wiring.html

    As it turns out, I happen to have one exactly like that from an earlier failed experiment. That said, something tells me that I can't just wire it up as shown, because the configuration of the red (hot) and green (ground) wires changes with each option in the Zex. There has to be a way to wire up that blend pot so the center detent is an equal blend of series and parallel, and either end is one or the other.

    Or is that not possible?

    Srini

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    An equal blend of series and parallel? Somehow I don't think that's possible, but I am frequently wrong. In my way of thinking you can have either, but not both.
    Some contend that rock 'n roll is bad for the body & bad for the soul
    Bad for the heart, bad for the mind, bad for the deaf & bad for the blind.
    It makes some men crazy and they talk like fools.
    Makes some men crazy and they start to drool.

  12. #10
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    Yup, Stan...I think you're right. Scott, too, said that the pot idea is not going to work with the Zex HBs, and I'm not about to argue with a PhD from MIT! I added a push-push DPDT pot to my order - I'll make this my volume pot, and at least get the two extreme tones out of it, even if I can't get a blend.

    Srini

    PS:

    Elvir, look what you started!!!
    Last edited by Srini; 06-13-2015 at 09:25 PM.

 

 

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