Monday, April 28, 2008

The electrics (part one)

I decided to try some fancy stuff with the electrics. I’ve always enjoyed messing about with electronics, so was a lot more confident with this part than I had been with the woodworking.

So here’s the rundown on a typical Strat:

Three single-coil pickups
One 5-position selector switch
One volume control
Two tone controls (note, these are not treble and bass, but rather a tone control for the neck/mid-position pickups and another for the bridge-position pickup).

And here’s what I wanted to achieve with my Strat

Two single coil pickups
One humbucking pickup that would fit into the same space as a single-coil pickup
Three toggle switches (one for each pickup, allowing for every possible combination of pickups [eight options instead of five])
One volume control
One coil tap push-pull switch incorporated into volume control
One tone control (for all pickups)
One middle-pickup phase reversal push-pull switch incorporated into tone control
One boost control
One boost on/off push-pull switch incorporated into boost control

The boost circuit would be based on a Vox Treble Booster and would be built by yours truly (me).

It will take several entries to describe all of the electronics in detail, so I’ll start by explaining some of the parts that I needed to source.

Here is a push-pull pot. This can be used as a volume or tone control, but also has a switch which is activated when you pull it out. I needed three of these:

For neck and middle pickups, I wanted to use two standard single-coils, preferably genuine Fender ones, similar to this:

For the bridge pickup, I wanted to get one of these babies. I really wanted to keep the bridge position looking single-coil-like, but have a bit of “oomph”. This is a Seymour Duncan Lil’ ‘59 Jr.

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