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Useful positions with four conductor HB's?

9/27/1999 5:50 PM
nic Useful positions with four conductor HB's?
I was wondering what settings would be useful with a dual humbucker set up? Any PRS users out there who can say which are useful and which are not? What's the difference with parallel an series....  
Thanks a lot!  
9/27/1999 8:54 PM
Mark Hammer
Bear in mind that cancellation stemming from phase relationships will depend on the equivalence of signal from the various sources. Indeed, balanced lines work under the assumption that the noise acquired along two conductors conveying out-of-phase versions of the same signal will almost entirely cancel each other out.  
The moral of the story is that if you want to toy with combining coils that are out of phase with each other, make sure they are providing somewhat tonally different signals.
9/28/1999 12:31 PM

Hi, Nic. I have a PRS custom that I dearly love, it has the five position switch. Let's see if I can remember what happens here...  
Position 1, bridge humbucker only. Self explanatory.  
Position 2, outside coils in series(?). PRS says this sounds like a Tele, I don't think so. But it is real clear and neutral, good for some clean chordal stuff. Hums.  
Position 3, inside coils in series(?). Kind of like the middle position on a LP, but hums. Good for thick soloing with the sweet switch.  
Position 4, inside coils in parallel(?). Has the flavor of a Strat in the bridgemiddle setting but it won't fool anyone. I like it though, close enough for rhythm work with a band. Hums.  
Position 5, neck humbucker only. Self-explanatory.  
A couple notes here, the PRS standard bridge pickup is pretty lame to me, I have used a DiMarzio Tone Zone and a rewound Gibson humbucker with cover (MUCH better!) with the PRS. Each pickup changed the character of the tapped tones quite a bit.  
None of the tapped tones really sounded a lot like, say, a Strat, but can be useful for some variety. My next guitar (short scale Warmoth strat in mahogany) will have two humbuckers with tapping.  
Hope this helps!
9/28/1999 7:25 PM

Although the coil combinations on a 2-HB PRS are magnetically in the correct direction, or relationship with each other, to be hum-cancelling, some slight hum gets through. This is because the number of wire coil turns are not equal. Usually the bridge pickup is "hotter" than the neck pickup, so you'll never get perfect hum cancellation. It depends on which pickups are in your guitar model. (This might be the only flaw I can think of on a PRS. Everything else is damn near perfect!)  
P.S. I think the #2 position is outside coils in parallel.
9/29/1999 12:10 PM

Thanks for the correction on the coil arrangement in position 2, I couldn't remember exactly. Also, the humming I referred to meant "more than the humbucking" rather than "enough to be offensive". Also, since I have a rewound pickup in the bridge, I may have some wiring changes that increase the hum a little bit.  
It would be interesting if someone has a PRS five way switch schematic available as it is really complicated, basically a four layer five position rotary with a cap on it. I have tried to reverse engineer it several times with no success.
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