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previous: H.Meuse: I thought the choke value was no bi... -- 6/2/1999 10:02 PM View Thread

Re: Ya Butt!

6/3/1999 4:20 PM
Mark Hammer
Re: Ya Butt!
"Remove all hidden screws"  
Is there a picture to accompany that comment from the car company, or did they figure a fella needs at least one good wild goose chase a year to stay sane?  
I was thinking about your LP last night, and realized that my advice was just plain dumb, or at least awkward, given the layout of the wiring paths in those things (one of the reasons you see a lot more mod kits and projects for Strats than you do for LP's). In order to do any of the fancy coil-switching stuff, and still use the toggle switch, you would have to run your pickup wires to the control cavity for the coil stuff, then run them back up to the neck toggle switch, then back down to the control cavity again for volume and tone control. I know you're a "sturdy" guy Henri, but all that crap stuffed into a Les Paul body starts to scream out "truss! somebody get me a damn truss!!"  
A better solution is to look into the Paul Reed Smith style rotary switch that Stewart-MacDonald sells. This will let you run your PU wires directly to the control cavity and leave 'em there. The PRS switch is a multi-pole rotary "megaswitch" that is intended to do a lot of the series-parallel-coil-cancelling stuff you want to do in a 2-bucker guitar, and will just pop into a pot-hole. I think it's a 6-position and is reasonably priced. PRS puts regular knobs on them, but you probably want a chicken-head knob for ease of switching and simply keeping track of where it is. I don't have the latest catalogue with me, but I think they come with a wiring diagram.  
Of course what this means is that your 3-way toggle on the top of the guitar becomes surplus, and that you've bought one push-pull pot too many. When I think of the aggravation of running the wiring all over the body as noted earlier, though, it's money well spent. Besides, the week of time it will save you can be spent looking for the other "hidden screws".  
If the rotary does all the coil stuff for you, what will you use the push-pulls for? The pots themselves should probably be 2-Vol plus Tone. I would suggest one Push-Pull switch for a "blow" switch (please, no Monica jokes) like Danelectro puts in their new guitars, to completely bypass all volume and tone - just PU's to output. You can use one  
to select-deselect a Fender style volume-compensation cap. If you hike up the value of the bypass cap (e.g., 1000-1500pf), then your volume control doubles as a low-cut control for about 40% of its rotation. This will get you thin sounds from the neck (or bridge) PU if you want. Depending on how many magic combos the rotary switch gets you, you may want to save the third P/P switch for adding to them, or use it to select between one of two tone-control circuits (e.g., high-cut vs mid-cut, or 2 different high-cut caps).  
The best feature of this is you can just push em in and have a normal guitar.  
Just a thought.  
I've never used them* but folks say that series-coils, and in particular, series pickups, produce meatier tones. Since pickups are just fancy-schmancy inductor coils with a magnet in the middle, sticking two end-to-end makes a higher value inductor (more coils from one end to the other, right?), which means that the resonance of the combination will be lower, so a bit gronkier. The series DC resistance of the coils will be higher so it will also load anything after them (controls, FX) differently. Finally, since the output of a pickup depends on the number of turns in the coil/s, series connections tend to be higher output. Put it all together and, all other things being equal, folks find themselves set up for easier overdrive in series mode.  
Family's fine. The older one now looks down at me and hands his clothes to me when they don't fit him any more. I'm scared of what he'll look like AFTER he's 13. He ain't musical but there will always be a place somewhere for a guy that can hoist SVT's or Kustom amps.  
Take care of yourself.  
*(Haven't had anything bucker-equipped for nigh on a decade, ever since some slimy bastard stole my late 50's Epiphone Sorrento; single-cutaway blond with oval fret markers and 3-screw name-plate removed, a trapeze tailpiece, gold Klusons, homemade tortoise-shell pickguard with creme binding, dual home-made buckers with creme mounting rings and smooth DiMarzio brass pickup covers, two volume controls and a mini-toggle PU selector between them. Send her home if you ever find her. I've never played a better neck.)