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Author Topic: Coil-Splitting Split-Ends
Schrodinge-
rsgoldfish

Posts: 105
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Post Coil-Splitting Split-Ends
on: August 5, 2012, 14:47
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So a couple years ago, I purchased a Fender Blacktop Stratocaster. The variety of Humbucking an split single-coil sounds intrigued my wallet, which only had room for one more guitar.

This brings us to the problem. The guitar was NOT wired correctly. This is consistent across the entire production of the model. With my fistful of soldering iron and copious foolishnes newfound confidence, I set out to mend this.

Positions 2 and 4 should be split humbuckers, the bridge and neck, respectively. Both positions, however, are wired so that the pickups are split, but both pickups are on for both positions.

Looking up wiring diagrams, I figured this is a simple fix.

Here is the original wiring
https://www.strat-talk.com/forum/album.php?albumid=1421&pictureid=9555

Here is the new diagram
https://www.guitarelectronics.com/product/WD2HH5L12_02/Guitar-Wiring-Diagram-2-Humbuckers5-Way-Lever-Switch1-Volume2-Tones-02.html

Accordingly, I opened the guitar up and desoldered both the hot wire and the green and white(north finish, south start): the neck desoldered from position 2 and the bridge from position 4.

When I plugged it in, I found that positions 2 and 4 were both the correct pickups, but I cannot tell a difference between positions 1-2 and 4-5. My rookie ear could be wrong, but I hear no drop in signal strength or change in tonality.
I went back in and checked all my work, without seeing anything I've done wrong.

I'm flummoxed. Help!

Jeff_H

Posts: 47
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Post Re: Coil-Splitting Split-Ends
on: August 6, 2012, 12:55
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You could try re-soldering the green & white wires back. Shorting those to ground produces the splitting.

Additionally, you can very carefully tap each coil on the pickup with a screwdriver to see which are working in which position. Joe's video on a pickup install demonstrates how to do this.

Best of luck!

Schrodinge-
rsgoldfish

Posts: 105
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Post Re: Coil-Splitting Split-Ends
on: August 6, 2012, 21:32
Quote

I should have included the fact that tapping the coils showed that both coils were firing in the supposedly tapped positions.
Are you sure they are supposed to be shorted to ground? Both the before and after schematics show the green and white wires going to volume.

Jeff_H

Posts: 47
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Post Re: Coil-Splitting Split-Ends
on: August 7, 2012, 07:41
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First, let me start with saying that I'm using the Gibson color codes, as the blacktop schematic seems to show. other color codes can be found here.

If you short the green/white wires to the black wire (or ground), you leave the Slug or North coil alive.

If you short the green/white wires to the red wire (or hot), you leave the Screw or South coil alive.

The two schematics in the original post operate differently. if you look at the switch element in the upper-right position, the Blacktop one switches to ground and the Guitar-Electronics one switches to hot. However, the one from Guitar-Electronics puts the coil tap (green/white wires) into the common positions of both the upper-right and lower-right switch elements. The Blacktop one places the coil taps on the selected poles.

So, the first decision is whether you want your humbuckers to have the screw coil or slug coil active in positions 2&4. I'm going to assume that you want the screw/South coils active. First, for the upper-right switch, move the common from ground to hot. The most simple may be to unsolder the wire from the common, and place a jumper to the common of the lower-right switch. Next, de-solder the Neck hot from position 2, and the bridge hot from position 4. This should work!

I made a diagram, but can't figure out how to post it here. I will send the diagram if I can.

Best of luck!

Schrodinge-
rsgoldfish

Posts: 105
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Post Re: Coil-Splitting Split-Ends
on: August 7, 2012, 21:38
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All hail Jeff_H and his ability to bail me out!

Schrodinge-
rsgoldfish

Posts: 105
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Post Re: Coil-Splitting Split-Ends
on: August 8, 2012, 08:24
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after looking at this a second time, I am still confused. From what I am seeing, I should still be getting tapped positions. The 2 position has green and white shorted to hot already, so I should be getting tapped north, but I am getting both. The 4 position should be tapped as well, just tapped to the south coil. They should still be tapped, but they're not, I believe.

Jeff_H

Posts: 47
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Post Re: Coil-Splitting Split-Ends
on: August 8, 2012, 11:40
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I think it's time for a picture and/or a wiring diagram of what you have.

My guess is that if you have completely disconnected the green/white wires leaving nothing to tap. Try re-connecting those (while keeping the hot wires disconnected as you described) and see what happens.

Best of luck!

Schrodinge-
rsgoldfish

Posts: 105
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Post Re: Coil-Splitting Split-Ends
on: August 9, 2012, 18:00
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Mk. Problem resolved! After much studying and probing, I got to testing connections and found one side of the super 5-way switch, which contains two of the four poles, was not making connections between the 5 positions and the common. The conductor inside the switch had become disengaged from the clips that are supposed to make contact with it. I got the conductor back into position, and, voila, it worked. Even though it turned out to be a mechanical issue, thanks to Jeff for his time spent helping!

Jeff_H

Posts: 47
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Post Re: Coil-Splitting Split-Ends
on: August 10, 2012, 10:01
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Glad it's working!

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