Re-imagining your pickup scheme

Electrically, your guitar doesn't have to be the model it started out as.  More than just altering the wiring of the guitar, you might also have to alter your perception of just what instrument it is you're playing.



Case #1: Humbuckers are single coils
One of the most basic hacks you can perform is to step your pickups down from humbuckers to single coils.  Assuming you make this switchable, you have the option to toggle between Les Paul tones and those closer to what you'd get out of a Strat, a P-90-equipped guitar, or maybe an early Gretsch with Dynasonic pickups.  That doesn't just change your tone, but what you play with it as well.

Case #2: Single coils are humbuckers
Telecasters are traditionally single-coil guitars, but there's no reason you can't replace the stock set-up with humbuckers (or minis).  This will give you a lot more possible combinations (e.g., coil taps, series/parallel switching, etc.) and will allow you to re-imagine yourself playing something closer to a Les Paul than a Tele... with a bit of the benefits of both.

Case #3: You don't have a middle pickup = two pickup guitar!
Eddie Van Halen's Frankenstrat had a single coil pickup in the neck position, but all he ever used was the humbucker at the back.  The former wasn't even wired up, so that mean he didn't have to wire up a switch for them either.  Similarly, you can always re-imagine your Strat as a two-pickup Tele and employ wiring schemes from that model instead of the traditional 5-way switching associated with the Strat.

Case #4: Case #2 + Case #3.
If you have a three-pickup guitar like a Strat, you can always substitute your single coil pickups for mini humbuckers, but then ignore the middle pickup.  The result?  A two-humbucker guitar.  In short, you have something electronically more aligned with a Les Paul than the Stratocaster it superficially appears to be.

Case #5: Humbucker = two single coils
My Steinberger GT is a SSH model, but I wired it so that I'm bypassing the middle pickup as in Case #3.  However, the humbucker in the bridge position has two coils, so I'm using each as a separate pickup.  (They're also part of a Lace Dually where each coil is voiced differently.)  The standard 5-way switch works just like I have three pickups.  I didn't have room to add a series/parallel switch, but that would have also allowed me to combine the bridge coils into a humbucker.






Copyright Alexplorer.
Home