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FDP Forum / Fender Guitars: Stratocasters / Paging TE 52.............

henrycat
Contributing Member
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Ch'town, PEI, Canada

He said he was a wit. He was half right.
Nov 20th, 2017 05:09 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

In a recent post you mentioned:
"Technical point: When you take into account all possible variations and combinations of series, parallel and phase, there are 47 ways to wire three pickups."

I only came up with 35. What am I missing? My set up is on/off/on for each pick-up Then three on/off switches to put all four combinations of pick-ups in series.

I'm not an electronics guy other than I can solder and follow a wiring diagram that someone else has produced.(:>)

Te 52

Laws of Physics

strictly enforced
Nov 21st, 2017 05:11 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

You're probably missing the possiblity of series/parallel and parallel/series connections of three pickups.

For example, it's possible to have, say, the middle and bridge pickups in series, and then to have *that combination* wired in parallel with the neck pickup. It's approximately correct to say that when pickups are wired in parallel, their respective signals are averaged together, but when they are connected in series, their signals are added together, for a higher voltage, higher volume signal. So in the example cited above, the sounds of the middle and bridge pickup will dominate over the sound of the neck pickup, because M and B are in series.

In practice these series/parallel and parallel/series sounds really are different from all three pickups in series or all three in parallel.

For reference, I list below all 47 possible combinations for three pickups. A "+" indicates connection in parallel, a "*" indicates connection in series, a "'" indicates that that pickup is out of phase. Parentheses mean that the two pickups enclosed are connected as indicated, and then that combination connected to the third pickup in either series or parallel. So for example, N*(M'+B) would mean "Middle and Bridge in parallel out of phase, that combination in series with Neck pickup." The linked sketch should help make this clear.

The 47 sounds are:

1. N
2. M
3. B
4. N+M
5. N+M’
6. M+B
7. M+B’
8. N+B
9. N+B’
10. N*M
11. N*M’
12. M*B
13. M*B’
14. N*B
15. N*B’
16. N+M+B
17. N’+M+B
18. N+M’+B
19. N+M+B’
20. N*M*B
21. N’*M*B
22. N*M’*B
23. N*M*B’
24. N+(M*B)
25. N’+(M*B)
26. N+(M’*B)
27. N+(M*B’)
28. M+(N*B)
29. M+(N’*B)
30. M’+(N*B)
31. M+(N*B’)
32. B+(N*M)
33. B+(N’*M)
34. B+(N*M’)
35. B’+(N*M)
36. N*(M+B)
37. N’*(M+B)
38. N*(M’+B)
39. N*(M+B’)
40. M*(N+B)
41. M*(N’+B)
42. M’*(N+B)
43. M*(N+B’)
44. B*(N+M)
45. B*(N’+M)
46. B*(N+M’)
47. B’*(N+M)

The five standard Strat sounds are 1,2,3,4 and 6.

series/parallel v. parallel/series

(This message was last edited by Te 52 at 06:48 PM, Nov 22nd, 2017)

Leftee
Contributing Member
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VA

Life makes a man tired.
Nov 21st, 2017 05:38 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Sometimes my wife asks me what we discuss on this forum. I’ve bookmarked this thread. :-P

henrycat
Contributing Member
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Ch'town, PEI, Canada

He said he was a wit. He was half right.
Nov 21st, 2017 08:29 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Thanks very much Te 52.....it must have taken a while to put this down in terms that a 70 year old retired CPA could follow. I'll sit down with my Strat and work through these examples and see what I'm missing.

I think your analysis might be useful to other FDP members as a point of reference. I'm going to print it out and put it in my " things I've learned from the FDP" file. It's a pretty thick file but this is a very welcomed addition. Thanks again.(:>)

(This message was last edited by henrycat at 10:40 PM, Nov 21st, 2017)

DrKev
Contributing Member
******

Paris, France

It's just a guitar, not rocket science.
Nov 22nd, 2017 04:40 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Note that for series combination, X*Y may not be the same as Y*X. That means that B*M =/= M*B, or B*(M+N) =/= (M+N)*B

Electrically we would think it shouldn't matter, the resistance and inductance all add up the same, but when Music Man came out with the "Game Changer" switching system, it became possible to instantly switch between any combinations and hear that are subtle tonal differences depending on which coils of a series combination are on the ground or hot side of the combination.

Game Changer demo (watch from 3:41 to 5:00)

(This message was last edited by DrKev at 06:43 AM, Nov 22nd, 2017)

Electron

Undiscover'd Country

from whose bourn no traveller returns.
Nov 22nd, 2017 01:48 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

47 - wow! I can't picture keeping track of that many.

(This message was last edited by Electron at 03:49 PM, Nov 22nd, 2017)

Leftee
Contributing Member
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VA

Life makes a man tired.
Nov 23rd, 2017 05:31 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

FWIW - Mrs. Leftee thinks this thread is awesome.

Full disclosure. She’s an actuary.

teemon

Florida

A Piece for Assorted Lunatics
Nov 23rd, 2017 11:11 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I have been missing out.

DrKev
Contributing Member
******

Paris, France

It's just a guitar, not rocket science.
Nov 23rd, 2017 11:56 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

[Jack palance voice on]
With 6 coils, the number of combinations is over 8 million
[Jack Palance voice off]

Te 52

Laws of Physics

strictly enforced
Nov 23rd, 2017 02:27 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

"...for series combination, X*Y may not be the same as Y*X..."

I will have a really hard time accepting that until someone explains the science behind it or I prove it myself with a carefully controlled experiment.

It's well-known that the ear cannot detect when you flip the phase on a single pickup, and all that you're doing when you change X*Y to Y*X is changing the phase of that combination.

If you really can hear the difference on the Music Man instrument, I wonder if there's something peculiar about their particular implentation?

DrKev
Contributing Member
******

Paris, France

It's just a guitar, not rocket science.
Nov 24th, 2017 04:18 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

You can hear it in the video clip I posted. And this was not used as a big sellling point (there is no reaosn to) it's just mentioned that one time as a curiosity in in just that one particular promo video (out of five). I'm moderator on their forum, they're good folks. I have no reason to doubt them, or Steve Morse.

Clearly, the basic electronics says the inductances and resistances all add up to the same total so it shoudn't make a difference. But we all know that the order effects pedals are placed in can make an obvious difference to the sound. If we think of one pickup acting as a filter on the signal an other pickup, then perhaps it's not such a shock. So perhaps something in the switching system is allowing this to happen, maybe the coils are buffered from each other and that changes how they interact in series? If it's not due to the swicthing system (and it is not implausible that nobody ever noticed this before) then yes, we have a problem explaining the physics.

henrycat
Contributing Member
**********
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Ch'town, PEI, Canada

He said he was a wit. He was half right.
Nov 24th, 2017 05:01 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I've now run your "47" pickup tones through my Strat and have found the "missing" 12 tones. There are 12 combinations, ie. 26 & 27 that are different, but to my ears sound exactly the same, so I did not count them.I should have used a different adjective than "possible" .....maybe "discernible" in my original post. (:>)

In any event, the mystery has been solved for me and I'm not missing any tones.

Thanks again for your efforts in clearing this up.

Mick Reid
Contributing Member
****

Australia

American-made in Oz!!
Nov 24th, 2017 11:40 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

"47 - wow! I can't picture keeping track of that many."

I struggle with 5!!!

:^)

Te 52

Laws of Physics

strictly enforced
Nov 25th, 2017 12:31 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

"...There are 12 combinations, ie. 26 & 27 that are different, but to my ears sound exactly the same, so I did not count them..."

Yes, the list shows all the possible ways three pickups can be connected, but it's more of academic interest than practical. A lot of the combinations will indeed be very hard or impossible to tell from one another.

HeavyDuty
Contributing Member
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Northeast IL

Not very bright but does lack ambition
Nov 25th, 2017 07:01 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

“FWIW - Mrs. Leftee thinks this thread is awesome.

Full disclosure. She’s an actuary.”

She must be an aggressive actuary if she voiced an opinion like that.

(Ducks under underwriting desk)


Leftee
Contributing Member
**********
*******

VA

Life makes a man tired.
Nov 26th, 2017 05:39 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

LOL

Touche' HD!

henrycat
Contributing Member
**********
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Ch'town, PEI, Canada

He said he was a wit. He was half right.
Nov 27th, 2017 07:53 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I've posted my "take" on these 35 tones along with the wiring schematic in my profile. Very flexible system and is actually quite easy to use.

FDP Forum / Fender Guitars: Stratocasters / Paging TE 52.............




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