Strat wiring issues and diag....

Discussion in 'The Workbench' started by Maggot Brain, Jul 23, 2020.

  1. Maggot Brain

    Maggot Brain Well-Known Member

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    *Edit* Problem solved, was a bad 5 way "import" switch... I've since installed a loaded pickgaurd with Fender '57/'62 pickups *Edit*
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2020
  2. South Park

    South Park Well-Known Member

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    Change out the whole pick guard with a prewired pick guard. You can up grade the pick ups at the same time
     
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  3. KraftyBob

    KraftyBob Well-Known Member

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    I've done a handful of mods on my Strat as well as a friends so I'm pretty familiar with the functionality of both the standard 5-way switch and Super Switch. Can you send picks of the wiring and a close-up of the switch? Maybe I can help.
     
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  4. KraftyBob

    KraftyBob Well-Known Member

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    What’s your pickup configuration (SSS, HSS, etc.)
     
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  5. RLW59

    RLW59 Well-Known Member

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    The import switches Fender used to use on MIMs were very heat sensitive. Very easy to damage while soldering. They're also prone to just wearing out and malfunctioning.

    Get an Oaks Grigsby or CRL switch. They'll last forever and since the vast majority of wiring diagrams are drawn for them you'll have a much easier time wiring them up.
     
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  6. KraftyBob

    KraftyBob Well-Known Member

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    And get a Super Switch. Many more options with this switch vs the standard 5-way.

    Edited to add: If you get a switch, get the Super Switch, but I'd like to see how things are wired up first.
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2020
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  7. RLW59

    RLW59 Well-Known Member

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    One caution, some super switches are deeper than standard switches.

    A MIM that's old enough to have an import switch is from the era when body cavities weren't always standard depth. So measure your control cavity depth and check dimensions before you buy.
    ---------------------
    Just personally, all the unusual possible combinations seem intriguing so I've tried most of them. Never found a use for any of them.

    Lots of people like some of them, so it's worth trying them at some point. But when dealing with a malfunctioning circuit it's a lot easier to deal with the standard circuit, rather than on top of that figuring out what other combinations you might prefer and then figuring out how to connect a dozen or more switch terminals to achieve it.

    My advice is a standard switch and get it working as it's supposed to. Then start experimenting after that. (You can wire a super switch to just do the standard combos, but for me a maze of terminals is still a little overwhelming -- I've occasionally had trouble just getting a standard switch wired properly.)

    Most of the other possibilities are available with a regular switch -- they just require you to give up some normal combos that you may want to keep. So after it's working properly you can experiment with the non-standard combos, decide which if any you want to keep, then decide whether you need a super switch or maybe just a push/pull pot or 3.
     
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  8. Maggot Brain

    Maggot Brain Well-Known Member

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    Awesome and thanks for the replies and input, love the community here.

    Soon as I get the chance Ill post some photos. I did some deep reading lastnight and found some values and diag steps to do with a multimeter. I spent nearly 7 years as an automotive technician so this seems like ot should be easier than it is being. I am almost positive I have a bad switch... I *think* the last thing I did before this issue was bump the toggle switch awkwardly, I rarely touch the tone controls and only noticed when I started riding the volume my tone became "muffled" like when you roll the tone knob.

    I also have a known working squire, I may swap the guts to help the process. I am 99.9% I have the strat wired correctly.
     
  9. KraftyBob

    KraftyBob Well-Known Member

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    Good point on the size of the switch. I get what you're saying about making it work first and then experimenting, but had I known what I wanted in the end, I would have saved myself some time and just wired my guitar that way the first time and been done with it. Here's my experience/journey...

    I have a 2017 MIM Strat that came as an SSS with tone control only on the middle and bridge pickups (standard 5-way switch). The guitar is black w/maple neck and the pick guard and accessories were white. The first thing I did was change everything to black.

    I later changed it out to an HSS (DiMarzio Tone Zone) with auto-coil split in position 2 so I still get that Strat quack that position is known for. Still no tone control on the bridge pup as I had not changed the switch yet. This also required a new pick guard with the humbucker cutout.

    Last winter I installed the Super Switch so I now get tone control on all three pickups and have coil split in position 2 - you can't have both with the standard switch. I also added a push/pull pot in the bottom tone control so when I'm in position 1 I can have either humbucker or single coil. It still coil splits in position 2 so the state of the push/pull pot doesn't affect that.

    Looking back I should have installed a small toggle for the position 1 coil split instead of the push/pull pot because it's hard to quickly pull the top hat knob as they are slightly tapered and my fingers easily slide off. It's worse if your fingers are even slightly sweaty. Also, when the pot is pulled up it was just high enough that the tremolo arm would rub it when I would swing it forward.

    To fix these I put the knob on a 1/4" dowel, put the dowel in my drill and while it was spinning filed a small groove around it. I then slide an O-ring in the groove for grip and it works like a charm. Being that everything is black you can't even see it, but it makes pulling the pot very easy. I also spun back the tremolo arm once or twice for added clearance.

    In addition to all this somewhere along the line I added a roller tree and locking tuners. My advice: try to get an idea of what you want ahead of time so you're not constantly changing things out. I don't mind doing the work but I'd rather be playing than rewiring.

    On a side note - my friend installed a SD Hot Rails in his Strat for an HSS. With the hot rails coil split you lose some of the quack in position 2. It's still there, just not as prominent.
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2020
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  10. Maggot Brain

    Maggot Brain Well-Known Member

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    Ok problem solved! The 5 way toggle was the issue.

    I swapped the one out of my squire, would have been a quick job had I a better soldering iron!

    Future plans to upgrade all the electronics and maybe some new pickups. I am unsure of the year of my strat, it seems it could use some upgraded componets. I am just happy to play it again!

    I appreciate all of your advice and input!
     
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  11. KraftyBob

    KraftyBob Well-Known Member

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    Good to hear and thanks for letting us know. Enjoy!
     
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  12. Chris-in-LA

    Chris-in-LA Well-Known Member

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    Just get a regular 5-way USA switch to replace your broken one, they never wear out.
     
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  13. Maggot Brain

    Maggot Brain Well-Known Member

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    This solved all my issues :D

    [​IMG]
     
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  14. TXOldRedRocker

    TXOldRedRocker Well-Known Member

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    Cool! Nice prewire. Sorry, somehow I missed this thread last week. I might have contributed. I gutted my Squier Strat and replaced EVERYTHING but the wood and the pick guard. My new improved pots and switch were different sizes that the Indonesian stuff. I had to enlarge the cavity a bit. Make a larger hole for better wiring from the jack to the cavity. And make the holes in the pick guard larger to fit the better switches, etc. It also got locking tuners, copper taped up cavity and back of the pick guard, plus I blacked it out. It had a lot of bone and chrome on it before.



     

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  15. Maggot Brain

    Maggot Brain Well-Known Member

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    On my way home I picked up a new soldering iron, got home and got that baby in my strat in less than 20 mins.

    I can definitely vouch for 920D, at least product wise since I bought this second hand. The quality of the wiring is top notch and detailed, better than any US strat I've opened up.

    This pickgaurd has the Fender '57/'62's which I am loving paired with the VM.

    Your strat turned out great! I want to upgrade my Squire one day!


    [​IMG]

    That's the bullshit the previous owner had rigged up in this amazing Strat... She has what she deserves now.
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2020
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  16. South Park

    South Park Well-Known Member

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    Those pick ups aren’t worth Saving. Get a preloaded pick guard With fender Tex mex pickups Off of eBay and be done with It . Guitars are not easy to wire . You might have a bad pick up
     
  17. Dogs of Doom

    Dogs of Doom Moderator Staff Member

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    probably assembled where this picture was taken...

    13165988_10154227772759031_8639442099807075355_n.jpg

    :)...
     
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  18. Maggot Brain

    Maggot Brain Well-Known Member

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    Haha seriously!

    I am very impressed and happy with the loaded pickgaurd, the tone pots work in a way I have never experienced before. Rolling the tone knobs actually seem useful for once, you can slightly roll off the treble in a usable manner, every tone knob I've used on a strat just makes it sound like a wah cocked up. The volume knob is precise and accurate, pairing wonderfully with the VM's HDR and my fuzz pedals. The bonus, I absolutely love the '57/'62 Fender pickups, I was just happy to get that rat nest off my guitar but I am beyond satisfied with these pickups.

    Never know what you'll find on the local CL...
     
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  19. Dogs of Doom

    Dogs of Doom Moderator Staff Member

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    that's cool... Nice that it just plops right in & you just solder a couple wires...

    I have a few pickguards for my Strat. If I ever get tired of one, I just swap it out real quick & I have a new guitar. Well, the ones I have are:

    stock w/ Lace Sensor Golds modded w/ Hotrails in the bridge
    one w/ an Invader in the bridge & no other pickups
    one w/ EMG humbucker & 2 singles, w/ active electronics

    If I want something different, I'll just buy/load another pickguard & swap it out...
     
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  20. pedecamp

    pedecamp Well-Known Member

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    Wiring is easy, all you need is a soldering iron and download a Strat wiring diagram off the web. Check all your wiring is the same as the diagram, its like paint by numbers!
     
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