- 2 Humbucker Guitar - Custom Wiring # I
Funky Five Switching™

A very talented guitarist named Petros wired his guitar with this circuit.
You can listen to a soundclip here


Caution: As we have stated previously on other guitar wiring pages:
1) If your guitar is under warranty, doing any kind of unauthorized work will void it.
2) This will change the appearance of your guitar.

•For these wiring diagrams, one new "caution" should be stated:
the pickups must have the ground wire separate from the "negative" wires. If they are not, then these circuits will cause "lifting the ground" - a bad technique which causes excessive hum.

Without even counting the fifth switch (the phase switch),
this circuit will give a 2 humbucker guitar 12 tone options.

As far as the advantages:
1) The required switches are extremely easy to obtain. (2 DPDT and 2 SPDT)
2) All of the switching positions have no dead spots.
3) The tone range is very versatile and all 12 possible arrangements are humbucking.

Perhaps the only disadvantage of this circuit is the wiring is a little complex and you must be very precise in your work.

The chart below shows how to "flip" the switches to get each of the 12 sounds.

I have done this wiring and it looks like this:

Okay, I eliminated the volume control and the phase switch, but it still gets 12 distinct tones.
That guitar is an OLP MM1 and can be purchased for under $200. There are some great electric guitars available (either through the Internet or your local music shop), that cost less than $200.

The rest of this article consists of the explanation of the circuit. If you want to start wiring this circuit, then you don't need to read any further.

How It Works

You are probably familiar with the way SPDT toggle switch contacts work.
When the switch is in the "down" position, the upper 2 terminals are connected. Switching it "up" connects the bottom 2 terminals. (See above)

The above circuit works very well for switching 1 humbucking pickup or switching a 2 single pickup guitar such as a Fender Telecaster™
Switches wired in this manner allow one humbucker (or two single coils) to have 4 switching options:
1) Coil A only
2) Coil B only
3) Both coils in parallel
4) Both coils in series

These are also the four options you can get by using Seymour Duncan Triple Shot™ pickup mounting rings so which to choose?
2 SPDT switches - Cost is low, switches are easy to obtain.
Triple Shot - Doesn't change guitar's appearance.
However, since you are visiting this page, I don't think you'll mind drilling two small holes in your guitar.

In the above diagram, the circuits show how the four switching options are activated by the 2 SPDT switches. In all four circuits, the "Coil A" switching wire actually goes to the "Coil B" switch (DEF) and the "Coil B" pickup switching wire goes to the "Coil A" switch (ABC).
In circuit 1, "Coil A" is the active pickup. By turning the Coil A pickup switch on (or downward), you are actually turning Coil B off and by turning the Coil B pickup switch off (or upward), you are actually turning the Coil A pickup on.
If you have followed that explanation, you can see the opposite is occurring in circuit 2.

If you can understand those 2 switching circuits, then you will see that in circuit 3, by turning both switches off, both pickups have actually become wired in parallel.

Following the wiring for circuit 4, (notice the wire connection between terminals 'A' and 'D'?), you can now see how the pickups are wired in series.

If you can understand how the above circuit works, then you will understand the principles of the circuits on this page and the next page.
Nevertheless, even if you don't understand the explanation, you still can custom wire your guitar with the circuit on this page or on page 6.

For even more tone options, go to

Page 6 - Super Seven Switching

Return To Home Page

Copyright © 1999 -     1728 Software Systems