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 Post subject: Strat tone controls
PostPosted: Thu Oct 22, 2009 12:56 pm 
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I usally never mess with the tone controls all that much on a guitar. As a new Strat owner, I only noticed today while practicing and noodling a little with the tone, that the tone controls don't work the way I thought they might. Am I right that the tone controls only work on positions 2 and 4 of the pickup switch? And in position 2, the bottom control affects the bridge pup, the top control affects the mid pup, in position 4, the bottom control affects the mid pup, the top control affects the neck pup?
Is that how it works?


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 Post subject: Re: Strat tone controls
PostPosted: Thu Oct 22, 2009 1:09 pm 
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Bathead wrote:
I usally never mess with the tone controls all that much on a guitar. As a new Strat owner, I only noticed today while practicing and noodling a little with the tone, that the tone controls don't work the way I thought they might. Am I right that the tone controls only work on positions 2 and 4 of the pickup switch? And in position 2, the bottom control affects the bridge pup, the top control affects the mid pup, in position 4, the bottom control affects the mid pup, the top control affects the neck pup?
Is that how it works?
Typically with vintage wiring the top control controls the neck and the bottom controls the middle.But there are other variations too depending on the model.What type of strat do you have?There are wiring diagrams for each model to show you how it is wired.


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 Post subject: Re: Strat tone controls
PostPosted: Thu Oct 22, 2009 1:24 pm 
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Bathead wrote:
...Am I right that the tone controls only work on positions 2 and 4 of the pickup switch? And in position 2, the bottom control affects the bridge pup, the top control affects the mid pup, in position 4, the bottom control affects the mid pup, the top control affects the neck pup?
Is that how it works?


The following is how most Strats are factory wired to work:

Master volume, of course.

The top tone control is wired to the neck pickup and is designed to work in positions 5 and 4 on your pickup selector switch which is, the neck and neck/middle pickups, respectively.

The lower tone control is AT LEAST wired to the middle pickup and is designed to work in positions 4, 3 and 2 of your pickup selector switch which is, the neck/middle, just middle, middle/bridge pickups, respectively.

Now, depending on which particular Strat model you have, the lower tone control MAY also be wired to the bridge pickup as well as the middle pickup. In this case, the lower tone control will ALSO work for the bridge pickup, position 1 of the pickup selector switch. Otherwise and again, depending on which particular model Strat you have, position 1 would have no tone control.

Notes:

With the guitar in playing position, if you set the pickup selector switch all the way to your right (closest to the bridge), this is position 1 of the selector switch. Conversely, position 5 is if you were to set the switch to the extreme left.

If the neck pickup is teamed with the middle pickup, both tone controls will be activated.

If the middle pickup is teamed with the bridge pickup, the lower tone control will be activated.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 22, 2009 7:51 pm 
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What I have is a 2009 MIM Standard, and as far as I can tell the tone controls seem to only be active in positions 2 and 4. It appears the tone controls don't work when a single pickup is selected. I could be wrong about that, I'll just have to do some more fiddling around to see if I can figure it out. I'll get back to you on that.
Another excuse to play with my Strat some more.
(As if I really needed any) :D


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 22, 2009 9:15 pm 
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Bathead wrote:
the tone controls seem to only be active in positions 2 and 4. It appears the tone controls don't work when a single pickup is selected.


Is the wiring stock? Or has someone done some modifications?

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 22, 2009 10:12 pm 
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Mine is wired so that the tone knobs only work on mid and mid/neck.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 23, 2009 4:42 am 
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Bathead wrote:
What I have is a 2009 MIM Standard, and as far as I can tell the tone controls seem to only be active in positions 2 and 4. It appears the tone controls don't work when a single pickup is selected. I could be wrong about that, I'll just have to do some more fiddling around to see if I can figure it out. I'll get back to you on that.
Another excuse to play with my Strat some more.
(As if I really needed any) :D


Your's should work as I've detailed above but with NO tone control for the bridge pickup by itself.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 23, 2009 9:27 am 
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orvilleowner wrote:
Bathead wrote:
the tone controls seem to only be active in positions 2 and 4. It appears the tone controls don't work when a single pickup is selected.


Is the wiring stock? Or has someone done some modifications?


The only "mod" I've made so far is new strings. :)


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 Post subject: Re: Strat tone controls
PostPosted: Fri Oct 23, 2009 9:35 am 
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Bathead wrote:
I usally never mess with the tone controls all that much on a guitar.


Not being funny, but I can't understand why anyone would NOT use the tone controls? It's like having an omlette and not bothering with the eggs. :shock:


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 Post subject: Re: Strat tone controls
PostPosted: Fri Oct 23, 2009 9:45 am 
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VerySlowHand wrote:
Not being funny, but I can't understand why anyone would NOT use the tone controls? It's like having an omlette and not bothering with the eggs. :shock:


A profound statement!

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 Post subject: Re: Strat tone controls
PostPosted: Fri Oct 23, 2009 10:58 am 
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VerySlowHand wrote:
Bathead wrote:
I usally never mess with the tone controls all that much on a guitar.


Not being funny, but I can't understand why anyone would NOT use the tone controls? It's like having an omlette and not bothering with the eggs. :shock:

That's just the way it works out. I'm not that much of a player. For all intents and purposes I'm an utter novice (even tough I first started playing about 40 years ago) and I really never found an urgent need to play with the tone all that much. I haven't played enough for it to make much of a difference. As my current intention is to buckle down and to make up for a lot of lost time, I may indeed mess with the tone a bit more at some point, but for now I'm more concerned with my playing not sucking.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 23, 2009 11:11 am 
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OK, for good or ill, here's the way I've figured the tone controls as best I can.

positon 1 (bridge): both controls OFF
position 2 (bridge+mid): bottom control ON, top control OFF
position 3 (mid): bottom control ON, top control OFF
position 4 (mid + neck): both controls ON
position 5 (neck): bottom control OFF, top control ON

I'm assuming from that, that the bottom control is wired to the mid pup, and the top control is wired to the neck pup.

Howzat? Sound right?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 23, 2009 12:00 pm 
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Bathead wrote:
OK, for good or ill, here's the way I've figured the tone controls as best I can.

positon 1 (bridge): both controls OFF
position 2 (bridge+mid): bottom control ON, top control OFF
position 3 (mid): bottom control ON, top control OFF
position 4 (mid + neck): both controls ON
position 5 (neck): bottom control OFF, top control ON

I'm assuming from that, that the bottom control is wired to the mid pup, and the top control is wired to the neck pup.

Howzat? Sound right?


By George, I think he's got it!!

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 Post subject: Re: Strat tone controls
PostPosted: Fri Oct 23, 2009 1:18 pm 
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Bathead wrote:
For all intents and purposes I'm an utter novice (even tough I first started playing about 40 years ago) and I really never found an urgent need to play with the tone all that much. I haven't played enough for it to make much of a difference. As my current intention is to buckle down and to make up for a lot of lost time, I may indeed mess with the tone a bit more at some point, but for now I'm more concerned with my playing not sucking.


In that case, maybe don't get too distracted by ALL the different combinations. How about you stick to one pickup for a week or so – the neck – and just play with the tone control on various settings and see what you get... like for instance, if you 'roll off' the tone, down to say 3, it'll sound muffled and jazzy, so try a few jazz chords with that. Then try another pickup and/or tone setting, think what music it sounds like and play some chords or riffs in that style. Hope this is not patronising... I'm no music teacher, but putting the tones in context might be a good way to get to understand what the guitar can do.


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 Post subject: Re: Strat tone controls
PostPosted: Fri Oct 23, 2009 3:46 pm 
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VerySlowHand wrote:
Bathead wrote:
For all intents and purposes I'm an utter novice (even tough I first started playing about 40 years ago) and I really never found an urgent need to play with the tone all that much. I haven't played enough for it to make much of a difference. As my current intention is to buckle down and to make up for a lot of lost time, I may indeed mess with the tone a bit more at some point, but for now I'm more concerned with my playing not sucking.


In that case, maybe don't get too distracted by ALL the different combinations. How about you stick to one pickup for a week or so – the neck – and just play with the tone control on various settings and see what you get... like for instance, if you 'roll off' the tone, down to say 3, it'll sound muffled and jazzy, so try a few jazz chords with that. Then try another pickup and/or tone setting, think what music it sounds like and play some chords or riffs in that style. Hope this is not patronising... I'm no music teacher, but putting the tones in context might be a good way to get to understand what the guitar can do.


That's pretty much what I'll figure to do, the more I play, the more I'll be experimenting with the various and sundry sound options available to me with my guitar and amp setup(Standard Strat and Super Champ XD) . But right now I 'm more concerned, as I said, with not sucking.


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