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Potential Mustang wiring mod?


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I have a MIJ Cobain Mustang with Duncan JB Bridge and MIJ Mustang neck pup.  I  would like dual concentric pots so each pup will have independent volume and tone controls.  Additionally, would like to be able to split to either coil of the JB, while retaining the out of phase pup option.  I was thinking of three potential solutions:

1.  Add a mini three-way toggle in between the volume/tone pots to switch between pups and then use one of the existing three way sliders to switch in/out of phase and the other slider to switch the JB between full humbucking,  split slug coil, and split screw coil.

2.  Use one of the existing 3-way sliders to switch between pups, the other to select in/out of phase options and then add a 3-way mini toggle in-between the volume/tone pots to split coils on the JB, as per above.

3. Basically the same as #2, but flip the function of the mini toggle and  the out of phase slider.

Would any of these work or is there another option to achieve my goals?

BTW, I checked under the pickguard and there is no route near the lower horn to install a 3-way toggle like what you see on the current MIM Mustangs and I do no want to route the body.

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Well, here's an idea to get what you want out of it.  Basically how it works is it uses the phase switch to select which coil of the JB is active in split mode. 



NECK PICKUP SWITCH: Normal (ie up = normal, middle = off, down = phase)
BRIDGE PICKUP SWITCH: Up = Full Humbucker, Middle = off, Down = Coil Split
PHASE SWITCH (Control plate) = In Phase/Out of Phase which also selects which coil is active when split


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Yes, came up with that myself.

I have something similar in a custom guitar I built for a horror rock band's guitarist (no concentric pots).

The basic idea is the coil selected in split mode is based on which coil is the starting coil on the phase switch (as the bottom coil becomes the start when out of phase and the top coil when in phase). Then the bridge pickup selector when slid back grounds the "Series Link" between the two coils, killing off the coil that is the "Secondary" - this is how most coil splits work - and the coil selected is also determined by the phase switch - thusly allowing each coil to function as an isolated unit. Up is basic humbucker mode and works in and out of phase like if you wired the pickup in as a 2 conductor into a stock Fender Mustang. The neck pickup is just wired like a regular Mustang pickup (In Phase/Off/Out of Phase).

I've also seen people state the Jag-Stang had a coil split at one point on this site and had a similar diagram minus the phase switch.

As for concentric pots, those are usually just stacked pots with one pot controlled by the shaft and the second by the ring going around the shaft. Typically the volume is the shaft while the ring is the tone, I did it the other way here possibly - which has it's own advantage of volume swells being easier without accidentally rubbing the tone pot with it (I do a lot of that 80's trickery so that's what I tend to lean toward myself). As for figuring out which is which, I think the shaft goes to the bottom pot and the ring around goes to the top pot - but It could vary - best way is to test using a multimeter.

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I had one of the original run Jag-Stangs back in the nineties.  That one did not have a coil split option, so I had a push pull pot added.  With the bucker split, it did a great Straty "in-between" setting with both pups engaged, which is what I am going for with the split switch I want added to my Mustang.  

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  • 1 month later...

So I took my guitar in to have the wiring mod done.  I gave the tech the link to your wiring diagram, but he ended up doing his own thing.  He installed the mini-toggle in between the volume/tone pots to select pups.  Middle position is both pups on.  The front slider toggles between neck SC pup off and in/out of phase when both pups are on together.  The back slider toggles the bridge HB between full HB, split coil on the slug coil,  and both coils on in series.  The big difference between this set up and your wiring diagram is that I can't split to the screw coil of the JB.  The trade off is that I got the series option on the HB, which some people like, but I think I would rather have the split screw coil to get closer to a Mustang SC bridge pup sound.  I am not sure if your wiring diagram was too complicated for him or if he just went with something he was familiar with, but it is still very cool. The JB cuts much better now with the 500 k pots and I can just roll the tone pot back halfway to get the same sound I had with the stock 250 k pots. The neck SC is set up with 250 k pots, same as stock.  For anyone thinking of doing a similar wiring mod, you can't do pinky swells on the front bottom dual concentric pot because your pinky hits the mini toggle, so you have to set up the top dual concentric pot to control volume if you like to do volume swells (or put the switch somewhere else).  If you also want to have the ability to roll back the tone knob on the fly with your pinky, you are out of luck (unless you place the mini-toggle switch somewhere else)  This is not a problem for me because I pretty much set and forget the tone control, with only minor adjustments here and there.  I now can get a good Stratty "in-between" setting tone with both pups on and the JB split.  The top dual concentric volume pot is in the perfect position for pinky swells.  I can also get a nice clean sound with both pups on and the JB in full HB mode by rolling down the volume on the JB to clean it up, while leaving the neck SC volume full up.  I can also get a nice "thin" out of phase tone with both pups on and the JB in either HB or split coil mode.  I can also get a good "stutter" effect by turning the neck pup slider off and using the mini-toggle to toggle between the middle and neck position.  It was harder to get that effect using just the stock sliders.

All in all, I am very pleased!



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It is now also much easier to switch pickups on the fly using the 3-way mini-toggle.  I had trouble coordinating that with the sliders; e.g., to go from a crunchy rhythm tone on the bridge pup to a warm "woman" lead tone, I used to have to simultaneously turn of the bridge pup slider, turn on the neck pup slider, and roll down the master tone knob.  Now I can just roll down the neck pup tone on the back dual concentric pot before the song starts or at at any point in the song before the lead break, then just flick the mini toggle to the up position with my pinky at the start of the lead break.

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  • 2 years later...

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