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Thread: How to wire 5 way switch in a Tele

  1. #1
    GAStronomist wazkelly's Avatar
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    How to wire 5 way switch in a Tele

    Hoping that Weirdbits or other knowledgeable forum members can help me out with this.

    Only my 2 Teles I used Oak Grigsby 4 way switches and as they are quite deep I have never seemed to get them to work properly. I guess that once wires are bent all over the place to make things fit the connections don't survive, hence why not all positions work???

    Anyways, I saw this on the internet and keen to give it a try using an Import Box style 5 way switch that comes with 8 lugs, like this one....
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    Here is the link to what inspired me..... https://www.premierguitar.com/articl...-parallel-mods

    The only issue is this article refers to a totally different type of switch and struggling to figure how to do the same on an 8 lug import box switch? Nothing seems to identify a lug or tab that goes to ground and not sure if this is relevant or important in trying to achieve what this article suggests can be done.

    This guy also has an interesting Series mod using existing 3 way switch and keen to know how to do that using the standard Import Box switch that comes with kits.....here is the link to that..... https://www.premierguitar.com/articl...-series-wiring

    And finally, this guy also made some suggestions about modding 2 wire pickups to 3 wire to allow for future modifications. I have already done this on Neck Pickup for the 4 way switch mod and wondering if it is necessary or makes any difference on Bridge pickup? .....https://www.premierguitar.com/articl...or_Future_Mods

    Thanking you in advance.

    Cheers, Waz
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  2. #2
    Member JimC's Avatar
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    The only reason i know of to mod 2 wire to 3 wire on a 2 pickup single coil guitar is to run one pickup out of phase with the other. Thus there's little point in modding both.
    Build #1, failed solid body 6 string using neck from a scrapped acoustic (45+ odd years ago as a teenager!)
    Build #2, ugly parlour semi with scratch built body and ex Peavey neck
    Build #3, Appalachian Dulcimer from EMS kit
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  3. #3
    Member JimC's Avatar
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    Now as far as your first question is involved, the so called super switch is a 4 pole 5 way switch ( 4 groups of 6 terminals). The typical guitar switch like yours is really only 2 pole 3 way (2 groups of 4 terminals), although it has the intermediate positions to give it 5 positions. So there's a huge difference in capability, and as far as I know you can't get phase switching with only two poles. The super switch is a pain to wire up and expensive. If you want the phase option its usually easier to wire up a separate switch, maybe a switched pot if you don't want other bits on the instrument.
    Build #1, failed solid body 6 string using neck from a scrapped acoustic (45+ odd years ago as a teenager!)
    Build #2, ugly parlour semi with scratch built body and ex Peavey neck
    Build #3, Appalachian Dulcimer from EMS kit
    Build #4, pre-owned PB ESB-4
    Build #5, Lockdown Mandolin

  4. #4
    Member JimC's Avatar
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    Then series wiring... The series wiring circuit requires a 2 pole 4 way switch (2 groups of 5 terminals). Note from above that the standard stat style 5 position switch is only 3 way, even though it has 5 positions. So again it doesn't have the capability to run the series option. And, like the phase, this can also be done with a separate switch.

    But the big takeaway is that to my knowledge the Strat style 2 pole 3 way 5 position switch, which is actually less versatile than a 4 way, doesn't have that much to offer a two pickup guitar, unless you are trying something more unconventional with special tone circuits.
    Last edited by JimC; 13-09-2020 at 05:07 PM.
    Build #1, failed solid body 6 string using neck from a scrapped acoustic (45+ odd years ago as a teenager!)
    Build #2, ugly parlour semi with scratch built body and ex Peavey neck
    Build #3, Appalachian Dulcimer from EMS kit
    Build #4, pre-owned PB ESB-4
    Build #5, Lockdown Mandolin

  5. #5
    Overlord of Music WeirdBits's Avatar
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    Jim has it covered all covered.

    You only need the 3rd wire mod on the neck pickup, as you only need to invert one pickup to put it out of phase with the other (and the neck is the easiest option to mod). Two pickup series/parallel switching on a 4 or 5 position switch needs at least two poles and individual lugs for each position on each pole. Hence, the use of the Grigsby 4-way (or the 6-lug per pole Grigsby 2 and 4 pole 5-ways). The ‘import’ 7/8 lug 5-ways link/short two lugs on each pole to get the 2 and 4 positions, so can’t be used for independent series/parallel switching.

    A 3-way ‘import’ or CRL style switch combined with a push/pull for phase and another push/pull for series/parallel could be made to work, as the 3-way doesn’t short across lugs for the 3 positions. But, it means a lot of switching if you want to go from one sound to another. The easiest solution, IMO, is to use a Grigsby style switch and mod the cavity so it’ll fit cleanly. Or, possibly, a Freeway style toggle... but, expensive.
    Scott.

  6. #6
    GAStronomist wazkelly's Avatar
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    Thanks Jim & Weirdy.

    If I was to use stock import 3 way with 8 lugs and a separate mini dpdt on-on switch to do the series instead of using a push-pull any ideas on how to wire that up?

    Cheers, Waz

    Sent from my SM-A520F using Tapatalk
    # 1 - EX-5 https://goo.gl/fQJMqh
    # 2 - EX-1 https://goo.gl/KSY9W9
    # 3 - Non PBG Tele https://goo.gl/W14G5g
    # 4 - Non PBG J Bass https://goo.gl/FbBaFy
    # 5 - TL-1AR GOTM Aug 2017 https://goo.gl/sUh14s
    # 6 - MMB-4 Runner-up GOTM Oct 2018https://goo.gl/gvrPkp
    # 7 - ES-1 Runner-up GOTM Aug 2018https://goo.gl/T9BEY8

  7. #7
    Overlord of Music WeirdBits's Avatar
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    Quick sketch, but should work... if you can understand it. Needs to be an 8 lug 3-way ‘import’, an On/On DPDT mini-switch, and the Neck pup modded to have a separate shield wire. Mini-switch ‘up’ is parallel and ‘down’ is series when in position 2.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    If the sketch is too chaotic to understand I can draw it up properly in the next few days.
    Scott.

  8. #8
    GAStronomist wazkelly's Avatar
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    Thanks mate.

    I presume -N = neck pickup wire from the metal cover?

    Might also retrace my steps on existing oak Grigsby 4 way switches to see if they can be salvage.

    Cheers, Waz

    Sent from my Lenovo TB-7104F using Tapatalk
    # 1 - EX-5 https://goo.gl/fQJMqh
    # 2 - EX-1 https://goo.gl/KSY9W9
    # 3 - Non PBG Tele https://goo.gl/W14G5g
    # 4 - Non PBG J Bass https://goo.gl/FbBaFy
    # 5 - TL-1AR GOTM Aug 2017 https://goo.gl/sUh14s
    # 6 - MMB-4 Runner-up GOTM Oct 2018https://goo.gl/gvrPkp
    # 7 - ES-1 Runner-up GOTM Aug 2018https://goo.gl/T9BEY8

  9. #9
    Overlord of Music WeirdBits's Avatar
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    + and - are the positive and negative signal wires for the N(eck) and B(ridge). ‘N shield’ is the extra wire connected to the neck pup cover added with the series mod. B- and ‘N shield’ are both connected permanently to ground. B+, N- and N+ go to the indicated lugs on the switch.

    The way the layout works is the Neck hot N+ is permanently connected to the (effective) switch output, and N- is switched between no connection, ground and Bridge hot B+ (for series) as needed. In position 2 the mini-switch ‘up’ connects B+ to the out and N- to ground to give you Bridge and Neck in parallel, and when ‘down’ it connects B+ to N- to give Bridge and Neck in series.
    Scott.

  10. #10
    Overlord of Music WeirdBits's Avatar
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    Hopefully this is a little clearer:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    1. Bridge
    2. Bridge + Neck (mini-switch 'up' parallel, 'down' series)
    3. Neck
    Scott.

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