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Rick Andrews and other experts answers guitar repair questions
For almost one year, guitar luther Rick Andrews answered your guitar repair questions. After recieving over 500 questions we put together the most popular questions and answers. Today, we are involving other great guitar builders and will continue to expand this area in the future. This section will no longer be interactive but you should find most of your guitar building and repair questions have already been answered in this section.

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  •  Blend pot wiring options

    Hi Rick,
    I have built a guitar with a rather unusual pickup configuration. It comprises of 4 pickups: 2x P90s and two single coil pickups as follows: (Neck position) P90/Single coil/ P90/Single coil (Bridge position).

    I would like to wire them into two pairs each consisting of a P90 and a single coil. Furthermore, I want to blent the output of each pair using a blend pot. The guitar is fitted with a standard 3-way toggle switch, master tone and master volume pots. I anticipate that the 3-way will switch between the neck pair and the bridge pair the center switch position being all 4 pickups on.

    I have been pretty careful to select pickups of very similar output so that one doesn't act as a 'drain' on the other.

    My question is, can a single 'master' blend pot be used to achieve this setup? If so, how is it wired?

    Thanks in advance
    Al Elias
  • Ricks Answer to - Blend pot wiring options

    The main problem to consider is the total resistance being much too high for normal tone and volume pots. When the switch is in the middle using all the 4 pickups then you will be sending a signal of approx. 1,500 ohms resistance thru the tone and volume pots. The pots are normally 500 thousand ohm pots and you will be using 3 times the resistance load. This can really hurt your signal and certainly the pots not being matched to your level of resistance and also will add far too much noise to your signal.

    I don't know if you can find the same audio taper pots in higher resistance very easily or not since I have not ever encountered a reason to go that high in resistance. You can add resisitors in the proper way to drop that to match but it would take some effort and time to work all this out.

    Personally I think it would not really gain enough results for you to be worthwhile the time and trouble it would take. Of course I'm only giving my best opinion to hopefully be of some help to you. I can work it out and add the resistors into the circuits switching scheme but it will take several hours work to get it right.
    Rick Andrews
    Andrews Guitar

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