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HS Strat Wiring

Here’s a suggested wiring diagram for a HS Strat.

I originally drew it up for Gabor from superfunawesimehappytime pedal show.

He has a green Strat with a Mr Glyns Tui neck pickup and a Cloud Nine bridge pickup that he’s been using for YouTube pedal demos.

HS Strat Wiring diagram

The format is:

1 Humbucker

2 Coil tap Humbucker

3 Humbucker and Neck

4 Coil tap Humbucker and Neck

5 Neck

The 470K Ohm resistor is there so that the humbucker ‘sees’ the volume pot as 500KOhm and the single coil ‘sees’ it as 250KOhm, clever eh.

Here is is in action:

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updated 4 September 2023

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HS Strat Wiring

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Pickup Phase Explained

In this short video – Pickup Phase Explained – I look at what phase is, what it isn’t and why you need to know.

I use a Strat to demonstrate the ‘out of phase’ sound and how it would sound if it really was out of phase. There’s no maths, no diagrams. Just a simple explanation with a guitar to demonstrate.

Pickup Phase Explained

Positions 2 and 4 on Strat switches are often referred to as ‘out of phase’ when they really aren’t. Those positions are the sound of 2 pickups in parallel (a humbucker is in series). Out of phase is quite different as you’ll hear in this video.

There is another video in this series explaining how to test phase – the easy way

Pickup Phase Explained

Pickup Phase Explained

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Updated July 2023

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How To Test Pickup Phase – Quick 101

As part of my series on How Pickups Work here is How To Test Pickup Phase – The Easy Way.

There is, of course, a hard way and that’s putting pickups into a guitar and having a listen later. That’s fine if you get it right first time but a pain if you have to re-wire the pickup again later.

In this video I demonstrate how to use a cheap test meter to identify which phase your pickup is in out of the guitar.

Traditionally, Gibson style and Fender style pickups are in the opposite phase to each other. This is just how it is.

So it’s really useful to know how to wire your pickups especially if they have an unfamiliar colour code. In my line of work I often repair pickups. I need to send them back to the customer in the correct phase. This is the simple test I use.

I realised after making this video that I needed to make another on what pickup phase actually is. So here’s a link to that one.

In this second video I demonstrate the sound of pickups out of phase so you can hear the difference which is, of course, the whole point.

There is also a demonstration of the Strat ‘out of phase’ sound and how it isn’t out of phase at all – yeah really! The sound of positions 2 and 4 on a Strat are 2 pickups in parallel.

Thanks for reading How To Test Pickup Phase.

How To Test Pickup Phase

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How To Test Pickup Phase

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Telecaster Wiring Diagram

I like to support my customers any way I can so here’s a Telecaster Wiring Diagram for a standard Telecaster to help you fit your set of Mr Glyns Pickups.

Telecaster Wiring Diagram

Telecaster Wiring Diagram. By Mr Glyns Pickups.
Tele Wiring Diagram

I’ve drawn this diagram using the colour code for Mr Glyn’s Pickups.

I use shielded cable for my Telecaster pickups so not only do they hum less but by swapping the red and white wires it’s easy to reverse their phase. That’s really useful if you want to use a 4 way switch to combine the two pickups in series as a humbucker.

This is the standard Telecaster Wiring Diagram – there are plenty of modifications you could make to change things a little.

Changing the capacitor to one of a lower value will lessen the effect of using the tone control. A .022 microfarad cap, for instance, will make the tone control more subtle to use but it’s not great if you like using the tone as a wah wah.

I like to use a treble bleed on my Tele to avoid treble loss when using the volume control – here’s some info about it

Here are my Telecaster Pickup demos:

Telecaster Wiring Diagram

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Series Parallel switch

You may have heard of Series Parallel wiring in guitars, here’s how to do it.

There are numerous ways to wire a humbucker. The standard way is in series, its the sound we all know, with that pushy lower mid tone.

Some players like to coil tap their humbucker to get the option of a thinner more Fender type tone. That is essentially switching one coil off.

A less well used way to thin the sound is with a series/parallel switch. A humbucker in parallel is more single coil like than in standard wiring, there’s less volume drop than coil tapping and it still hum cancels. I much prefer it.

So what is Series/Parallel all about?

The standard way of wiring a humbucker is in series. PAF’s are wired this way and it gives the traditional full sound with plenty of mids and bottom end. Its simply one coil following the other, the end of one coil connected to the beginning of the next.

Wiring a humbucker in parallel is quite a different sound. It’s much more similar to a single coil sound but the pickups is still hum cancelling. There is a drop in volume though not as much as with a coil tap (switching one coil off).

This humbucker wiring diagram shows how to do it with a push/pull switch. With the switch down and the humbucker is wired in series (normal), pull it up and it’s in parallel. The wiring colour code is for Mr Glyn’s Pickups (I use the same colours as Seymour Duncan).

Series Parallel diagram

Series Parallel switch for guitar pickups humbucker

Not such a hard diagram to follow is it. I’m not sure why this modification isn’t more popular. Maybe it’s a little harder to understand than coil tapping, maybe it’s because its a little more complicated to wire up. I certainly prefer it in my guitars to give an extra tonal option without taking anything away from the original sound.

It would be great if you could subscribe to this blog (below) so you don’t miss out on any other pickup related articles.

I’m going to be posting a few more wiring diagrams in the near future. Keep an eye on this blog or my social media:

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Mr Glyns Pickups is a small business which means I can communicate with my customers one to one. I’m always happy to discuss your requirements, answer questions and give advice. I want to know about the guitars my pickups are going in, send me pictures, send me recordings.

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Series Parallel switch

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Treble Bleed – quick 101

Mr Glyns Pickups website –

With a few models of my pickups I give a treble bleed. It makes such a difference to how the volume control works. They aren’t for everyone but it’s worth experimenting and finding out if it works for you.

Here’s the diagram:

Treble Bleed diagram. Mr Glyns Pickups

Pretty simple eh, it just straddles the ‘in’ and ‘out’ legs of the volume pot. Easy to fit, completely reversable and cheap – what’s not to like? Let’s take a deeper look.

A brief explanation of how a treble bleed circuit works and why you might need one

With some help from Sammy the dog

Here’s a more wordy explanation: 

You may have noticed that when you turn the volume control down on an electric guitar it not only gets quieter but also more muddy, some of the high frequencies are lost.

As the volume goes down so does the clarity. This can, of course, be useful. Quite often you’ll want to be able to take some sparkle off the sound especially with single coil pickups. But with humbuckers for many of us they just get too wooly and undefined as the volume goes down.
So here’s the solution, it’s cheap and simple, easy to fit and makes humbuckers so much more versatile without taking anything away from the full volume sound. I’m talking about treble bleed circuits.

What do capacitors do?

For our purposes all you need to know about capacitors (caps for short) is they allow treble frequencies to pass through them but block bass. The frequencies involved depend on the value of the cap. The details of how caps work can get very complicated but that’s all we need to know to understand what’s going on here. They’re more commonly used in tone circuits but that’s another story.
The volume control (potentiometer or pot) on an electric guitar looks like this:

volume pot. Mr Glyn's Pickups

It’s a fairly simple device, As you turn the volume down the resistance between the ‘in’ and ‘out’ leg increases. This makes it increasingly harder for the signal from your pickups to get through. Less signal means quieter. That’s what happens when you turn your volume down. It’s very simple and works well except for that treble loss. On some guitars a bit less treble can be a useful (Strats for me) but not always.
 Here’s the same thing with our cunning little circuit added:

Where do you put a treble bleed?

Guitar Treble Bleed

This one has the ‘Orange Drop’ treble bleed which has a resistor added to it. This resistor softens the treble as you turn down making the effect more subtle.

What does it sound like?

So as you turn down the volume and the the resistance increases there’s an alternative path for the signal – through the cap. But, as we know, the cap will only let treble through. This means your sound not only gets quieter but also thinner from the treble sneaking through the treble bleed.

As you turn the volume down you’re also turning the bass down. As a result you have a usable single coil (ish) sound when the volume is low. If you’re overdriving an amp the result is cleaning your sound up. So with a high gain amp and your volume at about 1/4 you get a bluesy breaking up sound , crank the volume on the guitar and you’re rocking.

Capacitor and resistor values

It really is something worth playing around with. There are a few variations on the circuit but the idea is the same. If you want a less subtle effect just use a 0.001micro farad cap on it’s own. To soften the effect add a 150KOhm resistor in parallel. These values are just common values, play around with them, these are cheap components.

On most of my guitars I prefer a simple treble bleed, no coil taps or series parallel. Just the volume control. This isn’t a mod to just automatically use on every guitar, I find with Strats I welcome some tone roll off. With a 2 volume control set up it may be worth treating the neck and bridge pickups differently.

Then there’s the matter of the 50’s wiring circuit in Les Pauls. With this wiring a treble bleed does very little. As the difference between the 50’s wiring and modern wiring is just in how the tone control is wired to the volume control it is possible to use both systems on the same guitar. With a Les Paul type set up the neck pickup could be wired with the ‘modern’ circuit with the addition of a treble bleed and the bridge to 50’s wiring.

There really are a lot of options here and a lot of experimenting to be done. It’s always worth remembering there really is no right or wrong way to do this despite what you might read on the internet. If you come up with anythis fantastic be sure to let me know.

So with a most models of my pickups I give you a bleed circuit or two. If I think it works with that pickup I’ll pop one or two in the box. I know a lot of manufacturers give sticker or a guitar pick for free with their pickups but I thought I’d give a more practical little gift. It’s great if you use it, quite a few of my customers have tried one for the first time and liked it but even if it isn’t your thing maybe you have a Mate who’d be interested.

If you have any ideas os subject matter for blog articles on pickup related topics please let me know and I’ll see what I can do.

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updated 28 August 2023