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houndman55

How does 3 Humbuckers work?

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Hey,

 

I mean for a standard H-H guitar it's pretty obvious, rhythm, treble and both at the same time. But if we go to a les paul or sg custom with 3 humbucker how does the swtiching work? I would imagine it's rhythm, treble or both along with the middle humbucker or can you isolate the middle pickup somehow?

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.

The traditional way Gibson wires 3 pups is with a 3 way switch that gives the follow options: Neck pup in the rhythm position, Middle and Bridge pups together in the middle position, and Bridge pup in the lead (treble) position. Because of this, some players mod with a 5-way to get the Strat style selection options.

 

The typical Strat 3 pup set has a 5-way toggle that gives 5 different combinations of the Bridge, Middle, and Neck pups. Which combinations are available depends on the wiring because there's 7 possible combinations - B only, M only, N only, B/M, N/M, B/N, amd B/M/N. Usually the available positions are B only, M only, N only, B/M, M/N.

 

 

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Hello!

 

Traditionally, Les Pauls (including SGs) with three pickups provide the following switching options:

 

"Rhythm" position: neck pickup alone.

"Middle" position: middle and bridge pickup together, out-of-phase.

"Treble" position: bridge pickup alone.

 

Since, these guitars have three volume and one master tone control, - with the selector switch in the "middle" position - by rolling down the volume pot of the bridge pickup, You can select the middle pickup on it's own.

 

Cheers... Bence

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The sg 3 has the chicken head 6 way switch and it engages neck, neck middle, bridge middle, middle alone, bridge and neck or bridge alone.

 

When you engage two "57" pickups at full power its very nice tones.

 

Regards

 

tom

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Hello!

 

Traditionally, Les Pauls (including SGs) with three pickups provide the following switching options:

 

"Rhythm" position: neck pickup alone.

"Middle" position: middle and bridge pickup together, out-of-phase.

"Treble" position: bridge pickup alone.

 

Since, these guitars have three volume and one master tone control, - with the selector switch in the "middle" position - by rolling down the volume pot of the bridge pickup, You can select the middle pickup on it's own.

 

Cheers... Bence

 

I was going to mention this, but you beat me to it...

 

I am curious about the original triple pickup Les Paul Custom Black Beauties that were wired this way and how much out-of-phase tone (ala Peter Green) you get out of them...

 

I'd certainly like to try one out...

 

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...

"Middle" position: middle and bridge pickup together, out-of-phase.

...

I was going to mention this, but you beat me to it...

 

I am curious about the original triple pickup Les Paul Custom Black Beauties that were wired this way and how much out-of-phase tone (ala Peter Green) you get out of them...

 

I'd certainly like to try one out...

This makes me wonder. None of the 3-PU Gibsons I ever got to know had an "out-of-phase" (correct: inverse polarity) wiring. There have been some engaging neck and middle PUs in the toggle switch center position. Don't know if modded or stock though.

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This makes me wonder. None of the 3-PU Gibsons I ever got to know had an "out-of-phase" (correct: inverse polarity) wiring. There have been some engaging neck and middle PUs in the toggle switch center position. Don't know if modded or stock though.

 

Well, that was original in the 50's...

 

To tell you the truth, since an SG didin't arrive on the scene until 1961 and I'm not sure what year the first 3 pickup Custom SG hit the market, so that original SG wiring could well have been different than the original Les Paul Cusom Black Beauty wiring configuration...

 

I think you replied before I edited to add the link to the viddie...

 

 

Also I'm rather certain that throughout the 70's 80's and 90's and into the 21st century 3-pickup Gibsons probably had all sorts of different wiring configurations. I'm also rather certain the famous players of those guitars often modified them to fit their own particular tastes...

 

I would think if I was going to have a 3 pickup axe I'd want a switch position to get all 3 pickups on at once and if I just wanted the bridge and neck position only I'd have gotten a H/H configured axe instead, but I'm also curious how a middle position by itself would sound in comparison the the bridge and neck and I'm sure I'd want to try neck & middle and possible bride & middle. A 5-way switch would seem like a natural choice for a selector switch...

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Well, that was original in the 50's...

 

To tell you the truth, since an SG didin't arrive on the scene until 1961 and I'm not sure what year the first 3 pickup Custom SG hit the market, so that original SG wiring could well have been different than the original Les Paul Cusom Black Beauty wiring configuration...

 

...

 

Hello Jimi!

 

It wasn`t. They were wired same as the original `57-`60 Black Beauties.

 

By the way the SG arrived to the scene as a 3PU Custom in Polaris White color in 1961.

 

Cheers... Bence

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This makes me wonder. None of the 3-PU Gibsons I ever got to know had an "out-of-phase" (correct: inverse polarity) wiring. There have been some engaging neck and middle PUs in the toggle switch center position. Don't know if modded or stock though.

 

Hello Capmaster!

 

You have answered a question I`ve been wondering about for long.

 

As it seems, after the `68 reintroduction of Les Pauls, the 3PU version didn`t had the OOP feature anymore.

 

Cheers... Bence

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On 10/22/2014 at 12:54 PM, btoth76 said:

Hello!

 

Traditionally, Les Pauls (including SGs) with three pickups provide the following switching options:

 

"Rhythm" position: neck pickup alone.

"Middle" position: middle and bridge pickup together, out-of-phase.

"Treble" position: bridge pickup alone.

 

Since, these guitars have three volume and one master tone control, - with the selector switch in the "middle" position - by rolling down the volume pot of the bridge pickup, You can select the middle pickup on it's own.

 

Cheers... Bence

Hi folks, I´m dealing with an Epiphone SG custom with this wiring scheme. 3V 1T 3way switch. The pots are all 1M. 

The situation is:

- with all the three PU volumes totally closed I have no sound at all. That´s obvious and fine.

- but if I open the neck PU volume with the switch down (selecting the bridge PU) I have a little sound, like 1% of sound coming from the neck PU.

- the same happens if I open the bridge PU volume with the switch up (selecting the neck PU). I feel a left over coming from the bridge PU.

Is this normal because od this wiring scheme? Or might be something wrong?

Thanx in advance

2BCB448F-EDF8-45E4-AE48-98209FA64345.jpeg

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3 hours ago, RodBettencourt said:

Hi folks, I´m dealing with an Epiphone SG custom with this wiring scheme. 3V 1T 3way switch. The pots are all 1M. 

The situation is:

- with all the three PU volumes totally closed I have no sound at all. That´s obvious and fine.

- but if I open the neck PU volume with the switch down (selecting the bridge PU) I have a little sound, like 1% of sound coming from the neck PU.

- the same happens if I open the bridge PU volume with the switch up (selecting the neck PU). I feel a left over coming from the bridge PU.

Is this normal because od this wiring scheme? Or might be something wrong?

Thanx in advance

2BCB448F-EDF8-45E4-AE48-98209FA64345.jpeg

 

My EPI Limited Edition Riviera Custom P93 Blue RoyaleRivera P93 works like this:  The bride and neck pups are controlled by a typical 3-way switch just like a 2 pup model.  The middle pup works independently just with the volume control.  Simple and versitile.

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IMHO the best way to wire 3 pickups is with a Fender 5-way knife (blade) switch and a push/pull (or mini-toggle) switch to turn on the neck pickup.  The 5-way allows bridge, bridge/middle, middle, middle/neck, and neck but not bridge/neck or all three.  With the p/p you can force the neck pickup on. This allows you to set the 5-way to position 1 putting the bridge pickup on and the pull up the p/p switch to turn on the neck.  Put the 5-way to position 2 that turns on the bridge & middle and pull up the p/p and now all 3 pickups are on.  This is known as 7-way switching or the David Gilmour mod.

The issue with 3 pickups in a Gibson is the dang toggle switch with the big hole it has.  It is very hard to convert the 3-way toggle to a 5-way knife switch.  You have to plug the hole & rout a slot & drill two holes for the 5-way.  Who is going to do that to a '57 black beauty? 

I have over 30 HSH Fender style guitars and I've modded them all to 7-way by switching out a tone pot to a push/pull, usually when doing a pickup swap.  On some I've also used a p/p on the vol to put the neck pickup out of phase as well.

Edited by Aoresteen

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18 hours ago, Aoresteen said:

The issue with 3 pickups in a Gibson is the dang toggle switch with the big hole it has.  It is very hard to convert the 3-way toggle to a 5-way knife switch.  You have to plug the hole & rout a slot & drill two holes for the 5-way.  Who is going to do that to a '57 black beauty?

 

Check this out - 6-way Gibson style toggle,  up to 10-way blade Fender style switches:

https://www.freewayswitch.com/

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The Freeway switch is great.  However, for a Custom Shop '57 BB, you have to have the switch cavity routed a little deeper to allow it to fit.  That's gonna be a deal breaker for most people.  The next best solution is to wire it the Peter Frampton method (like what Wmachine has above).  That has 3 volume and one master tone pot with the middle p/u wired directly through the old neck tone pot so it does no go through the switch, it's always on and you just control it by the pot.  The switch then controls the neck and bridge p/u in the standard fashion.

Edited by Black Dog

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I have an Epiphone 61  SG/Les Paul Custom reissue. The wiring is as follows:

3 individual volumes/ master tone.

Treble - bridge & middle

Middle - all 3

Rhythm - neck & middle.

If I dial out the middle pickup the 3 way works just like a standard 2 pick up model.  If you have all 3 on you can get tones you just can't get on any other axe.

 

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On 3/18/2020 at 2:36 PM, theequestrian said:

I have an Epiphone 61  SG/Les Paul Custom reissue. The wiring is as follows:

3 individual volumes/ master tone.

Treble - bridge & middle

Middle - all 3

Rhythm - neck & middle.

If I dial out the middle pickup the 3 way works just like a standard 2 pick up model.  If you have all 3 on you can get tones you just can't get on any other axe.

 

could you take a picture of the wiring ???

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The SG 3 which has the six way switch  that I think is the most versatile of the other three Humbucker  guitars.

 

what is the  purpose of having three humbuckers  if you can’t combine a couple of them.  it makes no sense to me

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