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LP middle position on switch help please


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Hey guys just been messing about with my guitar and cant understand the position switch for the pickups.


Up is Rythum for neck i know

Down is Treble for bridge i know

Middle i thought was a blend of the both?


If i turn to the middle position with both volume knobs on 0 then theres no sound obviously so i presume when you turn up either volume knob then you'll get sound right? I dont.


If i turn one of the knobs up to any number there is no noise untill i turn up the other knob is this right? (same both ways round)


Just a thought, Are they wired in series so a 0 volume would create no sound/output until both are on? If so why not wire in parallell then you can have the versitility off having one fully on and the other off if you want (i know this is the same as changing to the other two switchable positions)


Hope this all makes sense



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This is probably the #1 most asked question here.


Because of the way the volume pots are wired, when you have both pickups on, if either volume is at zero it will short out the other pickup.




The reason for this is that they designed the circuit so that when you dial the volume down to zero it will short out the output and your amplifier won't be seeing an open circuit and therefore making lots of funny noises. This was particularly important in the days of noisy tube amps, because it keeps things nice and quiet when you turn the volume off.


If you want to have one pickup only, use the switch, not the volume controls.

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Cheers for that reply. Good explanation.


Can see the reasoning why now. Obviously in a perfect world then parrallell circitry would be more ideal so you can have complete control just by the volume knobs (No need for a pick up switch) but i see its best to cut power all together so not to get negative feedback.


Any reason they dont eliminate the pickup switch and use volume knobs that click switch off at zero cutting out the pickup?


Actually forget that then you wouldnt be able to change from rythum to lead mid song. Thinking to much haha


Thanks for your help on this matter just wanna learn more about guitar electrics. And guitar in general

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Thats true. Must have a clever piece of circitry to cancel out when needed. Might go to the libary to get a book on guitar electric as its interesting stuff.


And to think i trained as an engineer. Just as well i didnt do electronics hey lol

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AS Biff has indicated, there is an alternate wiring method that will give you full independent volume control; basically all you have to do is swap the connections on the two non-grounded volume pot lugs:




So the next question is, why doesn't everyone switch to this circuit since it's 'better'?


Well, as we just figured out, the alternate plan will not short out the amp's input which means that even with both volumes turned all the way down you will hear some noise coming out of your amp. I guess you can't have everything... anyway, where would you keep it?

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I'm gonna qualify this by saying that I know next to nothing about the electronics involved in electric guitars and basses... I know that electronics folks say they're pretty simple circuits, but as physics class was 12 years ago, that's about the extent of my knowledge.


So, I've got both a LP Deluxe guitar and an EB-3 bass by Epiphone. The LP behaves like y'all have described (which is something I really like about it). However, the EB-3 does things a bit differently. Position 1 is the bridge pickup, position 3 is the neck pickup, but position 2 is actually a blend. When I have the bass in position 2, I can turn down one of the volumes to have it act like it's in one of the other positions. Yet, I don't have the noise issue y'all have described.



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I'm used to dialing one volume or the other down and using the pickup switch as a kill switch. I'd be in trouble without that feature..


Planning to install a couple of Orange Drops tonight in my LP, with the modern volume configuration and tone the '50s way.

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