Grateful Dead Music Forum

A place to talk about the music of the Grateful Dead 

 #155171  by tatittle
 Mon Jan 09, 2017 2:31 pm
So I am wiring up a vintage Strat pickguard using a wiring harness that came with a body I bought years ago. Its quality pots and work, has a treble bleed installed between the left & center lugs of volume pot., but also has something curious I havent seen. It has what looks to be a 2nd treble bleed (cap/resistor combo) added between the volume pot's body (ground) and the ground return from the output jack. So instead of the output jack sleeve going directly to the pots back/ground, it runs thru a cap/resistor in parallel and then to the body. Anyone know what the purpose of this would be?

I dont have Waldo's (no, not Walter Lure; the electronics hero) Jerry Garcia wiring diagram to check right now, but I sem to recall he had "extra" resistors in between ground connections "pull down" resistors. Thats may be a different use altogether but its the closest thing I recall seing to the above design. Hopefully you guys can visualize the wiring from above text as camera not handy bc just moved; but Ill try and load a photo top clarify.

Here are some pics; it is the cap/res combo on the right of the photo, the top pot (volume). Its wired between the output jack sleeve and the ground (pot back). ... r%20wiring

Just waiting for some shrink wrap to shield the TPC-1 before I install it in my Garcia build (another guitar entirely). Wondering how much that will change the response of the 25k volume pot I installed in it (without any onboard buffer/preamp to drive). I also ordered a regular spaced Super 2 since the F spaced ones I have are not a great fit. I have a Super Distortion Id like to use instad of Super 2 for 1 of positions...probably bridge would be best i guess. When freedom is outlawed only outlaws aere free...
 #155219  by tatittle
 Fri Jan 13, 2017 12:43 am
Well I just finished wiring this pickguard into a Strat and it seems to be working fine. I actually haven't strung it up yet, but good meter readings etc.
I'm not sure if it would matter but I made sure to wire the ground from the 9V battery powering the onboard Stratoblaster directly to ground rather than thru this cap/resistor. I saved that for the output jack...come to think of it I did wire the ground from the bridge thru it though. Wish I knew what its purpose was. Some guy is laughing at my naivete no doubt lol. Sleep time.
 #155236  by tatittle
 Sat Jan 14, 2017 6:33 am
I think I agree with you there. Just strung it up and gave it a low volume wurl and its nothing special. Part of that is the treble bleed I am speculating. Another issue I may have is the tone cap appears to be the vintage style giant 1.0 ceramic, which eats treble lol. I usually prefer the way stuff was done back in the day but the larger tone cap is an exception, Ill switch that out and pull the treble bleed(s) and see how she sounds. I didnt assemble the wiring harness so I wanted to see how it sounded. The guitar seems to have some kind of natural compression type thing going on too Im not crazy about, not sure where that comes from. I have an SDS-1 in the bridge and 2 Dimarzio True Velvets. Hope they sound better when I clean it up.

Strangest thing I ran into was when I turn the Tone controls to zero it cuts signal completely like the volume pot. Maybe that is caused by that capacitor/resistor in the ground I was asking about? When it gets down to a certain level it basically short circuits bc they check the connection at some point? Pretty sure Im revealing my electrical ignorance here but u gotta learn somehow :)

I had 3 x Alnico 2 single coils I wired up for this guitar previous to this pickguard (Duncan and Suhr). Wasnt crazy about those either compared to quality A5 pups. Too refined or hi-fi for me thru vintage amps; but I can see how folks like them especially with modern amps.

Anyone use "vintage 50's Gibson" wiring in thier Strats? I'm thinking I will try that now. I know I like it in Gibsons but dont think Ive tried in in a Strat before. Stronger clearer tone with less treble loss generally supposedly.
Last edited by tatittle on Sun Jan 15, 2017 1:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 #155237  by tatittle
 Sat Jan 14, 2017 8:00 am
AHA! I finally found something with this queer cap/resistor before ground. Ironically enough in my own computer memory lol. Now I wonder if i added this thing years ago lol pretty sure it aint my soldering though. So anyway, it is labeled the "Don H safety circuit" in my files. I couldnt find it with an online search but I imagine it is some sort of safety device to ensure player wont be shocked under some extraordinary circumstances should they arise. It likely isnt functionuing as I have it wired though because I wired the pup ground directly to the back of the pot while the diagram has everything meeting before the cap/resistor.

Here it is for any prisoners follwing this thread :)
 #155250  by tatittle
 Sat Jan 14, 2017 11:11 pm
So I pulled the treble bleed and things are WAY better. Im guessing the values of the cap/res werent chosen carefully enough, perhaps even more so bc of the tone cap. I then tried the "50's wiring" but 1st with whole switch going to output of volume (middle lug)...sounded good: notes do seem to "bloom" more. I then switched it so pups went to left lug (input) of vol pot. and tone pot side of switch soldered to middle lug of vol (output) as shown in the diagram I have. Didnt hear much difference frankly, may be more treble/better tone the 1st way, with everything going to output (middle) lug actually. Now to switch my ES335 to vintage wiring, along with new pups I have high hopes for that guitar.