Volume-Tone-Tone models / Installation instructions and diagram for Fender Stratocaster & similar guitars - OPTION C - 2.31MB For guitars with three pickups, lever selector switch, one master volume, and two tones (Stratocaster-style)
Option C: Master ToneStyler - Aux (or none)
Page one shows the original Fender Strat wiring; page two shows one tone pot replaced with one master ToneStyler, and the other tone pot ready to be replaced with an auxiliary control of your choosing. Open the PDF in full-page view, and use your mouse wheel or page buttons to "flip" back and forth to compare the easy "before" and "after" wiring.
As a suggestion, we've illustrated the ever-popular "Strat Blender Pot" configured as the auxiliary control. This useful circuit connects the neck & bridge pickups together via a volume pot. When set to "1", the 5-way pickup selector switch performs normally. As you increase the blender knob volume, the non-selected bridge or neck pickup output is slowly mixed in with the full-volume output of the selected pickups. When set to maximum loudness "on 10", the blender pot provides the desirable 6th and 7th Strat pickup combinations: Neck + Bridge "Tele-style"... and all three pickups at once, for a unique and rich rhythm tonality. The blender pot is active in four switch positions; there is no connection in the solo middle pickup center position #3.
Volume-Tone-Tone models / Installation instructions and diagram for Fender Stratocaster & similar guitars - OPTION D - 2.30MB For guitars with three pickups, lever selector switch, one master volume, and two tones (Stratocaster-style)
Option D: Dual ToneStylers
Page one shows the original Fender Strat wiring; page two shows two tone pots replaced by two ToneStylers. Fender's original 5-way switch wiring, and dual tone knob preset feature, remains unchanged. Open the PDF in full-page view, and use your mouse wheel or page buttons to "flip" back and forth to compare the easy "before" and "after" wiring.
The "modern" Fender tone pot mode is shown: the 1st ToneStyler controls only the neck pickup; the 2nd ToneStyler controls BOTH the middle and bridge pickups, via that little jumper between the two adjacent switch terminals. Note that the modern tone pot mode connects BOTH controls at once in the #4 neck+middle pickups position; compensating for doubled pre-set tone settings can require some extra knob fiddling on stage.
To configure your dual ToneStylers in alternate ways, just delete the small jumper wire which connects the middle & bridge tone pot terminals together.
The 1950's vintage Strat control plan dedicates the 2nd tone knob to middle pickup only, resulting in zero EQ control on the solo bridge pickup... plus, you've still got those doubled tone controls in the neck+middle pickups #4 switch position! Traditional wiring? Yes. Desirable results? NO! Every bridge pickup needs a tone control.
Fender's "Eric Johnson" signature model might offer the optimal tone pot mode for Strats. Unlike the two modes above, the 2nd tone knob controls the bridge pickup... and neither knob controls the soloed middle pickup! If your middle pickup is rarely soloed, this is a great plan. Your #1 & #2 selector positions have their own tone control... and your #4 & #5 selector positions have their own tone control. You'll have instant access between two contrasting preset tone circuits. Importantly, NO switch positions erroneously double two tone controls at once! So, next time you've got the strings off, and the pickguard upside-down... give E.J.'s clever switching concept a try!