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Out of phase series / parallel



Still learning here. I’ve done something I think works, but I’d like to check the logic of it.

Basically I wanted to try to wire the neck pickup permanently out of phase with the bridge (to get that hollowed-out middle position), and also wire a push-pull as a series/parallel switch.

I followed this diagram for both neck and bridge (with two different push-pulls):

However on the neck pickup I switched the lines going to hot (selector switch) and ground on the bottom of the push/pull. Hence

Pushed in: green and white together, red to ground, black to selector switch.
Pulled out: green and black to selector switch, red and white to ground

(red = north start; black = south start; green = north finish; white = south finish)

Is this a sensible thing to do?

I was looking to see if it was possible to wire it “in phase” when parallel (pulled out) and out of phase when pushed in but couldn’t find a way to do that.


Hi Martin,

Should work like this.

Unfortunately your last idea will not work.

BTW do you have a multimeter? If not I recommend getting one. I find it indispensible for working on guitars (and of course, amps, too).

Good luck,

Thank you! Yes, I am getting proficient at the multimeter I got for Christmas years ago ;)


What I recently did to a two humbucker guitar (True Grit bridge, Abraxas neck) with a normal 3-way toggle and two push-pulls is the following:

-Push-pull no. 1 selects whether the bridge coils are in series or in parallel.
-Push-pull no. 2 puts the neck pickup in phase or half out-of-phase with the bridge pickup (half-out-of phase meaning that in that setting there is a 0.015uf cap in series with the neck pickup. I tried 0.01uf first but that was too boomy).

So I get the following sounds out of the guitar:

- Toggle #1: a) bridge series (the "rock tone") or b) bridge parallel (the "country tone")
- Toggle #2: a) both in parallel in phase, bridge series, b) as before, bridge parallel, c) both in parallel out of phase, bridge series, d) as before, bridge parallel. All work well clean, with little or much gain.
- Toggle #3: a) neck normal, b) neck out of phase = neck with a bit less low end (since the cap is in series with it).

Cheers Stephan


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