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Author Topic: Help Needed with HSS Guitar - VHII / IT / IT  (Read 2037 times)

CLund

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Help Needed with HSS Guitar - VHII / IT / IT
« on: June 25, 2021, 08:06:27 PM »
Question for anyone who can help.   I have a Kramer Stagemaster custom with an HSS configuration with VHII in bridge / Irish Tour in Mid (RWRP) / Irish Tour Neck.

The magnetic polls are from HB to Single Neck:   SN - N - S

I am using a 5 way Schaller Megaswitch S -- HSS 2

https://schaller.info/en/hss

So it sounds super thin in position 2, and I have heard the VHII splits REALLY well, but it just sounds anemic.   Do I have it wired wrong?   The VHII is using the single split closest to the bridge (Screw Coil) - I did that because of the magnet.   Should I swap magnet around to change polarity and use the slug coil?

Thanks!
Corey

RobAbrams84

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Re: Help Needed with HSS Guitar - VHII / IT / IT
« Reply #1 on: June 25, 2021, 09:21:17 PM »
This would be easier with a diagram, but hopefully this helps...

You probably don't need to swap any magnets, though you could.  What probably has happened is this:

Think of a H-H guitar.  When you split the neck humbucker, you usually want the SCREW coil to be active, which is the South coil.  This is the coil that is closest to the neck, and hence the loudest.  When you split the bridge humbucker, you usually want the SLUG coil to be active, which is the North coil.  This is because, again, it's the loudest as it is the one closest to the neck.  You could split the screw coil in the bridge position, but it will sound thinner, more trebly, and weaker.  Also, now the middle split position will hum cancel.

So what you've probably done is split the "wrong" coil in the bridge humbucker, and that is out of phase with the middle pickup.  The diagram you linked to has the N coil active when split in position 2, if I read it correctly, and that's the same polarity as your middle pickup and will be out of phase.

OR alternatively, perhaps you are splitting the humbucker correctly.  In this case what you would need to do is swap the Hot and Ground leads from the middle single coil.  You should be back in phase with the bridge at this point, but out of phase with the neck.  If that happens, go swap the Hot Ground leads on the neck single coil as well, and you're all good! 

A diagram of what you actually did (not what you were trying to follow, but a picture of drawing of what you actually did) would be helpful.  Bare Knuckle uses different color coded wires for pickups than Seymour Duncan does, or Gibson, or Fender, etc, etc. So it can be confusing unless you draw out a diagram with labeled color codes and everything.  I'm attaching two pictures as an example of what I mean, from when I was swapping pickups in my Mayones Regius a lot.  Note that Seymour Duncan and Suhr (I was using some Suhr pickups) use the same color codes.  Notice that I wire the neck and bridge humbuckers "opposite" of each other, because I want to coil tap the opposite coils.
« Last Edit: June 25, 2021, 09:27:18 PM by RobAbrams84 »

RobAbrams84

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Re: Help Needed with HSS Guitar - VHII / IT / IT
« Reply #2 on: June 25, 2021, 09:32:21 PM »
By the way, a quick search turned this up: https://www.bareknucklepickups.co.uk/upload/support/2_1dfd70a.pdf

Notice that it selects the slug coil, not the screw coil when paired with the middle pickup.  My understanding is that with the VHII, the bridge has the slug coil overwound and the neck has the screw coil overwound, because again, these are the coils that you should be selecting when you split them.
« Last Edit: June 25, 2021, 09:37:30 PM by RobAbrams84 »

CLund

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Re: Help Needed with HSS Guitar - VHII / IT / IT
« Reply #3 on: June 30, 2021, 07:22:27 PM »
Thanks for the info... and yes, I had to write it down and work through a few options, but I found that using the BK color code and comparing it to a few other sites - the Proper Humber wiring for this Schaller Megaswitch E and the polarity/phase - I had to use the Green wire as Hot - Use Red/Black as split and sent White to ground.    Now it sounds great.   And I learned a LOT about Humbucker wiring!  :)

CLund

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Re: Help Needed with HSS Guitar - VHII / IT / IT
« Reply #4 on: July 02, 2021, 08:55:04 PM »
Question for you pickup experts...   Does the tone change at all when you use different wiring on a 4 wire humbucker?   So I am using Green as the Hot / Red and Black tied to split and White to Ground...   Am I getting the same output, tone, etc.  than if I ran it standard with Red as lead, Green and White together and Black as ground?

Dave Sloven

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Re: Help Needed with HSS Guitar - VHII / IT / IT
« Reply #5 on: July 03, 2021, 05:25:14 AM »
Question for you pickup experts...   Does the tone change at all when you use different wiring on a 4 wire humbucker?   So I am using Green as the Hot / Red and Black tied to split and White to Ground...   Am I getting the same output, tone, etc.  than if I ran it standard with Red as lead, Green and White together and Black as ground?

Did you send bare to ground with the white?

I think it just means that the other coil is active when you split
BLACK HAWKS
IMPULSES
COBRA-T
WAR PIGS
STOCKHOLM
COLD SWEATS
MIRACLE MAN
TRUE GRIT

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CLund

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Re: Help Needed with HSS Guitar - VHII / IT / IT
« Reply #6 on: July 03, 2021, 04:42:23 PM »
Yes... sorry I didn't mention that, the bare wire is grounded with the white.

RobAbrams84

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Re: Help Needed with HSS Guitar - VHII / IT / IT
« Reply #7 on: July 11, 2021, 05:35:09 PM »
There won't be any change in tone as long as you wire the humbucker in one of the "correct" ways, which you seem to have done.  If you wire one coil backwards, then it wouldn't hum cancel. 

Humbucker terminology is weird (N. Start, N. finish, etc.,) but normally you wire N. Start as hot, through to N. Finish tied together to S. Finish, and the S. Start is grounded.  So your full output is N. Start to S. Start; you can kind of think of the humbucker as having both starts on the "outside" and the finish on the "inside," where they are normally tied together.  You can definitely go the other way around, S. Finish to S. Start/N. Start to N. Finish, and everything will sound the exact same, it will just coil split the other coil to get the phase you want with other pickups.  I THINK (not 100% sure), if you go something like N. Start to N.Finish/S. Start to S. Finish, then the two coils wouldn't hum cancel. 

Again, there is no change in tone wiring them from N. Start to S. Start or S. Finish to N. Finish.  Your ears can't tell whether the signal started out moving in the positive direction or the negative direction first, which makes sense: you hit an "A" and it's oscillating +/- 440 times per second, there's no way that your ear knows whether the oscillation started in the + direction or the - direction.  That would also change depending on the direction that you plucked the string, and there's no right or wrong direction to pluck the string.  You would only know if you paired it with another signal (from another humbucker) and the two were out of phase with each other, as then you'd get some cancellation.  Same with wiring speakers, etc.  If you have only one speaker in an amp there's no reason to worry about phase, as there's nothing else for it to be in/out of phase with.  It's only strictly necessary to get the + and - correct when you wire it up with other speakers also.
« Last Edit: July 11, 2021, 05:45:43 PM by RobAbrams84 »

CLund

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Re: Help Needed with HSS Guitar - VHII / IT / IT
« Reply #8 on: July 13, 2021, 01:45:08 AM »
Great explanationů. Thank you. 

RobAbrams84

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Re: Help Needed with HSS Guitar - VHII / IT / IT
« Reply #9 on: July 15, 2021, 07:52:20 PM »
I teach science by day, so I'm happy to try to help.