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  #21  
Old 07-03-2009, 10:19 PM
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Roberto Zecchinelli Roberto Zecchinelli is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Christopher Rhodes View Post
This is very interesting. Can you post a sound clip? Both Pickups, back pickup soloed and then the front pickup soloed - all in single coil mode?
I'd like to do it, but i can't record now, since I'm on a ship.. I'll do it as soon as I can..
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  #22  
Old 07-05-2009, 04:06 PM
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Default 3-way switch connections

Here are the connections necessary for installing the 3-way switch with serial/parallel/single coil mode.

Assuming you have the same colours on your connectors you will have to solder them to the switches as follows (single coil mode with the outer coils, i.e. neck pickup - neck side coil, bridge pickup - bridge side coil)

So for the NECK switch the wiring will be (sorry Roberto for copying your layout ...;-)


EMPTY---------------------------Connector to bottom left
top left pin---------------------------------top right pin




BLACK and BLUE---------------------------YELLOW
middle left----------------------------------middle right




Connector to top right
BROWN----------------------------ORANGE and WHITE
bottom left--------------------------------bottom right



For the BRIDGE PU SWITCH wire as follows:


EMPTY---------------------------Connector to bottom left
top left pin---------------------------------top right pin




BLACK and BROWN---------------------------ORANGE
middle left----------------------------------middle right




Connector to top right
BLUE--------------------------------YELLOW and WHITE
bottom left--------------------------------bottom right



This layout will work if the colours are used with the following scheme:

Circuit connectors:
WHITE - Hot
BLACK - Ground

Pickup connectors:
YELLOW - Neck Side Coil +
BLUE - Neck Side Coil -
ORANGE - Bridge Side Coil +
BROWN - Bridge Side Coil -

For use of the inner coils in single mode please exchange the layouts for both switches. It is NOT recommended to use both Bridge side or both Neck side coils together because they would hum also when mixed together.

I installed this wiring on another bass and it works as expected. The single coil mode opens up the upper mids and higher registers.

As posted before I planned to give it a try at one of my Smith basses but I couldn't find a matching 3-way switch (black and with a short paddle) up to now.

Ken, I would be highly interested in the results if you would ever evaluate the 3-way coil switch.
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  #23  
Old 07-05-2009, 05:58 PM
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Default 3-way switches

I forgot to mention: I used 3-way switches, where in the middle position the (middle left pin and bottom left pin) and the (middle right pin and top right pin) are connected. I know that the switch suppliers also offer reverse connections. For those one you would have to reverse the connection scheme shown in my previous post (left => right and vice versa).
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  #24  
Old 07-27-2009, 01:12 AM
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Question 3-Way Switches/Single Coil Option

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Smith View Post
We have some 3-way switches that just came in from my Distributor in Japan to install on one of his Basses. He asked us to wire it up from the start for him so he doesn't have to modify it there. He offers this option locally in Japan now from what I have heard. I will test the single coil mode option within the next month or so and report back.
Ken, anything to report at this time?
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  #25  
Old 07-27-2009, 02:53 AM
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Lightbulb yes..

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Bishop View Post
Ken, anything to report at this time?
I completed and shipped a bass last week with these 3-way switches. I didn't notice all that much in the SC mode. It was a little dry and weaker as compared to out normal Parallel wiring.

I spent years on the development of this pickup we have. The object was to have two coils in each pickup, each coil like a jazz bass but hooked together for a sweeter sound with humbucking as opposed to the standard Series HB wiring.

It almost seems like going backwards. Making a pickup to sound almost single coil in series humbucking and then cutting off one coil. These coils have less wire turns than a Fender J PU does and we use ceramic magnets as opposed to Alnico like in the Fenders.

Every time I listen to someone and try making a Bass to sound like a Fender I feel like someone is telling me to make my Fillet Mignon taste like a Happy Meal..

I don't think this 3-way is something we will be adding anytime soon. For me, the bass is fine without any switches at all. The Series gives you a bit more low end power and equally less highs. For now, its 2-way or no-way..
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  #26  
Old 03-06-2010, 09:26 AM
Jonathan Esquivel Jonathan Esquivel is offline
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Question Help!!!! some questions about Smith pickups

Hi!!! I recently bought a pair of Smith pickups to upgrade my Yamaha Nathan East, and I love the sound!!! I read about the parallel/serie/sc switch posted by Rainer, and I want to try it... Anyone do this? How it sounds??
Another issue with the pups: I have to rewire them to install the switch, but I don't know the polarity of the coils.. what can I do to know wich pickup coils it's the positive/negative??

Thanks!! And sorry for the questions...


Jonathan.
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  #27  
Old 03-06-2010, 10:30 AM
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Lightbulb Actually......

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonathan Esquivel View Post
....I read about the parallel/serie/sc switch posted by Rainer, and I want to try it....
FYI: Actually it was Roberto Z. that initiated and posted this information. If you go back to the beginning of the thread and follow it through, I'm sure you will see this.
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  #28  
Old 03-06-2010, 04:45 PM
Anton Hasias Anton Hasias is offline
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Wink Birds

Hi All,
I think this is a very interesting thread and I really appreciate the explorer's ways concerning sound shaping.
I know Roberto, Rainer and of course Tim are tech whizz among other musical high skills but I just want to tell you a little story of a non tech, rewireing scared old conservative guy (like me and I belive others).
After reading this spectacular way of trying to obtain a "Jazz Bass like" sound from a Smith, I observed that my non technical hands were shacking when only I thought I should try this new wireing by myself.
Then, a little multicoloured bird came from nowhere and began speaking to my ear with a human voice.
She said:" Listen dummy if you want a Fender Jazz sound, go get yourself a Fender Jazz and as you have no clue of electronics, don't you ever think about trying to ruin your 7k Smith bass!"
As by chance I already had a US Fender Jazz long ago forgoten somewhere in my house, I took it, played some notes and then "The Miracle". It sounded like a Fender Jazz and since all this time I left it alone somewhere in my house it didn't lost that Jazz Bass sound.

My conclusion; Beware the multicoloured little birds with human voice, they are odd.

Best regards
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  #29  
Old 03-06-2010, 08:36 PM
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Lightbulb ok..

Here's a few points of Smith Bass history that will shed some light on this subject.

I have tried just about everything to simulate a Fender sound over the years with various Smith basses. The real dilemma is not in the pickups or wiring, it is in the actual construction of the bass. The Fender design has a naturally thinner signal from its woods and construction, period. Mod-up a Fender and you still have a Fender. Mod-up a Smith Bass and you still have a Smith Bass.

We have made our Basses with HB Jazz, 2 PUs, P/J combo and even wired the SBs as single coil once to hear the sound. It was just 'less' guts amplified by the SC PU BUT, it was the sound of the Bass.

We now have a 3-way switch that can be used as a S\SC\P instead of just S/P, but they are not yet in stock. We had a few sets and tested them and most went to Japan where they themselves started putting the 3-ways in on their own.

Still, the SC setting is a Smith bass in SC, NOT the sound of a slab fender, painted production body with a looser neck fit than my shoes.

A Smith is a Smith. When the 3-Way's are available for Mod's or production orders, I will announce it. Until then, just remember it will be a Smith sounding Bass in all 3 positions.

The old Gibson basses has these big humbuckers wired in Series. Does the Smith in Series sound like a Gibson? Ever? .. I think you get the idea now..
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  #30  
Old 03-06-2010, 09:31 PM
Jonathan Esquivel Jonathan Esquivel is offline
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I don't want to make the bass sound like a J-bass... I just want to get versatility and multiple sounds, and I think this option can provide both.
I always been loved the KS sound, and that's why I choose the Smith pups to upgrade my bass, instead of any other brand... Ultil I have the money to get my loved Black Tiger 5st, this is the only way to capture some of the essence, sound and power of a KS bass!!!
I think the parallel/series/sc switch will give me the tonal options I want, but I don't want a jbass clone or something like that... when you want to sound like a fender, I go and pick up your fenders!!!
Thanks to everyone for any help you can give me...!!!!!

PD: Sorry Roberto Z... I saw the diagram posted by Rainer, and assume it... sorry about that!!!!

Anyone with an answer about coils polarity??
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  #31  
Old 05-15-2010, 03:08 AM
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Default Non-standards

Just read this thread the first time after adding my posts and would give myself a try as a bird with a human voice:

First, if I ever try to modify a highest level bass like my Smiths I have in mind that there is at least a 99% chance to make things worse than before. I've seen a lot of mods in the past with basses of any range and I will think more than twice in future to change a factory built bass again.

Second, a Smith will never sound like a Jazz Bass - and as far as I see, nobody mentioned here to try anything like that. I own a bunch of 7enders - zero demand for a mod of my Smiths. Roberto replaced the disliked serial option and it seems he got kind of a Jazz Bass feeling without searching for one. Fine.

Third, I also own a bunch of other highest end basses which have a coil tap switch to select parallel/outer coil wiring. But one of them had a (factory installed) custom config - it has added the INNER coil option. On this bass I use 98% of the time the custom wiring, because it matches my personal taste and environment and it sounds GREAT on THIS bass, with MY hands ! I asked the manufacturer why not adding this as a standard option - would be VERY cheap, adds more flexibility and has no risk to ruin something. The answer was: 'No, we found that our standards are the best for us and everything else is not necessary. period.' I made the same change to 2 other basses of this brand and - the same result. Of course - any similarity to Smith basses is not intended. It only showed me that my taste is not necessarily the same as that of the manufacturer.

As mentioned before - I don't miss anything on my Smith basses. Roberto tried a custom config with a very minor change to the bass and is happy with it. I added an option to do the same change without losing the serial option. That's it. It's all about options - not philosophy or technology.

By the way: Personally I am not enthusiastic about lot of options and knobs. At least on Smiths I don't touch them during the show - if I use them at all.

Sorry for renewing this old thread. No response expected
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  #32  
Old 02-03-2013, 06:20 PM
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For those who have added the single coil mod, what are your thought? I'm thinking about trying it. I never us the series setting so I will use the existing two way switches.
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  #33  
Old 02-03-2013, 09:17 PM
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Lightbulb switches

Quote:
Originally Posted by joelcataldo View Post
For those who have added the single coil mod, what are your thought? I'm thinking about trying it. I never us the series setting so I will use the existing two way switches.
We have 3-way's in stick now and I can tell you that on the SC setting, unless the balance control is centered, there is hum. One pickup solo is the most and fades as you reach the center detent position.

Sound wise, I think it sounds thin. Not like I intended the bass to sound. These pickups were made to be in series or parallel over 30 years ago. When I tested the SC setting back then, I didn't like it. About 31 years later, I still don't like it.

We have these switches available pre-wired for Smith basses for use in production, modifications or for outright sale and you do as you wish with them.

They are custom made switches like the 2-ways are with all the same features to thread thru the wood, gold contacts, etc. Not a part you can buy anywhere. We have tried. We have to get them made in large batches and it takes 'months' to get them.
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  #34  
Old 02-07-2013, 06:24 PM
Scott Pope Scott Pope is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Smith View Post
I have tried just about everything to simulate a Fender sound over the years with various Smith basses. The real dilemma is not in the pickups or wiring, it is in the actual construction of the bass. The Fender design has a naturally thinner signal from its woods and construction, period. Mod-up a Fender and you still have a Fender. Mod-up a Smith Bass and you still have a Smith Bass.
This is so underrated. Pickups and electronics are the last link in the chain. I've modded so many basses over the years for friends, and the inherent characteristics of the bass can be brought out or suppressed by the electronics, but you can't change the basic tone of any electric bass.
I routinely get the question: "If I put X manufacturer pickups in Y bass, will it sound like X?" The answer is invariably, "No. It will sound like Y with a Z influence on tone."

BTW: I do not care for going back to single coil due to noise. How are these mods to get a single coil tone from the bass work from an increased noise, either hum or electrostatic noise, perspective?
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  #35  
Old 02-07-2013, 09:07 PM
Desmund Nichols Desmund Nichols is offline
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So a bass can be ordered with the 3-way switches and SC options? How much would that cost?
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  #36  
Old 02-07-2013, 10:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Desmund Nichols View Post
So a bass can be ordered with the 3-way switches and SC options? How much would that cost?
I have only put them on a few 25th models and some other Elite models. On those few basses, we did them at no extra charge. The cost is slightly higher so when I get the chance I will add the option to the master price list.
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  #37  
Old 02-08-2013, 07:05 PM
Desmund Nichols Desmund Nichols is offline
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Is It an option to have my basses upgraded to the 3-way switches? Would it be expensive?
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  #38  
Old 02-08-2013, 08:03 PM
Kirk P Brosius Kirk P Brosius is offline
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Hey Ken,
From all of us who play your fine products; thanks for having a professional and mature attitude toward the subject of this thread!
It would have been easy for you to give us the "I knew what I was doing with my original design so don't mess with it" attitude (think of a guitar amp made by a doctor) and pitch a fit but, your replies were wonderful!!
I play a 5MWM and love it as is!!!
Keep up the fine work.
Regards, Kirk
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  #39  
Old 02-08-2013, 10:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Desmund Nichols View Post
Is It an option to have my basses upgraded to the 3-way switches? Would it be expensive?
We have to take off the strings, pull out the pickups, un-wire them, pull out the switches and then, put everything back together with the new S/P/S switches. Not too expensive but we probably should put new strings on and set up the bass as well. Much cheaper to do it the first time. 3-4x the work changing things around. It's almost as much work as putting switches in an old bass that doesn't have them less, taking out the circuit, the drilling of the holes, and re-shielding. We also might suggest re-shielding the bass after testing it with a meter.

That is quite a bit of handling there as we work on the finished bass. We have to be careful not to damage the bass in any way.

For prices of anything, you need to call or email me. I do not generally do business on the forum. It's mainly for chat and info.
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  #40  
Old 02-19-2013, 12:55 PM
joelcataldo joelcataldo is offline
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Thanks guys. I never use the Series setting, so the two switches should be fine for my purposes.

Does anyone know how I would wire the switches for Parallel/single coil? I'd be looking to use the front coil on both pickups.

Thanks!
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