One of the interesting parts of the BBG guitar was its electronic plan and that is what we are going to talk about in this blog post.
Budda wanted a very versitible and diverse tonal pallete, with lots of options that might put intimidate some players, but like he mentioned: on studio you get a lot of tones, on stage you can just use the volume and the pickup selector! This guitar can be as simple as you want it to be.
One of the things that as changed more than once are the pickups. We started with all telecaster pickups, from Rusty pickups, than switched for Lollar single coils for strat on neck and middle, with a tele bridge pickup, that at the present is a Haussel pickup.
As for the eletronics controls, for the first prototype we had the following options:
- General volume and one general to (TBX by Fender with a Orange drop cap).
- Freeway Ultra 6 positions toggle switch
- Slidding switch for bridge+neck in series or parallel
- Sliding switch that would override the 6 way toggle switch and give bridge+neck in out of phase, with a dedicated volume for each pickup
- Sliding switch for choosing between no treble bleed or two different treble bleeds.
The first consideration is that there are two references of the Freeway toggle switch. For the pickups combination Budda wanted we needed the Freeway Ultra 3x3-05 has this one allows us to access its all 28 terminal connections points in the back. Its the most flexible! We needed to have the 3 pickups individually from positions 1 to 3,and this was the factor why we needed this version. On the other 3 we have bridge+middle, bridge+neck and middle+neck.
After a test period of the prototype, Budda decided to change things a little. He was not finding the option of having the bridge+middle in series or parallel that much interesting for his playing so we decided to change it. The decision was to have a sliding switch that also overrides the pickups selector to give us immediatle bridge+ neck.
At the same time we changed the two dedicated volumes that were used with the neck+bridge in out of phase options and replaced them with two blend pots, one for each overriding switch.
So at this point, we have 3 ways to access this particular pickup combination (bridge+neck):
1- The simple option on the 6 way toggle switch. From pickups to toggle switch and then to general volume and tone pots.
2- Override number 1 gives us both pickups going straight to one blend pot and then to general volume and tone.
3- Override number 2 gives us both pickups in out of phase going to the second blend pot and then to general volume and tone.
The last switch we have is a 3 position sliding switch. This one is wired as on/off/on, with both on positions giving us a different treble bleed. One Duncan style and one Kinman style.
This was the schematic we come up with for the BBG guitar:
For the BBG Junior guitar we simplified thing a little!
This guitar does not have the treble bleed options switch, and there is only one sliding switch present.
But first the Freeway present is this guitar is the Freeway 3x3-03, and gives us the same pickup combinations but in different positions like mentioned above.
As for the overriding sliding switch it gives us bridge+neck in out of phase with a dedicated blend pot.
One final note is to the on/on sliding switch used in this two guitars. All sliding switches are by Switchcraft, but the fact I want to point out is that the on/on we choose contains 4 rows of 3 poles, and this made possible to combine more than one “effect” on each switch.
If you are considering to spice up your wirings this switches might just be the thing you need!