Anyone know guitar electronics?

Yesterday i got tired of broken pots and sound problems with my old Ibanez Blazer. It hasn’t had any service to speak of in the 20 or so years i had it, so it’s not so weird that some components are starting to fail.

So i decided to take it apart, give it a real overhaul and switch out all the parts except the jack, probably the 5 position switch and the pickups.

Now i want to add a built in an active preamp, for amplifying both the pickups and an additional piezo. The only piezo’s i have are cheap elements for toys and such, but they should work allright. It seems i do get humming when testing the piezo through the preamp and i wonder if this will go away when everything’s encapsulated inside the guitar and everything is connected to a common ground?

Of course i had to choose the guitar with the most complicated electronics, it’s got 1 single coil and 2 humbuckers, that will say 5 pickups connected to a weird switching system with a 5 pos switch and a combined switch and potentiometer. I guess i’ll have to use a regular switch and pot meter for it as i don’t have that kind of specialized parts laying around.

I don’t have useful testing equipment either, so i’m not able to find out the polarity of the pickups and basically just have to go by trial and error. I have a russian drawing that shows me the routing, so i guess i’ll have to try and adapt it to my new parts.

Is what i’m doing a bad idea? Should i just go order the real parts and make it back to how it was?

For wiring, SeymourDuncan has a database of most used configurations, including pot/cap value suggestions.
Check the humbuckers conductors, some come with 3 wires (or more), with those you may treat 'em as two pickups.
For piezo I’m not familiar with those, you should check their impedance, might not play well with general guitar stuffs, same goes the preamps gain stage.

I don’t mind hum as long as it don’t overpower your strings note, sometimes it’s just the nature of your parts/electricity/location/weather/cloth/merkabah

edit: fix bad english

Yes, as i said they’re 5 pickups total and the humbuckers come with 4 wires. I can’t seem to find any mod that uses this setup.

I have figured out the wiring now i think, but the 5 way switch doesn’t make much sense to me so i think i’ll just add a switch for each pickup. Will probably look weird, but i don’t care as long as it works.

One day I found myself literally spend a week trying to get a perfect balance between the a humbucker and tele bridge.

After that both my main guitars are 1-pickup > volume > tone, less hassle.

One day I found myself literally spend a week trying to get a perfect balance between the a humbucker and tele bridge.

After that both my main guitars are 1-pickup > volume > tone, less hassle.

Sounds fun. :stuck_out_tongue:

My pickups should be balanced as they’re the original ones?

Now i’ve made holes for the switches and painted the pickguard grey, so there’s no turning back on that. I just hook it up and cross my fingers that sound will come out, hopefully good sound if that is not too much to ask.

Yes, as i said they’re 5 pickups total and the humbuckers come with 4 wires. I can’t seem to find any mod that uses this setup.

I’m not experienced in electronics at all but could the 4 humbucker wires be there to allow coil-tapping (turn your humbucker in to a single coil) via a push-pull pot or separate toggle switch?

I scrapped the idea of having an active preamp built into the guitar body and decided to do it simple with just a switch for each pickup and a tone controller. The tone control doesn’t seem to work at the moment, but i don’t care because the pickups themselves sound very good on their own. I’m glad i didn’t go for the weird switch, it would probably end up in many useless combinations. Now i can easily choose the exact combo i want and i don’t even remember that it used to sound this good. :slight_smile:

It’s looking better with the grey pickguard, those buttons on the other hand looks pretty awful, maybe ill add some more mods later, like a volume pot where the switch should be and such:

Ibanez-Blazer-mod.jpg

I’m not experienced in electronics at all but could the 4 humbucker wires be there to allow coil-tapping (turn your humbucker in to a single coil) via a push-pull pot or separate toggle switch?

I have no idea really, i just tied two of the leads together into ground and the other two to each their own switch, no resistors or capacitors except the cap on the tone pot that doesn’t seem to work. It seems like they work as two different pickups this way.

Found this on eBay, looks like orginally there would have been a coil-tap switch that enabled a second set of 5-way switch pickup selections:

blazer_zps84zcrckm.png

Found this on eBay, looks like orginally there would have been a coil-tap switch that enabled a second set of 5-way switch pickup selections:

blazer_zps84zcrckm.png

Thanks, i don’t need the switch now and i have had it for twenty years and used it as my main guitar so i know how the switches works. :stuck_out_tongue:

I realised that i have placed the humbuckers the wrong way around looking at that picture. It looks like the exact same model as mine, only it has a bit darker shade. I always felt the pickguard looked a bit grandpa and i’m happy with the new grey color. The grey doesn’t come out to well on the picture, it looks a bit more grey in real.

I found that using combinations in most cases gives a less powerful output, so i guess they are cancelling each other out. Many combinations work well regardless of this and there are 25 combinations to choose between if i’ve calculated it right. I may want to try and turn the humbuckers around, but that means off with the strings and all once again and i’ll wait untill i get tired of its current sound. I think the 2*hb sounds weak when both coils are turned on and that isn’t supposed to happen, hopefully turning the buckers will do the trick.