Electronics

Lace Alumitone 5-Way Mod

Posted by on May 27, 2015 in Articles & Tutorials, Electronics, Instructions and FAQs

The Lace Alumitone™ pickups, like the X-Bar, which we use extensively, is based on a non-conventional technology (which we will not go into here) that provides noise- and hum-free high definition full range sound in a beautiful and lightweight package. They don’t consist of two separate hum canceling bobbins like a humbucker, so when wiring them, there are less options. The option that they do provide is a “split” which is more similar to a coil tap, but it is again not a conventional coil tap because it does its magic without a dramatic loss in signal. But it changes the voicing of the pickup in a very nice way. Connecting one of these pickups, using the split option, can be confusing because rather than shorting out one of the bobbins or part of the coil, you actually choose a different ground but leave the hot (signal) wire alone. For a humbucker sound, connect the white/black cable to ground and leave the white cable disconnected and for the single coil sound, connect the white cable to ground and leave the white/black disconnected. (Leaving the white cable completely disconnected is important – resist the temptation to connect it to the other white cable, or shorting it to ground.) Here is...

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#65 Wiring

Posted by on Feb 15, 2015 in Articles & Tutorials, Electronics, Instructions and FAQs

While I’m at it with schematics, here is the one for #65, which is a little more interesting. It has a Lundgren humbucker in the bridge, and Bare Knuckle single coil in the neck, and switches through combinations of the different humbucker coils in combination with the single coil using a 5-way switch.   And the DIYLC file. Again, this may be modified and shared under Creative Commons...

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#61 Wiring

Posted by on Feb 15, 2015 in Articles & Tutorials, Electronics, Instructions and FAQs

As I was digging through piles of handwritten notes – some written on both sides of a sheet of paper, many without description what the actual schematic did – to find a starting point for a schematic, I decided to make a serious effort to retain documented schematics for posterity. From a Google search, I found the free software DIY Layout Creator (diylc.org), which turned out to work really well. Apparently, it is a favorite among stompbox builders. (Note that on MacOS X , you get a random error message trying to run it, and you have to allow running apps downloaded from “Anywhere” in order for it to work.) Here is the schematic for #61, which is an HSH guitar with two three-position mini toggles that switch the humbuckers into series/parallel/split (outer coil) mode, and combines the humbuckers with the middle pickup in position 2 and 4 of a 5-way blade switch. Enjoy!   And the link to the DIYLC project file. Feel free to enhance, correct, and...

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“Blower” Switch Mod

Posted by on Jun 7, 2014 in Articles & Tutorials, Custom Work, Electronics, Instructions and FAQs

Charlie Griffiths of HAKEN, the owner of #53, realized that he didn’t need a tone pot and that he also needed to move the volume pot out of the way – and in place of the old volume put a “blower” switch. This switch sends the bridge pickup in humbucker mode straight to the output jack, bypassing the 5-way switch and volume knob, for a “solo mode”. The switch itself is a push-push switch that simply protrudes out of the top. Mounting one, however, is not necessarily the most straight-forward operation… What I came up with was a bracket that is wedged in between the top and bottom inside the control cavity, to secure it depth-wise, and that is secured in place by the volume pot + a small screw that holds it in the side.         The hole for the volume pot:   And the switch mounted:   Finally completed:  ...

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Piezo Installation

Posted by on Jan 14, 2012 in Articles & Tutorials, Electronics, Product Images

#13 is the second build that includes a piezo loaded bridge. #9 was the first, but the time from completion to delivery was so short that I had little time to play around with them. This time, I have tried them through a couple of different amps and am very impressed. Here are a few pictures of the work that goes into installing them – it is fairly manual labor since having custom saddles manufactured becomes reasonably priced only when the quantity is very high. I start with GraphTech piezo equipped saddles for Wilkinson tremolos and saw off just the front portion. I then put them up in the milling machine and mill them down to the correct thickness. The next step is to shape them roughly. I usually do this on a Dremel with a disc grinder. I make sure the fit into the custom bridge/tuner housings. These have been modified from the original by having a slot where the saddle would normally sit, and a hole for the wire to go through. Next, after some final finishing work, is installing them into the guitar. I now rout a gradually deeper channel under the bridges themselves. Each cable is hidden under the next bridge, ensuring there is some...

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Piez O Me

Posted by on Jul 26, 2010 in Articles & Tutorials, Electronics

It is long overdue, but here are a couple of initial tests of mounting piezo transducers in the EGS bridges. I mentioned this already in the beginning of the year after having received samples from GraphTech. All in all, adapting the tuners to using piezos was very simple. And, for use with the tremolo where individual string height adjustment, the case is closed here. However, when mounting the bridges individually with the fixed version of the bridge, it is necessary to be able to adjust the height of each string. Most likely, I will have to solve this using one or two set screws accessible at an angle from the front of the tuner to adjust height. This means having to release tension from the string in order to adjust height (since it uses the same screw for fastening and adjusting intonation). Some work remains. Also, it remains to find a routing of the cables. This is easier with the upper version (IceTone) that has the cable coming out towards the rear. The regular ghost saddle on the bottom has the cable coming out through the bottom and requires some clearance to be created for it. Here are some more pictures. Please let me know which is preferrable or...

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