SSS4 (S/P - RWRP Middle)

strat sss4 image

click for SSS4 diagram & details

This wiring has lots of unique features. The most important one is the ability to toggle the 2 and 4 positions between series and parallel. Fender guitars typically combine coils in parallel. This is part of what creates that signature Fender “chiminess”. But there’s another way to connect two coils: in series. Connecting two coils in series produces a stronger, more midrange-heavy tone. A Gibson humbucker has its two coils connected in series, and if you’ve ever plugged a humbucker-equipped guitar into an amp that you’re used to hearing with single coils, you know the difference in output and gain that the humbucker produces. It packs a wallop, and drives the amp harder. Now you can have both options available on your Strat, and toggle between them quickly and easily.

We use our ToneShaper pushbutton switch to toggle the 2 and 4 positions between series and parallel. This switch fits neatly between the first two pots and the 5-way, and is completely unobtrusive while remaining readily accessible. In the “down” position it protrudes from the face of the pickguard only slightly, and in the “up” position it’s still very low-profile, so it won’t get in the way of your finger if you like to do volume swells.

This wiring configuration provides the standard pickup selections in the 2 and 4 positions. If you like this series/parallel wiring, but would like to consider alternate 2 and 4 position pickup selections, then check out our SSS4 and SSS6 wiring configurations.

Most Strat pickup sets include a reverse-wound and reverse-polarity (RWRP) middle pickup that will hum-cancel when combined with either the neck or bridge pickup. If you use a pickup set with a RWRP middle pickup in this wiring configuration, you’ll have hum-cancelling in position 2 and 4 regardless of whether the coils are in series or parallel.

Finally, to make this wiring truly custom, we’ve used a superswitch rather than the standard 5-way, so that we can customize the tone controls. The standard Strat switch assigns the tone controls to specific pickups, but the superswitch assigns them to specific switch positions. We’ve assigned the lower tone control to position 1 only, so this control isn’t active in position 2 (even though the bridge pickup is on in that position). The benefit is that you can adjust the tone of the bridge pickup in position 1 (rolling off a little treble if needed), without affecting the tone of the 2 position.

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