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SS4 (Series/Parallel)

tele ss4 image

click for SS4 diagram & details

Wiring two coils together in series rather than parallel yields markedly different results. On Telecasters with 2 pickups, the traditional parallel wiring provides relatively consistent output across all three positions. A Telecaster with its pickups wired in series differs in that when both pickups are on at the same time, the combination produces higher output and a fatter tone.

One way to get the two pickups on in series is to use a 4-way switch, but some players complain that this feels counter-intuitive, since they’re so used to a 3-way switch. And the dilemma with a 4-way is, where do you put the series position? Fender puts it all the way forward, but many players want to be able to just shove the switch all the way forward in the heat of battle - without thinking about it - and know they’ll get the neck pickup. On the other hand, if you put the series position in one of the middle switch positions (either 2 or 3), then it can be too easy to select it inadvertently when you meant to choose the parallel setting, or vice-versa.

Enter our pushbutton switch. Low profile, it sits unobtrusively between a Tele’s 2 pots (as it’s mounted to a pot itself, it replaces either the volume or tone pot). Always accessible and at the ready, yet very much out of the way, it allows you to toggle the middle setting between neck/bridge (series) and neck/bridge (parallel). How cool is that? Players with reverse-wound, reverse-polarity pickups receive the additional benefit of hum-cancellation in switch positions 2 and 4.

If your neck pickup has a cover, the cover must be isolated from the pickup’s black wire and a separate ground wire added to it in order to maintain its shielding capability (if your neck pickup is uncovered, then this is a non-issue). The exceptions to this are the Fender Texas Special neck pickup (which already has a separate [yellow] ground wire), and pickups that are bought from Acme Guitar Works as part of a prewired assembly (we’ll add a yellow wire to the cover for you). If you need to modify your neck pickup in this way and are unsure how to, then refer to the illustrations in our documentation.

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