james david low

live / work / play / worship

Ultimate Strat / Gibson 5 Way Pickup Switch Wiring

This is something I’ve been thinking about for a while, my ultimate 5 way pickup switch wiring. They both require the 5 way double XL super switch, 4 poles, double wafer. They’re done in such a way that both a 2 humbucker guitar and a strat style guitar (SSS or SSH) sound as close as possible in each position. I like a 5 way because its faster than having to switch your main pickup selector and a coil tap at the same time.

Strat Style 2 Humbucker
1) Bridge Pickup Bridge Humbucker
2) Bridge/Neck Bridge/Neck Humbucker
3) Neck/Middle Series Neck Humbucker
4) Neck/Middle Parallel Neck/Bridge Coil Tap
5) Neck Neck Coil Tap


– The humbucker coil taps work best with something like a Lindy Fralin Unbucker.
– On the Strat style I recommend a bridge humbucker or hot single coil
– The single coils in series is an interesting mod to approximate a humbucker. I’ve also thought about adding a 1M trim pot (with treble bleed) if the increased output is too big compared to the single coils on their own, but realised a series capacitor would probably do the same thing:

You can get a taste of what the series pickups sound like sounds like here: