Electric Guitar Wiring

Thread Starter


Joined Oct 21, 2015
I'm trying to build an electric guitar with 3 pickups. Instead of a switch to select which pickups to use I want to use a volume knob(resistance pot) for each pickup. the problem im having is how to combine the signals. I want to be able to change the sound of the guitar by varying the the separate volumes of each pick up. Right now the outputs of each pickup go to a pot wiper to send the signal to ground or the output jack. basically they are in parallel. The problem with this is that multiple pickups can only be used if the volume knobs are equal volumes. if one volume is higher than the other then only the signal from that pickup goes threw because it has a higher voltage than the other that it is in parallel with. my goal for example is to be able to have one pickup on full volume and then be able to change the sound by turning up the volume on another pickup. how can I combine signals with different voltages?

crude schematic: g-ground, --> potentiometer wiper

g |
| |
pickup2-----> |
|____|_______ output
g |
| |
pickup3-----> |


Joined Nov 23, 2012
Your idea us interesting but look that even the signal with the highest pot position has a quick path to ground as it enters the wiper of another pit with low volume.

Look up summing amplifier or summing circuit or mixer - with Op Amp.
Stock wiring in a Les Paul is very simple and when the pickup switch is in the middle position, it allows you to blend the volumes of the 2 pickups.

I did find this link with a diagram for a 3 pickup solution - However this allows you to only blend 2 of the 3 together depending on the switch. Maybe you can modify it?

With passive pickups, you shouldn't need any more circuitry in the guitar. I've never seen any in any guitar.