Adding 3 Super IIs to Ibanez Artist?

Adding 3 Super IIs to Ibanez Artist?

Postby BJolley » Mon Feb 06, 2012 2:22 pm

I recently acquired a clean, used mid 2000's Ibanez AR 300. I always loved the look and shape of Bobby's Cowboy and figured this is about the closest I will get for a reasonable price. This is a great MIK guitar with beautiful flamed maple top and an excellent neck joint that allows substantially higher fret access than either my Nashville Tele or Les Paul. (The forum won't let me add a pic, but here is a link to stock photo Image
I really like the look, feel, and finish but don't like the absence of a middle pickup or coil-splitting options. I have three brand new Super IIs I purchased several months ago from eBay for an anticipated Warmoth WGD build that I have yet to get to (and now I'm now tentatively scrapping that idea in favor of buying one of Troy Post's guitars at some point). I am considering routing a middle pickup cavity and installing the three Super IIs in the Ibanez. It is currently wired just like an LP with a 3-way toggle on the upper bout, and separate vol/tone knobs for each of the two humbuckers. Any thoughts on how to best wire this for three humbuckers with split coils? Thanks.
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Re: Adding 3 Super IIs to Ibanez Artist?

Postby mkaufman » Mon Feb 06, 2012 2:55 pm

You may find this useful:

http://www.rukind.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=420&t=8810&p=84522&hilit=poor+man#p84522

However, I've used my guitar long enough to conclude:

- as long as the pickups are matched in terms of output, a single tone & volume control will suffice. If they are not matched, you can install trimpots for each pickup and set their levels to get the pickups matched. This is exactly what was done on the Cowboy and why the Cowboy only has one tone & one volume pot. Once you set the trimpot levels, you should never need to change them. So, they don't need to be easily accessible and can be buried on the control cavity.

- a single toggle to simultaneously switch the outside pickups between humbucker and single coil will suffice

Yes, you can be obsessive (like me!) and include all of the electronics as I did, however, I don't think it's necessary. I have (5) mini-switches and (4) pots. In the end, (4) mini-switches and (2) pots would have worked just fine.

In fact, this will be my approach for my next poor man's Cowboy.

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Re: Adding 3 Super IIs to Ibanez Artist?

Postby BJolley » Mon Feb 06, 2012 11:13 pm

Michael, thanks for the tips. That's a nice "Poor Man's Cowboy" you put together. I'd like to keep the wiring as simple as possible. I am considering keeping the 3-way toggle stock but replacing one of the tone knobs wih a mini switch for single-off-Humbucker for the middle and a push/pull pot on the remaining (master) tone knob to split the neck/bridge. In the alternative, I could have the toggle engage bridge/middle/neck. Thoughts? I checked out your bands videos too -- great music.
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Re: Adding 3 Super IIs to Ibanez Artist?

Postby mkaufman » Tue Feb 07, 2012 6:36 am

Reusing existing pots would obviate the need to drill more holes, so that's a good idea.

btw...I assumed that you were trying to make a Weir guitar, but with the use of (3) Super 2's, I may be wrong. If you're trying for a Bobby sound, you need (3) single coils simultaneously, so you'd need to cut the middle pickup too.

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Re: Adding 3 Super IIs to Ibanez Artist?

Postby BJolley » Tue Feb 07, 2012 4:28 pm

I should have been more descriptive. I always liked the look of the Cowboy's shape, and that is why I was drawn to the Artist. But I am really trying to squeeze some Jerry tone from my AR300 and just make it a little more versatile. Hence the 3 Super IIs with coil splits. I figure it doesn't have to look like an Irwin to sound like Jerry. I'm not in a tribute band or even a performer for that matter. Just a hobbyist and tinkerer looking to "upgrade" my guitar.
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Re: Adding 3 Super IIs to Ibanez Artist?

Postby mkaufman » Tue Feb 07, 2012 4:32 pm

Got it.

Fyi...I think that in order to get the Jerry sound, you need to play the middle pickup split to single coil. You should probably plan for that option.

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Re: Adding 3 Super IIs to Ibanez Artist?

Postby BJolley » Tue Feb 07, 2012 5:52 pm

I agree. From everything I have read the split middle Super II is a must-have in the quest for Jerry tone. I've never had a guitar with split HBs. Only full buckers (Les Paul) or single coils (Tele). Do you think each pickup should be individually splittable or is a master splitting switch for all three sufficient in your experience? Thanks again for the input.
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Re: Adding 3 Super IIs to Ibanez Artist?

Postby mkaufman » Tue Feb 07, 2012 6:48 pm

One choice would be (3) 3-way toggles, each with on (humbucker) / off / on (single coil).

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Re: Adding 3 Super IIs to Ibanez Artist?

Postby broesau » Wed Feb 08, 2012 2:11 am

hey MK, do you have a wiring diagram for your poor man's cowboy?
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Re: Adding 3 Super IIs to Ibanez Artist?

Postby mkaufman » Wed Feb 08, 2012 7:10 am

I prototyped and then handed it off to someone else who had a difficult time with the wiring. In the end, I don't know exactly how it was wired and I think it's not perfect as I have too much hum. I may redo the wiring using the simplified scheme detailed above (4 toggles and 2 pots).

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Re: Adding 3 Super IIs to Ibanez Artist?

Postby BJolley » Fri Feb 10, 2012 1:29 pm

So, assuming I added 3 independent switched to split each HB, would it be possible to wire neck/bridge to the same vol and tone pots (so they would be controlled like a Telecaster) and then use the other vol and tone to control the middle? That is, to have middle only I simply turn the Neck/Bridge vol to 0 and control the middle by turning up its separate vol. knob? Then I could also use the middle in conjunction with Neck or Bridge for pos 2 or 4 sounds. Or would this pose the same problem as turning the vol to 0 on one pickup when a 3-way toggle is set to the middle? Thoughts?
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Re: Adding 3 Super IIs to Ibanez Artist?

Postby bzbz » Thu Jan 10, 2013 6:54 am

well, that last post makes a lot of sense ....
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Re: Adding 3 Super IIs to Ibanez Artist?

Postby Jon S. » Sat Jan 12, 2013 8:34 am

BJolley wrote:So, assuming I added 3 independent switched to split each HB, would it be possible to wire neck/bridge to the same vol and tone pots (so they would be controlled like a Telecaster) and then use the other vol and tone to control the middle? That is, to have middle only I simply turn the Neck/Bridge vol to 0 and control the middle by turning up its separate vol. knob? Then I could also use the middle in conjunction with Neck or Bridge for pos 2 or 4 sounds. Or would this pose the same problem as turning the vol to 0 on one pickup when a 3-way toggle is set to the middle? Thoughts?

In your first sentence, I assume "switched" is a typo and you mean "switches." Looking at what you're proposing (apart from your the last sentence which I'm not sure I understand though this may be because I'm not a Strat guy), I don't see why you couldn't find a way to wire your guitar up the way you've described it. Another option might be to use 3-way minitoggles. I use them on one of my Jerrycasters to give me outer coil/full humbucker/inner coil options for my middle Super II but I believe you could also choose coil of choice/full humbucker/off. That might also give you cool, practical options.

If you lived in the Baltimore/DC area, I'd put you in touch with a guitar tech who, with appreciated, invaluable initial coaching from Waldo, has become an expert at creative Jerrycaster wiring. But you may have one by you!
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Re: Adding 3 Super IIs to Ibanez Artist?

Postby ccw3432 » Sat Jan 12, 2013 9:42 am

The possibilities are almost endless. I'd think about how quickly you want to be able to switch from different pickup configurations and pickup modes and then make sure the layout can achieve this. Also think about what you really want your guitar to be able to do. It's likely that a wiring diagram can be done up to achieve about whatever you'd like. I'm no expert but would be glad to help you work up a wiring diagram if you need any assistance. It's a lot easier if you draw it out after you figure out what exactly you want it to do and what kind of switching you want to use.

The three way switch is nice and fast when you want to change pickup configurations. I removed my 3 way switch and have considered trying to find a way to reinstall but it would be at a cost of making other things more difficult. While playing the guitar think about where you'd like the switches or changes to be before getting in there. I opted for 3 push/pull volume knobs to turn the pickups off/on and three way switches select series/single/parallel. While this gives me maximum flexibility it's taken me some time to get use to making quick pickup changes in a song but I'm starting to get use to it and have opted to keep this system for now. I really like the flexibility and simplicity of it. I chose not to put in a buffer/OBEL but a lot of folks here have gone that route.

Alvin Lee installed a center pickup that was on it's own volume knob and worked independently of the three way switch. You may be able to find a diagram out there if you want to go that route.
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Re: Adding 3 Super IIs to Ibanez Artist?

Postby Mr.Burns » Sat Jan 12, 2013 6:18 pm

Anybody have experience adding mini toggles to a carved top guitar like an Artist, or maybe Les Paul? I have a MIK Hamer on my bench right now that's similar to an Artist, and I was thinking about going with 3 Super IIs. I was wondering how others had handled switch placement and type/size.
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