DIY Series - 5-Way Stratocaster wiring kit - 'Left Handed' Pots
I've long since offering pre-wired harnesses here, they're a major aspect of the Home of Tone and for many, the 'drop-in' aspect of a pre-wired harness has been incredibly helpful to many customers. But with the ever increasing demand and interest for partscaster projects or DIY builds, I thought it would be great to also offer DIY wiring kits! All of the components you need to wire up a specific guitar model to your specs. These kits include all of the same quality components I use in my Signature Series pre-wired harnesses, but this time you can get stuck in and wire it up from scratch (And save a bit of money over buying the components individually too which is always nice!)
Along with the variety of Stratocaster wiring schematics on my website, these parts will help you get your project up and running and sounding it's best.
Not sure whether Left Handed/Reverse audio taper pots are 'right' for you? Check out this article I put together addressing the subject, and hopefully it will help you find the correct choice for your playing. HERE
Parts included & options -
3x CTS 'Reverse' Left handed audio taper pots - Choice of standard Strat spec 250k or 500k depending on your preference or choice of pickups
1x Mustard Tone capacitor - Choice of .022uF, .047uF or '59 Vintage spec .1uF values
1x CRL spring loaded 5 way wafer switch
1x Pure Tone Multi contact jack socket
2ft length of Gavitt USA 22AWG cloth covered wire (black)
2ft length of Gavitt USA 22AWG cloth covered wire (off white)
Relevant pot, jack and switch mount hardware
Choice of an additional Treble Bleed cap mod
1ft length of 20SWG tinned copper ground bus wire
Will it fit my guitar?
The parts I supply, in particular the pots, are US made CTS branded pots which are imperial measurements. If you're fitting this harness to a far east built variant for example such as a Squier or similar, then you may have to widen the holes in the control plate to accommodate for these imperial measurement pots. Or alternatively, purchase a new control plate that is already suited to the US spec components.
For reference, the CTS pots I use in this harness have a shaft diameter of 9.5mm.
You may also require new control knobs to fit the CTS pot 'split shaft' spline diameter of 5.95mm.
If you do require a US spec control plate or control knobs, we do carry a selection of popular options in stock and they can be viewed in the hardware & plastic hardware categories on the store.
Which pot value shall I choose?
Traditionally, stratocaster single coils are paired with 250k pots. By nature, single coil pickups are very bright, and as a result can benefit from 250k pot values to help tame the highs and deliver a well balance tonal response. 500k pots are usually paired with humbucker or P90 type pickups, but they can also be used on Noiseless Stratocaster pickups for example which is the main reason why I have decided to offer them as an option on this DIY kit. The best thing to do is check with your chosen pickup brands specs and see which value they recommend for optimal use with the pickup model. Chances are though, it will be 250k pots for Strat single coils.
Which tone capacitor value shall I choose?
Now this one ultimately is personal choice. Different values will have different effects on the sound produced, so why does value affect the perceived sound? Treble frequencies pass through a capacitor easier than some mid and perhaps more importantly, bass frequencies. So a .047uF capacitor would produce a perceived bassier tone than a .022uF value capacitor would. Which is why value choice can play an important role in dialing in your personally preferred sound or versatility of your pickups installed. The lower the number, the 'clearer' or 'brighter' the tone response. So a .022uF would sound a bit 'brighter' or 'clearer' than a .047uF, and the .047uF would sound a bit brighter than a .1uF.
The most common choices for strats are .022uF (the spec I use as standard in my Signature Series harnesses) or a .047uF. But back in the late 50s, it was common to see a 0.1uF value used, which is a desired taste but I decided to offer it as an option for those looking for a '59 style vintage sound.
Still not sure? Then much like with the pot choice, check out your chosen pickup brands recommended value for optimal use with their pickup model. More often than not, they're on the money! But if you have a refined ear, and know what you like, then hopefully the info here will help you decide too.
With or without Treble Bleed?
First up, what does it do? A Treble Bleed kit takes the 'high' treble tone frequencies out of the circuit at the volume pot, and puts them back in the circuit as the signal leaves the volume pot. This means the treble frequencies are prevented from naturally bleeding out of the circuit as your turn your volume pot down. The result is a smoothed out treble and a more uniform tone from 1 to 10. Reducing the treble drop out as the volume pot rolls off. Some guitar players wouldn't be without a treble bleed, and many have never used one on their guitars. Truth is, it is very much personal preference. I personally don't use a treble bleed mod on any of my guitars, and this is just due to the way I play. If you like the idea of retaining treble as you roll your volume pot down, then a treble bleed is for you!
Which wiring diagram do I need?
'Modern' Strat wiring - Left Handed
Treble Bleed Volume Mod