Help the idiot: wiring an H-H J Custom with the VLX91 switch...

Discussion in 'Pickups, Electronics & General Tech' started by cardinal, Nov 22, 2013.

  1. cardinal

    cardinal F# Dive Bomber

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    Like an idiot, I swap pickups in an RG8127 without adequately documenting what wires should go where before I disconnected the old pickups. First time, I got everything wrong but the bridge pickup. Second time, seems like I got everything right but the bridge pickup.

    I'm at a total loss as to how the VLX91 switch works, so I can't seem to trouble shoot anything.

    I've Googled and found multiple Ibanez VLX91 diagrams for Prestige and other types, but none of them match how the switch is being used on this J-Custom (the internal connections and jumps on my switch are different than any of the diagrams that I find online).

    So, anyone have a wiring diagram for an H-H J-Custom?

    Or, anyone able to example how the hell this switch works? I get that it's four different poles, but I don't understand how it selects which pole is actually working in any of the positions. It seems like all four of the poles can't work simultaneously, otherwise everything would always be connected to everything else the way this thing is set up...

    TLDR: halp with the VLX91 please.
     
  2. cardinal

    cardinal F# Dive Bomber

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    I'm apparently completely hopeless. I tried to just bypass the switch and at least run the full-power humbucker. It's a Dimarzio, so I hooked the red wire to the Volume pot, grounded the green and bare wire, and taped off the black and white wires. What I got was weak sounding and a lot of hum. If I connected the white wire to the volume pot (in addition to the red), the hum goes away completely and the tone of the pickup doesn't change.

    Ugh. Any help?
     
  3. Baelzebeard

    Baelzebeard Grinder of strings

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    Hook the black and white wires together, red to vol, green/bare to ground.
     
  4. cardinal

    cardinal F# Dive Bomber

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    Yeah, I think that should work, but it hums loudly and seems weak. When I hook both the red and white wires to the volume pot, it the hum goes away. That I think should be wired in parallel, and sounds right. But why it won't work in series with just the red wire, I don't know...

    EDIT: tried it again (red wire to volume pot, green and bare to ground, white and black tied together and taped off) and at least now I'm getting the full powered humbucker again. lol. This has been a disaster. Pushing me towards just getting an EMG 60-7H/81-7H set and the solderless three-way switch and calling it done.
     
  5. tmo

    tmo This is Blue Pain..t

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    Hi, this Ibanez mega switch is the best 5 way switch around. If you look closely to it, you will find 4 rows (paired 2 by 2) of 6 contacts each. You will then find (look really close) that these contacts are numbered with C, 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 or 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and C. The "C" is common, which means it is linked to 1 in position 1, to 2 in position 2, etc The "C" may also appear as "0", I believe. This is repeated on each of those 4 rows of contacts. These rows are independent of each other, they do not link between them and when on position 1, all "Cs" are linked to the respective "1", meaning that you will have 4 independent connections at the same time to choose from. So there it goes, you have nailed the works of it. Now get to the drawing board and redo the wiring...
     
  6. MrMcSick

    MrMcSick Derp

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    Doesn't this mean that when the switch is in position 1 all 4 of the 1's are active as well as all 4 commons?
     
  7. tmo

    tmo This is Blue Pain..t

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    That is correct, unless something is wrong with the switch...
     
  8. onefingersweep

    onefingersweep SS.org Regular

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    Disconnect everything and redo the whole wiring. Shoot Dimarzio an e-mail at tech[at]dimarzio.com, I'm sure they will provide you with a wiring diagram, they're always very helpful and responds quickly. I think that is the easiest way if you can't find the original wiring diagram. Then you also have the possibility to choose how you want your pickups to work.
     
  9. cardinal

    cardinal F# Dive Bomber

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    Bumping an old thread to exercise my demons. Finally got my head around how this switch works. I don't remember what the stock wiring was, but I cleared off the switch and redid all the connections to get this:

    5: Bridge Humbucker in Series
    4: Bridge Humbucker Split - Slug coil active
    3: Bridge Humbucker Split - Screw coil active + Neck Humbucker Split - Screw coil active
    2: Neck Humbucker Split - Screw coil active
    1: Neck Humbucker in Series

    Sounds great and is oh so satisfying having finally sorted it all out.
     
  10. tmo

    tmo This is Blue Pain..t

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    Cool, on position 3 you have the coils in parallel mode or serial mode? In my RG2027X I have the same Wiring, (well, not sure about what coils are selected on split positions 2 and 4), but the 3 is bot humbuckers in full, linked in parallel, which is a nice growling rich tone.
     
  11. cardinal

    cardinal F# Dive Bomber

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    I'm pretty sure position three is each south coil linked in parallel.

    Yeah, both humbuckers at full power linked in parallel is the one thing that I'm missing, though I personally don't use that too much. I may add a push/pull tone knob to add the full power bridge to position 1. That would give me pretty much all of the (to me) useable pickup combos.

    If only it had a middle pickup, then I could get some quack tones, too...
     
  12. Josiah K

    Josiah K New Member

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    Would you happen to have pictures of the wiring?
     
  13. cardinal

    cardinal F# Dive Bomber

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    Unfortunately I don’t.

    The switch is pretty simple once you get your head around it.

    Try to use one bank for all the positions you want the bridge pickup active and another bank for all the times you want the neck pickup active. Use a third bank for grounding the coil split wires in the positions you want grounded. And you have the fourth bank for loose odds and ends, usually for shorting certain coils if you’re dancing between the slug or screw coils being active.
     

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