Guitar switch as found on current production U.S.A. Fender Strat guitars. Made in the U.S.A. by Oak. This replacement Strat 5 way switch comes complete with two dome-head nickel mounting screws. Switch tip not included.
These days the 5 way Strat switch is taken for granted but in the first 3 decades of the Stratocaster’s history (during the 1950’s, 60’s and most of the 70’s) the standard switch fitted at the Fender factory was a 3 position selector. The classic in-between pickup sounds were still achievable but players had to resort to carefully balancing the lever between positions to get the combination of bridge and middle and middle and neck pickups, now commonly referred to as positions 2 and 4 on a 5 way switch. It was only around 1977 did Fender start to fit a 5 way switch as standard to make it much easier to select all 5 tones. There is a common misconception that the combined pickup sounds in positions 2 and 4 are out of phase - this is not true and actually the pickups remain in-phase. The true sound of 2 pickups being out of phase with each other is a much thinner tone with a drop in volume but with a big emphasis on mid-range - somewhat of an acquired taste!
There are several ways to wire a standard Stratocaster - the most traditional method is as Leo Fender had initially devised during the Strat's inception which is to have the middle tone control directly affecting the neck pickup and the lower tone altering the middle pickup, leaving the bridge pickup without any tone control options. Western Swing was prevalent in the 50’s (and also one of Leo’s favourite musical genres) and the best way to recreate the clear and singing tones of the pedal steel, as heard on the recordings of bands like Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys, was to use the bright bridge pickup on the Strat. However, just as the 3 way switch was later replaced with a 5 way switch in 1977, guitar tones evolved over time and guitarists were not always wanting to have an ultra bright tone in the bridge position and so a simple wiring modification on the switch allows the lower tone to affect the bridge pickup so that the high treble frequencies can be tamed, leaving the middle tone pot to share the tonal duties for both middle and neck pickups.
Do you need a diagram for either of these two wiring methods discussed above? Simply email us with your request or add a note at the checkout stage of our website and we’ll happily include the correct wiring diagram for you.
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