5-way Lever-action Switch

Wiring for Stratocaster & three-pickup electric guitars


Typical Strat three-pickup wiring. The switch is usually installed with the spring facing away from the pots, but can face either way—there’s no difference, electronically.

Reduce unwanted electrical noise by using shielded coaxial cable for your longer wiring runs (for example, the connection between the controls and the output jack). Coaxial cable contains a center “hot” conductor which is shielded by an outer braid used for the ground wire.

For short connections between components, use standard non-shielded wire. Typically, white wire is used for hot and black for ground.

Stewart-MacDonald wiring kits contain black and white non-shielded wire, plus shielded coaxial cable. Extra black wire is included for running a string ground.

This is a standard wiring pattern for a strat. Guitar Players Center has located a variety of really innovative wiring diagrams and control updates with diagrams. GPC will post them in good time. Information that seems hard to find can be viewed at our website. Please share it with other guitar techies and get them hipped up to where the best guitar info on the internet is. Enjoy

72 Responses to Wiring for Stratocaster & Three-Pickup Guitars

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  3. Danny:

    Your depth of the subject never ceases to amaze me. No wonder your audience grows daily, this is great material. Keep up the good work.

  4. Dot in DC

    Love to hear about the mechanical side of the guitar on top of music theory and history. You’re a true renaissance man! Keep it coming!

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  13. damon misturak

    i have a yamaha eg303 that all the electrical needs to be rewired does anyone know how the wiring is suppose to go if so can someone help me please im trying to find a way to do it myself but i have never messed with switches and things like that before a friend of mine gave it to me and i would like to be able to get it back in working condision thanks

  14. Anybody have a good diagram for properly wiring a lefty MIM strat with Fender vintage noiseless pickups? any help would be appreciated

  15. roy fornett

    can you send a diagram on how to wire a strat using a superswitch, pushpull pot and two tones? Thank you.

  16. truckstopJoe

    can you put Texas P/Us on a MIM delux series player Strat????

    it has noiseless PUs was made in 2002,

  17. Thanks for sharing this information.

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  21. Hoagland Brothers

    We build custom wiring harnesses. Tell us what you need or have and we can and will build you a wiring harness for it! Simple, huh? We even custom-wind pickups for Teles and Strats!

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  46. I have built a David Gilmour strat like guitar. On the whole it worked out great but the doulle toggle there is a wire connecting tne second leg of the first line of the toggle to the 3rd leg (arm who cares its late)of the 5 way switch.(STEW MAC) The problem is I cannot tell if it is black or dark purple. One is active and the other ground BIG difference. It works but not without a few kinks with the toggle. Please help

  47. I changed the neck pickup in my strat and the phase position between the neck and the middle pick up as lost most all of the phase and ounch . wHEN WIRING T FROM THE PICK UP TO THE POT WHERE THE CONECTION IS MAGE (NOT THE 5 WAY SWITCH BUT THE OTHER CONECTION . Dose it matter where they are wired or do you just have to make a conection ?

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  50. yan myo aung

    i like fender.

  51. yan myo aung

    Hello!
    I`m a myanmar.
    I like fender but I can`t buy.

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  53. [img]http://s968.photobucket.com/albums/ae168/CTguy1955/HSH-Liberator4.jpg[/img]

    Im going NUTSO trying to figure out why my blender has no sound when in position 5
    as it should be a blend of both neck and bridge pups, when the super switch is in positions
    2,3 and 4…….but I get no sound at all???? any help with this on what wire may be wrong?
    Thanks for your help

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  57. thank you for your assistance. I have been messing with guitars for over 40 years. I just turned 65 in Fer. Your schematic of the Strat helped me very much as I usually built and rewired les pauls, very few fender guitars. Once again, thank you so much. Gary

  58. sorry for the misspellings!!

  59. If I wanted to learn about re-wiring and electronice, I would read one of the old Craig Anderton books,”projects for musicians” is one of them I believe. But I am sure there is a wealth of info on the internet for free…

  60. Again I am sorry for the misspellings etc. Guitar lesson reviews.

  61. Thank you for the schematic on Stratocasters. I have been re-wiring guitars for a very long time. I am very farmiliar with gibson guitars, but I really needed a schemaatic for Stratocasters. I put a seymore duncan “mini humbucker” in the bridge position on a Stratocaster. I messed up the original 5 way switch and I had to replace it. I am not sure but it seems like I have come full circle from starting with fender type guitars, then going to Gibson in the 60′s-70′s (cream). now I seem to want more of a fender type sound. (cleaner), more subtly beautiful, in my opinion..Again thank you. Gary

  62. why are the Tone Pots not grounded?

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