Friday, March 4, 2011

Dick Dale Stratocaster Wiring

Dick Dale signature Stratocaster guitar is a very uncommon Fender's construction. It's got only one pot (as a master volume control), a 3-way pickup selector and a special toggle switch for activating the bridge and the middle pickup only. It's a very handy and "crisp sounding" configuration. Surf guitar enthusiasts know what I mean.


BTW, I'm not sure is my circuit in 100% the same like this in the Dale's guitar, but it works in the same way. I'm not sure what's the pot value. I'm also not sure what is the type of the original toggle switch, but the DPDT, like in my diagram, will do the same job.

How it works?

The pickup selector (slide) got only 3 positions. You can select only one p-up by this thing.

The extra toggle switch got two positions. The first will connect the 3-way selector to the guitar volume pot. On the second, the selector will be bypassed and you will get the signal from the bridge and the middle pickup, also by the pot.


Having a guitar wiring with only one potentiometer (volume) means, that the whole circuit will have less treble loses, than popular 3-pot and 2-pot versions. This is one of the reasons why Dick Dale's guitar tone is so crisp and distinct.

You can experiment with pot values (250K, 500K, 1M). The higher the value, the brighter the tone.


The extra switch (bridge+middle pickup activator) can be made also from a push-pull pot.

With some good quality parts this guitar electronics control will be very handy and heavy-duty. It's a really good stuff for surf music or/and distinct, crisp guitar tone enthusiasts.

Dick Dale - Miserlou (live, YT)