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Using Separate Outputs for Each Guitar Pickup and Grounding Problems???

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I play a Parker Nitefly, and use a stereo cord for the output signals...humbucker/single on tip, and piezo on the ring. Nothing new there.


But I want to run the single coils via the 5-way selector switch out a completely separate 1/4" output jack mounted on the backside if the guitar. I will disconnect the humbucker from the 5-way switch and connect it to the volume/tone pots as is typical of guitars. And then just take the single coils output from the 5-way switch straight to its own 1/4" jack, bypassing any volume/tone controls.


This is so each signal 1)humbucker, 2)single coil, 3)piezo can go to their own dedicated fx units, and I will select which signal to use with foot switches rather than my hands.


The mounting screws/nuts of the 5-way switch are still connected to a common ground with the humbuckers/piezo via the gounding foil that is attached to the backside of the pickguard. Does this create a ground loop problem? Should I make sure the single coil has no ground contact with the others via the 5-way switch?


I know this is an odd way to do things, but I just want separate outputs for each signal. Thanks for any ideas...

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Originally posted by breakway@bellatlantic.net:

My approach would be to install active electronics on each pick-up, then run them thru a 4-pin XLR(shield plus one each hots) to a break-out box in your rack.


I originally thought about using a 4-pin XLR connector just as you have suggested, but there more I thought about how proprietary and specific the cables would need to be, I decided against it. The main reason being that the guitar should still remain "standardized" to some degree by utilizing 1/4" jacks so that it can always be in a playable condition with a regular patch cord.


Now here is the second area of difficulty I've run into. Finding the right cable itself. As a working protocol, I've used a USB computer cable, but the cable has limited flexibility since it has both a braided sheild and a foil shield. I visited the Belden site and found what appears to be the type of cable I need: flexible like typical guitar cords, a braided shield, and 4 separate conductor wires internally. The cable is used as such: the braid is used as the ground on a (stereo)tip/ring/sleeve connector, and two of the hot wires used for the tip and sleeve...this is a typical cable that carries the humbucker and piezo signals out separately. I use the other two wires for the ground and hot connection of the single coil pickups. I'm just still worried about there being some sort of grounding problem.

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hey if you want to check out jim thomas' (mermen)setup there is somewhat of an overview in the latest 'guitar player mag'. each of his pickups go straight to guitar pre *no* pots on the guitar,no ground wire and nothing else; everything rack-wise comes post pre-amp and it it the most powerful,glorious, beefy guitar signal i've ever heard...stanner
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