5-way switch hell, Alpha, Core-Tek VLX91 - Jemsite
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Old 10-18-2015, 02:04 PM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Florida
Posts: 450
5-way switch hell, Alpha, Core-Tek VLX91

I Had a gaggle of Ibanez guitars a while back, got out of them and I just picked up a project guitar, an SA1260 Prestige that's in need of rescuing. It's also going to be my test bed for a build I'm undertaking shortly. Has a "thick" S mahogany body, tilt back headstock with no locking nut which is similar to what I'm going to do with the build.

Anyway, it's an SSH configuration and the switch which was in the guitar was an Alpha with the 5P on the back side. Installed were Dimarzio HS-2, HS-3, and Evolution. I'm not so sure this is the stock switch that came with the guitar and my recollection, dealing with other S-series, was that it came with a switch branded Cor-Tek.

Now I have a few used switches lying around. Apparently, I don't throw anything away. I have a used Cor-Tek or three, some Alphas new and used as well as a YM-50 and and VLX91.

My intent is to use a Satch Track in the neck (humbucker) and a full-sized humbucker in the bridge, foregoing the middle pickup altogether (I never use them even in my strats).

Quite frankly, I could go with just a three way and not split or add weird combos. But what fun is that? If anything, I'd like to be able to split the neck in one of the positions. So the simplest setup to achieve that would be fantastic.

I'm thinking the following would be fine: split neck hum>full neck hum>combo of neck and bridge>some other combo I'm not thinking of>bridge hum. Or I could just have one switch position not do anything.

I can't really see the need to split the bridge pickup. I have numerous pickups for the bridge position to try out, some 2-wire, some 4-wire. For what I do, I just don't have the need.

And one caveat, I'm going with a solderless setup, modifying the switch to accept connectors. So the VLX-91 is out of the question and I HATE working on those switches anyway. Too much of a PITA to solder.

I'd really like to use the Alpha 5-way as the tabs coming off the top can be rotated to match the spread on my solderless connectors.

A few photos, ignore some of the added on solderless connectors.

The project guitar in question


The switch which came in the guitar. The only difference I see externally vs. some of the Alphas I have lying around is the circuit board is green on the one out of the Ibanez and the new ones I have have a blue circuit board.


Side by side with one of the new Alphas (top one) I had lying around:


Here's the "new" alpha showing how I can spread the tabs out and easily mate it up to a low profile row of modular connectors:


Here's a Cor-Tek I was using in an S Presige a few years ago:



I also have an old YM-50 but I'm not sure if it was in good working order or not when I pulled it. I think it was from a late 80's or early 90's 540S or S540, don't remember which.


All of them fit just fine, including the VLX (not pictured). But again, trying to keep it as simple as possible.

Advice appreciated!
MichelIV is offline  
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Old 06-21-2016, 09:09 PM
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Iowa
Posts: 2
Re: 5-way switch hell, Alpha, Core-Tek VLX91

Quote:
Originally Posted by MichelIV View Post
All of them fit just fine, including the VLX (not pictured). But again, trying to keep it as simple as possible.

Advice appreciated!

I know this is an old thread, just thought I'd let you know the CorTek switch with the 2502N on the back is a special switch, part number 3ps1sc5, standard 5-way wiring won't work with it. It does: 5. neck full - 4. neck parallel - 3. neck and bridge full - 2. neck and bridge single coil - 1. bridge full. There are a few wiring diagrams for this, let me know if you need one. Be sure to quote me so I get an email, I don't come here often anymore.

Really cool idea with the screw connections!!
Downrazor11 is offline  
Old 06-21-2016, 09:28 PM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Florida
Posts: 450
Re: 5-way switch hell, Alpha, Core-Tek VLX91

Huh when I used the SC5 switch I get split in the 2nd and 4th position. I actually took things one step further and I now use micro connectors for even easier swaps.

Here's the same switch, using in a Strandberg OS6 with the quick disconnects for the pickups. This harness is made for Lace Alumitones. I have a second harness for "normal" pups.


MichelIV is offline  
Old 06-23-2016, 10:13 AM
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Sheffield, UK
Posts: 81
Re: 5-way switch hell, Alpha, Core-Tek VLX91

Quote:
Originally Posted by MichelIV View Post
Huh when I used the SC5 switch I get split in the 2nd and 4th position.
Are you definitely sure you're not confusing the switches 3PS1SC5 (Cortek) and 3PS1CGAE5 (Ibanez' standard five way)? Only asking as I had a muddle with these two myself recently, as they look very similar.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MichelIV View Post
This harness is made for Lace Alumitones. I have a second harness for "normal" pups
Sorry to hijack the thread a little, would you mind me asking how the Alumitones are? I was considering buying a pair.
Roachy is offline  
Old 06-23-2016, 11:38 AM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Florida
Posts: 450
I know it was an Ibanez part number when I bought it and I've always bought them under that numeric designation. I know Rich has them listed that way too.

I really like the Lace pickups. Using them in a Strandberg and they're super versatile in that guitar. I can get full on humbucker tones, Strat tones split and can even make the guitar sound like a telecaster/LP when needed. They'll do a vintage sound with a bit of air or greasy sustain. They suit the Strandberg well as it has a naturally aggressive attack and I personally think overly aggressive pickups, say Suhr Aldrich, are overkill. But that's just my taste!
MichelIV is offline  
 

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