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Controls

You can have any controls you like on a custom Rees guitar. The standard control chamber is deliberately large. However these are the control sets I recommend, having developed them to be very versatile, elegant and simple to use, well matched and tested with particular pickup sets. ( I am a Cambridge graduate electronic engineer.)


Video Demo
Ben Smith explains and demonstrates use of the most versatile Rees HSH.2 pickup controls in this video:
guitar controls video



A Guitarist's Explanation of Wiring Mode Choices:

A single master volume or two pickup volumes?
A single volume control is quickest and most certain in use. Easiest for performing.
Two volumes:
Being able to set the volume different for each pickup and flick a switch between them may be useful.
When both pickups are used together in normal mode, the voice character changes significantly from 100%+80% to 100%+100% to 80%+100%. When both are full-on the pickups talk into each other making the sound more stable but a bit nasal. Backing one or the other off a bit cleans up and opens the voice.

Humbucker and Single-Coil Voices
You know how a humbucker sounds, and you know how a good singe-coil (strat-like) pickup sounds.
Technically a humbucker is two singe-coil pickups wired in series (see below). That makes it twice as loud if the coils are identical, and fuller and fatter sounding than a single-coil because it is sensing a longer length of the strings. "Coil-splitting" a humbucker down to a single-coil makes it sound like a strat pickup. However this does not sound great with common shorter necks (because the strings have less energy) and not great with vintage wound humbuckers because each coil has less winds and less output than a strat pickup. However the majority of Rees guitars that have 25.5 in necks and high output scatter wound pickups also provide excellent singe-coil voices and this is implemented in every recommended control set.

Normal (=parallel) wiring and Series wiring
Geeksville. Don't Panic! Lets explain it by imagining two acrobatic human vocalists pretending to be guitar pickups.

When the duo sing together side-by-side (=parallel), as on most guitars' middle pickup selector, they stand close together and sing facing each other and not the audience. The result is a sound that is fuller, balanced and controlled, not louder than one facing the audience, and a bit nasal. This is because parallel coils project their electronic sound signal into each other as well as into the amp.

To emulate a pair of pickup coils in series, one of the singing duo stands on the shoulders of the other. Both face the audience. The resultant sound is loud, full, and open. This is very useful, but not used on common guitars because the change of volume when moving the pickup selector switch is irritating to many guitarists. Rees guitars avoid this problem by putting the series wiring as a different mode.

Phased wiring
Crazy stuff now. One of the pickups is wired the wrong-way-round! (= in anti-phase). So one of our vocalists is standing on his head. The voice is chimey and quacky and a bit thin on bass. Perhaps not useful to many guys? Turn the bass up on the amp, use a single coil with a humbucker and it's getting very interesting. Play in a band and for certain songs you have a distinctive magic voice that cuts right to the front without drowning out the other guys at all! It's a special use thing.




Humbucker Pickups

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Rees 2010 Controls:
3-way Pickup Selector: Neck PU; Both PUs; Bridge PU
Volume knob
Tone knob
Rotary Voice Character Switch: Humbuckers; Pair-coils; Triple-coils; Single-coils

This is tonally four guitars in one, each having a 3-way pickup selector that works as you would expect. That adds up to 12 various voices that are all very useful!

The rotary voice character switch effectively changes the voice of both pickups to select a different type of guitar thus:
1) The humbucker voices provide gibsonesque full humbucker tones.
2) The pair-coil voices provide full and clear bright middle tones.
3) The triple-coil voices provide heavy punching fat warmer tones.
4 ) The single-coil voices provide fenderesque thinner clear bright bell-like tones.

HH.1 Controls:
Toggle Pickup Selector: Neck PU; Both PUs; Bridge PU
Volume knob
Tone knob (pull to make both pickups Single-Coil)

Quite minimalist, but it still has 6 great voices.
Middle toggle position is always parallel mix.
Consider HH.6 alternative.

Hear this in the Rees R2 sound recordings

HH.2 Controls:
Toggle Pickup Selector: Neck PU; Both PUs; Bridge PU
Neck PU Volume knob (pull to make Neck PU Single-Coil)
Bridge PU Volume knob (pull to make Bridge PU Single-Coil)
Tone knob

Offers control of each pickup separately.

HH.3 Controls:
Toggle Pickup Selector: Neck PU; Both PUs; Bridge PU
Neck PU Volume knob (pull to make Neck PU Single-Coil)
Bridge PU Volume knob (pull to make Bridge PU Single-Coil)
Neck PU Tone knob
Bridge PU Tone knob

These controls are the same as on many Gibson guitars,
but with the addition of pull switches for single-coils.

HH.4 Controls:
Toggle Pickup Selector: Neck PU; Both PUs; Bridge PU
Volume knob (pull to make Neck PU Single-Coil)
Tone knob (pull to make Bridge PU Single-Coil)
Rotary Mode Switch: Normal; Series; Phased

This is a "do-all-tricks" wiring that is elegant and easy to use.

Hear most of this in the Rees F2 sound recordings

HH.5 Controls:
Toggle Pickup Selector: Neck PU; Both PUs; Bridge PU
Neck PU Volume knob (pull to make Neck PU Single-Coil)
Bridge PU Volume knob (pull to make Bridge PU Single-Coil)
Neck PU Tone knob (pull to mix both pickups in Series)
Bridge PU Tone knob (pull to make Phased when both PUs used)

This is a "do-all-tricks" wiring similar to that used by Jimmy Page.

HH.6 Controls:
3-way Pickup Selector: Neck PU; Both PUs; Bridge PU
Volume knob
Tone knob
Rotary Mode Switch: Humbuckers; Single-coils

For humbuckers the middle pickup selector makes a middle humbucker voice using one coil of each pickup together in series. This is an excellent voice, less nasal than the HH.1, and very effective with a P-Rails bridge pickup.

For single-coils the middle pickup selector works normally like the HH.1.

Hear this in the Rees G90 sound recordings

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HH.7 Controls:
3-way Pickup Selector: Neck PU; Both PUs; Bridge PU
Volume knob
Tone knob
Rotary Mode Switch: Single-coils; Humbuckers; Superbuckers

This is a powerful range of 9 voices, yet it is very simple to use. The 3-way pickup selector always works in all 3 modes as you would expect. The rotary mode switch effectively changes the voice of both pickups thus:

The single-coil mode provides a fenderesque thinner bell-like tone.
The humbucker mode provides a gibsonesque fatter humbucker tone.
The Superbucker mode goes further out in that tonal direction with a heavy punching fuller warmer tone.
(It does that by adding a third coil in series to each selection)

An optional extra pull switch can be added on the tone knob to add an anti-phase effect.






P90 Pickups

P90.1 Controls:
Toggle Pickup Selector: Neck PU; Both PUs; Bridge PU
Volume knob
Tone knob

Minimalist

Hear this in the Rees Rambler sound recordings

P90.2 Controls:
Toggle Pickup Selector: Neck PU; Both PUs; Bridge PU
Volume knob (pull to make Phased when both PUs used)
Tone knob (pull to mix both pickups in Series)

P90s With tricks

P90.3 Controls:
Toggle Pickup Selector: Neck PU; Both PUs; Bridge PU
Neck PU Volume knob
Bridge PU Volume knob (pull to make Phased when both PUs used)
Tone knob (pull to mix both pickups in Series)

Mixing pickups 80% + 100% is nice with P90s

Hear the 2 volume mixes in the Rees Rambler sound recordings

P90.4 Controls:
Toggle Pickup Selector: Neck PU; Both PUs; Bridge PU
Neck PU Volume knob
Bridge PU Volume knob
Neck PU Tone knob (pull to make Phased when both PUs used)
Bridge PU Tone knob (pull to mix both pickups in Series)

These controls are the same as on many Gibson guitars,
but with the addition of phased and series tricks.

P90.5 Controls:
Toggle Pickup Selector: Neck PU; Both PUs; Bridge PU
Neck PU Volume knob
Bridge PU Volume knob
Tone knob

Mixing pickups 80% + 100% is nice with P90s

Hear the 2 volume mixes in the Rees Rambler sound recordings





Humbucker + Strat + Humbucker Pickups

HSH.1 Controls:
5-way Pickup Selector Switch: Neck; Neck+Mid; Mid; Mid+Bridge; Bridge
Volume knob
Tone knob (pull: all 5 selections Single-Coils, push: all 5 selections Humbuckers)

This circuit is very cunning and unique to Rees. The mid humbucker is made of a bridge coil and a neck coil and sounds like a single humbucker in the middle. The position 2 and 4 in-between sounds have the expected nasal quality. Works best with a vintage strat pickup in the middle so that all single-coil selections are similar volume and sound like a strat. All 5 humbucker selections are of similar volume, but as expected, louder than single-coils.

Hear this in the Rees S5 vibrato guitar and Rees S5H guitar sound recordings.

HSH.2 Controls:
5-way Pickup Selector Switch: Neck; Neck+Mid; Mid; Mid+Bridge; Bridge
Volume knob (pull to make Neck PU Single-Coil)
Tone knob (pull to make Bridge PU Single-Coil)
Rotary Mode Switch: Normal; Series; Phased

This is a "do-it-all power-axe" (particularly with a P-Rails that adds P90 voices).
The controls are elegant and easy to use.
Works best with a quarter pound strat pickup in the middle to keep up with the humbuckers or P90 coil which are all loud.
HH.4 does everything this can do except the middle pickup.


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