Here’s a nifty way to double the tonal options of your Strat thanks to the tone-seeking experiments of one Mark Baldwin.
Not entirely happy with the traditional quintet of Strat tones, Mark invented a simple switching system as a retrofit for Stratocaster guitars that employs two pull/push switched pots (that replace the existing tone control pots) to engage five extra sounds.
The system costs just £99.95 to have fitted including return postage of your guitar. Mark can turn the job round in a couple of days in normal circumstances. Alternatively, the happy home solderer can purchase a kit including all the parts plus a 20-page booklet with photographic instructions that takes you through every step of the modification procedure for just £49.95.
The beauty of the Double Trouble is its non-intrusive fitting, and with nothing other than the two pull-pots to contend with operation is simple – though not as fast and positive as it would be with separate toggle switches.
Along with the Tele-like neck and bridge pickups together, we get the broad sound of all three together. Then there’s the fat neck and middle in series, and the bridge and middle in series. Finally we get neck and middle in series with the bridge in parallel.
The series combinations are the most obviously useful, giving a surprisingly fat and bigger output – a neat secret weapon for your Strat.
Bearing in mind the relatively inexpensive Rothwell Audio Products Cool Little Knob we recently reviewed, the main benefit of a system like the Double Trouble is to people who aren’t too handy with the soldering iron. For solder-shy guitar players the option of being able to send off their guitar and have it return with the system all fitted is a real boon. However, sonically there is plenty here to make the system worthwhile, especially those series pickup combinations and the age-old but eminently useful Tele-style combination.