The FAT-O for American Deluxe Fatties (c)
Users Manual & Guide

(installation in a Fender American Deluxe Fat Strat)
Edited 2/12/04


The American Deluxe Fat Strat is a leap forward for Fender, in that they are finally beginning to try some trick wiring. While the bridge pup when played alone is a regular series-wired humbucker, in 5-way position #4 (bridge and mid pups), they have wired the SuperSwitch so that the bridge pup's coil are running in PARALLEL, instead of in series as they do in a standard humbucker. With the coils paralleled, the bridge pup is still humbucking, but it does not have that fat fundamental of a series-wired humbucker, so position #4 has a very rich quack to it. Good job, Fender!

I have a special THREE-NOTCH version of the FAT-O for Fatties just for this model, that gives you NINE possible pup combos.

It's a bit less dramatic, but a lot easier to install - and cheaper!

INSTALLATION:

AT THE 5-WAY:
1. Move the lower tone control's lead from the mid pup’s lug on the five-way over to the output lug on the five-way.
2. Remove the lead from the center tone control at the neck pup’s lug on the five-way.

AT THE CENTER POT:
3. Remove the ground leads from the back of the center tone pot, and remove the center tone pot from the pickguard.

AT THE LOWER POT:
4. Run an insulated wire (this is the new ground) from the back of the volume pot to the lower tone pot, leaving enough slack to rout it around the FAT-O. You have just removed the center tone pot, and rewired the lower tone pot as a "master" tone, like a Tele.

Mount the the FAT-O-Caster Switch in the place of the center tone pot. You will notice that the switch is NOT perfectly round, more egg-shaped - align it so that it's widest parts "point" to the other two controls. Be sure that the lugs on the bottom of the switch do not touch/short out on the shielding/bottom of the control cavity.

WIRING THE FAT-O (c) For AmDeluxe Switch:

Unsolder the MIDDLE pup's GROUND ("-") lead from where it is currently in your guitar - usually the back of the volume pot - and solder it to the next center lug (#3), clockwise, on the FAT-O.

NOTE: Sometimes there is not enough wire on the ground leads to make it to the FAT-O, so just add on a little "tail" to the lead to get there. Be sure you insulate the solder joint on this "tail" to prevent contact with the pots or any other grounded surface in the control cavity - black electrical tape will work fine.

THE FAT-O'S PREWIRED LEADS:

The RED lead is added to the output side of the 5-way, or, alternately, to the input of the volume pot - makes no difference. It is the “always on” jumper.

The BLACK lead is added to the neck pup's lug on the 5-way. It's the wire that will allow the negative ("ground") lead of the middle pup to go back through the neck pup for the "Series" settings, and allows the neck pup's hot lead to go to the 5-way switch's output for the "Neck Always On" setting.

The BARE wire is soldered to (any) ground.

Put your pickguard back on, and you're ready to rip!


How it works:

To reference the rest of these instructions,
we'll say that the pickup selections on the 5-way are numbered like this:
(1) = neck; (2) = neck and middle; (3) = middle; (4) = middle and bridge; (5) = bridge.

Basically, it re-routes the leads of the pickups to different places in the guitar's curcuitry. Each of the three "clicks" connects the leads to a specific point in the guitar's wiring to get the desired combination of pickups and series/parallel wiring. These "clicks" - I call them "NOTCHES" - are named for how they route the pickups into the circuit.

The NOTCHES:

NOTCH ONE (tone control on "10") is "NORMAL"
It is selected when you have the knob turned completely CLOCKWISE. Plain ol' AmDeluxe Fat Strat tones.

NOTCH TWO (tone control at "9") is "NECK ALWAYS ON"
It is the first "click" as you turn the knob COUNTER-CLOCKWISE . This re-routes the NECK pup's hot straight to the volume control, instead of the to the 5-way - so it is "ON" all the time. As you work the your Strat's 5-way pup selector switch, from neck to bridge, you will hear: (1) Neck alone; (2) Neck and Middle pups; (3) Neck and Middle pups; (4) Neck, Middle, and Bridge (coils parallel); (5) Neck and Bridge (humbucker).

Those LAST two tones are a variation of the tones EVERY Strat player sez they wish they had!

NOTCH THREE (tone control at about "8") is "MID SERIES NECK"
In (2) and ( 1), you hear the Neck alone. In (3), you have the Middle and Neck pup in SERIES, simulating a "front humbucker" for your Strat. In (4), you have your "neck humbucker" parallel to the Bridge (coils parallel). The 5-way at (5) is just the plain ol' bridge humbucker.

<<<<<<<<<<<<<>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Here's a link to a TONE CHART - where the heck ARE all these tones?

<<<<<<<<<<<<<>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

The good news is, it's CHEAPER than the regular FAT-O or Fatties! Only $19.95!

NOTE! This switch is designed SPECIFICALLY and ONLY for the Fender American Deluxe Fat Strat!
If you do not have an official, honest-to-gawd FENDER-built AmDeluxe Fat Strat, CONTACT ME before buying!


Back to my home page...