The FAT-O for Fat Strats (c)
Users Manual & Guide

Lone Star, Deluxe, American Texas Special, and MIM models
Edited 7/01/04


To wire your lower tone as a "master" tone (like a Telecaster), and remove the center tone pot:

1. Move the lower tone control's lead from the mid pupís lug on the five-way over to the common (output) lug on the five-way.
2. Remove the lead from the center tone control at the neck pupís lug on the five-way.
MIM ONLY: Remove the ground lead which goes to the center pot from the 5-way

3. Remove the ground leads from the back of the center tone pot.
MIM ONLY: Clip the jumper between the two tone pots.
4. Remove the center tone pot from the pickguard.

5. 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.
MIM ONLY: Remove the capacitor from the center tone pot and wire it to your new MASTER TONE pot,
with one leg on the center lug and one leg grounded to the back of the pot.

Mount the the FAT-O for Fatties 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.

Identify the bridge pupís SHUNT LEADS. The Fender bridge humbucker usually has four leads: red, green, black and white.

For the MIM models, the red lead is typically the pupís "-"lead (ground), and the green lead is typically the ď+Ē (hot) lead. On these models, the shunt pair are black and white.

The Texas Special and Lone Star Fat Strats, however, use a different bridge pickup where the green wire is the ground ("-"), and the shunt pair are RED and white (with black as "+"). The shunt pair leads (in any case) will be found soldered together on a single lug on the 5-way.

Remove the shunt leads from their lug on the 5-way pup selector, and solder them to the center ring of lugs on the FAT-O-Caster switch on lug ď#1Ē (the one with the string through it).

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 (#2), 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.


MIM: The RED lead is soldered to the third lug (would be the bridge lug) of the second pole of the selector switch (the side used to connect the coil shunt). Please see the drawing. Add a jumper from the common lug on this pole to the volume pot.
All Other Models: The RED lead is soldered to lug on the 5-way where you removed the coil-shunts, and jumpered over to the last lug on that pole. The lead from the common lug for that pole is moved from the back of the volume pot (ground) to the input of the volume pot. Please see drawing.

The BLACK lead is added to the neck pup's hot 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 with Bridge" 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 pickup leads 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.


NOTCH ONE (tone control on "10") is "BRIDGE stays HUMBUCKER"
It is selected when you have the knob turned completely CLOCKWISE. Plain ol' Strat combos, but the bridge pup stays a humbucker in both throws #4 and #5.

NOTCH TWO (tone control on "9") is "BRIDGE stays COIL-SHUNT"
It is the first "click" as you turn the knob COUNTER-CLOCKWISE. Standard Strat combos, but the bridge pup stays coil-shunt in throws #4 and #5 - so this is really the regular "un-Fat" Strat tones.

NOTCH THREE (tone control at "8") is "NECK with BRIDGE (coil-shunt)"
It is the next "click" down. This jumpers the NECK pup's hot to the bridge end of the to the 5-way - so it is "ON" with the bridge pup. It also routes the bridge's shunt to ground so that the bridge is always single coil in this notch. 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) Middle alone;
(4) Neck, Middle, and Bridge;
(5) Neck and Bridge.

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

NOTCH FOUR (tone control at about "7") is "MID SERIES NECK"
As the name implies, the mid and neck pups are wired in series, and in this notch, the bridge pup stays a humbucker.
(1) and ( 2), you hear the Neck alone
(3) Middle and Neck pup in SERIES, simulating a "front humbucker" for your Strat
(4), you have both of your "humbuckers" parallel, like a Gibson in the "middle"
(5) plain ol' bridge humbucker.

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

Got an American Deluxe Fat Strat? These are wired differently from the get-go, and have to be treated a bit differently.
Here's the version of the switch for you!

Back to my home page...