GS9/12 Switching description

Topics related to the instrument's construction, schematics, & model identification.

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GS9/12 Switching description

Postby ChrisClark on Sat Feb 10, 2007 1:53 pm

Probably the most unique feature of the Time Guitar were the all those little switches. These spark more questions and curiosity then any other trait. So let's dive in and I'll take a whack at it.

GS guitar with 4 in-line mini-switches.
The GS9 has the same switching/wiring as a GS12. The difference is in the 'trim and wood selections.

The pickup selector is pretty standard, as are the coil drop switches. Things get interesting with the Phase and Series/Parallel switches.

Phase Switch: This automatically turns both pickup on and out of phase. You don't need to put the Pickup Selector in the center position.

Series/Parallel Switch: In the down position the pickups are in 'parallel'. just like any other guitar. In the up position, both pickups are on and wired in series. This also bypasses the Pickup Selector. The series configuration is basically one giant humbucker with four coils. It boosts the output. The bridge tone control becomes the master tone control.

The volume controls use a capacitor like Fender Tele's. As you turn down the volume, the capacitor allows high end frequencies to pass thru. I.E. It gets 'cleaner'. On some of the later guitars the coil drops also switched out different caps on the volume controls.

One of the coolest sounds is when you turn on the neck coil drop, phase & series/parallel switches. This puts the guitar into a mode where the guitar has a three coil humbucker that's 1/2 out of phase! Try it out!

Here a shot of the switch wiring. GS9-152 dated 1/83

Note: GS guitars from the Waltham era have pickup phase and coil tap switches in place of master phase and series/parallel switches. I have recently seen a Time Kaster bolt-on guitar #22 dated 3/76 with the inline switches.
GS1 #22 dated 3/76 with in-line mini switches.

The earliest GS guitars have the switches placed 2 over 2 and not inline.
John S. with the Johnny Moore GS. Note the 2 over 2 switches.


Postby Tom Plunket on Sun Jul 29, 2007 9:06 pm

I haven't dared to take the pickguard off, for fear of how many wires there must be under there, and more fear that I may not be able to fit them all back in if I were to crack her open.

I assume the V has a similar wiring setup outside of the two missing knobs; since I need to replace the pots (not just dirty, actually broken), how crazy is this thing on the inside? Might there be any schematics anywhere around for this stuff?

Tom Plunket
Multi Time Owner!
Posts: 8
Joined: Sat Jul 28, 2007 4:19 pm

Well not that scary!

Postby ChrisClark on Mon Jul 30, 2007 5:41 pm

Hi Tom,
The wiring in there is really neatly done. All the wires are 'tie-wrapped' with cotton string. I would route the wires, tie them up with string and put a drop of super-glue on the knot.

Here's EROS GS-12 for example. Well, maybe a little scary here!

When I have more time; [my work is schedule is insane this summer. I had to cancel my vacation two weeks ago for the 3rd time this year!] I'll post in the 'How They Were Made' section about the schematics and how to remove the pickguard without breaking it.

The pickguards are made of engraving plastic. The white part is really CEMENT! Very good for sound, but very brittle. Where the pickguard meets the neck was hand-fitted for each guitar. It's a dovetail there and under pressure. After the screws are out, you need to tap from the tailpiece towards the neck to loosen.

The screws used to hold it on are custom made chrome-plated #4 wood screws with slotted, not phillips heads. You can't buy these. Don't break them!

There's more to share later, Thanks Chris
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