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I have an Aria MAC57/7 (7 string).

alt text

Excuse the dust (the flash on the camera shows it up...)

It has a dual humbucker setup and a set of controls that I never fully got to grips with.

I assume the two black knobs are tone and volume and I understand that the black switch is a pickup selector, switching between the neck, bridge or both pickups.

It's mainly the two small, silver, two-way switches that are baffling me. They do have an effect on the sound of the guitar, but I'm not trained enough to understand fully what that effect is.

Could any shed light on what the other controls are?

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2 Answers

up vote 9 down vote accepted

Perhaps they are coil splitting switches?

From wikipedia:

Some guitars which have humbucking pickups feature "coil splits", which allow the pickups to act as "pseudo-single" coils by either short-circuiting or bypassing one coil. The electrical circuit of the pickup is reduced to that of a true single coil so there is no hum canceling effect. Usually, this feature is activated using a miniature toggle switch or a DPDT push-pull switch mounted on a potentiometer. Some guitars (e.g. the Peavey T-60 and the Fender Classic Player Jaguar HH) make use of a variable coil split circuit that allows the guitarist to dial a variable amount of signal from the second coil, from pure single-coil to full humbucker and everything in-between.

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The Aria MAC-30 guitar on their website shows a single one of these switches and is a single humbucker guitar, so this is most likely correct. They call it a "coil tap" switch. It causes electricity to bypass part of the coils, which makes the sound smoother. –  Anonymous Jan 14 '11 at 1:53
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This is probably the best guess, but they could be phase switches too (or one coil split, one phase). –  Joel Jan 14 '11 at 2:39
    
Yes — My Aria has one humbucker and one coil-splitting switch, so if this has two humbuckers that would be the most likely. –  Anonymous Jan 17 '11 at 14:47
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According to product specifications on the Aria company web site for the current MAC Presto model,

Controls:

  • Volume (CTS) x1
  • Tone (CTS) x1
  • 5-Way PU selector SW x1
  • Series / Parallel / Tap Mini SW x2

I interpret this to mean that the two switches are:

1) a switch to change the pickups from wired-in-series to wired-in-parallel and

2) a coil-tap switch for the humbucking pickup, to make it sound more like a single-coil pickup.

You have a different model of the Aria MAC, but it is likely that the wiring is the same.

enter image description here

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