Confusion connecting a Fuzz Factory between volume pot and TRS jack

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Confusion connecting a Fuzz Factory between volume pot and TRS jack

Hi Everyone,

I have been talking a bunch with Tommy, the Repairs manager at ZVex.  I have. been having trouble inserting a Fuzz Factory in right before leaving my Ibanez guitar.  It uses EMG 81x and 85x active pickups that use 18V of battery power (told me 18V offers more headspace).  All of my part, pickups, volume pot, tone pot, are EMG so they are extremely straight forward.  Even the 3 selection switch is EMG and combines the portion where the pickups connect before going to the TRS.  The only difference between my original setup and the one depicted is my switch top left and hub part (not familiar with the name) that the 3 selection switch are one piece.

Once I add two kill switches, my setup then look like this:

At this point, it might be a good idea to ask if this looks ok.  My killswitch setup first goes to a toggle kill like Tom Morello's but it is an ON/ON switch. Signal goes in, and either goes straight to the TRS or to another arcade button kill switch that breaks the signal unless pushed.  Some call it a 'Live' switch.  It's more intuitive IMHO to play and I think how Buckethead's works.  So before going further, notice that my ground from the volume to the Sleeve ignores the kills... the toggle kill is also an EMG toggle that they were nice enough to make for me.  ON/ON is tough to come by.  But, it has 6 posts.  The three for signal that I'm using, and 3 for ground.  Would there be any reason that I should route the ground through the kills as well that would make for better use?  

The hard part.... Adding this Fuzz Factory is no picnic. I'm a guess and check kinda guy with this stuff.
 This is my first build and I've tried a lot of different combinations as I slowly learn what is actually happening. It's already in my guitar. This, however is the first pedal that I have dealt with that haes jacks that look like Guitar cord jacks on the inside.  I do not know exactly what I need to do to accomplish this but I want the Fuzz Factory to go before the kill switches so that the Fuzz factory gets cut too when toggled. The way I have it installed now, I am using everything that is seen in this picture... minus the jacks.

So I figure I a dealing with a white and black wire coming from the volume after pickups, and the negative battery wire.  My assumption is that I should connect all of those to the wires coming off the TRS posts. I am using a third battery for the Fuzz Factory. My thinking is from a perspective of the pedals being first in my pedal chain. in this case, it makes sense to me to simply treat the fuzz factory's input jack as my original TRS jack.  When I mentioned this to Tommy, he said this:

Before reading, his confusion lies within not knowing that I am or am tryin to use literally everything inside the pedal... including the ON/OFF switch that has a lot of connections wires going to it.  He also assumed I didn't care about the light. My plan though is to use a third battery and use the ON/OFF switch to turn on or bypass the pedal.  Since the pedal doesn't have a dry out, I just assumed that the OFF position lets the signal through as best it can without being affected:

"Does the guitar have active pickups? [YES] This will present a new challenge that will need to be rectified with a relax/push trimmer (like we use on the Mastotron) because the FF has a low input impedance and therefore doesn’t function properly when fed a buffered signal. One will need to add a B100k trimmer/pot with the signal going from the pickups to lug three of this pot, and lugs 1 & 2 (going to the input of the FF board. This will allow you to attenuate the buffered signal.

The sleeve of the output jack needs to be connected to ground on the FF circuit board. And the ground of the FF board needs to be wired the the ground of your pick-ups.

I’m not understanding from the diagram how you bypass the FF because I’m not seeing a DPDT switch in the drawing. I’m assuming the “to T” goes into the fuzz factory? If so, that’s where the bypass switch would go, and then from the bypass switch, to the trimmer, and the to the input of the FF board."

So his first paragraph makes sense in terms of doing the task but wouldn't this mean that if the pedal were outside of the guitar like normal, that I would still need a B100k trimmer/pot regardless? He mentioned that thinking I wasn't using the ON/OFF switch from the pedal.  I am guessing the 3DPT switch that is the ON/OFF switch of the Fuzz Factory, contains this needed functionality but could be wrong.  

SO thank you for getting this far. This is veery confusing to me and I have had it partially working to various degrees 20 different times.  It now looks like this and yes, the volume pot is on the underside and the tone is in volume's normal stop:

The X/Y controller can be ignored. It uses its own controls isolated on the other side and uses a
MIDI output jack to connect elsewhere.

My next guesses based on what I've learned:

--I should connect the black wire leaving the volume pot to the green wires connected to the Fuzz Factory's TRS

--I should connect the negative battery wire that normally goes to the guitar jack's Ring to the Fuzz Factory's Ring. BUT the Fuzz Factories negative battery wire goes to that ring.  That would mean that I am connecting the other batteries' negative wire to the negative wire of pedal's personal battery..... I doubt that makes sense.. But reasoning: if outside of the guitar, the Fuzz Factory would be on the other side of that connection... or obviously those batteries negative wire would go to the Ring in a guitar before interacting with a normal pedal outside the guitar. I have, to this point, been leaving the pickup batteries' wire connected to the guitar Ring. This is a new idea based on really trying to imagine the pedal as if its first in a pedal chain outside the of the guitar.  

--I am hoping I don't have to install a B100K pot but am for sure willing if necessary.  Again, I am thinking this functionality is in the 3DPT switch that came with the pedal.  Or else they'd have a lot of angry active pickup customers right?

--I have heard from a broader level that both the guitar and pedal need to be grounded.  I interpreted this as 'I should have the black wire leaving the volume pot split into two wires.  One that straight to the Sleeve post of the Guitars TRS (to ground the guitar) and one that goes to the pedal. This would connect to the Sleeve of the Pedal. Tommy makes it sound like the split is unnecessary but also says that a wire need to complete the connection and go from the ground of the pedal's BOARD to the Sleeve of the guitar.  That makes total sense to me but grounding does not.... I do not know where the ground is on the board. I know place where a ground wire connects to guitar (where the green wire going to the BOARD goes) but don't know if that is also a place that I can use to solder wire from there to ground...  I'd love if this is the case and I can take out the split mentioned.  

--Lastly the kill switches make this a little hard for me to understand and are what the pedals actually exits to...  In all of my trials, I have always been able to hear the Fuzz Factory when the guitar is set to kill if I make it loud enough.  It is a great source of gain for when using the kills but somehow it makes itself heard when the signal should stop making any noise entirely while the signal is disconnected at the second push button kill.... So would if be beneficial at all or stop this problem if the ground wire were to follow the path through the kills as well?  

Thank you so much.  I have been working on this for 5 months with intermittent periods of feeling like it works to some degree.... If anyone can help steer me toward actually finishing it properly, I'd be very grateful.  If you have any questions or need the reasoning of something that probably is an error on my part, let me know and also if anyone has any questions about this beast in general, shoot them to me!

There's no need to study this diagram unless you want to put yourself in my shoes.  The one thing it does do is reflect exactly what the bottom of the ON/OFF switch looks like in terms of where things connect to IT.
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Re: Confusion connecting a Fuzz Factory between volume pot and TRS jack

You seem to have thrown yourself into the deep there. Sorry, can't say I actually read and understood everything you describe but here are some things I picked up.

-Kill switches can work in two ways: 1. Just interrupt the signal and leave the output "floating" and 2. Ground the output signal.
Leaving a signal floating is almost always a bad idea, that's probably why you can hear the fuzz when doing so. Grounding the signal instead of interrupting would be best and would resolve that issue.

-I think your biggest mistake is trying to do everything at once, that seems to have you confused. It's too late to go back now but even for experienced technicians/builders/whatever it is best to do things one step at a time.

-You seem to be confused by ground? There is the "-" going from the battery to your Jack's Ring and there is the "-" from your jack's Sleeve which closes the circuit when you plug it. That's the "ground" you should use for everything.

-You shouldn't use a different battery for the fuzz and if you did you really don't want to use a switch from the battery to activate/deactivate the fuzz. Even if you manage to wire that properly and avoid ground loops and batteries interfering with each other, you would get a big great "pop" every time you flip the switch. The fuzz should be powered alongside with everything else and just bypass it using a dpdt switch as it would normally be wired in a pedal.

That's as much as I picked up as your description is really long and complex. One last thing, if you are planning to build a fuzz inside your guitar, you should be ready for things to get noisy without properly shielding every signal cable in the guitar (never tried it myself, it's an educated guess).  

It's not a simple task you are trying to do here without basic knowledge of the connections around a effect. Also you should buy Tommy a cake for taking the time replying to you, it's not his job, lol.

You seem to have picked up some things in the process, I would advise you to study a bit about signal routing in pedals and what the 3pdt actually does. You can't seem to tell apart which cable carries the signal and which connects the battery in the fuzz, you can't go on trying stuff at random, you gonna end up breaking something. So, you either have to really understand what's going on here or just commission it to someone else, that's my opinion :)

Not trying to discourage you, what you are doing is totally possible and frankly, it looks quite easy to design. Actually doing it can prove pretty challenging because of tight space mostly.
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Re: Confusion connecting a Fuzz Factory between volume pot and TRS jack

Problem #1 is that the fuzz factory won’t work correctly with active EMG pickups.

If you want to be able to bypass the fuzz, simply keep the wiring in tact and connect input and output wires between the pickups and output jack. If you want a toggle switch instead of the foot switch, just copy the existing wiring with a 3PDT toggle switch

As Zanius said this post has made a mountain of a molehill. Tackle one idea at a time
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Re: Confusion connecting a Fuzz Factory between volume pot and TRS jack

thanks so much guys. Are you saying no matter what, my pickups won't work?  I love these pickups... ooooof. I was going to attempt a single issue post had no one responded but despite my lack of knowledge and all at once approach. A lot of my tests have been isolated trials. What throws me is the routing to kill switches post the pedal.

If I can keep the pedal (I've heard it work with my guitar, if its not the sound I am supposed to hear, I still like it.  I was great gain for the kill switches.. But I could always throw in a EMG gain knob instead... the frequency shifting is what I love though.  Any alternatives that work with EMGs?

I have heard the two kill switch kind argument before and am slowly realizing that my method is for sure why it hums.  There are two reasons though that I chose this method.

1- The guy that sold me the initial  switches I used suggested that this way was not the best but would be fine.

2- It is how I turn the arcade kill switch into a "LIVE" switch... meaning when pressed, it lets the signal through instead of the typical kill that kills the signal. Fixing the toggle to go to ground seems easy enough. But then how would I incorporate a LIVE switch?

I am not clear why my current method makes my simple arcade button kill the signal while not pressed. The guy I bought them from though said it is because of the kill before it. I wonder what would happen if I went directly to the button from the pickups then to the output.  I feel like it should act the same way.... when coming from the toggle kill, only difference is I am sending the same normal signal to the arcade.... it just goes to the toggle first... which, when activated, is "ON" since the two postion are both "ON." Seems to me that's the same as if it were coming from the pickup.... Regardless, I will now use one "ON" to go to true ground which means I am guessing I will need a toggle before that to go to the arcade.... But then arcade is dealing with the same problem....

What's the best way to make a clean "LIVE" switch assuming that's all I want to create... then if you're a super star, what would be a challenge of using this method along with the toggle kill I want? I am going to use the toggle I have from EMG no matter what.  It feels really good and is simple to use with my existing EMG products.

***Edit after thought- actually... this is not the kill they sell at EMG.  It was custom made and is more of a Line selector pedal.  I could use their advertised kill for my toggle kill that does go to true ground (use the good kill method) and use this "ON/ON" I have before that one.  It could choose whether or not the signal heads to toggle or arcade. Not sure if this is just remaking the hum but maybe could work and also tell my button that it will turn on the signal since I a keeping the toggle.  I'd just move it.  I could use it in combination with the B100K.***

Please let me know if the fuzz factory is just not useable in my guitar or why it won't work correctly... rather the extent that it will work.  I'd love to keep it. My confusion with the negative for battery and normal negative is slowly clearing.  

My plan no is to remove the button that came with the pedal and use a B100K before it.  ***this would clear a lot of my grounding confusion... you're not supposed to make loops right.  So if I have a normal ground going to the pedal board and that board needs to be grounded at my output, can the ground wire LEAVING the board come from the same spot that the ground coming from the pickup uses? or is that creating a loop and I need to find another area for "ground out"?

Thanks so much guys.  I am asking a lot and know this isn't your job either.  I truly am as amazed as I am by the amount of assholes that there are online as there are selflessness, great people!