Stock Stratocaster™ Wiring

Here is the schematic for a "stock" Stratocaster. I've provided this so you can restore your axe circuitry to factory specifications if you desire. Contrasting this schematic with the modification schematics will help you understand the theory behind the modifications, as well.

Stock Stratocaster Schematic
  • The pots (R1-R3) are all audio taper. They may be either 500k or 250k.
  • The value for the tone capacitor (C1) varies. With 500k pots, it is typically .033uf. With 250k pots, it is typically .02uf.
  • Note that the pickup select switch (SW1) has only three electrical positions per pole. The 2 and 4 positions are merely mechanical detents where the common contact of each pole is shorted to both the 1 and 2 (2 and 3) electrical positions. This is indicated by the dotted line.
  • Make sure that you phase the pickups correctly. On old Strats, all three pickups are of the same polarity. On newer Strats (since the mid '80s) the middle pickup has reverse polarity from the other two. If both the 2 and 4 positions sound weak and thin, the polarity of the middle pickup is reversed. If only the 2 position (neck/middle) is weak and thin, the neck pickup is reversed. If only the 4 position is weak and thin, the bridge pickup is reversed.

Here is a "non-artist's rendering" of what the above circuit looks like in at least one case (1996 "Tex-Mex" Strat). Keep in mind that your mileage may vary!

Rendered Image of Strat Wiring
"Non-artist's rendering" of standard Strat wiring.