I haven't posted here in a while, but if anyone is into strat-type guitars, I've been playing with the wiring of mine and gotten some interesting things out of it, so I'd like to list a few simple wiring changes that lead to drastic changes (usually improvements, sometimes just ways to get weird new tones) that can be done to a guitar with three single-coil pickups.
Fair warning, these mods do require soldering, but most of it is pretty simple and doesn't have to be pretty to work. I managed to do the soldering on each of these changes is under fifteen minutes with minimal frustration.
A very simple thing you can do if you use the bridge pickup a lot and would like a tone control (stock wiring only uses a tone control on the neck and middle pickups) is to choose which pickup you want to trade with (usually the middle one, which ever one you don't use a lot), and on the pole of the pickup switch opposite the one the pickups are actually wired to, just swap the wire going out to the tone control from the middle tab to the last one.
Another thing to do is to change and add capacitors to change the sound. There is a capacitor in stock wiring shared between the two tone pots. If you can read the numbers on it and figure out how big it is (I could post a simple system for this if anyone is interested later), you just go to radio shack and find a different one and replace it. A smaller value capacitor will make the tone controls have a higher range, and a larger one will make them go lower.
Placing a very small capacitor between the middle and high tabs on the volume pot will essentially turn it into a bass cut control, leaving the high frequencies up as the bass goes down with the volume knob is turned down.
And finally, I wanted to totally change my pickup configuration to get some weird tones not normally heard out of strats, so here's what I did:
I wired the neck pickup backwards to put it out of phase with the other pickups.
Put the outgoing terminals of all the pickups on the bridge pickup tab on the selector. This keeps the bridge pickup on all the time, and the other pickups come on in normal combinations with only with the bridge always on. I could post a diagram if anyone is interested.
Next I plan to replace all the pots with push/pull switches to get everything back to fairly normal if I want. One will turn the bridge pickup off, one will switch the wiring on the neck pickup back around to normal, and one will take the low-cut effect off the volume knob.
If anybody thinks any of this is cool, I can post more detailed how-tos later tonight.