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21 hours ago, curtisa said:

Anywhere you see a wire on the diagram with the black three-lined triangle-y thingamabob shown, you need to connect all those points together.

Whats baffling me is that the number of wires required for this, in addition to the ones already in there (including another 9 grounding wires) will make for something of a rats nest. Is this normal? 

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Kind of. Most humbuckers will have a braided screen plus four conductors, a braid plus two inner conductors or less commonly a braid with a single inner conductor. The second two examples are when a pickup is configured "with two coils permanently chained" as a humbucker or brought out entirely as two configurable coils. Sometimes you can find them without a braid and a separate conductor for that instead.

The braided screen is normally soldered to one "end" of the pickup coils, however there are a number of instances I can think of where you might want maximum configurability with a separate earth (such as a virtual earth differential preamp, let's not go there).

Yes, it might seem like it is inviting ratnesting however for most applications most of the wires are paired up leaving a few "real" connections. More complex wiring systems such as those in many Ibanez HSH guitars will split up humbuckers and use their coils in all sorts of merry ways.

I always use this diagram because it tells you all that you need to know, and referring to the coils by north/south and their wires by start/finish helps visualise buckers. The Seymour Duncan example is perfect. The white and red are normally soldered together and heatshrinked putting both coils in series. That leaves the black and green wires as the signal pair at the far end of both coils. In most "normal" applications, one end of a pickup coil (or aggregate) goes to ground, as does any earth screening braid. That means you can solder green and the braid together at some point and all you need to deal with is the black signal wire.

To add some context to this, I completed a Tele for a friend with a four-way switching system described by a Breja Toneworks video on YouTube. In this case the bridge pickup is a humbucker (SD SH-4) and the neck pickup a boutique Tele neck. The humbucker has a series/parallel configuration via a toggle whilst the four-way allow bridge only, both in series and then both in parallel with a fourth neck-only position. This wouldn't have been possible if either of the pickups didn't have all of the wires available to re-configure how they work, especially the Tele neck which normally comes with two wires only.

Yeah, it's a ballache but once you start digging into the possibilities it makes a lot more sense. I hope this helped!

 

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Grounding should be approached as a separate job within the cavity. You have nine wires. Yikes. Well, those might pair down at the end of your humbuckers, but generally they can be simplified. Often your first wiring job isn't the most efficient, so looking at a bit of wiring porn and applying that backwards can build your chops and improve the approach. I either run a strong solid core "bus" between pot cases, run braided interconnects following signals or do star grounding via a solder tag on a cavity wall. Sometimes a certain setup calls for one over another for ease.

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Thank you so much for the detailed reply! Knowledge is power 😄. It’s a Jimmy Page style system I am doing (apparently), hence more wires than normal I guess. Actually it’s just about finished now and it doesn’t look as crazy as I thought it would! Nevertheless I will definitely be checking out some wiring erotica and gleening from it 😆

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Man that was a complete nightmare! I won't be getting that switching system again in a hurry 😂

Im rather confused though, the bridge pickup seems to be half the output of the neck...argh! As far as I am aware, everything is wired up correctly. Also, the push and pull system doesn't seem to get the radically different tones that I was expecting. Infact, very little tonal variation at all! Something is surely amiss. 

I can get some nice sounds out of it, but strangely, that monster bridge rock sound is missing.

Edited by ShatnersBassoon

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It's difficult to say at this stage. Neck pickups tend to be wound lower than bridge pickups since the larger string movement at the neck position creates a lot of output anyway. I presume that this volume difference is larger than that might be caused through pickup height adjustment?

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5 hours ago, Prostheta said:

It's difficult to say at this stage. Neck pickups tend to be wound lower than bridge pickups since the larger string movement at the neck position creates a lot of output anyway. I presume that this volume difference is larger than that might be caused through pickup height adjustment?

Yes, heightening the bridge pickup has done little to alieviate the problem. Like i said, some nice sounds, but not 100 percent ideal. 

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Could your bridge pickup be stuck in single-coil mode? Is the bridge volume pot (the one with 'pull single-coil' function) working correctly? There should be quite a bit of tonal variation between full humbucker (bridge volume pot pushed in) and single coil (bridge volume pot pulled out).

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3 hours ago, curtisa said:

Could your bridge pickup be stuck in single-coil mode? Is the bridge volume pot (the one with 'pull single-coil' function) working correctly? There should be quite a bit of tonal variation between full humbucker (bridge volume pot pushed in) and single coil (bridge volume pot pulled out).

You beat me to it. This is far from my strongest suit, but that is what came to my mind as well based on the description.

SR

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Yep, this crossed my mind also however I figured that this might have been considered already. Maybe tapping each coil in different positions to confirm switching? This is how I figured out that the previous owner of my favourite guitar had done a lazy on re-configuring the five positions with no coil taps.

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On 8/20/2018 at 2:58 PM, ShatnersBassoon said:

 Also, the push and pull system doesn't seem to get the radically different tones that I was expecting. Infact, very little tonal variation at all! Something is surely amiss. 

I can get some nice sounds out of it, but strangely, that monster bridge rock sound is missing.

Almost certainly something wired up just not quite right or is shorting.  Have another look at all of the connections of the bridge pickup - and the grounding wires.  And particularly the push pull switch.  I'm sure you will find just one or two wires connected not quite in the right place.

As @Prostheta says - plug into your amp then tap the two sets of pickup slugs one at a time with a metal screwdriver or similar.  When the push pull is in one position, both rows should sound out with a healthy thump, and with the push pull in the other position, one row should thump out and the other row be pretty much silent.  I suspect you will find that in both positions, only one row of slugs thumps out.  Been there, done that!  

I've wired up dozens of all sorts of configurations and its still surprising how often I do something similar first time round...

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You could always sense-check the circuit with a multimeter, but that's only for the skilled/masochistic. I can't say I'm familiar with the Page circuit. I've been leaning towards simpler things of late though.

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On ‎8‎/‎17‎/‎2018 at 8:45 PM, ShatnersBassoon said:

Whats baffling me is that the number of wires required for this, in addition to the ones already in there (including another 9 grounding wires) will make for something of a rats nest. Is this normal? 

This was one of the mods I once did on a strat, so I guess the answer is 'YES':

P1050023.thumb.JPG.a2cb602cae66d29bb84d886ccbbef751.JPG

 

It does have to be said that the Jimmy Page mod is one of the more complex ones - and usually more complex =  more wires!

If you really get stuck (which I don't think you will) broadly where in UK are you based?

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On ‎8‎/‎17‎/‎2018 at 9:17 PM, Prostheta said:

Grounding should be approached as a separate job within the cavity. You have nine wires. Yikes. Well, those might pair down at the end of your humbuckers, but generally they can be simplified. Often your first wiring job isn't the most efficient, so looking at a bit of wiring porn and applying that backwards can build your chops and improve the approach. I either run a strong solid core "bus" between pot cases, run braided interconnects following signals or do star grounding via a solder tag on a cavity wall. Sometimes a certain setup calls for one over another for ease.

Nowadays I copper shield the cavity and just ground the cavity - that grounds all of the pots and takes out at least 4 wires.  Does anyone else do that?  I'm sure there must be a big 'no!no!' in there somewhere but I've done it for my last 4-5 builds...

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2 hours ago, Andyjr1515 said:

Nowadays I copper shield the cavity and just ground the cavity - that grounds all of the pots and takes out at least 4 wires.  Does anyone else do that?  I'm sure there must be a big 'no!no!' in there somewhere but I've done it for my last 4-5 builds...

I'd personally view that as acceptable provided you guarantee that each pots' connection to ground is solid and reliable, and that the shielding used was conductive enough to act as an equivalent conductor. That discounts using conductive paint as the system ground. As soon as pot nuts and washers start loosening, all bets are off. That could be the electrical technician in me though. I wouldn't rely solely on the hinge on a metal cabinet door to act as a connection to earth if I needed something earthed on the door either.

There's nothing stopping you making smaller 'bunches' of 2-3 ground wires and then joining those bunches together to rationalise the number of connections being made to ground. Or daisy-chain each ground connection. Or take the wire to the nearest ground. 

Assuming you have the cavity shielded, here's one way it could've been done with no more than three ground wires in any terminal (purple wires used for added confusion :rolleyes:). If you discount the small loops between some of the pot cases and the nearest terminal that has a ground on it (eg, tone pot case to push-pull switch), plus note that the shield on the pickup cable is grounded at the associated volume pot, that reduces the number of independent ground wires from nine down to six.:

image.png

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