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Found 25 results

  1. Guys, I'm installing Fishman Fluence Abasi set into my HB 8string, with a Schaller Megaswitch M. I'm having difficulty figuring out how exactly to connect all this. I'm not sure how the "Fishman Recommended Wiring Diagram" translates to a Schaller switch. If anyone can help me by clarifying this, would be awesome. Thanks.
  2. Hi guys, so I have never built a guitar before but I decided to give it ago. I bought some parts off eBay. Amongst the stuff were two Fender Wide Range Humbuckers (reissue) and a fully loaded HH scratch plate from a brand new Squier Contemporary. Will these two be compatible? Apart from widening the pickup holes and drilling two new wholes for mounting as the Wide Range Humbucker is 4 post mounted. Will it be as easy as unsoldering the Humbuckers off the plate and soldering the Wide Rang Humbuckers back in the same places? I have no knowledge of any of this but I am excited to learn. I know these WR Humbuckers are second hand so I have to test them. This will involve a multimeter. Any tips on testing and soldering procedures would be appreciated. Thanks
  3. Just got a new gigging acoustic (cole clarke angel), but immediateley noticed what I'm missing from my old gig axe, a crafter SA (similar to the more popular taylor T5), in that it has tge ability to switch and blend peizo and electromagnetic pickups which was great for looping. so, I have orded a soundhole humbucker to put in it, an "a little thunder" which has a 6 string output. and an octaver bass only output. rather than start hacking into my new guitar, I'm opting for external mixing/eq, BUT, I use wireless most of the time, so I need a passive bodypack mixer before my wireless.... I've accepted it will need to be a custom build, BUT, on the off chance anyone is aware of a commercially available product please let me know (likewise, if you've seen a gold/brass locking strap solution for a locking strap with trs jack passthrough, like the acoustilok by music nomad, im struggling to find that in the right colour too). anyway, failing that, onto building a belt pack... having never done such a thing im after any tips you can offer. particularly- clip & housing, wtf do I use? knobs, potentiometers, faders, what is and isnt workable for me? im thinking 2 in one knobs would be perfect for eq controls for bass and 6string humbucker output so i have full eq control over that, but, I need small to make surenit all fits in a tiny gousing, what would you suggest, and what other electronics will i require to get good tone control from said knobs ill be wanting 3x channels in, (acoustic, bass, electric) & 3x channels out,. channel 1 out, ive decided a 5 way toggle to switch from acoustic only, electric only, acoustic + bass, electric + bass, acoustic + electric with 3x level controls (one for each of the input channels) and an output channel mute/off toggle channel 2 out will be dedicated bass with a volume attenuator and a mute toggle. channel 3 out will be the same as channel 1 this gives me the option to route acoustic to an aux input on my looper while sending the electric through my fx chain, but being able to switch it up if needed, and being able to run a single output mode before my wireless with the choice of one or all signals. I toyed with the idea of crossfaders, but have since decided it will be more limiting as i would have to chose between fixed contour profiles and some situations i may want addition of humbucker without losing the acoustic , and a linear fade in other situations, so individual voluumes it is... im mostly handy with a soldering iron (albeit pretty sloppy and messy with my fit n finish, hence the desire to not butcher the guitar), Where do i get parts, and what do i actually require to make life easy as possible?
  4. I'm in the middle of new build and before I start drilling holes in the body I was hoping to get some advice and opinions on what scheme to go with. Pickups are lace alumatone humbucker at neck, lace silver sensor at middle. And lace deathbucker at bridge. Body style is telecaster (maple, rosewood, and walnut patchwork body, warmoth neck. I've looked at freeway switch (10 way) as well as using 3 volume knobs and a master tone, using push pull pots to split coils and switch between series and parallel. What I don't know is if cutting a pickup volume (say the middle pickup) will drop the signal from any other pickup further in the signal chain. I.e all pickups wired in series, cut off volume to the middle and the neck cuts off as well. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
  5. Hey guys, I am building a guitar and I want a humbucker in the neck and single coils for the middle and bridge positions. I would like 3 volumes and 3 tones, is this possible? If so, can someone get me a diagram or does anybody know who I could contact to get the info? Thanks a lot!
  6. I saw the four position Telecaster switches that Obsidian offers and got to thinking I could use two of those to create an interesting sound chain in a dual humbucker design (one switch per humbucker). My thinking is that I can wire the switches to give me the following options: single coil (bridge side), single coil (neck side), both single coils (parallel), and humbucker. Combine that with a three way toggle switch (ala Les Paul) and I imagine I could have the ability to create a guitar with 24 pickup sounds (4 single coil, 6 dual single coil, 3 humbucker, 4 tripple single coil, 1 quad single coil, 4 humbucker/single coil, and 2 humbucker/parallel single coil). Has anyone here tried something like this? Has anyone heard of anyone doing this?
  7. The beautiful MSPaint diagram I created gives basically all the detail I can provide. The pots are from a 2011 Gibson Les Paul. I'm not sure what I'm trying to achieve is even possible without more components. Basically all I want is for each of the two pickups to have their own volume control knob. Seems simple enough! In the diagram it shows the two configurations I've soldered it in already following some online diagrams I found googling my plan. I'm glad I found this forum as it looks like has a wealth of knowledge! Thanks for any info anyone can provide! -Dylan
  8. Hi guys, I've been given an HSH pickups set not too long ago and while I already finished designing the guitar I'll used them on, I still haven't decided on how I'm going to wire-up the pups. For this build I want to understand what I'm doing instead of blindly following a wiring diagram. Electronics has been my nemesis for a very long time and now I decided to take the time to try and understand how it works. I already learnt quite a bit while finishing my pickup winder last month (I'll make a topic on that as soon as I get my new motor, I fried-it like a rookie when trying to measure the current ). Just today I finally solved the mystery of coil-splitting. I couldn't understand how the coil that stays on was different on the neck and bridge while the wiring is the same for each. Many diagrams do not show properly that the neck humbucker is flipped (or the bridge idk) so the coils are opposed to each other. Now to get back on topic, I have two questions regarding coil split: First, how do I figure out with which coil (adjustable or slug) the middle pickup will hum-cancel. I've read that it has to do with how the pickups is wired/wound and so it can vary from one band to another, Second, this one is a thought I had that I think may be crazy or may not work at all because I couldn't find anything on the internet. Normally, from what I understand, when combining the middle pickup with a coil-split humbucker, they are wired in parallel right? Is it possible to wire them in series to make a virtual humbucker? How would it sounds like? Is this crazy? For information the pickups are from an early 2000 Ibanez S model.
  9. Hi everyone! This is my first post - and first build - so bear with me if I'm still learning! In summary, my uncle has offered me a guitar body that he made and routed before he retired as a carpenter; I haven't seen it yet, but I'm told it has a Tele-shaped basswood body, with body cuts and is routed for a floyd rose bridge and 4 pickups - two humbuckers at the bridge, and two single coils at the neck. I've been looking into what to do with this, and I decided that it would be fun to try and fill all four routs, however, my experience regarding guitar wiring is limited at best, and this is not a design I can simply find a standard wiring guide to online! A friend of mine is able to help me with a lot of the basics - he suggested 4 individual pickup switches might work better than one rotary 7 way switch - but I'm not too sure how to connect it all up. So really, I have the following questions: I'm looking at the Rolling Mill (PAF) and Steel Foundry (Tele) pickups from Iron Gear, but would you suggest that having a bridge-neck, bridge-neck arrangement would work? Would these pups fit together? And secondly, theoretically, without seeing the guitar, how would you wire this kind of arrangement? I should be getting the guitar this week, so when I do, I'll upload some photos for you all to look at. Otherwise, I'm open to any and all suggestions about where to go with the project - thanks in advance for any help you can give! Oliver.
  10. Hi, my father gave me a bass guitar years ago. I basically have used it as art to just hang on my wall. He has always been a massive beatles fan and his birthday is coming up. The bass needs a little work. im not too worried about refinishing or restoring how it looks. i just want it to work. the input jack, volume pot, and nut are all gone. I would like to try to keep the original pickups in the guitar, but would like to redo all the other electronics while i am fixing the volume and input. What i need help with is what kind of nut, volume tone pots, and switches to use. I also need help with how to wire it all up. Also, if its not too hard to find i would like to look at getting a new bridge and pickups down the road. Do you guys know where i could find info on any of this stuff. Thanks for all the help! I am going to attach pictures of the guitar to try and help show what i need help with.
  11. tl;dr version; Just bought this guitar, humming issues, no experience in electronics, please help! Hello everyone...it´s been quite a long time since I last visited. I hope you guys are doing well. I just got myself a beautiful, previously owned Godin A6 Ultra, just got it today in the mail! As you can see, it was modded. I bought it on a site which I believe is owned by ebay. I´ve purchased many things there, and never had an issue. Certainly, I hope that is the case this time as well, but I would appreciate guidance. I have zero experience with electronics. Ok, so the guitar was modded with a volume and tone pots, along with an output jack. The guitar has the original circuitry, which is a side output for the humbucker, and a jack for acoustic or mix. I asked the seller, who has high reputation at the site, and he said he had bought the guitar from a collector in Texas. He was the original owner and had the mods made. Later, he had it put back to stock...except for the electronics on the top. He didn´t ask on what the mods where or what the configuration was. The guitar arrived today at my dad´s house, so I went there after work to pick it up. When I got home, I immediately set up my PC (I play through amp sims) and was surprised by some hum and gainy tones, along with somewhat uneven volume. I tried both jacks just to see if I could assess both tones, but the acoustic preamp had no output. Then it hit me that it works of a 9 volt battery. I took it out, but I don´t have means to check whether it is dead. No biggie, I´ll get one tomorrow. So, I focused on the humbucker sounds. I didn´t open the guitar, but I read on it before buying, and remembered somebody mentioning the humbucker is wired to the preamp as well. I guess this is necessary to have either acoustic or electric, or the mix, but I don´t know for sure. I tried a few presets and the hum worsened with some, lessened with others along with some drop in volume. I fiddled with the noise gate in the VST, but that didn´t help much. When I actually tried a preset with some gain and volume, the interface input spiked, and the hum turned into screeching. I unplugged the guitar and the interface, then restarted the pc. After rebooting, I tried the same, with the same results. I was ready to blame the interface, but first I picked up another guitar with humbucking pickups...dead quiet. Well, some noise, but nowhere near what I experienced with the other guitars. I want to try the preamp tomorrow, but my hunch is that the issue is something else. My guess is that the humbucker should work even if the preamp it´s connected to has no power...but I´m not sure on that. I have no experience with microphonic or ungrounded pickups, and that might not even be the issue. I´m concerned because there are no techs I know of here where I live. Maybe it is simpler than what I fear, or it might be enough to place a complaint at the site. I kind of hope for an "easy" fix and leave it alone. I would like to keep the guitar. In fact, I have a very nice pickup I would like to swap with the one it has right now, but I won´t if the design is not meant to work with another one. When trying it out acoustically, I tried the pots on the top, and they are perfectly placed and seem good quality. If possible, I would like to have the magnetic pickup swapped for the one I already have, maybe wire the guitar circuits independent of each other... Anyway, sorry for the humungous post...I tend to do that,
  12. Although blended piezo and magnetic systems seem to have entered a fairly mainstream space right now, I can't seem to find many diagrams to achieve what I'm after. Here's the idea: On the magnetic side, I have an EMG 89 and 81TW, Both are dual mode (quasi-coil-split). I have 2 25K push/pull pots for mode switching ("coil splitting") duty, plus an extra "normal" 25k pot that was originally meant for tone. The switch is a Gibson-style 3-way. For the magnetic system, the plan is to use the push/pull as 1V, 1T and ditch the normal pot. So, a master volume and a master tone that I'd probably rarely use, and a push/pull dedicated to each EMG. On the piezo side, I haven't actually procured anything yet preamp-wise, but I was thinking of grabbing the smallest acoustic preamp I can find, and finding some space for it, maybe with the panel facing outwards on the back of the guitar. We'll see if I can find one that fits; otherwise I might be back to square one. Assuming the components work out, the piezo elements "tie" together and feed into the preamp, which has its own output. I don't know if the impedances of the magnetic and piezo systems are going to be an exact match because they don't seem to list the impedance of these cheap acoustic preamps... but I'm hoping that since both systems are active, at the output stage there's going to be a match.... maybe that's too much to hope for? Assuming they are a match, this means that each respective system essentially has its own master volume. While a blend pot could be interesting, I'm fine with just two separate volume controls to create my "blend". That being the case, what is the right stage to tie these things together? Both of them just feed the output jack? Thanks for any input you might have!
  13. So I have an Ibanez RG320 that I am fixing up. I have the Dimarzio's that were used in the Charvel San Dimas Re-Issue Circa 1995. They are labeled J152 and J158. Everything I read online says these Ibanez RG320's should have a 5 way switch however it looks as though I have a 3 way. There are only 3 positions that it will go to and there are 7 poles on it(7 places to attach wires). This is my first time to wire up a guitar and it looks as though I can keep most of the wiring that the previous person had done, however I am unsure exactly how to wire to the switch since i cant find a diagram online that looks exactly like mine. I have attached the red wires coming from the dimarzios to the switch where I think they should go and have the Black and White wires together and taped up. but not exactly sure where to run my grounds, and what to do with the greens. Of course I have 1 tone pot and 1 volume pot as well. I just don't want to do it completely wrong and all I can find online are switches that look to have 6 poles or 8 poles all in a straight line. Its very frustrating and I am about to go full r***rd and thrash everything in my apt. Please help.
  14. Hi there ! I've built a custom guitar and I've put 3 magnets. 1 single on the neck, 1 hum backer on the bridge and 1 piezoelectric. I use only 3 volumes (1 for each magnet) and a general volume. No switches for choosing a magnet. I must have done something wrong because the piezo does not work so good. I can barely hear it. Could someone please make a correct wiring diagram ? Thanks so much for your effort !
  15. I had a local luthier build me a PRS 513 with a couple mods added to it such as an extra volume and 2 way toggle for a piezo system. I'm trying to wiring it up. The way the 513 works is there are 5 single coil pickups with a 5 way blade switch to switch between bridge, bridge and middle, middle, middle and neck, neck and then a 3 way blade switch that basically turns on and off the inner single coil pick ups of the bridge and neck pickups. the middle position on the 3-way has a diode that basically reduces the output of the inner coils so it sounds like a coil tapped humbucker. So it looks like hum bucker, coil tap, and single coil. My question is if this diagram I create will create this sound. Or will I just shock the crap out of myself hahaha
  16. Hello, my first post here. Thanks to anyone who's willing to take the time to help. I recently purchased a used mid 60's Gibson Explorer amp GA-15RVT. One of the previous owners for some reason removed the amp's reverb tank so my goal is to install a new reverb tank and get the reverb working again. I purchased a new reverb tank from Frank Fendly at www.studiosoundelectronics.com (he's a very nice guy BTW) so I have the correct reverb tank but I need help deciding how to solder this correctly. I have attached the schematic for the amp as well as interior pics. According to Frank at www.studiosoundelectronics.com, what i need to do is solder a cable from C11 and then plug that into the reverb tank with an RCA. The problem is that I don't know how to read schematics. Can anyone tell me where C11 is? Thanks, Daniel ga15rvt.pdf
  17. There are no diagrams to follow exept the images in my mind, so I'll just post the process and write down the materials used as we move along.... First a nice big peice of Korina, no need to joint it, just draw the Strat shape untop Rough cut with a Jigsaw Used a template to rout out the basic shape Thanks for watching, -Raxz
  18. Hi All,I'm hoping someone might be able to give me some guidance. I recently picked up a 2010 PRS C22 (lefty) and noticed that (1) the push-pull hardly makes any difference and (2) the tone control doesn't taper, instead quickly phasing in at about 3 on the dial. I'm not sure if anyone ever played around with the wiring before I bought it, but it doesn't seem to track the schematic PRS has on their website. For example, the cap is a .033uF instead of the stated .022uF, and connects to the live pole of the volume control, rather than the center. The pot reads "A (|) 15A500K 10 11", so I don't think there's an issue with the type of pot. Any suggestions or tips would be great as the push-pull seems almost useless and the tone control behaves like an on-off switch. I've included a pic for reference. Thanks
  19. The Free-Way Switch is a unique take on the traditional 3-position toggle switch manufactured in the UK in by switchgear specialists NSF Controls Ltd. The switch first made its debut fitted to one of Jimmy Page's Les Paul® Custom model in late 2007 for Led Zeppelin's Ahmet Ertegun Tribute Concert, allowing the three humbucker-equipped instrument to achieve six individual pickup combinations using an ingenious traverse toggle mechanism. By flicking the actuator perpendicular to its normal direction of travel an extra 3 positions become available to the player, doubling the tonal permutations offered with a standard 3-way toggle, without resorting to installing push-pull pots or mini toggles. The most recent incarnation of the Free-Way switch expands on the flexibility and build quality of the original switches to provide more diverse switching options in a long-lasting, easy to use package. Free-Way boast an endurance of 1 million operations over the lifespan of the switch. The range features two versions - the 3x3-03 with 15 termination points and the 3x3-05 with a whopping 28 termination points. A sub-variant of the 3x3-03 is also offered - the 3x3-04, specially made for JJ Custom Works, which features fixed pickup combinations for a dual humbucker guitar incorporating series, parallel and coil split functions. All switches are available in nickel or gold finishes and can be purchased with a variety of different coloured tips. From the outside the switch doesn't look any different to a normal 3-position toggle, making it attractive to those people wanting to upgrade their guitars without changing the appearance. The only hint that the switch has some tricks up its sleeve is the actuator leaning slightly to one side. Around the back of each switch, the mechanism is a sealed unit inside a small metal canister. Each termination point for the contacts of the switch is presented on a small printed circuit board with gold-plated solder pads. Each version of the switch also includes a larger pad specifically marked for ground connections (labelled as 'GD' on the circuit board), which also doubles as the grounding connection for the metallic parts of the switch. Due to the overhang of the circuit board the switches are slightly wider than a traditional toggle, with the '05 model being the largest of the two, but much shallower being only half as deep. Despite its bulk the larger '05 model is designed to still fit into the toggle switch cavity of a Les Paul. Model Overview The '05 model can be considered the equivalent of a 6-position rotary switch, where six incoming signals can be sent to the outgoing side of the switch one at a time. The switch contains two independent halves, each containing a one-of-six selector allowing for a wide range of pickup combinations, splits, kill switching, passive with piezo pairings and even options for Strats, HSS and HSH-equipped instruments . The '03 model is actually quite a complex beast, despite being half the size of the '05. The first three positions on the '03 behave the same as a standard 3-way toggle, providing Signal A, Signal A+B and Signal B combinations. Moving the switch to the next group of three positions adds an additional layer of signal pairings but operating under a slightly different system, expanding the combinations to Signal C, Signal D+E and Signal F. As for the '05 model, each half of the switch is completely independent to the other, and a total of 12 different switching combinations is under the control of one lever. With such a bewildering array of combinations possible in one switch it's easy to get lost trying to figure out exactly which contact does what for each position, so Free-Way helpfully provide a pack of example wiring diagrams covering various pickup combinations to help get the ball rolling. The schematics are clearly laid out and only require some minor interpretation on the part of the user to ensure that pickup wiring colour codes are correctly translated from the ones shown in the diagrams to those fitted to your guitar. Both switches come with plastic tips that can be unscrewed from the shaft and exchanged for different colours - cream, black and amber tips are available. The thread on the shaft is quoted as M3.5, but unfortunately this appeared to differ from the Switchcraft and no-name Allparts toggles I had on hand In use With the trusty soldering iron warmed up I decided to dive right in and retrofit the '03 switch to one of my SR-series guitars. This instrument is fitted with two Seymour Duncan 4-conductor humbucker pickups. I normally keep the control layout on these guitars fairly sparse and basic, with only a 3-way toggle and single volume pot, but the option of adding some coil split functions to this instrument while keeping the control layout uncluttered is attractive. The original wiring layout of the guitar is shown below: To get things started I turned to the example wiring schemes provided by Free-Way, narrowing down the choices to those that allowed me to retain the standard bridge humbucker/bridge + neck/neck humbucker options that the original toggle provided, while adding some interesting coil split functions in the alternate group of three positions. As the wiring for these switches is quite a bit more involved than a standard toggle, it pays to do as much work on the switch as possible outside of the instrument. A small piece of MDF with a 1/2" hole drilled through, clamped to the workbench makes a quick and effective holder for keeping these switch from twirling around on the bench while trying to solder wires to the pads: A few notes on working with these switches. Some of the wiring schemes require that adjacent pads are soldered together. The gold plated pads are spaced deliberately close together to facilitate this, and unless care is taken it can be easy to inadvertently bridge two pads together by applying too much solder. Your choice of soldering iron can make a big difference to working with the delicate nature of these solder pads. A fine point, temperature-regulated iron is recommended to make easy work of soldering wires to the termination points, while minimising the risk of damaging the gold pads by overheating. Good soldering technique will assist in fitting these switches into the guitar too, as space inside the cavity can get cramped very quickly. Free-Way suggest that wiring all the solder pads to external screw terminals can assist in installations where the user wants to try out several different switching schemes without having to re-solder the switch multiple times over. However, the requirement for a generously-proportioned control cavity may prevent some users from achieving this, as was the case in my situation. Making several connections to one pad can be tricky too, as previously soldered wires have a tendency to spring off once the next wire is added to the connection. Some careful manipulation of connections is often required to get everything to stay put. Alternatively it can be beneficial to plan ahead where possible by twisting multiple conductors together and then soldering the bundled wires to a pad in one go. After an hour or two of careful soldering, poking and prodding, the switch was finally bolted into the cavity and the wiring taken for a test drive: With the actuator in the down position (away from the player) the toggle operates the same as the basic 3-position unit it replaced, with bridge humbucker/bridge hum + neck hum/neck hum combinations. With the particular wiring scheme I chose to use, pulling the actuator upwards engages the three alternate combinations of bridge hum + neck split/bridge split + neck split/neck hum + bridge split. The physical action of the switch itself is positive, with a decisive latching feel as the toggle is moved between positions. Pops, clicks and other extraneous electrical noise is as low as any other good quality toggle switch. Quickly changing between the two traverse modes takes a little getting use to, but otherwise the usefulness and practicality of the switch is immediately apparent. As mentioned earlier, the outward appearance of the switch is virtually indistinguishable from the toggle it replaced: Summary The Free-Way switch makes for quite a powerful upgrade to a guitar's pickup selection system that will appeal to people wanting to create new and unusual switching schemes without resorting to adding multiple controls. The quality of the switch appears to be very solid, and while working with the wiring can at times get a bit cramped, it is well worth considering as an alternative to a traditional 3-position toggle, or even as a substitute to a 5-position blade switch. Pros: Good build quality and mechanical feel Excellent documentation Massive range of switching possibilities with only one control No change in instrument looks for situations where external appearance is important Cons: Larger physical size can be a problem in cramped control cavities Soldering can be fiddly ---------- Thanks go to Free-Way Switches for providing the units used in this product review!
  20. So, I had a really ambitious idea with a guitar I'm building. The body style is similar to X shaped guitars, and I was going to have four pickups in an X shape (offset so that each guitar string is covered by at least one of course) and use tone/volume knobs to blend the output like some basses do instead of using a typical selector. Now, I am thinking it will have 4 volume potentiometers (one for each) and then perhaps 2 tone to adjust the tone for two each. Now, I realize this would require a lot of soldering and likely be a massive headache to construct, but is it doable? Any suggestions on my idea? What to change?
  21. Hi, My friend and I are currently building a Fender Jaguar in Sherwood green based on Johnny Marr's custom model. We are currently stuck on the wiring and how to basically put all the components together and which component's we would need. On the top plate we have a 3 way panel in which we intend to create: A killswitch (toggle on/off), a treble boost (roller wheel), and a bass removal/minimiser (roller wheel). As this is our first build we have vague to no idea on how to add these features. A list of components with how we'd put them in would be greatly appreciated, (also how to ground it, as we don't want to get that wrong at all). All help appreciated, Cheers
  22. The information in Bill's original article is still 100% correct; using his method of drawing out your pickup for visual reference in combination with this video you should have zero problems figuring out those mystery buckers!
  23. Hey there! I've had a "first guitar" project going on for over a year now. Slowly making progress, or was it regress? That's what I need to know now. Without checking if it was possible I chose to mix electronics/hardware from PRS and Fender Telecaster. When I reached the wiring stage of the guitar build I hit the wall. I've done some research, but still don't know how this should be done. It would really make my day if one of you could download the picture, do a paint drawing on top of it that displays what should go where. So here's what I have - Fender noiseless bridge single coil with black and yellow wire (and the white and black extra wire and that red thing with two pins) - PRS 245 bass humbucker with one wire - PRS input jack with one wire - Standard telecaster control plate hardware and pots Here's a link to a bigger version of the image if needed http://i.imgur.com/wUYZ8xX.jpg I have a huge bag of lessons learned from this project... And they are all pretty visible on the guitar
  24. The Problem More often than not, I work with a mix of old pickups on a single guitar and no two color codes ever seem to be alike from one pickup to the next. Given a pickup with an unknown color code for the wires, there are many ways to solder it in the guitar wrong and only one way to get it right. This is a technique that I use to figure out the color code for any pickup, and to make sure that I get all the pickups installed in-phase. What you will need: A pickup to testA metal screwdriverA pencil and paper to take notesA voltmeterAlligator clips The Solution The first thing I do is draw a simple picture of the pickup as it would be in the guitar. I draw two coils and note where the bridge is and where the neck is. That may seem silly, but it helps me to visualize what I'm doing. This also is a big help later for when I actually install the pickup in the guitar. With the alligator clip leads, I connect the voltmeter to two wires on the pickup. For this pickup I have a bare ground wire, plus Blue, Red, White, and Black. Just as a guess I tried Red and Blue first. The voltmeter is set to read VDC (Volts DC). To test each coil, tap the long side of a metal screwdriver all along the magnets on the top of one coil. Give it one good tap and watch the voltmeter. The Red and Blue wires didn't show any reading on the meter when I tapped either of the coils. This means that those two wires do not go together. I tried the Red and Black wires next. Now, when I tap the coil closest to the bridge, I get a positive reading. When I pull the screwdriver off, I get a negative reading. This tells me that I have the Red and Black wires in-phase for that coil. I make a note on my drawing. I know that the White and Blue wires are for the other coil, but I do not know what the correct phase is. I alligator clip the probes to the White and Blue wires and tap the coil closest to the neck now. When I tap the coil with the screwdriver, I get a negative reading on the voltmeter. When I pull the screwdriver off the coil, I get a positive reading. This tells me that I have the coil is hooked up out-of-phase. I just flip the colors and put that on my notes. Now that I have this pickup drawn out on paper, I know how to connect it for series or parallel, or hook it up to a switch. But that is another whole topic....
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