Jump to content

Changing Out Pickups


ballcapdan
 Share

Recommended Posts

Howdy, a newbie question here:

I am going to swap out the pickups on my bass, and was wondering the best way. Is it ok to simply cut the wires on the old pickups, and solder them to the new wires? Or do I need to remove them from the pots and solder the new ones there?

I'm new at this, so ease is of great importance!!!

thx for the input.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

[ Is it ok to simply cut the wires on the old pickups, and solder them to the new wires?

That's how I do it. Don't know if it's the best way, but it's easy. Plus there's no guessing about which wire goes where. And you don't have to worry about melting the pots.

I usually leave an inch or so coming off the pot --you want to leave plenty of wire on the old pickup

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would remove the old wires from the pots and solder the new pickups there. It will look neater and it also means your old pickups will still have plenty of wire left if you ever use them again. Just make sure to keep track of where the original wires were attached and don't let the pots get too hot.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

[ It will look neater and it also means your old pickups will still have plenty of wire left if you ever use them again. Just make sure to keep track of where the original wires were attached and don't let the pots get too hot]

True, it looks neater. But who's peeking inside your guitar?

For me, ease of use/lower risk rules --especially since the OP admits to being a newbie.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

For me, ease of use/lower risk rules --especially since the OP admits to being a newbie.

IMHO, it's much more difficult to solder two thin wires together than it is to solder a wire wrapped around a lug on a pot. Especially because you'll have one hand free to apply the solder. Also, when you are soldering wires together, you tend to hold the heat on a little longer. This can damage the components further on down the wire, the wire itself, and the insulation on the wire. You also have to use more heat-shrink tubing as well.

If anything, you should be very concerned about how your solder and wiring work looks. It should be clean, neat, and tidy to avoid shorts and signal loss. Most noise present in guitars can be traced to improper soldering and inefficient wiring.

Like anything else, PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE. Take apart an old broken stereo or VCR and practice your soldering skills before you actually hold the iron to your axe. A nice set of expensive aftermarket pickups isn't going to make you sound any better if you can't get them hooked up properly.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It depends on the situation. The one downside of the "clip the existing leads and solder the new wires to the old ones" method is that those connections can get shorted, or cause an intermittent operation of your guitar pickups. You need to properly address those solder connections so they won't short out. Just wrapping electrical tape around it isn't 100% effective. Electrical tape can unravel and come off.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the input. If I read everyone correct, the ideal way is to connect the new pickups to the pots. Which sounds like the way I should go.

Another question then. My bass is a Peavey Millenium BXP 4 string. At $200 it wasn't the most expensive, but I like it nonethless. I don't get much tone variation from the factory tone pot though. I don't know if it is the pot, the factory pickups, the capacitor, or what. Maybe the tone is there and I'm not hearing it. So, I'm starting with the pickups and will go from there.

Since I'm going to have the wiring apart, could changing out the tone pot help as well?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

First of all, since you're new at this, may I suggest that you replace one pickup at a time, one wire at a time, so you don't get the wires all mixed up, and don't disconnect anything you don't have to. Just a thought.

I doubt that replacing your tone pot will change anything - changing the cap value will, but I'd get the new pickups installed before I started messing with anything else.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I doubt that replacing your tone pot will change anything - changing the cap value will, but I'd get the new pickups installed before I started messing with anything else.

What's "cap value?"

The new pickups are Select by EMG. Again, not the most expensive. The diagram that came with them indicates 500k. Will it make that much of a difference if the old ones are 250k's?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Another question in the same vein:

Tonight while playing at church, I heard a poping coming from my amp. After a while I figured out it was static electricity. As I would move my feet, and then touch my strings, it would pop. Is that a problem with the ground, or do I just need to get a different pair of shoes? I appreciate the help. I'm not new to guitar, just to the electric side of it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...