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Noob Needs Help W/ Installing Pickup


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Hi. I've been looking around on the forum and there are a lot of posts here that are way over my head. Sorry if there is some place with all this information on it that I am missing, but I havent found anything that makes sense to me.

Basically I have a rather crappy guitar (an oldold (but not old enough to be good) Epiphone/fake Gibson Les Paul). I experimented with the frets, took them all off, and shoddily put on new ones to make a 19-tone justly tuned guitar. It looks ridiculous but it's actually working pretty well so far.

Anyway, I just bought a neck pickup off ebay for cheap, a Fender Atomic Humbucker. I want to install this guy and see if it improves the tone of this wacky guitar at all. I'll leave the bridge pickup alone for now, maybe replace that one if this one proves worthwhile.

I found info here that tells me that Red is "start" and Black is "finish" on the screw-pole coil and Green is "start" and white is "finish" on the slug-pole coil. I have no idea what start and finish are, but I suppose that is some good information to start with. Based on the orientation of the wires on the original pickup, and that the screw-side of the new pickup should be facing toward the neck of the guitar (right? I just looked at some guitars and thats how they were), I figure the green and black wires in the guitar already will match up with the green and black wires on the new pickup, red can connect to white and white to red. Can I make that assumption? Could I just twist those wires together, tape them up, and be done with it, or is that not reccomended?

There should be a soldering iron around here somewhere, so I could do it the proper way also, if I knew what the proper way was. In the guitar already it looks like all the wires from the neck pickup are soldered to the top of the volume pot, except the red one, which is soldered to one of the prongs coming off of the volume pot.

er.. if someone could point me in some direction, that would be greatly appreciated. No instructions came with the pickup and fender's got none on their site, so I'm pretty lost.


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It says the pickup is OEM in Toronados and American-series Telecasters. So, yeah, probably.

Anyway, I did a little more looking at stuff (read: looked at the bottom half of the page I linked to that I didn't realise was there). So, for standard humbucker wiring, I should apparently solder the white and black wires together, the shield and bare wire and red wire to the ground, and the green wire is my output. Sound about right? So heres new questions:

1. Where should I solder the ground? Is just right onto the volume pot a good place to solder everything that is Ground? It appears that is the way the guitar was set up right now.

2. Where do I solder the output (green wire)?

3. How should I connect the white and black wires? Solder them together and wrap electrical tape around em? Invest in one of those caps you spin to connect two wires? I guess thats kind of a dumb question, but I'm an electronics newb.

Edit: here's how it is now:

Imagine this is the volume pot orientation where the O is the circular part and the I's are the prongs that stick out



The hot wire from the original pickup is soldered to the first prong, and the first and second prongs are soldered/touching each other. The third prong is grounded to the circular part. A wire goes from the 1st/2nd prong to the tone pot, and there is a wire that goes from the 1st/2nd prong to the pickup selector.

Does that sound right?

Edited by Hoborg
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