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Guitar Wiring Tips, Tricks, Links And Sites...


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OK...so I noticed a lot of wiring questions lately, and of course they always come up...

Custom wiring, whether installing a few more pickup options or just soldering in a new pickup, is pretty easy and an excellent introduction to electronics if you are that way inclined...

I have started this thread as a place people can discuss and give advice and be a first stop for those thinking about, or about to begin this task...

People with hints and Tips should feel free to contribute, others can ask questions and still others may have alternative sources of information to contribute...

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The Links

This post will be edited to include sites and recomendations so they can be found at the start of the thread...if I get a little slack with it, someone give me a nudge...

Guitar Wiring Links

One of my all time favorite sites on this topic is this one...DGB Studio This site contains literally hundreds of pickup switching ideas for every number and type of pickup and switching arrangements. It also has company wiring details, pickup specs and lead colours, the pickup placement of well known guitars and plenty more...

This forum...Guitar Nuts 2 Forum?...is very much focused on wiring and modifying guitars. Many of the members there are also here <ahttp://www.projectguitar.com/uploads/emoticons/default_biggrin.png' alt=':D'> but this is a valuable resource and a good place to hang out and discuss wiring issues. The home site, Guitar Nuts Home, has some great tips on shielding to quieten down your guitar...

Here is another good site that specialises in wiring, also sell parts too...guitarelectronics.com. This one is often reffered too, so check it out...

This page provides a portal to a lot of the kinds of sites we are linking here...Pickup Wiring Links Page

Let's not forget that the companies often publish stuff, especially pickup manafacturers...seymour duncan schematics...this is a particularly easy one with easy to follow diagrams and tips as well. If installing this brand, the wire colors could not be more clear...the principles remain for all pickups of course, so worth checking out regardless...

Pickup Making Links

Since this thread is expanding a little, why not include links relating to winding pickups and such...

The forum for Pickup making is on AMPAGE...Pickup Makers Forum...go there to see what pickup makers are up to...

Here's one site that I find amazing...designed2wind...this fellow Australian has made all kinds of different winding machines from drills to computer controlled and if this is the kind of thing you find of interest, this is a place to check out...

Effects Making Links

So...here are some links to DIY effect making and modification sites and guitar "electronics" such as onboard preamps and the like...

The forum that is like the Project Guitar of Stompboxes is this one...Aron's - diystompboxes.com...these guys are fantastic and is a very active forum for all this kind of stuff. Dig around and you will find schematics and clones of some classic designs and lots of new stuff being designed and built form simple fuzz devices to complex digital delays and the like...

Here are a few more, as suggested along these lines...


general guitar gadgets


Links to Links

Of course this kind of collection has been made before...here are some links to good link pages for people to explore...let us know if there is anything of particular interest....

buildyourguitar.com - resource - links

Keep up the suggestions, perhaps you have your own site of interest, and don't forget those quirky little sites and blogs that are often passed over but have valuable information or practical experience and advice...include an actual link if possible and why you like them, or what they are good for....

Also...feel free to discuss modifications you may have made and found worthwhile...or not! Often people like the idea of the expanded resources that fancy switching can offer, but really don't know what it is they are going to achieve by it...links are one thing, tips are gold...

keep it up... pete

Edited by psw
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  • 3 weeks later...

OK...so this post slipped back to page four but it has some valuable tips and people are still looking for help with wiring...

Some of these links may well help in this regard so I am posting this to bring it back to page one...

The idea is that I am editing the first post so that everything suggested will be at the start of the thread as well as in the posts of others below it...makes it much easier to find. Unfortunately, editing will not bring it back to the fore. If enough useful links are listed, it may well be pinned, so don't hold back on favorite links...even those found on the pg site for instance :D

Happy wiring... pete

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  • 1 month later...

Hi Pete,

I didn't realize you were on other parts of the forum, and I wasn't sure where to post this question, but anyway here goes.

I posted this question on the Sustainer forum, but it probably was not the best place for it. First of all it relates to this excellent article on pickup wiring conigurations:


I remember having seen this pickup configuration on several guitars in the '80s, but never got around to trying it. But anyway I digress.....

The guitar I want to modify is an Ibanez custom Prestige. Stock, it comes with HSH configuration with a standard 5 way switch, 1 volume and 1 tone.

I don't get on with the stock pickups, they are IBZF1USA in the neck, IBZF2USA in the bridge, and IBZUSA single in the middle position. These pickups in combination with the mahogany body/Flame maple top sound far too muddy and indistinct. In addition to that none of the pickup options sound anywhere near a Strat...obviously, I hear you say!

Looking at the diagram on the above link, you can see that a Strat has been fitted with a combination of 5 Lace Sensors. So, I got to thinking...

Instead of the implementation that appears in this article, in which the idea is to use the different tonal qualities of th various combinations of the Lace Sensors, which he says can individually approximate the sound of a humbucker, I thought it might be an idea to look at the same potential combination, i.e. 5 single coil pickups in a different light:

My thoughts are to have 5 individual single coil pickups, but slightly reduce the potential switching combinations, and go for the following:

1. Either of the Bridge pickup pair or neck pair wired as humbuckers via the 5 way switch

2. Both of these combinations together, like the middle switch position on a Les Paul via an extra switch

3. Any of the outside pickups of each pair to function as normal single coils via the 5 way switch with a push pull switch

4. Combining the Volume and Tone in a single concentric pot

5. Replacing the tone pot with a rotary or push-pull switch.

Does this sound feasible?

Now, some questions:

  1. do the pickups need to be Lace Sensors, or could other single coil pickups be used to achieve the same effect?
  2. will these combinations really sound like humbuckers?
  3. I have doubts about the concentric pots, as regards ease of use, as well as quality of the tone control. The stock tone control really does very little anyway, so I was thinking of wiring in a 0.1uf capacitor as a tone cut, as also suggested in the same article.
  4. is there any really useful addition via the rotary switch that you could suggest?
  5. What type of switch do I need to order, and is a rotary switch really necessary?
I am a relative noob to electronics, so I am hoping that this will not be biting off more than I can chew. But if it does work, it will then free up my Strat as a test bench for the sustainer project, and compared to my original idea of selling the Prestige in order to pay for a hollow body version as a basis for the sustainer guitar, this now seems perhaps a relatively inexpensive alternative. And it would be a truly versatile instrument to boot!

Thanks for your help and suggestions.


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  • 1 month later...


On my Les Paul (it's a cheapie Austin Vintage Rock...it is an LP) on both pickups, the neck is dominant; it sounds like the neck with just a tiny bit brighter tone. When I have the neck at 8 and the Bridge at 10, bridge begins to shine through.

What causes this? I LOVE it!

I'll want these kinds of subtle interactions on my guitars.


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