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Modfiying My Danelectro Hodad


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Does anyone have or know where I can get a wiring diagram for one of these? I've been fruitlessly searching online for weeks now and haven't come across one.

I'd like to upgrade the pots, knobs and pickups (with "hot" Kent Armstrong Split Tubes - http://www.wdmusic.com/split_tube_guitar_13626_ctg.htm)

The "stock" pickups on the site are "Alnico / DC 4.9k" and the "hot" ones are "Ceramic / DC 7.9k". Do I need to do upgrade anything else if I'm moving from 4.9k to 7.9k?

What types of pots should I be looking for? There are two volume knobs and to push/pull for tones.

I haven't done this type of work before, but I'm a DIY type of person so I'm going to figure it out.

If I could I'd like to add a master volume (put that where the pickup switch currently is) and move the pickup switch somwehere out of the way -- it's easy to hit with the tremelo bar or hand on a down stroke.

Also plan to do shielding where possible. I need to get a good book or website for some pointers on that.

Pretty ambitious, I know, but this is what I can hopefully do.

Edited by daveIT
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No idea where the wiring diagram might be. I'm sure there are Danelectro fan clubs. If you can't find a diagram, you can sketch one yourself, your upgrade shouldn't change the wiring.

Changing the pickups doesn't necessitate changing anything else. You don't even have to change the pots unless you want to. In fact, since the pots may be somewhat weird (what isn't in a Danelectro?), you might be better off reusing them unless they are scratchy or broken. If you do want to change the pots, the rule is as follows: the higher the value, the more treble you will get. Fenders, since they have very trebly pickups, use 250k pots, which help mute the treble just a little bit. Gibsons, with their more mid-rangy humbuckers and P90s use 500k pots, since they don't need to get rid of any treble. Some people like the sound of 1M pots (1000k), but I don't know of any manufacturers who use them as stock.

Since the Danelectro uses single coils, I would bet 250k pots would be a good match. You can test the existing pots by using a voltmeter with an impedance tester, and test the outside pins (if you label them 1,2,3, test the impedance between 1 and 3). Whatever you get, make sure they are audio taper, not linear taper.

You can get regular pots, as well as push-pull pots at stewmac.com

For shielding, there are several options:

You can buy conductive paint, which is hard to work with, toxic, and expensive. Or you can do metal foil, which is my favorite method. You can buy expensive metal foils, but I use "Extra Strength" tin foil (available at most supermarkets). Its cheap, and it works great. Get some spray can glue, spray one side of the tin foil, and line the insides of the wiring compartments with the pieces. You can use many small pieces, as long as they overlap. Also line the plastic cover for the wiring compartments. Run a wire from the ground on the pots to the tin foil.

This sounds like a cool project! They are both great ways to start learning about guitar wiring.

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