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What is the difference between these two wiring schemes?


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Hi. I am putting in some Seymour Duncan pickups into my guitar Sunday. Whenever I have replaced pickups in this guitar in the past, I have just replicated the wiring scheme of what was already in there. It looks like this:



Red is hot. Black is ground. No idea what yellow is. White and green are North finish, South finish I guess.

It is 2 humbuckers with a 5 way switch set up for coil splitting.

What I want to know is, how is this wiring scheme different from this one which purports to do the same thing:


Is this just 2 ways to do the same thing? Or is there a qualitative difference?


Like I said, usually I just copy what is already there. But now that I look at it, there are all sorts of things I do not understand about how it is currently wired. Here is everything going to the volume pot:


What the heck is that thing on the left that reads 250 Vdc? Could that thing be messing up my tone?

Come to think of it, I almost never use my tone pot anyway. Should I take it out of the loop?

Should I just rip everything out and follow the Seymour Duncan diagram? Or if it is not broke, don't fix it?

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No, the semi-circles mid-line indicate a "skip" or "jump" diagrammatically. A connection would be a dot, such as those shown on the jack. When wires have to cross in a diagram, those help show a lack of connection. Admittedly in this one, it's a bit of a confusing mess in that area.

The "thing on the left" is a capacitor. I'd guess it's from the tone pot since it's 22nF (or 0,022uF). 250VDC is the dielectric breakdown voltage that the component is rated at. It goes pop (or BANG) above that. Disregard that value....it's not important in passive instrument circuits.

I've a bit of a headache today so I can't apply myself to the diagrams. @curtisa tends to be the guy on the ball for these kind of things. Unless you get input otherwise, he's the man.

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I have no idea how your switch works. It's not the same as the one shown in the SD diagram, so a like-for-like comparison is difficult. If you're substituting only the pickups then it's only the pickup wiring that has to be transposed.

At a guess I would say that in your picture wherever you have green + white on the switch, you need to substitute red + white from the corresponding SD pickup, be it neck or bridge as appropriate.

Red in your photo = black from the corresponding SD pickup.

It looks like the braid from the existing pickups are soldered to ground. The SD pickups have a braid and a green wire. Both of these need to be soldered to ground to replicate the single braid connection from your existing pickups.

The yellow wire in your photo looks like the output of the switch to the volume pot. The corresponding wire in the SD diagram is shown as black from the left lug of the volume pot to the lower terminal of the switch.

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Thank you for the answers! I suppose if the effect is the same I will just replicate what is working now.

The person who did the wiring really did something complicated. I am reluctant to mess with  what I don't have to. Someday though, I would like to completely redo it and simplify it.

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The original wiring quite possibly does exactly what the Seymour Duncan diagram describes. It's just that because the switch in your guitar isn't the same as the one specified in the SD diagram there's no reliable way of confirming by sight alone.

All you're doing at this stage is a one-for-one replacement of the pickup wires, so as long as you re-terminate the wires to the same spots (accounting for the wire colour differences between the original pickups and the SDs), it should work the same...hopefully!

Take notes and/or pictures of the original wiring before you tear into it, if only to provide yourself with a "restore point" if the SDs refuse to work properly.

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