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HELP! Weird Pickup Wiring Problem


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Hey folks!  New member here, and my first post.

 

A little background - I have this cheap Samick Strat style guitar that I was gonna sell on Craigslist for $40, but figured hey, might as well use it to learn more about customizing.  So I'm refinishing the body, new pickups, etc.  The old electronics are crap, so I decided to replace them.

So here's the problem: I picked up a Strat style harness from Reverb as well as a NECK, MIDDLE, and BRIDGE Wilkinson hot rail pickups.

I have absolutely no idea how to wire these things.  The 5 way switch doesn't match the normal half circle switches that I've seen in the YouTube videos, so I have no way of knowing what wires go where. 

I've hotlinked the Reverb links to the parts above.  ANY help is GREATLY appreciated!

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The Strat type wiring would be to put the yellow "Hot" wires into the three lugs of the switch as marked. Gather the black "Ground" wires to somewhere where you can easily connect them to ground,  most often to the back of a pot. You can tie grounds together by will as long as they all have a connection to the sleeve of the jack. Protect the red/white soldered ends so they don't accidentally get grounded.

That should give you the Bridge - Bridge+Middle - Middle - Middle+Neck - Neck options typical to a Strat, only this time as humbuckers. Your pickups have the option to be split to semi-single-coils but that would require a additional switches.

kuva.png.59f833d0519d02d15458e590aa8e5f03.png

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13 minutes ago, Bizman62 said:

The Strat type wiring would be to put the yellow "Hot" wires into the three lugs of the switch as marked. Gather the black "Ground" wires to somewhere where you can easily connect them to ground,  most often to the back of a pot. You can tie grounds together by will as long as they all have a connection to the sleeve of the jack. Protect the red/white soldered ends so they don't accidentally get grounded.

That should give you the Bridge - Bridge+Middle - Middle - Middle+Neck - Neck options typical to a Strat, only this time as humbuckers. Your pickups have the option to be split to semi-single-coils but that would require a additional switches.

kuva.png.59f833d0519d02d15458e590aa8e5f03.png

Very cool - thank you!  So I don't need to use the white or red wires for anything?

 

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1 hour ago, TheGuitarForum.net said:

So I don't need to use the white or red wires for anything?

If I saw right in the pictures they're soldered together for a humbucker action. So just apply some electrician's tape or shrinking tube over the bare end to protect them from grounding.

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1 hour ago, Bizman62 said:

Your pickups have the option to be split to semi-single-coils but that would require a additional switches.

Is this something I should consider?  Like I said, I'm BRAND NEW to doing this kinda thing.

The only other mod I've ever done was switch out the pickguard on my MIM Strat.

EDIT:  Nevermind - I'll just stick with the basics for now.  I can always add the additional switches later on if/when I want to do this.

Edited by TheGuitarForum.net
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2 minutes ago, TheGuitarForum.net said:

Is this something I should consider?

No. At least not at this point.

The pickups you got are humbuckers, meaning there's like two single coil pickups counteracting the hum out of each other inside the cover. Splitting the coil disables one of the coils so there's only one coil active. That will somewhat have the characteristics of a single coil but not fully. A better option is to use different guitars instead of trying to make an all-in-one mashup. Versatility is only good to an extent.

Think about it this way: If you're a session musician playing the guitar parts for any style of artists, you can choose the type of guitar that would best suit the task instead of something that's somewhat close to that.  If you're a gigging guitarist you don't want to spend ten minutes between songs trying to find the setting for the next one, you'd rather take that other guitar and continue playing while the audience is still interested. On a gig you don't need that much sounds anyway, mostly what you need is "quieter" for rhythm and "louder" for solos. Your hands create the biggest part of your sound after you've found the pickups you like.

BTW why are you named after another guitar forum?

 

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8 minutes ago, Bizman62 said:

No. At least not at this point.

Agreed

8 minutes ago, Bizman62 said:

BTW why are you named after another guitar forum?

It's a forum I've recently started - but it's different than this one, so I figured I'd use it as my user name.  I normally go by either CrazyChef (older) or Bondservant (newer) on forums.  Now that you ask, it seems to me that it may be a bit tacky for a user name on a guitar forum (even though it's a completely different type of guitar forum).  Should I request it to be changed to Bondservant?

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10 minutes ago, TheGuitarForum.net said:

Should I request it to be changed to Bondservant?

I'm not one to tell how others should do. But so you know we have members with names referring to their own company. Also, what do you think TGF thinks about using their trademark as a nick?

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Yepp. That's the basic Strat wiring. The "B" pot is volume, the two "A" pots are tones.

There's lots of snake oil information about grounding but it's really very simple: All ground wires and grounded parts have to end up to the sleeve of the output jack. The style is free, from a spider web to a single metal plate and anything in between. In the picture you can see that the cover of the volume pot is a collecting point for all ground wires, in your harness I suppose it's the white wire. If you're worrying about soldering three extra wires to the pot, you can combine the pickup grounds and solder them to a piece of wire which you then solder to the pot. A 3-to-1 adapter if you will. If you do that, remember to use tape or shrinking tube to protect the joint.

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5 hours ago, TheGuitarForum.net said:

even though it's a Samick, it sounds and plays great!

Our local musical instrument dealer still praises Samick after some 25 years since the first ones came to his shop. They have to be a good quality manufacturer as they have built instruments for many big names including Yamaha, Ibanez, LTD, PRS, Epiphone, Jackson... Not Fender, though 😉

Price or brand doesn't tell how well a guitar plays. The best guitar vendors adjust every guitar they sell as the factory setup rarely is good enough. Often the nut has been left tall which makes chording a pain. The fret ends may also stick out, either because of poor filing or shrunk fretboard. The intonation may be off, the truss rod loose as well as bolts and screws... Some issues may be intentional to be fine tuned for the actual player, some may be because of climate changes during transport and some may be for eliminating tension related problems during transport. Shortly put, a well set up guitar plays well.

Regarding sound, the sound of the solid body guitar comes mostly from the pickups. The neck has an effect to the sustain which is part of the tone, it also affects the overall "feel" or "responsiveness" as it vibrates. The player has a big role as well - you can't really judge the sound of certain guitars by hearing each of them played by a different player! Just give me any great guitar and it will say "thump, thump" when I play it! And lastly, the body has quite a minor part in the sound of a solid body electric.

Congrats for a great instrument!

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