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More strat wiring


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8/8/1999 12:20 AM
JohnC
More strat wiring
I know, this may sound silly to you all, but I'm quite a beginner.  
 
I found that my MIJ strat uses ceramic p/us with two cables (b & w), and I also found that most new p/us come with four cables I think.  
 
Is there something I could do without rewiring it all to use new (4 cables) pickups on my guitar?  
 
 
 
If not, I remember to have seen some web places showing wiring schems, but I can remember their url's right now.  
 
 
 
PS.: I forgot! Is it posible to use for example, two old vintage two cable pickups and one new 4 cable pickup on the same guitar? Easy to be done?  
 
 
 
JohnC
 
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8/8/1999 4:25 PM
Mark Hammer
"4-wire" pickups are those which have two pickup coils (2 wires per pickup) configured in a way that eliminates hum. The package may look like a standard single-coil, but the functioning is just like a Gibson-type humbucker. Although humbucker pickups traditionally came with a two conductor connecting cable (braided shield and one inside conductor), the last 20 years has seen a great deal of interest in the various ways that the individual coils could be connected and combined (e.g., Paul Reed Smith guitars allow you to combine one coil from each humbucker, and series - end-to-end - wiring yields a slightly different sound than parallel wiring).  
 
 
 
HOWEVER....  
 
 
 
You don't have to treat them as anything more complicated than a 2-wire pickup if you don't want to. There are still PLENTY of ways to combine pickups without fancing wiring techniques, and y'know the simple electronics of the Telecaster have made many people very satisfied for a long long time. Just bear in mind that in order to function as a humbucking pickup (whether in a Gibson or Fender-style package), the two coils have to be wired in the proper fashion; i.e., electronically out of phase with each other. The wiring literature that comes with the pickup (if new) ought to indicate how to do this. Worse comes to worse, make a patch cable with stripped ends, and try the different combinations of wires until you find the one that generates the least spontaneous hum. If you want to be sure you're doing it right, do it near your amp. That'll get you enough hum if you're doing it wrong. If you have an ohm=meter, you should be able to identify individual coils easily. They should probably measure about 3k-5k-ohms each. More than that, and you may be reading the total resistance of the two coils in series (which means they are wired properly already, if stock).  
 
 
 
The Stewart-Macdonald Guitar Shop Supply web-site generally has wiring diagrams to consult, and I think Steve Ahola has some on his site too.  
 
 
 
Always happy to help a newbie on the road to ruin.
 
8/9/1999 12:44 AM
JohnC

Thanks a lot, Mark.  
 
I'll try those url's.  
 
 
 
BTW, are stock (actual, standard) strat pickups the same as vintage ones? That is, same type of alnico, type of sound...  
 
 
 
I'm thinking about installing on mine two standard p/u's in the neck and middle positions, and a noiseless high output p/u or a single coil sized humbucker on the bridge...  
 
 
 
Which would be the best selection for the brige one? That Seymour Duncan's JB jr. maybe? I would like really loud but clean sound coming out from the bridge, and if it delivered the same attack response as old single coils, you know, that clank-clanky-clank when at ten in the guitars volume pot, the better, but I wouldn't mind just clean high humbucker output to saturate my amp.  
 
 
 
Thanks again.  
 
 
 
JohnC
 

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