Author Topic: Changing wiring  (Read 6353 times)

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Offline Joerfe

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Changing wiring
« on: April 16, 2013, 08:07:23 am »
I am not sure this belongs in here but it is somewhat related to pickups. Feel free to move it if needed.

I bought a Yamaha erg121 for late night practice when the family is asleep. Normally I mainly play the acoustic but it easily gets a bit loud and it would make me practice less. It also gave me a reason to buy a guitar  8).
I bought the Yamaha second hand and I must say that I was lucky as it is in a great condition overall. However, and I knew this when I bought it, one of the pickups is not functioning at all. I have tested it by touching the poles with a screwdriver but no sound so I am having a friend testing it with a meter to find out if it is the pickup or the wiring that needs changing.
But, now that I am at it, I am thinking that I would like to change the wiring as it is a cheap guitar so of course the electronics are cheap as well, and in time I will change all the pickups too. Yes, I know some will say spend the money buying a new and better one, but I like the looks and the playability of this one and I also like the "project" of making it a better guitar along the way.

It is a strat HSH config with a volume and a tone pot. Do any of you have any recommendations for a good wiring kit? I am looking at this http://www.allparts.com/EP-4120-000-Wiring-Kit-for-Stratocasters_p_1367.html
/Jesper

Sigma SOMR28H, Fender Classic '50s Tele, Tokai Les Paul Reborn 2010, Gibson Les Paul Standard Faded TB 'Slash specs'.
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Offline Joerfe

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Re: Changing wiring
« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2013, 12:09:59 pm »
No one changed the wiring in a strat before....? Really....?
/Jesper

Sigma SOMR28H, Fender Classic '50s Tele, Tokai Les Paul Reborn 2010, Gibson Les Paul Standard Faded TB 'Slash specs'.
Boss GT-1000, Line6 Powercab 100

Offline Wishbone

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Re: Changing wiring
« Reply #2 on: April 18, 2013, 12:35:42 pm »
The kit seems a bit expensive for what's in it......... I did a complete rewire on a Korean Squier a few years back and it only cost me about the equivalent of $20 - $25 in today's money. I used Sprague orange caps instead of ceramics and replaced the jack with a heavier duty Neutrik.

It's not that hard a job to do, but the guts of that strat were goosed and needed it. You'll be better off finding the root of the problem first. Then if you're sure it needs it....... or, when it really comes right down to it, you really want to do it ......... go ahead and rewire. As long as you do it right, it can't do any harm and it's all good practice.

Offline Joerfe

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Re: Changing wiring
« Reply #3 on: April 18, 2013, 12:55:44 pm »
Yes, the result of the pickup will determine if I will be re-wiring it, but I somehow got the idea that new pots and whathaveyou generally would benefit the guitar. Especially the grounding connections are to be checked out.
/Jesper

Sigma SOMR28H, Fender Classic '50s Tele, Tokai Les Paul Reborn 2010, Gibson Les Paul Standard Faded TB 'Slash specs'.
Boss GT-1000, Line6 Powercab 100

Offline shadowscott007

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Re: Changing wiring
« Reply #4 on: April 18, 2013, 03:00:25 pm »
If your pots are crackly or intermittent new pots might help. 

Just going through and inspecting and touching up solder joints may correct issues you are having.

Shadow
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Offline TB-AV

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Re: Changing wiring
« Reply #5 on: April 18, 2013, 03:48:53 pm »
I would find the broken wire or shorted wire, fix it and play the guitar...

You do realize that Fender used to make $100 guitars out of what was considered basic cheap off the shelf components and now they sell for $20K?

When you --know-- what and why you need to change a pickup then it will be time. Otherwise you are likely wasting your time and money.

The suggestion to replace the output jack is good though. A high quality jack with good strong physical contact and strong contact spring tension like a Switchcraft, Neutrik, Amphenol. You want a good strong physical connection on the cable plug just like you want good solder joints.
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Offline Joerfe

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Re: Changing wiring
« Reply #6 on: April 18, 2013, 05:30:40 pm »
Thanks for the pointers. I'll check the soldering when the pickup is to be re-installed... that is, if it works. If not, I will create another thread to discuss which pickup to choose, but that is another exciting topic  8)

At some point the pickups are up for a change and at that time I will definately change all electronics including the jack.
/Jesper

Sigma SOMR28H, Fender Classic '50s Tele, Tokai Les Paul Reborn 2010, Gibson Les Paul Standard Faded TB 'Slash specs'.
Boss GT-1000, Line6 Powercab 100

Offline TB-AV

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Re: Changing wiring
« Reply #7 on: April 18, 2013, 05:56:31 pm »
It's rare for a pickup to go bad.
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Offline Joerfe

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Re: Changing wiring
« Reply #8 on: April 18, 2013, 06:45:20 pm »
Now, please don't spoil my GAS (guitar adjustment syndrom)   :-X
/Jesper

Sigma SOMR28H, Fender Classic '50s Tele, Tokai Les Paul Reborn 2010, Gibson Les Paul Standard Faded TB 'Slash specs'.
Boss GT-1000, Line6 Powercab 100

Offline Joerfe

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Re: Changing wiring
« Reply #9 on: April 23, 2013, 08:27:56 am »
So, I just received info from the guy measuring my pickup. When measuring from the hot wire to the ground wire he reads 6,84kOhms.

He measured also from the poles to the wires and gets no readings, which also made me wonder: why is that? I never gave it any thought before now, but wouldn't there be a reading from the hot wire to the poles?
/Jesper

Sigma SOMR28H, Fender Classic '50s Tele, Tokai Les Paul Reborn 2010, Gibson Les Paul Standard Faded TB 'Slash specs'.
Boss GT-1000, Line6 Powercab 100

Offline shadowscott007

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Re: Changing wiring
« Reply #10 on: April 23, 2013, 10:04:31 am »
Because they are magnetically coupled.

Shadow
The early bird gets the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.

Offline Joerfe

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Re: Changing wiring
« Reply #11 on: April 23, 2013, 10:24:46 am »
Right, of course it makes sense. Thx, Shadow.
/Jesper

Sigma SOMR28H, Fender Classic '50s Tele, Tokai Les Paul Reborn 2010, Gibson Les Paul Standard Faded TB 'Slash specs'.
Boss GT-1000, Line6 Powercab 100

Offline TB-AV

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Re: Changing wiring
« Reply #12 on: April 23, 2013, 02:07:31 pm »



Coil wire is enamel insulated and wound on an insulating bobbin. No way for any electrical connection.

« Last Edit: April 23, 2013, 02:29:49 pm by TB-AV »
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Offline Joerfe

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Re: Changing wiring
« Reply #13 on: April 23, 2013, 02:35:20 pm »
Also, thanks TB.
After Shadows posting it struck me that the current of course is generated from the magnetic field, enhanced and transmitted by the coil. Damn! It has been many years since I learned about electromagnetism in school!
/Jesper

Sigma SOMR28H, Fender Classic '50s Tele, Tokai Les Paul Reborn 2010, Gibson Les Paul Standard Faded TB 'Slash specs'.
Boss GT-1000, Line6 Powercab 100

Offline Joerfe

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Re: Changing wiring
« Reply #14 on: April 23, 2013, 09:10:14 pm »
So, I soldered the middle pu back on and tested it, but it faulted!
Then I switched the neck pu wires to the mid position on the switch to test the switch and it works fine.
Tested the faulty pu on the neck position on the switch but still no sound.
So, at that point I guessed the wire would be at fault. I do not have a similar wire atm but I cut down the original wire and took the middle section as I thought it would have the best chance of working but still no good.
I do have some generic 220V wire, would tha be sufficient just for testing?

I even tried the other connection point on the pu (the ground), but this did not work either....

Please.... if anyone has any suggestions, it would really be appreciated!
/Jesper

Sigma SOMR28H, Fender Classic '50s Tele, Tokai Les Paul Reborn 2010, Gibson Les Paul Standard Faded TB 'Slash specs'.
Boss GT-1000, Line6 Powercab 100

Offline misterg

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Re: Changing wiring
« Reply #15 on: April 23, 2013, 10:10:10 pm »
Show us some pictures of what you've got.....

Do you have a multimeter / continuity meter?

Offline Wishbone

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Re: Changing wiring
« Reply #16 on: April 24, 2013, 08:29:15 am »
I always found these handy , too:



If you have to, link the suspect pickup direct to the output jack and see what you get....

Offline Joerfe

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Re: Changing wiring
« Reply #17 on: April 24, 2013, 06:32:02 pm »
Do you have a multimeter / continuity meter?

No, I do not have a meter. I had a friend test the pu for me. It's been years since I have messed about with electronics and I have never done it much, but I do have the soldering techniques down pretty well from my earlier days.

I packed it all away before going to bed. Not having a workbench forces me to use the dinner table, so I need to tidy up before the missus gets up next morning. So I have no pictures.
Anyways... I wanted to test another wire, but in the soldering process the soldering point at the pu just fell off.. with some of the plastic :o I knew the pu had been tampered with before I took it out (bought the guitar second hand), that was obvious from the looks of the soldering, but I had no idea that it was in this bad shape. Hm, I guess that sort of answers why I am having troubles with it  ::)

For now, I am not worried. I bought it knowing the pickup was bad, even got a discount because of that, so my thinking has been all the way that the pu's were to be replaced anyway or buy another guitar when I "disserve" it. The two humbuckers sounds fine and I only use it in the after bedtime hours for silent practice. Taught me a lot about guitar electronics though  ;)
/Jesper

Sigma SOMR28H, Fender Classic '50s Tele, Tokai Les Paul Reborn 2010, Gibson Les Paul Standard Faded TB 'Slash specs'.
Boss GT-1000, Line6 Powercab 100

Offline LAMF

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Re: Changing wiring
« Reply #18 on: May 03, 2014, 07:49:28 pm »
 8)

In my opinion and being a player of all Vintage guitars n using all Vintage gear nothing beats standard 50's wiring...

The only change I have made to even my 56tele is the addition of a 4 way switch

But that is just me

LAMF
I play the blues for it is REAL LIFE put to lyric and music.....

Offline photomike666

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Re: Changing wiring
« Reply #19 on: May 05, 2014, 07:23:24 am »
I'm in the process of something similar. Have a Strat copy made by Harlem, probably only worth $200 new.

I was having sound issues, crackly & dropping out. First thought it was the humbucker (mine is H-S-S), so swapped it with a Seymour Duncan Distortion - sounds awesome but didn't rid me of my gremlins.

So I bit the bullet & did the rewire. New Switchcraft jack, new pots, new 5 way switch and new orange drop cap. All new wire & new insulation copper on the inside of the pick guard.

Still haven't swapped out the single pick ups yet, but am planning Seymour Duncan Hotrails & Coolrails.


I guess it's in part about learning how to wire with a cheap guitar, but also an experiment in what affects sound in what way.

I added push pull pots so I cd try different wiring options. I have the volume put set up so in the down position it works normally. But when up it activates the humbucker bypassing the 5 way switch. I can now use humbucker & bridge as well as all 3 pick ups together (I still prefer the humbucker on its own).

I also have push/pull on the tone switch, each position using a different rated orange drop cap. There is a noticeable difference at each extreme of the pot.


Next plan is to get the Hotrails & Coolrails & wire then with switching so I can muck around with wiring in series, in parallel or single coil.


Basically I'm treating this cheapie as a way to learn what I want as MY sound without spending stupid money or ruining an expensive guitar.  Plus it's fun!!!

Offline TB-AV

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Re: Changing wiring
« Reply #20 on: May 05, 2014, 03:28:57 pm »
I wanted to test another wire, but in the soldering process the soldering point at the pu just fell off.. with some of the plastic :

Most pickups have a little eyelet made in the bobbin. The actual pickup wire... the winding... is just a tiny thin wire. It has an enamel coating. It's very fragile.

Th eactual wire that runs in the cavity is usually looped through a hole in the bobbin and then into the eyelet and a little dab of solder joins the two wires.

If you have to unwind the coil a turn or two that is no problem at all except the coils can be taped and waxed so getting the thin wire loose can be tricky.

The two holes the hookup wire runs in forms a strain relief. You can use a lighter to burn the end of the enamel wire to get to raw copper. But the good news is.... if you can simply get those two wires back together, then all should be good. Even if you have to epoxy some new material to the bobbin in order to mount things.

I can't quite picture what you have there but it sounds fixable.

Also I would clean all your switches and pots AND remelt ALL of your connections.
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Offline Joerfe

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Re: Changing wiring
« Reply #21 on: May 05, 2014, 07:13:30 pm »
TB, I appreciate your feedback, however a year late ;-).... But in the year that has past since I started this post, I first got myself a new (low cost) pickup and put it in. I played the guitar for some time and ended up buying a lpj '14, which is bar far a better guitar. So now I am all set and with no excuses anymore than my crappy playing.
/Jesper

Sigma SOMR28H, Fender Classic '50s Tele, Tokai Les Paul Reborn 2010, Gibson Les Paul Standard Faded TB 'Slash specs'.
Boss GT-1000, Line6 Powercab 100

Offline TB-AV

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Re: Changing wiring
« Reply #22 on: May 05, 2014, 08:57:18 pm »
10-4... I didn't even realize this thread was resurrected.
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Offline LAMF

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Re: Changing wiring
« Reply #23 on: May 06, 2014, 12:54:49 pm »
 8)

I agree with TB-AV.....clean up those pots with Electrical Contact cleaner and also check for potential ground loss..... usually it gets lost in the bridge and at times in the input jack

LAMF
I play the blues for it is REAL LIFE put to lyric and music.....

 

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