Wiring an electric guitar
January 10, 2017 7:40 AM   Subscribe

Asking for my SO: In wiring an electric guitar, how do we make sure to get the right pots for the pick-ups. This is for a passive system, btw.

Please suggest good quality / price for neck and bridge humbacker, toggle switch, pots, as well as any and all suggestions for how / where to acquire said items.

If anyone has, or knows of a circuit schematic, that would be very valuable also!
posted by PlantGoddess to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
I just Googled your question and found answers within a few seconds (I already knew the answers, though). This is very basic stuff that will be further tailored depending on the pick-ups that are ultimately chosen.

Basically, 250k pot for single coil, 500k for buckies, but of course you aren't married to that, but you should at least understand what those numbers mean and why. As far as wiring diagrams, if they don't come with the guitar, there are no fewer than 750,000 videos on YouTube that will show you how to wire whatever pick-ups you choose, coil-tapped or not, etc.

Pick-up choices are sooooo personal that people can only recommend what they like, personally.
posted by TinWhistle at 7:57 AM on January 10, 2017 [2 favorites]




TinWhistle has it. There are different pots and caps used depending on the type of pickups you use, and Gregr's link to StewMac is the easiest place to find what you need, though not always the cheapest.

To find a wiring diagram, just google the configuration you want. For example, "wiring diagram two humbuckers one volume one tone" will give you a ton of images showing what you want, including pot and cap values.
posted by bondcliff at 8:08 AM on January 10, 2017 [1 favorite]


Assuming you buy pickups all in a single brand, the manufacturer will usually help you out. The details depend on how many tone knobs, volume knobs, and what kind of pickup selector you have, but they've seen everything so if what they already have on their website isn't enough, you can just send them your question. A couple brands have no-solder systems too.
posted by mattamatic at 8:54 AM on January 10, 2017


You can buy a prewired harness for many standard configurations.
posted by spitbull at 9:15 AM on January 10, 2017


If anyone has, or knows of a circuit schematic, that would be very valuable also!

Seymour Duncan wiring diagrams may have what you need.

There are lots of good pickup manufacturers- Seymour Duncan is one - also Lollar, Dimarzio, Lindy Fralin (although I think he mostly does single coils). Fralin's tech tips may be useful; there are tons of other Youtube videos demonstrating how to do guitar wiring.
posted by thelonius at 9:32 AM on January 10, 2017 [1 favorite]


Heres a selection of prewired harnesses on Amazon. Several are Les Paul style (two volumes, two tones, and three way switch for two humbuckers).
posted by spitbull at 9:35 AM on January 10, 2017


StuMac is the right place to read about and buy this kind of thing.

They also have videos
posted by thelonius at 9:35 AM on January 10, 2017 [2 favorites]


Please suggest good quality / price for neck and bridge humbacker, toggle switch, pots, as well as any and all suggestions for how / where to acquire said items.

Lots of guitar manufacturers sell their pickups separately - on their websites they're often a little hidden under "Accessories" or "Parts." Fender & Gibson especially have a variety available. Seymour Duncan and DiMarzio are the two big names in aftermarket pickup manufacturers. Any reasonably-sized music instrument store should have at least a handful of Fender, Gibson, Seymour Duncan, and DiMarzio pickups in stock, and bigger stores like Guitar Center or Sam Ash will probably have a couple dozen. You can buy online direct from the manufacturer, or from a variety of music instrument websites (like Musician's Friend, or Sweetwater), or often from Amazon.

There are also a ton of small "boutique" pickup makers (Lollar, Lindy Fralin, Joe Barden, just to name a few), although prices are almost certainly higher than you're looking to pay.

Guitar Fetish is a relatively new importer/distributor that has gotten a lot of attention on guitar forums. I've gotten both parts and pickups from them and liked the products.

Guitar Parts Resource is one of my other go-to websites for parts.

For whatever it's worth (might be pricier than you're hoping for), I installed a set of DiMarzio 36th Anniversary PAF humbuckers (bridge and neck) in an older Ibanez Flying V and couldn't be happier.
posted by soundguy99 at 7:31 AM on March 1, 2017


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