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Pickups & Wiring

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Members: 140
Latest Activity: Apr 3

Pickups & Wiring

There are many ways to amplify your instrument and many options to wire your circuit. Lets discuss types of magnetic pickups, piezo transducers, speakers as input, microphone elements and experimental techniques. Also post links to supplies, tips on winding and general info on the different types of circuits.

Click for Wiring Diagrams and Schematics


Discussion Forum

Complex (?) wiring struggle

Started by Roosterman. Last reply by Roosterman Mar 21. 7 Replies

Hi guys,Iv wrangled with this on my own for far too long now, so Im hoping one of you wiring genii can solve it!Im building a guitar for a chap (its a hybrid 4 string SG type thing) - he has provided…Continue

Tags: sg, help, diagram, rooster, pickups

Piezo Size

Started by Redbelly. Last reply by Wichita Sam Mar 3. 1 Reply

Does size realy matter when choosing a Pieso disc or rod. I have pieso's 40 mm and 20mm. Has the larger one any advantageContinue

Hidden Electromag Pickup

Started by Arnold Kelly. Last reply by Arnold Kelly Apr 1, 2013. 2 Replies

I've got two really nice looking boxes that I'd like to turn into electrics, but I don't really want to cut into them if I can help it.  Has anyone ever put in a pup UNDER the wood and have it work…Continue

Adding reverb to an existing distortion/sustain pedal

Started by Michael Recchione Mar 19, 2013. 0 Replies

Don't know if this is the right place to ask this, but I figured I'd take a shot...I have an old Ibanez Tube Screamer distortion/sustain pedal that I stopped using years ago because the foot switch…Continue

Comment Wall


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Comment by Wichita Sam on April 2, 2014 at 11:31pm

Yes, he did mention something about programing my phone, if I liked....

Comment by jim on April 2, 2014 at 9:58pm

I guess there training does not include anything but what sells for profit, like cell phones

Comment by Wichita Sam on April 2, 2014 at 6:03pm

So, I walk into the local radio shack and ask for a "reed switch"  so that I can add a counter to my homemade winder. In the entire store not a single staff person had even heard of such a thing.  Speaking slowly, in monosylables, I coach the store manager through an inventory search to find a switch that might work.

Then upon check out, the manager said, "Thank you for letting us solve your electronic need".  Scheez...what a tool.

Comment by Wichita Sam on March 17, 2014 at 8:05pm

OK, another pickup question.... On the single string pickups on early LoweBow's.... are they simple magnet and sewing machine bobbins?  or is there something special going on?

Comment by Wichita Sam on March 1, 2014 at 10:06pm

On another subject, I just about have my homemade pickup winder done.  I'm getting ready to source parts for the pups.  I really want to build a bar pickup, instead of a pole (see picture).  Where can I source bar magnets?   thanks,

Comment by Wichita Sam on March 1, 2014 at 9:52pm

Got the pups quieted down in that Japanese guitar.  just a couple ground faults and a bad pot.

Comment by Wichita Sam on February 25, 2014 at 10:59pm

Every thing grounds thruogh metal pickguard, with additional ground wire running to tailpiece. Seems overkill since the strings should be grounding through metal bridge screwed to the pickguard.

Next step ohm meter

Comment by Ted Crocker on February 25, 2014 at 10:02pm

Can we assume that you plugged another guitar into the cable and amp?  

By looking at the underside of the pickguard, it looks like the pots are grounded via the metal guard.  Is the lug on the neck pot grounded to the back of the pot?  Use a multimeter to check continuity between the jack ground lug and all other ground points.

It looks like the one leg of the cap has a clear plastic tube over it, check that where that leg comes out of the cap isn't touching the pot, it's hard to tell on the pic. A better pic of just the pots might help (switches too). 

It also looks like the pickups only have a single wire coming out, which means the pups themselves are also grounded thru the pickguard.  Maybe touching a temp jumper wire to the metal pup and the neg lug on the jack will tell you something.  If there is a braided shield on the pup wires, try touching the jumper to them and the jack ground.

If all else fails, desolder the pickup wires from the switch and test with jumpers going straight to the jack lugs, that'll narrow it down to the pups or the rest of the circuit.

Good luck.

Comment by madurobob on February 25, 2014 at 9:58pm

Sam, how is the bridge grounded?  Hard to tell from the pics, but it looks like its not... and that may be the cause of the buzz.

Thats an easy test: lay the pickguard in place, then put one string on and plug her in.  Assuming it buzzes, does the buzz go away when you run a short jumper from the metal of the output jack to the bridge?

The rest of it looks in pretty decent shape.  Of course, those foil pickups can be a real pain in the butt.  Folks love the tone, but they are a bit delicate.  If its one of the pickups making the buzz, you should be able to identify that by throwing the on/off switch for each pickup one at a time to see if that fixes the buzz.

Comment by Wichita Sam on February 25, 2014 at 7:36pm

need help/advice.  just picked up this Japanese guitar from the 60's(?).  It has gold foil pups, metal pic guard, on/off switches what looks like separate volume pots (500k) and a single tone pot (500k).  The pups make music, but there is a horrible buzz that appears to be a ground fault.  Before I jump and in a resolder what looks like original installation, is there anything I should check first?  Thanks in advance...


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