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(@boucheman414)
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Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 9
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Hey again guys, I have a couple of questions about pickups and electronic replacement on my guitar so I'll get right to it.

I have an Epiphone special and I am going to purchase new pickups, selector switch, volume and tone potentiometers, and rewire the whole thing. My questions are:

1: I have already picked out the pickups I am going to get, I'm getting Seymour Duncan's SH-2 Jazz model for the neck and SH-4 JB for the bridge, do u guys think this is a good combination? I know for a fact that I really like the Jazz model so that one I'm for sure getting. The SH-4 JB I thought sounded good to, so i figured it would compliment the Jazz model but I don't want to screw up and get a bridge pickup that's going to "bring down" the neck pickup.

2: I am having a hard time deciding which potentiometers to get, I want something that's going to get loud but I also want the range from 0-10 to be even. I have heard that the 1m pots range isn't even and I was thinking about just getting 500k, your thoughts? And the tone potentiometer I'm not sure about which one to get as I don't know what to look for as far as what size it needs to be or anything. Is it the same principle as the volume pot? or does it have to bigger/smaller?

3: I am going to rewire the whole guitar and I was wondering, what type of wire should i use and what gauge for the best conductivity, sound, etc...

The selector switch that I am going to get is just going to be a regular 3-way switch like what is already on it. The guitar itself is about 14yrs old and the electronics could use a tune up, but i just wanted to get you guys opinion on some of this stuff before I do it. Thanks!! :D

EDIT: O I just thought about something, when i get the 3-way selector switch, what would be the best for tone/bass? Should I just get something like whats already on it or try a better brand switch or one that has more solder points or basically what is the pros/cons of picking out a selector switch?


   
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(@blue-jay)
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Joined: 15 years ago
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1. I have read the 4 pages on the site of Seymour Duncan's complete line of Humbuckers, every one. Your proposed choices of the SH-2 Jazz Neck/Rhythm and the SH-4 JB hot Bridge/Treble will be superb. I note it is Seymour's preferred combination. The SH-3, since it is inbetween is also a possiblilty for the bridge, but not as strong as the JB.

Anyhow, it is a uniquely constructed humbucker using Alnico 2 rod pole pieces to achieve true single-coil sound when split (tapped). Recommended for classic rock, jazz, blues, funk and country. Each coil is as powerful as a single-coil. When the pickup is split (sometimes called "tapped") such that only one coil is used, the sound is bright and glassy, like a vintage Strat® pickup. In full output, humbucking mode, the tone is rich and full with a bright high-end. Comes with four-conductor hookup cable. Use with any guitar with traditional string spacing in the bridge position (1.925" or 48.9mm). Kix Brooks of Brooks and Dunn uses these. Now why do you suppose? Go figure. It rocks the country & kix! 8)

I have been using the SH-1 model, '59 for neck and the JB for bridge in different guitars, for decades. That recipe for success is as tradional as Applie Pie, but not bland, and is a standard all over the World. There were 2 SH-1's in the Guild Bluesbird, built that way from Westerley R.I., but chambered, and it worked out very well. And their sassy Guild Polara X-100, which was dicontinued in 1998 has the combo of SH-1 and JB that many choose, aftermarket. Here's the Bluesbird.

I also have the double-double of SH-4 or JB's which I believe Fender used as "Atomic Humbuckers" in this '98 Toronado.

I have experience with Seymour's Gerorge Lynch "Screamin' Demon" in a Les Paul, not loud enough, and the "Pearly Gates", just a beefed-up PAF and tame compared to the JB, unless you use wiring tricks . Both are sweet and harmonic.

2. Pots. 250K vs. 500K: Generally, 500K-ohm pots are used with humbuckers and 250Ks are used with single-coil pickups. You can use any value you like, but a 250K will give a slightly warmer tone than a 500K pot. The 250K pot bleeds off (attenuates) some of the high frequencies to ground. A 1 Meg-ohm pot will attenuate even less than a 500K pot, so if you want to hear your guitar "wide open" you may want to try one. With a 250 or 500, I would want to use treble bleed and a little resistor at the volumes, as PRS does, and both Guild and vintage Martin electric used in production.

Your volume pots for sure have to be Logarithmic or Audio taper because of the way our ears hear inclines in volume. There is mixed reaction to tone pots. You may use Linear taper, or either. This might be helpful, a quick, easy link. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Potentiometer

Make sure you have the 3/4" high threads for your carved top, and then go shopping for quality and resistance values. Stew Mac appears to be standard, no better than OEM on your guitar. But Stew Mac has great advice, and a taper that some people actually prefer over others. CTS, CGE, WD, Allparts and DiMarzio are steps up IMO. These are all Audio taper due to Stew Mac's beliefs in that choice, and go to the 3/4" length section to see what is available, including a push pull, if you elect to split coils or use the staggered SH-3, which isn't really necessary for your preferred style, maybe? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Potentiometer

I have also used just a few short shaft pots in Epi's, which can be done if you remove wood from the inside, without weakening or going through the top. That allows you to use a Fender TBX, or Treble Bass Expander which is a stacked pot with a 250K running from 1 - 5, and a 1 meg from 6 and up (to 10). The best of both worlds from mild to wild. http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Electronics,_pickups/Potentiometers/Specialty_Control_Pots.html

There's still plenty of space, and time for others to share their knowlege and opinion on pots, or anything.

3. I won't say much about wiring, since I have been odd and unusual for years, using vintage 1960's car wiring, which I believe is efficient, braided, pre-tinned silver. I also use aviation wire which I salvaged from a crashed jet, I think it is silver and has low resistance. I have been given the best, and gave it to my son, double shielded silver, or a wire with a shield within a shield, and we use reams of copper from Radio Shack/The Source, all gauges. Sometimes I use the vintage cloth and waxed stuff, I don't always follow rules, and we like variety. Nice to have shielding if that stuff is used.

Everyone can have their say, but since it was the last part of your question, I think you should upgrade the switch to a better brand, if you can find Switchcraft, CRL, diMarzio again, or similar. It's about quality and accuracy and efficiency again, I see no relationship to bass sounds. You may get your bass sounds from the value of the capacitor. And don't forget the Switchcraft brand output jack and a "boutique" tin foil or paper in oil capacitor for the tone control. :lol:

BTW, many upscale tweakers and techs or builders use Bumble Bee. I use Erie now, and my kids like Orange Drop.

Like a bird on the wire,
like a drunk in a midnight choir
I have tried in my way to be free.


   
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(@blue-jay)
Noble Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 1630
 

I wasn't intending to post again, but came across this build as I was reviewing and leaving Photobucket. It was originally a prototype Lace Huntington double fat or HH "Strat" and my youngest daughter and I built it up, in theory, to reach levels of Les Pauls or PRS, to have the volume and tone, while clothed in stealth as a lightweight, basswood, kid's guitar.

Deaf-Eddie designed half of the wiring as a one-off, and we double the 5 tones to 10, with a DPDT mini toggle coil tap.

At the time, Billy Gibbons requested a one-off new breed HB pickup for himself too, from Benny Trevillian, adding whatever mojo you either believe in or don't, from the basic design of Gibson Burstbucker Pro's. I checked the stats on it, and changed the specs to suit our plan, and Benny made two more for us, while he still had True Tone Technologies.

There's one of my NOS Erie .22 caps and Alpha mini 500K pots for instant punch. Now Alphas are cheap, but you will get good results if you oil them with the Source's teflon micro-lube, so that they turn with the least possible mechanical resistance. You can flick your adjustments fast, or roll the knob with a weak little pinky to create effects, swells or wah.

The switch is more than double your standard Strat switch, or a heavy duty 24 lug Superswitch. The toggle was from the Source too. I buy things the old way, at the store. My children use DigiKey to buy bulk, in bags of everything, and they like CTS audio with deals by the thousands for Synthesizers. http://search.digikey.com/scripts/DkSearch/dksus.dll?Cat=262966

So FWIW it's a Les Paul topic, humbuckers and wiring components too. It's good to upgrade an oldie as you are doing. :D

This is sort of a wolf in sheep's clothing, much lighter than the Toronado, cloning basics of PRS or LP, and with 10 tones.

You may also see the little .01 cap, which is usually used as a Bass cap, on treble bleed, so that it still scorches and the sizzle hangs in there, while rolling off volume, so it doesn't go bassy, deep sounding, sterile or flat. No resistor there.

Here's the finished product. So yeah, I was unpopular at the Lace forum for changing their pups, and it was my girls that ruffled more than a few fenders, I mean feathers at a certain Fender forum with their antics and jokes with these pics:



But my daughter was taken more seriously and behaved a little more at Squier '51 Modder's? SD Invader BTW, too much!
I mean that was Tom Delonge's loud pickup before Gibson brought back the Dirty Fingers. Tone and blender keep it sane.

Oh I erred in one of the links way up above, and posted Wikipedia twice, didn't copy or paste this one from StewMac. :roll:
http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Electronics,_pickups/Potentiometers/Standard_Control_Pots.html?tab=Details#details

Like a bird on the wire,
like a drunk in a midnight choir
I have tried in my way to be free.


   
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(@boucheman414)
Active Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 9
Topic starter  

Thank you Blue Jay! I didnt know these were SD's preferred combos, lol I just listened to all the audio on each pickup on there website(which is very handy by the way) to kinda hear what they sounded like and these two sounded the best to me and what i think is my "Style" of playing is. Also, as far as splitting the pickup, i dont think im going to worry about doing it right now, cause thats a little extra wiring that i just dont feel like getting into, however down the road i might decide to split one of them and im sure i will be back on these forums to get some ideas about how to go about doing it. Just not that interested in doing ATM.

The SH-1 I thought sounded really good myself, however i like the SH-2's "crisper" sound. And i thought the Pearly Gates just sounded sorta "weak" to me so that is why i picked the SH-2 & SH-4 combo. That Bluesbird is a beautiful guitar! The Toronado i also like.

As far as the pot goes I will probably just go with the regular 500k pot for volume. As i said earlier, i dont want to tap the pickups so i will not get a push/pull pot, Yet :) maybe down the road i will upgrade to a push/pull. This is what i thought i would get, http://www.guitarelectronics.com/product/CPC500/CTS-500K-Audio-Taper-Precision-Tolerance-Guitar-Super-Pot.html just two of these, one for volume and one for pickups. You think that will work ok? And, will i have to get resistors for them? if so what would be the best size restistors?

The wire I think i've decided on is this http://www.guitarelectronics.com/product/WA7-33/Solid-Core-22-Gauge-Circuit-Wire---YELLOW.html will this work ok? is it big enough or do i need to go a few gauges bigger?

As far as the switch goes, i cant seem to find a good one, anyone have any good guitar electronic parts sites, ive been to sweetwater, allparts, guitarelectronics? I guess i will just be getting this one http://accessories.musiciansfriend.com/product/ProLine-3Position-Toggle-Switch?sku=363058 if i cant find anything else.

Once again, Thank you Blue Jay! this is very helpful information!


   
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(@blue-jay)
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Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 1630
 

As far as the pot goes I will probably just go with the regular 500k pot for volume. As i said earlier, i dont want to tap the pickups so i will not get a push/pull pot, Yet :) maybe down the road i will upgrade to a push/pull. This is what i thought i would get, http://www.guitarelectronics.com/product/CPC500/CTS-500K-Audio-Taper-Precision-Tolerance-Guitar-Super-Pot.html just two of these, one for volume and one for pickups. You think that will work ok? And, will i have to get resistors for them? if so what would be the best size restistors?

The wire I think i've decided on is this http://www.guitarelectronics.com/product/WA7-33/Solid-Core-22-Gauge-Circuit-Wire---YELLOW.html will this work ok? is it big enough or do i need to go a few gauges bigger?

As far as the switch goes, i cant seem to find a good one, anyone have any good guitar electronic parts sites, ive been to sweetwater, allparts, guitarelectronics? I guess i will just be getting this one http://accessories.musiciansfriend.com/product/ProLine-3Position-Toggle-Switch?sku=363058 if i cant find anything else.

Once again, Thank you Blue Jay! this is very helpful information!

You're welcome!

I'm glad that you like your choice of pickups, and found that they will be compatible and matching, making a perfect pair.

Let's look at an easy-to-focus-on image of your guitar, with a random color that IMO shows good contrast of the controls.

I believe that you have made a good choice of pots. One for volume, one for tone. 3/8" spline length, yes, for a flattop.

Guitar Electronics is a very good business. You can get everything there. I recommend their best Orange Drop capacitors.

.047 is standard for humbuckers with 500K pots. One tone. http://www.guitarelectronics.com/category/electronic_parts.tone_capacitors/

I think that your wire is a little thin, and I have not used solid core, though my son doesn't mind in super fine, limited space synthesizer circuitry. We agree, that you could use a bigger gauge for a guitar, and stranded wire, 26 gauge. This offers less resistance in the entire circuit, and I see it as making more power, in my uneducated, instinctive experience.

Electronics as a science does teach it, I have learned anyhow, and goes like cars that need to breathe more air, and exhaust. In this case there would be less resistance to, or interference with the flow of electrons. It is pre-tinned too.

http://www.guitarelectronics.com/product/WA2-33/Stranded-26-Gauge-Circuit-Wire---YELLOW.html It looks like good wire. Also this is a nice diagram they offer.

You will need a much better switch and they are there as well, Switchcraft at $18.95. You can search their better jacks.

Bottom left, right angle, best in the business is here I think: http://www.guitarelectronics.com/category/electronic_parts.switches/

Sorry to be giving basically one man's opinion, but I've done many, and agree with you nearly all the way, good stuff! :D

Like a bird on the wire,
like a drunk in a midnight choir
I have tried in my way to be free.


   
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(@boucheman414)
Active Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 9
Topic starter  

I really, really, really appreciate everything Blue Jay, and thank your son for me too. :D I think i will be going with what you have suggested as i don't know that much about it myself, meaning I've never totally rewired a guitar before, I have modded mine with a kill switch but that's it. I mean some one could really almost do it with there eyes closed.

I have just a couple more questions before I order this stuff. The resistor; you have suggested the orange drop .o47, what is the difference if i get a bigger one or smaller one, like if i get a bigger one what will the result in the output be, more tone or bass or is it just to do with the overall loudness from the pot. And the switch; my guitar came with a switch like the one I posted in the link in my last post. Are the terminals on the switch you have suggested the same as the ones on the one i posted? I noticed it had 4 terminals at the end of it, one of those must be for the ground and the others coming from the pots right? Or is there some certain way to wire that particular switch. If its the same as the one i have posted earlier, then i assume it will tell me in the packaging which terminal is what, or i can just look on line at that particular switch.

Thanks!

EDIT: And also, i thought that like 22guage wire was bigger that 26guage. I thought that wire size got bigger as the gauge got smaller.


   
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(@blue-jay)
Noble Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 1630
 

You were right, the higher the gauge number, the thinner the wire. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_wire_gauge

Sorry, that is where my loss of memory and terminology comes in. I just use what I have salvaged, or buy what I go see.
And that is how I determined what was appropriate and would do the job. Hands-on style, hearing and eyeball sensitive.

So, you may use a 22 gauge with confidence, like the seller said - had me scratching my head? But it should be stranded.
BTW I had to pay attention always when ordering pickups, as I prefer thinner 13 AWG to the so slightly thicker 12 AWG.

For capacitors, I also forgot to add the zero at the front in earlier posts. The higher the number, the more dark and bass-like. Caps like .022 microfarads will be brighter, and when turned down, would theoretically not be as low or muted.
The rare .033 for example that isn't there, and an .047 to .050 microfarad attenuate or remove more treble frequencies.

Capacitors are very hard to understand and explain. There is little to no info that makes it clear, briefly and concisely.
Anyhow, here is something. I find it very difficult to comprehend all of it in the big picture, and can not explain the relevance of di-electric plates, and capacitance or storage, with regard to potentiometers or tone. But we can say that we use filtering capacitors, I think. They have a dual role of storing current, or sometimes preventing types of current from flowing through, and it ends up in regulating the amount of treble with the pot's taper. They affect the brightness and other frequency characteristics of tone too, and audible qualities. New paper in oil caps are often seen as most true.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Types_of_capacitor

The main thing with the switch is will it fit? The terminals or lugs will become understandable and are clear in diagrams.

Like a bird on the wire,
like a drunk in a midnight choir
I have tried in my way to be free.


   
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(@boucheman414)
Active Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 9
Topic starter  

No problem :D I'm new to some of this stuff. Based off of your post, I think I will try to get a little bit bigger gauge wire than 22, because as u said the bigger the better and I agree.

The switch should fit in the back cavity of the guitar no problem, I'm just kinda worried about the height of the shaft, not sure its gonna come out far enough. The one I am using now is about 1/2'' long threaded collar and in the one you have suggested is 3/16" threaded collar. I mean i could taper down the whole a little and maybe if i cant find that same switch with a taller thread collar or shaft. If not im sure i can dig through the internet guitar sites and find one that will.

And im going go go ahead and get the Orange Drop .047 capacitor and if i dont like it then i will probably get the Orange Drop .022

I am going to go ahead and order this stuff and when it all gets here i will update, in this thread, my progress and maybe some picks to let everyone know how im doing on this project! :D I have already ordered the pickups 2day shipping so they should be here monday afternoon sometime. Hopefully i can go ahead and place this order to guitarelectronics.com and get them within a day if not on the same day!

Thank you so much for your help on this project Blue Jay, I know ive said that like 10 times already, but i really mean it! THANKS!! :D And thank you Guitar Noise for such helpful Guitar forums for all of us! :D

Thanks,
Keith


   
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(@blue-jay)
Noble Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 1630
 

Thank you Keith, for consulting recognizing the forum. It is a nice community. 8)

This Switchcraft, is still considered as a short body switch, and should fit. Very easy to wire too. Same seller.
http://www.guitarelectronics.com/product/SWT30-24/Switchcraft-3-Way-Guitar-Pickup-Toggle-Switch-Nickel.html

Of course, I keep going back to Switchcraft because of the quality. They are professional and industrial grade. :lol:

Like a bird on the wire,
like a drunk in a midnight choir
I have tried in my way to be free.


   
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(@dogbite)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 6348
 

that is one throrough thread. you have it covered.
I like the wire the stwemac has. braided and shielded. it really works nice. when wired properly my guitars have no interfence.

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/pagemusic.cfm?bandID=644552
http://www.soundclick.com/couleerockinvaders


   
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(@blue-jay)
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Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 1630
 

Ummm.... yeah, I was speaking to my son today and he confirmed that the gauge number represents the number of drawing operations or the passes that the wire makes through the drawing machine or dies to determine thickness.

Other things to know that are in the link, are included below. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_wire_gauge

When the diameter of a wire is doubled, the AWG will decrease by 6. (e.g. No. 2 AWG is about twice the diameter of No. 8 AWG.) When the cross-sectional area of a wire is doubled, the AWG will decrease by 3. (e.g. Two No. 14 AWG wires have about the same cross-sectional area as a single No. 11 AWG wire.) Additionally, a decrease of ten gauge numbers, for example from No. 10 to 1/0, multiplies the area and weight by approximately 10 and reduces the resistance by approximately 10. I definitely believe in less resistance, and better conductivity. Copper works well and is standard.

The relevance. I rely on him when there are numbers and figures involved. His choice for guitar is 18 - 20 gauge, silver.

That's where my stronger and flexible stranded wire fits in, plus it has SAE ratings - Society of Automotive Engineers. :wink:
Solder offers more resistance than copper, but is necessary of course, first used sparingly to join twisted copper joints.

Lead-free solders in commercial use may contain tin, copper, silver, bismuth, indium, zinc, antimony, and traces of other metals. Most lead-free replacements for conventional Sn60/Pb40 and Sn63/Pb37 solder have melting points from 5–20 °C higher, though solders with much lower melting points are available. Sn60Pb40 solder oxidizes on the surface with forming complex 4-layer structure: tin(IV) oxide on the surface, below it a layer of tin(II) oxide with finely dispersed lead, below a layer of tin(II) oxide with finely dispersed tin and lead, and the solder alloy itself underneath. So, that's in the old type. We used 60/40, but now 63/37 lead-free making it more stable. Lead is subject to decay and resistance.

Like a bird on the wire,
like a drunk in a midnight choir
I have tried in my way to be free.


   
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(@boucheman414)
Active Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 9
Topic starter  

Got the Duncan's in today :) :) I cant freakin wait to put them own!! Now all im waiting for is my order from GuitarElectronics.com and I can put these puppies to work!


   
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(@boucheman414)
Active Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 9
Topic starter  

Ok guys!! I got everything hooked up and it sounds AMAZING!!! Thank you so much Blue Jay for your advice, that really helped out alot.

I do need to say this though, if anyone decides to change there pick-ups out and you get Seymour Duncan's, which i highly recommend, and your using the set up like mine, 2humbuckers, 1volume, 1tone, 3-way toggle switch. Don't use the seymour duncan website for the wiring diagram, I had nothing but problems tryin to figure it out. I wired it up just like it said in the diagram on seymourduncan.com and when i plugged in my guitar it made the most god-awful sound that almost blew my ear drums. Use this diagram

Those are diagrams from guitarelectronics.com

Anyways Thanks again!! :D :D


   
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(@blue-jay)
Noble Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 1630
 

I'm glad it went so well Keith. It's good to hear that you're happy with the pups, your work, and a positive outcome! :D

Like a bird on the wire,
like a drunk in a midnight choir
I have tried in my way to be free.


   
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(@zepeda91)
Active Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 10
 

HELLO guitarnoise! I got a question about p'up covers, i just ordered e couple for my Gibson Hawk. now whats the easiest way to put em on without potting em?? i read a strip of electrical tape will cut out the microphonic feedback., will it work? has anyone tried this method? if someone can help it'd be greatly appreciated.

X.C.Z


   
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