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Unknown Humbucker Wiring

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Noble Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 1259
Topic starter  

Hey guys. I have an unknown 4 conductor bridge humbucker that I'm trying to get wired up.

I've done some tests on it with a multimeter and have determined that the coil closest to the neck, (NORTH) uses the black and white leads. The coil closest to the bridge (SOUTH) uses the Red and Green leads. Black is the hot lead for the NORTH coil and Green is the hot lead for the SOUTH coil.

My question is regarding "start" and "finish". Are the hot leads the same thing as start leads? Are they the same as finish leads? Is it different for each coil? Or is it something else all altogether. Black and green are by hot leads, are they also my start leads?

NORTH Coil = Black(+) & White (-)
SOUTH Coil = Green(+) & Red (-)


This is the schematic I'm using. Keep in mind that it is setup for Seymour Duncan pickups so the colour code does not match up with the one for my pickup.

Vacate is the word...Vengance has no place on me or her...Cannot find a comfort in this world.

Famed Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 3221

I'm not 100% sure on the terminology, but I believe the convention is to say each individual coil has start and finish, while only one of those start leads will be called 'hot' for the overall pickup. Usually the north one. I'm just basing this on diagrams I've seen over the years.

You probably know this, but that SD diagram only applies if you are using the spin-split pot. More typical humbucker wiring is:

North start = hot
North finish and south finish - soldered together (puts them in series) and taped off.
South start to ground.

Note that if you have more than one pickup and the "middle" sound (both pickups in parallel) is thin with lower output, one is likely out of phase with the other pickup. You would simply reverse the wiring of ONE of them, south start to hot, north start to ground.

I think. :lol:

"Everybody got to elevate from the norm."