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Old 5th January 2011, 10:02 PM   #1
vasdef is offline vasdef  United States
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Default help wiring a pickup to a pot.

Hi all,
I'm building a lap steel guitar, and ordered a generic dual humbucking pickup (with 4 hookup wires). Could someone tell me how I would hook this up to a volume pot and an input jack? Thanks in advance.
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Old 5th January 2011, 11:08 PM   #2
benb is offline benb  United States
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The four wires are to the two coils (if the color code below doesn't work, measure the wires with an ohmmeter/DMM to figure out which pair of wires go to each coil), and the "standard" wiring is to put them in series so that the signal adds and external magnetic hum subtracts (if that doesn't happen, swap the two wires of one coil).

STEWMAC.COM : Golden Age Humbucker Color Codes Free information
There's more info on specific brands here:
STEWMAC.COM : Color codes Free Information

General wiring details are here:
STEWMAC.COM : Understanding Guitar Wiring Free information

In short, use a 500k pot for the standard series-connected humbucker. The shield and "cold" wire (one of the two wires that's not connected to another wire) go to ground and the pot's "low" end (where the slider connects when fully counterclockwise), and the other wire goes to the pot's 'high" end. The ground of the jack goes to the ground and the low end of the pot, and the hot connection of the jack goes to the slider (middle connection) of the pot.
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Old 5th January 2011, 11:38 PM   #3
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If you are feeling brave you could go the whole hog and do what they do in electric guitars and add coil switching (series/parallel/single) and add a simple tone control.

The old Fender guitars even had a coils out of phase setting (more by accident) when the switches were caught between two settings.
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Old 6th January 2011, 02:11 AM   #4
vasdef is offline vasdef  United States
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Thanks for the info.
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