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To cut or not to cut, that is the question...

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  • To cut or not to cut, that is the question...

    When installing pickups, do you cut the leads to length or leave excess slack? If you leave slack, just a little or a lot?

    As much as I love the look of a perfectly wired pickguard or control cavity, I always leave some slack. For Strats I want them to have enough slack to fit in the neck, no matter where it is being installed. For Humbuckers or rear routed control cavities I leave excess in case I want to move to another guitar so I don’t have to extend later.

    If I was confident in my ability to add new leads I’d cut them all to length, but I don’t want to mess with that.
    28
    Cut pickup leads to exact length
    0%
    0
    Leave a little extra slack
    7.14%
    2
    Leave a lot of slack
    21.43%
    6
    Don’t cut at all, jam it all in there
    67.86%
    19
    Rob Option
    3.57%
    1
    Oh no.....


    Oh Yeah!

  • #2
    I said "Don't cut at all", but I have to qualify that. I swap pups a lot. I like to keep my options open. But, on those rare occasions where I find a set that mates perfectly with that axe . . . I redo the wiring with everything cut to order.

    Comment


    • #3
      I leave the length so I can swap pups around in other guitars when I want to change things up. I don't care how "messy" the control cavity looks. It doesn't affect the sound at all and nobody is ever going to see it.
      Originally Posted by IanBallard
      Rule of thumb... the more pot you have, the better your tone.

      Comment


      • #4
        i leave just a bit of slack usually. nice to have a little bit to work with if i want to switching things around. if its a new pup im testing out for the first time, i may not cut things at all right away if im testing it in a guitar that it may not live in for long. but most of the time, i prefer a cleaner wire up

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        • #5
          I forget. What is the "Rob option?"

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          • #6
            The guitar I just got used a zip tie to hold the excess wiring in a nice little bundle. I have been using that method.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by ArtieToo View Post
              I forget. What is the "Rob option?"
              I always treat it as the “other” or “not accounted for” situation.
              Oh no.....


              Oh Yeah!

              Comment


              • #8
                There is usually enough room in there for it all, and it helps when swapping or selling. I hate having to extend pickup wires.
                Dave, Ambassador/Writer/Artist for Seymour Duncan
                Gear pics and more on my Instagram.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Unless I’m cleaning up some crappy looking wires, I don’t think I’ve ever shortened a lead to fit.

                  All of my junk pickups have been clipped extremely short, though, to repurpose the wire elsewhere. You’d think after 20 years of swapping pickups, I’d think to have some bulk wire on hand.
                  "Patience is key. Hard work is obligatory. And itís the decisions you make right now, not the habits of the past, that will shape your success in the future." - Janek Gwizdala

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                  • #10
                    I will cut and lead a lot of slack. Only time I've got to length for nice and tidy was when I did the last SSS pickguard (which is long gone).

                    "Rob Option" is in response to a gentleman, named Rob, who frequented the forums. He would never select an option in a poll.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by ErikH View Post
                      "Rob Option" is in response to a gentleman, named Rob, who frequented the forums. He would never select an option in a poll.
                      Ah, yes. I remember now.

                      And there are always exceptions. I have a dual-humbucker Tele, with a Superswitch. There is NO room in there for extra wire. Had to trim that one to an exact fit. Also, when I do a customers Strat, I tie everything up nice and neat, and make it look like one of those pre-wired pickguards.

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                      • #12
                        I was just woken up from an afternoon nap and am kinda dizzy still and messed up my choice and don't know how to re-do. I don't just leave a lot of slack, but leave them untouched and then tidy things up with cableties. Recently I even started to use shrinktube instead of taping off the unused hb leads.

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                        • #13
                          Back in the day, I kept it all. I voted to leave a little slack though, because now 99% of the pickups I buy are keepers.

                          If it is a permanent guitar configuration, then cut it to the perfect length for me. Luckily, I am done doing my own wiring. I did it for 20 years and I am done now. I could not be happier about being able to drop them off with a luthier these days. Now they get to decide and they always do a clean install. 11 times out of 10.
                          Soundcloud

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                          • #14
                            ^ You choose to drop off for wiring? I love wiring, do it all the time, and could never pay and wait for it.

                            I never trim. I leave the slack in case the lead gets damaged over time and I have to trim it. It's not too much hassle to fit everything without tying it off or anything.
                            Last edited by Clint 55; 08-03-2020, 01:32 PM.
                            Originally posted by NegativeEase
                            I'd wager that Clint can best GuitarStv at Wat and WAAAT... but not Watts.

                            I think in the International System of Units (SI) a "WAT" is defined as a derived unit of 1 Clint besmirchment per hour

                            and WAAAT is defined as a derived unit of 1 Clint kilojoule of described Nirvana transgression per post.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by ArtieToo View Post
                              I forget. What is the "Rob option?"
                              It's an expanded meaning of a term that comes from the world of modern video games. As others have said, it does essentially mean "other" or "not already accounted for." But that doesn't explain why it would be called the "rob" option, does it? And the answer to that, is in modern video games where you are playing a supposedly real human character interfacing with other "real" human characters, you frequently attempt to conduct transactions with other characters where you want to obtain a desired item (i.e. food, weapons, etc.). Legal and moral codes indicate that "obviously" the only 2 choices for you to obtain said desired item is to A) purchase it or B) barter for it. The designers of modern video games have designed in a 3rd less-obvious, illegal "other" option that you can attempt should you think to try it: you can try to "rob" the other character of said desired item. Charming, isn't it?
                              Last edited by Jack_TriPpEr; 08-03-2020, 04:46 PM.
                              Originally posted by GuitarDoc
                              Good diagram Shadowfire90, but it isn't what the OP wants.
                              Originally posted by Sanford
                              The hardest part about tone chasing is losing the expectations associated with the hardware.
                              Originally posted by blueman335
                              I've been slammed here a few times myself for not going with the crowd. I'd rather go in a different direction, and know why, then follow everyone else and not know why.

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