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Coming Soon: Pickup Installation 101...and we could use your help!

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  • Coming Soon: Pickup Installation 101...and we could use your help!

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    We’re excited to announce a new project we’ve been working on this past year. We created a step-by-step course for guitarists who are new to swapping pickups and guitar electronics—
    Pickup Installation 101. It’s going live next Wednesday March 31st. Our next phase for this new educational platform is to create a course that goes much deeper in guitar electronics.

    We’d love to hear from you on what types of more advanced mods you’d like to learn and have a deeper understanding of. Your ideas can help us make this the best educational course on guitar electronics around.

    Is there information you wish someone taught you? Is there a particular wiring mod you always wanted to learn?

    To give us feedback on what you want to learn click here.

    We’ll post the link for the Pickup Installation 101 course next Wednesday when it goes live so you can check out the set up/content!
    Dave, Ambassador/Writer/Artist for Seymour Duncan

  • #2
    Hey Dave, how far are you taking the "Pickup Installation 101"? How much are you going to cover and where are you leaving off?

    Are you covering pot type (log vs linear) and value (250k-1meg) selection, capacitor selection, how to wire 1/2/3 pickup guitars, toggle and blade switches, 50's vs modern wiring, series/split/parallel, magnet selection and how to do mag swapping/replacement, etc?

    We need to know that much at least before we can recommend what to cover in the next course.

    Great idea, by the way!
    Originally Posted by IanBallard
    Rule of thumb... the more pot you have, the better your tone.

    Comment


    • #3
      It'd be cool to learn about "partial taps" using resistors to load down one of the coils of humbuckers. Also, "spin-a-split" mods that use potentiometers to control how much of a coil gets shunted.

      Comment


      • #4
        I would recommend covering the key criteria in what to look for when shopping for a soldering iron. For me, gettng an iron with a variable temperature control feature made a big difference. Really only soldering to the back of pots and other heat sinks is the only time you need the iron at a temperature over 300°. Being able to keep the iron at lower temperatures for all other solder work, and only briefly turning the temp up for the hear sinks, does a tremendous amount to reduce wear on the solder tip, i have found. Similarly, covering best practices for how to solder and how to maintain a tinned tip.

        One more for consideration: covering the option to first uninstall and remove all the pots and the switch from the cavity, and push them into place on a piece of wood or cardboard that you have cut up to mirror the dimensions of the cavity. Then reinstall the soldered components into the guitar after 90% of the connections have been made - the pup wires and jack being the ones remaining to be done. I always found it tough to reach down into a cramped, populated cavity to touch only the correct pot lug with a hot iron without that iron touching up against another component and beginning to singe it. So I switched over to "outside the cavity wiring" a long time ago.
        Sanford: "The hardest part about tone chasing is losing the expectations associated with the hardware."

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by GuitarDoc View Post
          Hey Dave, how far are you taking the "Pickup Installation 101"? How much are you going to cover and where are you leaving off?

          Are you covering pot type (log vs linear) and value (250k-1meg) selection, capacitor selection, how to wire 1/2/3 pickup guitars, toggle and blade switches, 50's vs modern wiring, series/split/parallel, magnet selection and how to do mag swapping/replacement, etc?

          We need to know that much at least before we can recommend what to cover in the next course.

          Great idea, by the way!
          It starts with how to select tools, what to look for, and into the basics of soldering and wiring- what a pot, cap is, etc and moves through the basic LP, Strat & Tele installation. It then goes into a passive-to-active conversion. That is where it stops. Remember, this is 101, and there will most likely be a 201 and more- that's where we need your help.
          Each of the lessons in 101 are extremely in-depth with videos, and reading materials.
          Dave, Ambassador/Writer/Artist for Seymour Duncan

          Comment


          • #6
            I'd recommend rehabilitating the SD wiring diagram section as part of this project.

            I know from past experience that there were plenty of useful ones in there.
            Locating them has become increasingly difficult for years.

            Nowadays it's pretty much impossible except via Bing or Google.
            .
            "My hovercraft is full of eels."

            .

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by eclecticsynergy View Post
              I'd recommend rehabilitating the SD wiring diagram section as part of this project.

              I know from past experience that there were plenty of useful ones in there.
              Locating them has become increasingly difficult for years.

              Nowadays it's pretty much impossible except via Bing or Google.
              I know what you mean. Google is faster for me. And there are many diagrams that are either wrong or missing information- I made a whole thread about that.
              Dave, Ambassador/Writer/Artist for Seymour Duncan

              Comment


              • #8
                I wish someone had better, more clearly explained how the passive guitar circuit functions, how the pickup is an inductor, how it’s stimulated by string vibration to produce alternating current, and how that current flows through the components, volume, tone, switches, to the output jack and through the amp. Also some basic common principles to remember would be good, like individual volume/tone is before the switch, master volume/tone is after the switch; how to troubleshoot and check continuity systematically after soldering, etc.

                For 201, odd circuit concepts would be good, like the varitone, the 3 different Tele/Esquire RC network dark circuits, dummy coils, the complete Jimmy page wiring (with 6 switches), and more, like freeway switch and super switch wiring.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I know at first, I just learned how to solder, and follow a diagram. The theory behind it was a mystery.
                  Dave, Ambassador/Writer/Artist for Seymour Duncan

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Tips:
                    1. Don't cut the wires too short, if possible try to keep available as much as the stock pickup wire length. It helps with resale. Tuck the extra wire length under the pickup cavity and/or control cavity.

                    2. Heat Shrink Tubing is your friend. You can get them in various colors & diameters. Use them on all the pickup wires, the bare wire will benefit from it too.

                    3. Use a short/small flat end screw driver tip to help keep the wires in contact with the terminal surface if required. It also helps absorb some of the excess heat at times.

                    4. Always tin the wire & the contact surface you will be soldering it to. It also helps to scrape/sand the contact surface & then tin it.

                    5. I find it a lot easier to work with 60/40 solder than compared to lead free solder. Try it if it's available.

                    6. Some pickup manufactures use thin wires that are hard to strip with a wire stripper without breaking the wire, in such case use ya fingernail or heat the wire to melt off the plastic carefully.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Hank- View Post
                      Tips:
                      1. Don't cut the wires too short, if possible try to keep available as much as the stock pickup wire length. It helps with resale. Tuck the extra wire length under the pickup cavity and/or control cavity.

                      2. Heat Shrink Tubing is your friend. You can get them in various colors & diameters. Use them on all the pickup wires, the bare wire will benefit from it too.

                      3. Use a short/small flat end screw driver tip to help keep the wires in contact with the terminal surface if required. It also helps absorb some of the excess heat at times.

                      4. Always tin the wire & the contact surface you will be soldering it to. It also helps to scrape/sand the contact surface & then tin it.

                      5. I find it a lot easier to work with 60/40 solder than compared to lead free solder. Try it if it's available.

                      6. Some pickup manufactures use thin wires that are hard to strip with a wire stripper without breaking the wire, in such case use ya fingernail or heat the wire to melt off the plastic carefully.
                      While I appreciate the tips, this thread is essentially a wishlist to see what you might want covered in a course like this. Please take the survey here.
                      Dave, Ambassador/Writer/Artist for Seymour Duncan

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Mincer View Post

                        While I appreciate the tips, this thread is essentially a wishlist to see what you might want covered in a course like this. Please take the survey here.
                        Aw... We have to take the survey every time we have an idea?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Man... You can only do it once. Your fírst idea had better be your best.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            If you have an idea after you do the survey, post it here.
                            Dave, Ambassador/Writer/Artist for Seymour Duncan

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Its alive, its alive !!

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                              Who took my guitar?

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