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Thread: Help with HH wiring in Ibanez S-series

  1. #81
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    Default Re: Help with HH wiring in Ibanez S-series

    Ok, I'll look it over and test. I have a decent Fluke so we should be all good there - that's how I've been testing the continuity of everything from previous posts. But as before, it may be a little while until I can carve out a day to tear it all apart again. but once I get there I'll report back. Thanks for the info.

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    Default Re: Help with HH wiring in Ibanez S-series

    Quote Originally Posted by RexRemus View Post
    Ok, I'll look it over and test. I have a decent Fluke so we should be all good there - that's how I've been testing the continuity of everything from previous posts. But as before, it may be a little while until I can carve out a day to tear it all apart again. but once I get there I'll report back. Thanks for the info.
    Ok. A full tear down shouldn't be necessary. Just unsolder the 8 locations where the green, red, white and black wires for each of the twovhumbuckers. Bare wire for each pickup can remain soldered where they currently are. The humbuckers don't even need to be removed. You just need access to those 8 wires.

    Edit: i was just refesshing myself on this video, and based on what he covers at about the 3minute 30 second mark: yes, also desolder the bare wires from their current locations.
    Last edited by Jack_TriPpEr; 05-17-2020 at 04:34 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarDoc View Post
    Good diagram Shadowfire90, but it isn't what the OP wants.

  3. #83
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    Default Re: Help with HH wiring in Ibanez S-series

    Ok Jack, finally had some time to watch that video.

    Initial testing on the neck pickup - I want to verify I'm doing this right...

    North start = black = ground (com/black on the meter)
    North Finish = white = hot (red on the meter)

    When testing by tapping the pickup I get negative voltage when touching and positive voltage when pulling away.

    This is on the coil opposite the logo (nearest to neck) with the pickup installed "normally" - not rotated.

    If I do green(south start) to ground and red (south finish) to hot I see positive voltage when touching and negative voltage when pulling away and this is on the logo coil (inner).

    It seems like the north coil is reverse polarity - but the south coil isn't? Am I reading that right?

    I assume coil starts are ground and coil finishes are hot? Is that a bad assumption?

    I have not tested the bridge yet, but I will be next and I'll post that.just wanted your opinion on the neck first

    Thanks!

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    Default Re: Help with HH wiring in Ibanez S-series

    So I see the same thing on the bridge with the north coil. So maybe I have it backwards and black is the hot and white is ground? But if I reverse that for the south coil, green hot, red ground - that shows negative touch, positive pull.

    So maybe I missed something or I'm doing something wrong.

    But I guess, right or wrong the bottom line is they are wired the same way. Same magnetic polarity, and same winding. In that video you sent I think he called this PRS wiring and that probably makes sense because Mark Holcomb's signature guitar line that these pickups go into are PRS guitars. So maybe that explains the weirdness from the start of all this?

    Thoughts?
    Last edited by RexRemus; 05-23-2020 at 02:58 PM.

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    Default Re: Help with HH wiring in Ibanez S-series

    Quote Originally Posted by RexRemus View Post
    So I see the same thing on the bridge with the north coil. So maybe I have it backwards and black is the hot and white is ground? But if I reverse that for the south coil, green hot, red ground - that shows negative touch, positive pull.

    So maybe I missed something or I'm doing something wrong.

    But I guess, right or wrong the bottom line is they are wired the same way. Same magnetic polarity, and same winding. In that video you sent I think he called this PRS wiring and that probably makes sense because Mark Holcomb's signature guitar line that these pickups go into are PRS guitars. So maybe that explains the weirdness from the start of all this?

    Thoughts?
    One of the main benefits of that video, is gaining the skill of how to figure out what each wire does without having any background information about the pickup at hand. So, I am a little hesitant to answer your questions, because instead, you should go back and use the techniques in the video to answer those questions. And forget your assumptions about you think you already know about each pickup, like "start wire is hot and finish wire is ground"... let the results of these tests instead tell you what is what.

    Of course, if you have limits on your free time where you won't be able to run these tests again for several more days, then yes I could answer your questions so we could move this issue forward. But if you can re-run the tests and use the techniques to answer your own questions, that would really help you in the long run, as far as understanding how to use the techniques in the video to their full potential.

    Also, did you notice that he pointed out that the "North" needle on a compass points to a *south* magnet? So you may want to re-evaluate the results you got from your compass tests a few days ago that you reported to me earlier.

    Also, if you did not do it already, please also perform the test he describes from about minute 3 to minute 4 of the ideo, of measuring *each* wire against *every other wire* on the pickup, including the bare wire. This reveals if either of the two coils has a short. We want to know about this for each pickup.
    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarDoc View Post
    Good diagram Shadowfire90, but it isn't what the OP wants.

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    Default Re: Help with HH wiring in Ibanez S-series

    Ok. Went through everything again today and took detailed notes. No shorts on either pickup - testing all leads against all others.

    Both pickups appear to be wired the same, and have the same polarity, so these results apply to both:

    Testing orientation:
    Pickup facing up, logo right side up on bottom, cable exits to the right

    Polarity Testing:
    Magnet points north at bottom (logo) coil, points south at top coil - Top coil = North, Bottom coil = South
    The marked north end of the test magnet points to bottom coil - north, pointing to south as you say, and the south end points to the top (north) coil. This is, honestly confusing because it depends on how the "testing" magnet is labeled - if north is ACTUALLY north, or the "north pointing" (actually south) end... Conceptually it's easy, it's harder to get the ACTUAL info - at least for the tool I was using. Next time I'll just get a damn compass...

    Coil wiring & Voltage testing:
    North start/hot (Black) to positive test lead, North finish/ground/negative (White) to common test lead - Positive DC voltage on touch, negative voltage on removal on top/north polarity coil
    South start/hot (Red) to positive test lead, South finish/ground/negative (Green) to common test lead - Positive DC voltage on touch, negative voltage on removal on bottom/south polarity coil

    So, my belief is that unlike initially assumed, the neck pickup does not need to be flipped for inners/outers (confirmed from previous hookup and testing) because it's magnet has already been "flipped" so that inners/outers would be N+S coils in both positions. It is not reverse wound however since it shows the exact same voltage when connected the same way as the bridge - black hot/white ground shows positive on both, vs showing negative (meaning white hot/black ground) on the north coil and same for red/green on south coil.

    So does this mean that polarity for the neck must be "flipped" via different wiring? Using red/white for hot/ground and tying together black/green vs the other way around?
    Last edited by RexRemus; 05-24-2020 at 06:37 PM.

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    Default Re: Help with HH wiring in Ibanez S-series

    Quote Originally Posted by RexRemus View Post
    Ok. Went through everything again today and took detailed notes. No shorts on either pickup - testing all leads against all others.

    Both pickups appear to be wired the same, and have the same polarity, so these results apply to both:

    Testing orientation:
    Pickup facing up, logo right side up on bottom, cable exits to the right

    Polarity Testing:
    Magnet points north at bottom (logo) coil, points south at top coil - Top coil = North, Bottom coil = South
    The marked north end of the test magnet points to bottom coil - north, pointing to south as you say, and the south end points to the top (north) coil. This is, honestly confusing because it depends on how the "testing" magnet is labeled - if north is ACTUALLY north, or the "north pointing" (actually south) end... Conceptually it's easy, it's harder to get the ACTUAL info - at least for the tool I was using. Next time I'll just get a damn compass...

    Coil wiring & Voltage testing:
    North start/hot (Black) to positive test lead, North finish/ground/negative (White) to common test lead - Positive DC voltage on touch, negative voltage on removal on top/north polarity coil
    South start/hot (Red) to positive test lead, South finish/ground/negative (Green) to common test lead - Positive DC voltage on touch, negative voltage on removal on bottom/south polarity coil

    So, my belief is that unlike initially assumed, the neck pickup does not need to be flipped for inners/outers (confirmed from previous hookup and testing) because it's magnet has already been "flipped" so that inners/outers would be N+S coils in both positions. It is not reverse wound however since it shows the exact same voltage when connected the same way as the bridge - black hot/white ground shows positive on both, vs showing negative (meaning white hot/black ground) on the north coil and same for red/green on south coil.

    So does this mean that polarity for the neck must be "flipped" via different wiring? Using red/white for hot/ground and tying together black/green vs the other way around?
    Great work! I hope you found this - while maybe a pain to have do twice - very helpful in understanding pickups.

    Your findings match my expectations based on what we observed originally with the pickups hooked up. Particularly, the Neck pickup has its magnet flipped in the opposite direction of normal but the wind direction of the coils is still normal.

    So my suggestion from a few replies ago for how to correct for this (before we decided to first take these measurements) still applies: you will swap places for where the neck pickup wires attach to the two-way switch. Those wire swaps accomplish the goal of reversing the flow of electricity through the coils, so that it ends up as a defacto reverse wind direction.

    By the way, as far as understabding how that magnet came to be flipped, I do not recall you ever answering my earlier question about whether you bought these pickups in New condition (where box was sealed and from an authorized Seymour Duncan dealer) or in Used condition? If you bought New, then that magnet flip was a mistake during the manufacturing process. If you bought Used, then the prior owner could have done the flip. So, what is the answer?

    Also, regarding your last question about how a bar magnet is marked: this video says the logic for labeling "North" and "South" markings on a bar magnet are the same as for a compass: the end which coincidentally points towards the *geographic* North pole gets labeled "North". So the two types are consistent. And when using either type to measure a bar magnet like we are here, it suffices to do as we have done, which is to conclude that if the end marked "North" in our test magnet is attracted to a particular coil, then we conclude that side of the magnet under thar coil has the opposite magnetic polarity (south).

    Last edited by Jack_TriPpEr; 05-25-2020 at 08:15 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarDoc View Post
    Good diagram Shadowfire90, but it isn't what the OP wants.

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    Default Re: Help with HH wiring in Ibanez S-series

    Thanks Jack and it was worth it, no worries there. I bought them new and sealed from Sweetwater. But as I mentioned previously, I wonder if the magnet flip is intentional for these as they came out of the custom shop originally and the artist who uses them has a PRS signature model and I believe most PRS HH configs have inner and outer coils combined - maybe I'm wrong? - so the flip may be intentional to make that easier to be hum canceling?

    Either way, at least we know now. I'll try to get it rewired soon. I took everything apart and out to shield the cavity, and I have better wire for jumping and connecting everything, so it should be a bit nicer this time

    https://photos.app.goo.gl/hhgvdpT2K6P3Rgou6

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    Default Re: Help with HH wiring in Ibanez S-series

    Quote Originally Posted by RexRemus View Post
    Thanks Jack and it was worth it, no worries there. I bought them new and sealed from Sweetwater. But as I mentioned previously, I wonder if the magnet flip is intentional for these as they came out of the custom shop originally and the artist who uses them has a PRS signature model and I believe most PRS HH configs have inner and outer coils combined - maybe I'm wrong? - so the flip may be intentional to make that easier to be hum canceling?

    Either way, at least we know now. I'll try to get it rewired soon. I took everything apart and out to shield the cavity, and I have better wire for jumping and connecting everything, so it should be a bit nicer this time

    https://photos.app.goo.gl/hhgvdpT2K6P3Rgou6
    Ok, sounds good.

    I spent some time this morning researching the PRS Mark Holcomb guitar and its coilsplit options, PRS pickup wiring color codes, and typical PRS coil split methods.

    The 6 string version of the Mark Holcomb guitar only has a 3 way switch, but does have a push-pull on the tone control for coilsplitting. It seems when the push-pull switch is up, position 1 is bridge pickup split, position 2 is splitcoil from eaxh humbucker combined in parallel, and position 3 is neck splitcoil. I could not find stated anywhere which particular coils are active in split coil mode.

    https://www.prsguitars.com/index.php...k_holcomb_2019




    I also found the reference attached below, with PRS headstock printed on it so I am going to assume the information is correct and official. It shows that PRS brand Neck pickups are made so that the Neck magnet is flipped, but based on its Hot wire being (color-wise) the same as the Bridge pickup's Ground wire, it seems to me that PRS does not also reverse-wind the coils on their Neck pickupe, but instead during install into the guitar, wires them in reverse to achieve defacto reverse wind (like we are about to do in your guitar). Good time for me to mention if I have not yet: to achieve hum-canceling when two coils are combined, each coil needs to have opposite magnetic polarity and opposite wind direction. So on that basis, I could now conceive the possibility that the magnet flip on the Neck Halcomb pickup Seymour Duncan - yet without the reverse wind of each coil that usually accompanies a magnet flip on SD brand pickups, was intentional by the SD Custom Shop... since these pickups are commonly installed in guitars that would be wired in "PRS fashion".

    Click image for larger version. 

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    However, since this Neck pickup is being sold in the aftermarket and in that case, many purchasers do not have PRS guitars nor are aware of this advanced level wiring method, it is disappointing that there is no printed advisory statement to that effect in the packaging of what you received from the custom shop, nor any mention of this on the product page for this pickup set on the Seymour Dincan site. Again, *if* my intepretation is correct about what I found about PRS pickup color code.
    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarDoc View Post
    Good diagram Shadowfire90, but it isn't what the OP wants.

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    Default Re: Help with HH wiring in Ibanez S-series

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack_TriPpEr View Post
    Ok, sounds good.

    I spent some time this morning researching the PRS Mark Holcomb guitar and its coilsplit options, PRS pickup wiring color codes, and typical PRS coil split methods.

    The 6 string version of the Mark Holcomb guitar only has a 3 way switch, but does have a push-pull on the tone control for coilsplitting. It seems when the push-pull switch is up, position 1 is bridge pickup split, position 2 is splitcoil from eaxh humbucker combined in parallel, and position 3 is neck splitcoil. I could not find stated anywhere which particular coils are active in split coil mode.

    https://www.prsguitars.com/index.php...k_holcomb_2019




    I also found the reference attached below, with PRS headstock printed on it so I am going to assume the information is correct and official. It shows that PRS brand Neck pickups are made so that the Neck magnet is flipped, but based on its Hot wire being (color-wise) the same as the Bridge pickup's Ground wire, it seems to me that PRS does not also reverse-wind the coils on their Neck pickupe, but instead during install into the guitar, wires them in reverse to achieve defacto reverse wind (like we are about to do in your guitar). Good time for me to mention if I have not yet: to achieve hum-canceling when two coils are combined, each coil needs to have opposite magnetic polarity and opposite wind direction. So on that basis, I could now conceive the possibility that the magnet flip on the Neck Halcomb pickup Seymour Duncan - yet without the reverse wind of each coil that usually accompanies a magnet flip on SD brand pickups, was intentional by the SD Custom Shop... since these pickups are commonly installed in guitars that would be wired in "PRS fashion".

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	20200525_133424.jpg 
Views:	7 
Size:	45.6 KB 
ID:	105055

    However, since this Neck pickup is being sold in the aftermarket and in that case, many purchasers do not have PRS guitars nor are aware of this advanced level wiring method, it is disappointing that there is no printed advisory statement to that effect in the packaging of what you received from the custom shop, nor any mention of this on the product page for this pickup set on the Seymour Dincan site. Again, *if* my intepretation is correct about what I found about PRS pickup color code.
    Oops, i did not add the attachment that indicates the polarity of each coil of each humbucker.

    Adding that now below. Note that this one and the prior one are in agreement that the Hot wire of the Neck pickup is colored like the Ground wire of the Bridge pickup, and vice versa.

    Click image for larger version. 

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Views:	7 
Size:	52.3 KB 
ID:	105056
    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarDoc View Post
    Good diagram Shadowfire90, but it isn't what the OP wants.

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    Default Re: Help with HH wiring in Ibanez S-series

    Yeah, I think that's it and it makes sense, but I agree it's very poor form not to include this in ANY documentation anywhere. Could have saved a lot of trouble.

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    Default Re: Help with HH wiring in Ibanez S-series

    Quote Originally Posted by RexRemus View Post
    Yeah, I think that's it and it makes sense, but I agree it's very poor form not to include this in ANY documentation anywhere. Could have saved a lot of trouble.
    I've been reading customer reviews on this set. I looked specifically at reviews of the pickups as an aftermarket purchase - not as an already-installed set in a Mark Holcomb signature guitar. So the reviews I am looking at are coming from people who had to go thru the install process. Of course, some percent of the installs were not done by them but someone else, either by a friend or a hired tech.

    I have found zero mention of anyone encountering this issue where the neck pickup magnet is flipped but the coils are not reverse wound. Since most people would not know to wire the neck pickup backwards, they would be finding 60 cycle hum when splitting the coils. This doesn't bode well for our earlier theory that all neck pickups in the set came like that from the SD factory. Instead it seems more like a one-off mistake.
    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarDoc View Post
    Good diagram Shadowfire90, but it isn't what the OP wants.

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    Default Re: Help with HH wiring in Ibanez S-series

    Hmmm, well just lucky then I guess... just not the good kind of lucky

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    Default Re: Help with HH wiring in Ibanez S-series

    So had some time and decided that since I was doing this over pretty much from scratch, I'd take another stab at the VLX91 since I just like the way it feels better than the EP1112. Since I was sort of eyeballing it before as far as a shim to level it off to the lip of the switch cover plate and routing in the guitar.

    So I took some time to measure, model, and 3D print up a shim plate for it and it does work... it's not quite perfect and in the extreme positions (1/5) it does sit a little close to the plate, but it's definitely usable.

    So once that was done I set about mapping the wiring between the two switches which just took a little time with the continuity meter but was fairly straightforward - the VLX is a weird switch, but it works exactly the same so this wasn't too bad to do. I found that in the end it led to a much neater cavity and has a much more positive engagement... just better "feel", I dunno. But I'm glad I took the time to do it.

    I also shielded the cavity while I was in there - not sure it'll have a huge impact but the room I record in has a TON of noise - my active bass pickups just get murdered and no direction or orientation I set my bass in solves it entirely - so I figured it couldn't hurt to do. And lastly, I swapped in a brass tone/sustain block and dropped the string gauge a little bit as I'm hoping that'll take a little bit of the mud out of the bottom as that seems to be the biggest issue with this guitar and low tuning.

    I still need to do a final setup and intonation (there's a little more string buzz than I'd like and sustain is getting clipped on the higher strings) but initial impressions are good. I honestly really like the bridge, zero thoughts or complaints there, it's aggressive but retains really good clarity and note separation it sounds good heavily distorted and pretty good clean - it can be a little bitey on cleans though, but it's not "bad". But for chugga-chugga I really like where it lands. The neck pickup is still a bit muddy but vastly reduced from the mojotones and I'm hoping once I get the action and everything set I can do a little height adjustment to maybe clean it up a little more. It's very woofy. The good news is that cleans up a good bit once you hit the parallel switch. In blended positions 2&4 (inners/outers) provide a nice "twang" and some chime and are probably going to be the go-to spots for cleans or slight crunch. I especially like these blends with the neck in parallel - I realize it's 3 coils at that point, but for whatever reason the mellowing effect of running the neck in parallel just makes it really nice in those positions. Position 3 is maybe the only spot I'm not thrilled with, it almost feels like you get the "worst" of both pickups. It's boomy on the low-end and sort of undefined on the high-end (you lose the aggresion of the bridge and don't really get the smoothness of the neck), again the parallel switch helps some witht this, and maybe with a different amp or a pedal I can make this position more usable, but right now it's the one I'm the least impressed with. That being said - I'm quite happy with this swap and the tones from all the other positions for the most part. Just a little final adjustment to do to dial it in and I'm hoping that just makes it all better. If I can't clear that woofiness out of the neck I may bug you all again for some tips to cut it out - I assume I need to drop a cap in somewhere, but not sure where - and then I'll hopefully be done and can just enjoy playing this thing.

    Here is a link to a few pics - I should have taken more, but didn't think about it at the time. I use trem blocks to help speed up the setup of the trem and with the new block, I had to print new ones to see which would fit the best.

    https://photos.app.goo.gl/QbbRZJctbPrQoAEG9

    I want to thank Jack for all of his help through this entire process. I've learned a lot. This is a truly great community and as a total noob I never felt unwelcome or talked down to. That's truly rare to find these days. I look forward to the next adventure in here.

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    Default Re: Help with HH wiring in Ibanez S-series

    Quote Originally Posted by RexRemus View Post
    So had some time and decided that since I was doing this over pretty much from scratch, I'd take another stab at the VLX91 since I just like the way it feels better than the EP1112. Since I was sort of eyeballing it before as far as a shim to level it off to the lip of the switch cover plate and routing in the guitar.

    So I took some time to measure, model, and 3D print up a shim plate for it and it does work... it's not quite perfect and in the extreme positions (1/5) it does sit a little close to the plate, but it's definitely usable.

    So once that was done I set about mapping the wiring between the two switches which just took a little time with the continuity meter but was fairly straightforward - the VLX is a weird switch, but it works exactly the same so this wasn't too bad to do. I found that in the end it led to a much neater cavity and has a much more positive engagement... just better "feel", I dunno. But I'm glad I took the time to do it.

    I also shielded the cavity while I was in there - not sure it'll have a huge impact but the room I record in has a TON of noise - my active bass pickups just get murdered and no direction or orientation I set my bass in solves it entirely - so I figured it couldn't hurt to do. And lastly, I swapped in a brass tone/sustain block and dropped the string gauge a little bit as I'm hoping that'll take a little bit of the mud out of the bottom as that seems to be the biggest issue with this guitar and low tuning.

    I still need to do a final setup and intonation (there's a little more string buzz than I'd like and sustain is getting clipped on the higher strings) but initial impressions are good. I honestly really like the bridge, zero thoughts or complaints there, it's aggressive but retains really good clarity and note separation it sounds good heavily distorted and pretty good clean - it can be a little bitey on cleans though, but it's not "bad". But for chugga-chugga I really like where it lands. The neck pickup is still a bit muddy but vastly reduced from the mojotones and I'm hoping once I get the action and everything set I can do a little height adjustment to maybe clean it up a little more. It's very woofy. The good news is that cleans up a good bit once you hit the parallel switch. In blended positions 2&4 (inners/outers) provide a nice "twang" and some chime and are probably going to be the go-to spots for cleans or slight crunch. I especially like these blends with the neck in parallel - I realize it's 3 coils at that point, but for whatever reason the mellowing effect of running the neck in parallel just makes it really nice in those positions. Position 3 is maybe the only spot I'm not thrilled with, it almost feels like you get the "worst" of both pickups. It's boomy on the low-end and sort of undefined on the high-end (you lose the aggresion of the bridge and don't really get the smoothness of the neck), again the parallel switch helps some witht this, and maybe with a different amp or a pedal I can make this position more usable, but right now it's the one I'm the least impressed with. That being said - I'm quite happy with this swap and the tones from all the other positions for the most part. Just a little final adjustment to do to dial it in and I'm hoping that just makes it all better. If I can't clear that woofiness out of the neck I may bug you all again for some tips to cut it out - I assume I need to drop a cap in somewhere, but not sure where - and then I'll hopefully be done and can just enjoy playing this thing.

    Here is a link to a few pics - I should have taken more, but didn't think about it at the time. I use trem blocks to help speed up the setup of the trem and with the new block, I had to print new ones to see which would fit the best.

    https://photos.app.goo.gl/QbbRZJctbPrQoAEG9

    I want to thank Jack for all of his help through this entire process. I've learned a lot. This is a truly great community and as a total noob I never felt unwelcome or talked down to. That's truly rare to find these days. I look forward to the next adventure in here.
    Congrats on the successes! And thanks for the kind words.

    So just to be clear: Positions 2 and 4 - with the Neck pickup NOT set to parallel mode - now seem free of 60 cycle hum?

    As a next potential mod to help with the woofiness in the neck pickup that you are describing, check out this writeup and video demo of what adding a Bass Cut control could do for that problem.

    https://tonefiend.com/guitar/two-ban...cheap-awesome/
    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarDoc View Post
    Good diagram Shadowfire90, but it isn't what the OP wants.

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    Default Re: Help with HH wiring in Ibanez S-series

    Yeah, confirming - all seems good. Thanks again! I'll take a look at that article. I don't know for sure if I need to go there yet, but once everything is setup and the ups are adjusted and I play with it a bit I'll make the call if I need to do something more drastic. The fact that across 2 different sets of pickups there's STILL a bit too much mud in the neck position tells me, I might. It may just be that this is how this guitar is. It's certainly reduced, but not "good" just yet. So maybe it needs to be addressed via other means. But we'll cross that bridge (neck, really) when we get there - and in a new thread

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