I'm doing my first pickup install, tips/warnings?

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Thread: I'm doing my first pickup install, tips/warnings?

  1. #1

    Join Date: Aug 2012
    Location: Chicago, Il
    ME: Strat
    Rig: MKV25, Port City OS Wave

    iTrader: 1 (100%)

    I'm doing my first pickup install, tips/warnings?

    So I'm doing a pickup swap, I've never done this before, and its in my Ibanez prestige so I REALLY don't wanna mess it up. I just was hoping for a few tips/tricks/what not to do from people more experienced than myself. any how-to guides are extremely appreciated obviously!

  2. #2

    Join Date: Feb 2009
    Location: Fort Collins, CO
    ME: RG3570z
    MA: Breedlove Pursuit Concert
    Rig: Mesa/Boogie Mark Five:25

    iTrader: 4 (100%)

    Installing Pickups - Seymour Duncan

    Some good stuff here.

  3. #3

    Join Date: Oct 2012
    Location: Beds. UK
    ME: Ibanez RG
    MB: Ibanez SR405
    Rig: Kemper

    iTrader: 0

    TBH, it is just a few wires and its pretty hard to get it wrong. The best way is to make sure you've planned out what you're going to do before you start the job. Pretty much all pickup manufacturers have wiring diagrams on their sites to help you out.

    Also be aware that different pickup manufacturers have different colour coding on the wires so you may need to check out what colours go where etc. instead of copying what is already there.

  4. #4

    Join Date: Oct 2008
    Location: Manhattan
    ME: Warmoth Warhead
    MA: Blueridge BR-40
    MB: Dingwall ABI, Kubicki
    Rig: Budda SD30

    iTrader: 12 (100%)

    Make sure you have the correct wiring diagram and color codes for your brand of pickups.

    Pay attention to where wires go; it's likely that you will be putting the new wires in the same places.

    Getting stuff grounded to the back of a pot is a pain in the ass. There's a knack to it, but it can take a while to get, and make sure you leave enough excess stripped wire on the ground to miss once or twice.
    Too much focus leads to tunnel vision
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  5. #5

    Join Date: Sep 2008
    Location: Edinburgh, Scotland
    ME: Ibanez 540PIIM
    Rig: Peavey 6505

    iTrader: 1 (100%)

    What soldering iron do you have? I despise the pointed tips you get on most irons as they suck for actually transferring a decent amount of heat. I use bevelled tips like this:

    Always pre-tin your wires.

    When soldering to pots, tremolo claws and contacts, it is important to get the surface hot. The solder will flow to the iron easily and can clump on the wire but give a bad contact. You want to heat the area you are soldering enough that the solder flows onto the area effortlessly. And it really does flow.

    Don't get anything too hot, watch your temperature - if you're melting the pvc covering on the wires it's too hot!

    Practice on old pickups and pots if you can.
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  6. #6

    Join Date: Sep 2008
    Location: Black Swamp, OH
    ME: Rich Mahogany
    MA: Godin A6 Ultra
    MB: SR500
    Rig: Massive/Boobies

    iTrader: 16 (100%)

    1) Solder is the glue, NOT the conductor. Use it to stick stuff together, not to bridge a connection.

    2) Do NOT cold-solder a joint. Always heat the stuff you want soldered, then apply the solder to the heated things. You should never directly melt the solder from the iron (unless you are tinning the tip, as Stichypoo suggested).

    3) A hot soldering iron looks just like a cold soldering iron.

    4) A hot solder joint looks just like a cold solder joint.

  7. #7

    Join Date: Sep 2008
    Location: Boston, MA
    ME: JP6 / Carvin CS4
    MA: Martin DC-1E
    Rig: Axe-Fx II XL

    iTrader: 34 (100%)

    Quig's tips:

    - Always tin the new pickup wire after you cut/strip it.
    - Take your time. When you remove the old pickup, jot down what wires went where, just in case.
    - Shim the neck when finished.

  8. #8

    Join Date: Oct 2008
    Location: Seekaaahhhk, MA
    ME: Bugsy
    MA: Cane
    Rig: Bias

    iTrader: 2 (100%)

    Protect the guitar body surrounding the area in which you are soldering. Old towels or sweatshirts work well.

    Get one of those things with the adjustable alligator clamps to hold stuff for you while soldering.

    Also get some device for removing solder (solder sucker, braided copper). Cheap to have, and worth every penny when you need it.

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