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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
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!
 

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Special Measures
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70 Posts
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.
 

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Dream Crusher
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21,053 Posts
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.
 

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NICE BLACKMACHINE YO
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7,276 Posts
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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Premium Member
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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.

:yesway:
 

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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.
 

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sawdust aficionado
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1,343 Posts
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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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks guys, I probably would've overlooked much of what was mentioned, glad you guys covered bases for me.
I'm using a craftsman fixed temperature iron, with the tip pictured in Stitch's post, I saw it at work earlier. My dad says he has one, but says temperature's not adjustable, I'm assuming this isn't of much significance so long as i'm careful. FWIW It's a Distortion/Jazz with a single coil to be determined.

I already shimmed my pickups, and tubes, so i'm good. :yesway:
 

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sawdust aficionado
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I'm using a craftsman fixed temperature iron, with the tip pictured in Stitch's post, I saw it at work earlier. My dad says he has one, but says temperature's not adjustable, I'm assuming this isn't of much significance so long as i'm careful.
If it isn't hot enough, it will take longer to solder, and it may not be hot enough to solder to the back of a potentiometer. Won't know until you try though.
 

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Ibanez Freak
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280 Posts
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.
THIS^^^^^

It's really hard to screw up a solder job--just have the diagrams so you connect them properly.
Shoot me a PM with what pickups you're dumping in and I'll walk you thru it.....
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
@Rob the iron/gun thing looks promising, and the owner of the gun will be helping me, although he's a 70 y/o Vietnam vet who just wants to see the guitar... >.> <.<

WRONG THREAD CASSIDY

It's really hard to screw up a solder job--just have the diagrams so you connect them properly.
Shoot me a PM with what pickups you're dumping in and I'll walk you thru it.....
Seymour Duncan Distortion/ Single coil to be determined(any recommendations?)/Jazz. h/s/h.
 
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