4 conductor lead, 3 conductor schematic

Discussion in 'Technical Side of Things' started by J Bird, Aug 14, 2021.

  1. J Bird

    J Bird Synchromatic

    I'm waiting for an email back from Lindy Fralin's shop about this, but maybe someone could point me towards a good resource regarding pickup installation.

    I've always been reluctant, to say the least, about soldering and such, but I must be getting bold (or stupid) in my old age. Suddenly, I've turned a new leaf and want to tackle pickup installation.

    Anyway, Lindy's schematic is for a three conductor lead, my pickups have four conductors. The extra conductor is the outside screw (whatever that means). Any informative links would be great.
     
  2. Ricochet

    Ricochet Senior Gretsch-Talker

    Nov 13, 2009
    Monkey Island
    Ground is sometimes left out as not to clutter the diagram. Whether that’s the case here I can’t say. Got a pic?
     
  3. J Bird

    J Bird Synchromatic

    Last edited: Aug 15, 2021
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  4. DennisC

    DennisC Country Gent

    Age:
    39
    May 11, 2017
    Germany
    Outside screw?

    The extra conductor may be a ground connection. Shielding, base plates and the like, but not the coil - everything else that is to be connected to ground. The, the middle conductor is inbetween coils and is used to disengage one coil, and for nothing else.

    As the above paragraph implies, this is the case for pickups with two coils. Pickups having only one coil, most likely in case they have three conductors, have a seperate ground connection. What are yours?
     
  5. Randy99CL

    Randy99CL Country Gent

    Feb 17, 2020
    Albuquerque
    HBs have two coils and each coil of wire has a beginning and an end so 4 wires. Often two of the wires are connected to put the two coils in series. When they are not connected it allows us to wire for coil-split.

    Don't know which colors Fralin uses though.
     
  6. J Bird

    J Bird Synchromatic

    DennisC, Randy99CL is on the right track. My Tonerider humbuckers have slug start and finish, and screw start and finish conductors. Lindy calls them inside and outside slug, and inside and outside screw. I believe you can also say plus and minus slug and screw. Every manufacturer color codes and labels them a little differently, but once you translate color codes and terms, it should jibe.
     
  7. mr coffee

    mr coffee Country Gent

    Oct 7, 2009
    Houston
    Three wire schematics are a bit of a throwback.

    You have five total points available to wire. Shield or braid or bare is connected to the base of the pickup and is used as ground regardless of how the coils themselves are wired. We'll ignore this for the remainder of my explanation for the sake of clarity.

    Then you have north start, north finish, south start and south finish. Colors vary from one brand to the next but there are tables online that will tell you which is which.

    The most basic wiring would be two-wire, with the coils in series. In this case, one wire from the north coil is connected to one wire from the south coil. If you connect a lead to that connection, you get a third wire. This was often done by companies like Dimarzio in the late 70s and early 80s - the Dual Sound was a Super Distortion with a third wire. This allowed for switching between full humbucking and single coil sounds.

    Eventually, somebody figured out that wiring humbuckers with four wires would allow all possible combinations of series/parallel/in-phase/out-of-phase as well as selecting the inner or outer coil. You still see some three wire pickups and some three wire schematics out there, which can make things fun.

    -m
     
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  8. DennisC

    DennisC Country Gent

    Age:
    39
    May 11, 2017
    Germany
    ... still don't get what outside screw means ... the outer end of the coil who is around the screws? Kinda the only thing making sense here...

    The diagram may be confusable: The switch on the push/pull pots are to be wired either like depicted on the right, or like on the left side, depending on which number of wires go out of your pickup - four (=every coils' ends are seperate, left side) or three (the connection between both coils goes out on number 3, right side. If you're after a split, and always want to split both pickups, you can do this on one push/pull pot entirely, as these usualy are 2P2T switches, and you only really use one pole of it per pickup. Then, you could still use the other push/pull switch for something else (like insert a lowcut that is engaged when pulled out). Or you could, instead of splitting the pickups, switch between serial and parallel, which doesn't make much of a difference to a split humbucker, but keeps the hum bucked (which is what I'd do, because hum sucks.

    ... you know what you're doing now, right? Got the colours decoded?
     
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  9. sgarnett

    sgarnett Synchromatic

    761
    Apr 14, 2020
    Kentucky
    Btw, the keys to soldering well are clean wires, and letting the workpiece melt the solder (not the iron).

    Bare copper oxidizes easily, and should be cleaned before soldering. Tinned (silver colored) wire should generally be clean enough unless it is burned/oxidized from previous work. In that case, cutting off the end and stripping a bit of insulation should get you to clean wire.

    Use the iron to heat the wire and the wire to melt the solder. Do not try to melt the solder on the iron. You want it to flow into the joint, wetting it, not ball up like mercury droplets.
     
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  10. thunder58

    thunder58 Super Moderator Staff Member

    Age:
    62
    Dec 23, 2010
    tappan ny
    Admin Post
    Sounds like a ground wire ... photos always help
     
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  11. DennisC

    DennisC Country Gent

    Age:
    39
    May 11, 2017
    Germany
    That, I can double.

    + if you get your hands on old solder, that still contains lead and other poisonous stuff - buy it. The regulations are made to protect people who use this stuff professionally, who work with it a few hours per workday - we private people, occasionally soldering our own devices and not spending hours a day in the vapors emitted during the process, but more like minutes per month, so we're not even close to as exposed as people working this stuff are - and, also, these are a lot easier to work with. These flow smoothly at a lower temperature, so the results, especially if you're not too used to soldering, will be better, and the exposition to poisonous fumes will be bearable. I use that stuff, to ... it's older than I am, my Dad bought a coil of solder in 1980 that isn't even halfway used up.

    If I do any repairs for other people, I usually put in a few inches, so they can chose to use the old poisonous stuff that makes good results a fair bit easier to achieve. So far, no one needed a new liver ... which is good, in regard to my inner organs, I'm not that much into sharity.

    ... but, anyway - got everything sorted out? All supplies you'll need are there?
     
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  12. J Bird

    J Bird Synchromatic

    "You know what you're doing now, right? Got the colours decoded?"

    Thanks Dennis. Yes, colors are decoded and I will most likely twist the north and south finish conductors together. Here's the link to the full recipe and instructions.

    https://www.fralinpickups.com/2017/07/09/blender-partial-tap/

    The neck and bridge pots are actually blender pots, not the more commonly used push/pull coil split pots. Initially, the link to the schematic was wrong, I just corrected it.

    Thanks for the soldering tips, good stuff.

    I find all of this very fascinating. Like a two year old, though most of my questions now start with "why," not "how." I'll wrap my head around all of this eventually.
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2021
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  13. DennisC

    DennisC Country Gent

    Age:
    39
    May 11, 2017
    Germany
    That's actually a pretty interesting wiring ... I plan on rewiring my Tele again anyway (because I bought a set of pots with better matching values - two times 1 MOhm and one time 100 kOhm - to replace the 500, 500, 50 kOHm-set currently working there, but this gets me thinking ... I don't really need the serial connection anyway ... I might do something like Bridge - Bridge-heavy mixture, neck to be blended in - both, equal - Neck-heavy mixture, Bridge to be blended in - Neck. It's a fiveway already anyway, therefore I won't need anything more.

    Master tone and volume at 1 MOhm will decrease the circuit's load and increase the frequency of the resonance peak a bit, tone will affect the output even less when turned up ... new caps, smaller than 10 nF / 20 nF as is now I think (changed them a few times and forgot ... I'll look...) will also ... but this schematic gets me thinking - quite interesting, sure is! As the current switch is a 4P5T, I won't run out of anything - and the blend pot, as a push/pull, could then include a function that makes the blend pot a lowcut affecting one pickup only, chosen by switch position.

    Anyway, I'd love to hear what you think of it. Continouus blendability is worth a lot, IMO is the most useful non-standard feature to include in a wiring.
     
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  14. stevo

    stevo Friend of Fred

    May 1, 2012
    Atlanta
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2021
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  15. J Bird

    J Bird Synchromatic

    That's it in a nutshell.

    If you can get that five-way to do what you are describing, I think you'll find some great in-between tones. A push/pull blend pot would be awesome, even better than the five-way switch.

    I've been a very enthusiastic user of my blender pots. Rolling-in just a bit of neck into the bridge and vice-versa is crucial.

    See, I had a set of Tonerider AC2 installed about three months ago in my '79 Gretsch Committee. The blender schematic in the link wasn't installed properly at that time. I only found out a couple of days ago when I opened up the control cavity. Long story short, I'm seriously considering redoing the installation properly myself.

    I'll be calling in an order tomorrow for the remaining parts that are required.
     
  16. stevo

    stevo Friend of Fred

    May 1, 2012
    Atlanta
    For the record, on that diagram, the wire that is soldered to the back of the pot is your ground/bare wire.
     
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  17. J Bird

    J Bird Synchromatic

    Indeed, stevo. That article on parallel wiring was interesting, certainly something to consider.

    Dennis, Lindy Fralin has one of those push/pull blender pots that might work for your Tele.
     
  18. stevo

    stevo Friend of Fred

    May 1, 2012
    Atlanta
    Sharing that wasn’t to push parallel wiring, it was to highlight the meaning behind “outer screw” etc. per your original post.
     
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  19. J Bird

    J Bird Synchromatic

    Right, thanks. My understanding of wiring a pickup has increased tenfold from a couple of days ago. I need to practice soldering. I've tinned some speaker wire, that's about it.
     
  20. stevo

    stevo Friend of Fred

    May 1, 2012
    Atlanta
    Tinning - that’s an important concept. You’re well on the way.
     
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