Pickup Wiring with details.
Details on wiring a pickup. I don’t believe in soldering to the back of potentiometers as they are soft carbon and really you need to get them pretty damn hot to solder wires to them. Plus it’s a pain in the rear putting multiple ground wires on one pot. So here is an easier way to do it.
These instructions assume everything is currently removed from the control cavity.
On this page I will modify two of Dennis Fano’s guitars. The first is my favorite the Psonicsphear, with Fralin pickups. The second is the Rivolta JR, it’s easier to understand the concept since it has a single P90 Pickup. In this case there is a Lollar installed.
As you can see I placed the Tone Capacitor wire through Pin 1 Volume and then through the Solder Lug Washer. This in a sense creates a ground between the pots body, copper tape and now the ground reference pin of the Volume control
See the output to the JACK should come directly from the Volume wiper (+) and the Volume ground reference as that is where the signal is coming from. Too many people just ground everything and expect good signal but that doesn’t happen unless you pay attention to the current loop of the signal which is derived from the wiper to the ground on the Volume control.
Next I solder the positive lead to pin 2 of the volume control (wiper).
This technique is called star grounding. Centralizing the ground in one spot is so much better than grounding to the back of one pot and then expecting the copper tape or metal shell of the control cavity to secure good ground. We use this technology in electronics all the time for low noise and higher fidelity.
As you can see we have the pickup wire going to terminal 3 of the Volume control. We have the tone cap again strung through terminal 1 of the Volume control to the Solder Lug which is placed between the volume control and the copper tape. The red wire links the Pickup wire and the Volume (terminal 3) to the tone control. Terminal 2 of the Tone connected to the hot side of the cap.
Quick note on hot and ground side of a cap. Typically the ground side of a cap (short lead or specified) is the outer layer of the capacitor. Ground that side will in a sense shield the cap from radiated noise.
As you can see the bridge wire and jack wire as well as the shield (negative wire of the pickup) are all connected to terminal 1 of the Volume and also the Solder Lug.
SPC Technology Solder Lug, available at Newark Electronics world wide.
Pots (Bourns, CTS, Precision Electronics Corp [My Fav], copper tape, solder, tools almost anything electronic ever made @ DigiKey.
Tone Caps, my fav are the new V-Cap ToneCaps simply the best.
Pickups Lollar and Fralin are my favorites.
Here is a PDF of the instructions if you want to download and keep it handy.
If you have questions or suggestions, don’t hesitate to contact me.