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---The Ultimate Wiring Thread---

Read my first posts before asking a question. We are here to HELP you, not do it FOR you. All the info you need is on this page. Unlike most 'Ultimate Thread' starters, I've kept this thread updated with info from certain posts within it. This makes the size of the thread irrelevant. If it isn't on the first page, it probably isn't in this thread.

There are some links on this page that actually teach you about this stuff (highlighted in red text below). If you learn about the components and how they interact, you can do this stuff for yourself and not have to rely on the generosity of others. Or, as Ice4600 once put it, "This thread is for guidance, its not a request thread. You should do the searching since you're the one that benefits from it, not any of us. We're here to help you and give as much explanation as possible, but we don't do the work for you. If you have a diagram, by all means post it and we'll check it for you".

If you looked through these first posts and didn't find what you needed and you still have a question, feel free to post it!

So, it's my belief that if someone is looking for wiring diagrams, the first place they'd look is the website of some well-known manufacturer. Apparently, though, this isn't the case... So here are some helpful websites with plenty of wiring diagrams.

Seymour Duncan
Fender (click the big "Downloads" button)

And here are some other sites that are just chock-full of useful info: This may help out if you have any noise issues you can't resolve. This may help out if you have any noise issues you can't resolve. This may help out if you have any noise issues you can't resolve.

Stew-Mac Info on guitar parts and how they work. Many really interesting passive wiring mods.

GuitarElectronics- Wiring resources. Diagrams of unconventional wiring schemes and how some parts work. (Scroll down to "Electric Guitars")

Guitar Nucleus- Some diagrams for a few individual guitars.

And let's not forget Google.

NOTICE: This thread is and shall remain a work in progress. If you see something that's not here and should be, tell me and I'll add it in. If you find broken images or dead links, please PM me so I can fix it!

Special thanks (in no particular order):

For their help. Cheers, guys
Last edited by Invader Jim at Aug 4, 2016,
---How it works---

I will be covering the switches that are mainly used in guitars:
-Toggle switches of various types
-Strat-style 3-way and 5-way lever switches (traditional and PCB versions)
-Les Paul-style 3-way skeleton switches
---Les Paul-style 3-way skeleton switches for 3-pickup guitars (coming soon)
-Rotary switches (more coming soon)

Toggle switches
A switch is made up of four main parts: an actuator, an armature, and the electrical parts, called "poles" and "throws". The armature is what controls the pole contact of the switch, whereas the actuator is what controls the armature. A toggle switch is so named because the actuator is a toggle (also called a bat). A Strat-style switch uses a lever as the actuator.

A pole is the common connection point of the switch section. The number of poles determines how many circuits the switch can control. A throw is one of the possible connections made by the pole. For example, a single-pole single-throw (SPST) switch has only one common terminal and one possible connection to that terminal, and thus only has two terminals. A single-pole double-throw (SPDT) switch has a single terminal that can be connected to one of two other terminals, so it has three total terminals. A double-pole double-throw switch has two seperate isolated sections with two throws each, making 6 terminals in total. Likewise, a three-pole double throw (3PDT) has three individual sections with two throws each (9 terminals total), etc. Any single-throw switch could also be called an on/off switch; likewise, any double-throw switch can be referred to as on/on.

Usually the number of positions a switch has is the same as the number of throws, but this is not always the case. A SPST switch only has one throw, but has two positions. You can also have a SPDT switch with three positions. It will be similar to a normal two-position SPDT, but has an extra stop (or detent) in the center position. The center position can either disconnect the pole from both throws or connect it to both throws at the same time. In the case of the former, it's called a SPDT center-off (or on/off/on) switch; the latter is called, naturally, a SPDT center-on (or on/on/on) switch. Switches with multiple poles can also have a center position, but the connections for the center-on types will vary depending on how many poles the switch has (see the diagram below). The image above is a cutaway view of a DPDT 2-way toggle switch. A 3-way is built in the same way but the poles are shaped a bit differently to give the toggle a center position and to provide a center-on or center-off configuration. Note that when the lever is down the poles connect to the upper throws and vice-versa. So if the lever is pointing one direction, the poles connect the opposite throws. It's kind of counter-intuitive. If you are uncertain, just use an ohm meter to see for sure.

If you're new to this stuff then it may take a while to fully understand the concept of classifying switches by their poles and throws. When I was a newbie, I thought that since a 3-way Strat lever switch had two poles and three positions, it was a DP3T switch. Likewise, a 5-way lever switch also had two poles, but it had 5 positions so I naturally assumed it was a DP5T switch. I was wrong. And though I was right about the 3-way switch, it was for the wrong reason. I was thinking in terms of the number of positions, not the number of actual individual connections. A 3-way lever switch has three separate connections that can be made by each pole, so it also happens to have three lever positions. A 5-way switch also has only three separate connections that each pole can make, but it has extra positions to allow it to short across adjacent connections; it may have five lever positions but it is still only a DP3T switch, just a slightly specialized version. Shorting across other connections does not count as an individual connection. Once I finally realized the difference between these two switches, everything else fell into place.

Another good example of a confusing switch would be the 3-way skeleton switch used in Les Paul and similar guitars. One might initially think that it was a SP3T switch, but if you study how the switch is made, you'll see that it is actually two separate SPST switches that are arranged in such a way that a single armature controls both of them. Even though there are actually two poles, they were intended to be wired together to control one circuit. The physical arrangement of the switch sections and the fact that the poles are wired together makes the switch a SPDT center-on switch. If you were to leave the pole lugs separated, the switch becomes two SPST switches controlled by one armature, where circuit A is "on" while circuit B is "off", circuit B is "on" while circuit A is "off", or circuits A and B are both "on"; circuits A and B can never both be "off" at the same time.

Strat-style lever switches

This is the inside of a Strat-style PCB switch. They are classified as DP3T regardless of whether it's a 3-way or 5-way switch. The 5-ways are not DP5T because they don't have 5 separate throws, but rather have 3 separate throws and extra stops (or detents) that let the contacts bridge between adjacent terminals. Three-way switches and 5-way switches are identical; 5-ways just have extra detents. The solid traces in the inner part of the switch are the poles. They are common to all the throws. The outer traces are the throws. The throws are connected to their respective poles by the leaves of the lever section (called an armature) pictured at left.

Here's another look at the PCB. I've labeled the sectors so that you can more clearly see which parts of the switch are active at each position. The traces for the throws are made to lap like that so that the extra detents (the 2 and 4 positions) will jumper their respective adjacent contacts. You can see the actual contact points made by the leaves where they have rubbed on the traces as the switch is rotated through its range. This rubbing action keeps the contacts clean over the useful life of the switch, but over time the leaves will eventually rub through the gold (or nickel silver) plating and down into the copper trace. Copper isn't very resistant to oxidation but the self-cleaning action of the switch will prolong its useful life. Below is a switch from a 1995 Korean-made Squier II that has clearly rubbed through into the copper traces. You'll notice that it has a different contact setup and the two poles are permanently connected inside the switch (no fancy wiring with this one). It also has a different spring mechanism which, personally, I think "feels" much better than a typical PCB switch.

This is the armature itself. You'll notice that one side has 5 detents and the other side has only 3. This is done to keep manufacturing costs as low as possible. In a 5-way switch, the spring assembly (shown below) is on the side with 5 detents. To make a 3-way switch, the manufacturer simply flips over the plastic mold for the armature body so that the spring assembly is on the side with 3 detents.

This is the spring assembly. There is a piece of spring steel held down at its ends and pressing against a steel ball bearing which engages the detents in the side of the armature body. If the switch feels too loose, the spring steel can be removed and flattened out to stiffen up the switch action.

How it works
In standard guitar wiring, the two poles are connected. That is how the tone pots get connected to their respective pickups (except master tones, which is parallel to the main signal path via the volume pot). The 2nd pole is not actually needed for the tone pots. You can get away with only using "half" the switch. Just wire the tones directly to the pickup you want them to control. This frees up the other half of the switch for other wiring stuff, like auto-splitting humbuckers. It is very important to note, however, that this only works if each pickup gets a separate tone pot; if any pickups (like the middle and bridge) share a single tone pot, you'll have to use the second pole of the switch or else the two pickups can't be used individually.

Whichever trace is connected to the circuit on one side, the opposite trace is connected on the other side (illustrated by the purple line). In the top image the switch is selecting the bridge pickup and anything connected to the other pole, like a tone pot (here the switch is shown with "modern" Strat wiring, with a tone pot for the middle and bridge pickups). In the bottom image we see a 5-way in the second position, where the bridge and middle pickups (and a tone pot) would be selected. Note that the pickups are in parallel.

This is a traditional Strat lever switch. On the left is a 3-way from about 1960 and on the right is a new 5-way. Notice how the older one is taller. The old switches will not fit into a "thin-bodied" guitar (like almost every Squier) without doing some routing.

Examine the picture. You'll see that there's a contact that touches the rail of the wiper. That's the Common (pole) lug. The blade on the end of the rail is the wiper. Whichever lug(s) it touches is connected to the pole. It is shown in position 2 (mid+bridge). Note that the two lugs are in parallel. Here it is in position 5 (neck):

And here is the 3-way when caught between detents, for the 2 and 4 positions. You'll notice that the wiper on the 3-way is slightly narrower than on the 5-way, but it is still just wide enough to jumper both of the lugs:

Until about 1977, Fender only used 3-ways in their Strats. You may have heard about people sticking toothpicks or matchsticks in the slot to hold the switch between detents to get these "new" sounds. Note that these positions weren't hum-canceling back then.

Other than these mechanical differences, they act exactly like the PCB switches. Here's a comparison diagram of the two switches:

Les Paul skeleton switches
Below are various Les Paul-style 3-way toggle switches, also called skeleton switches due to their open construction. They are classified as SPDT center-on. These are used with two pickups to select one, both, or the other. They are used instead of Strat-style switches because they are smaller and easier to mount. They are far less durable, however. Their open construction makes them susceptible to dust and dirt and they rely totally on the spring action of the leaves to operate properly, which wears out over time, causing the switch to become intermittent. Moreover, their cheap construction has the threaded mounting bushing pressed onto the frame of the switch; I've seen these things just pop right off. Quite honestly, I hate these switches. The box-style switches are a bit better since they are enclosed. They are also stamped together (though much more robustly), but they still operate in the same way as the open variety.

A worn-out, failing leaf can be fixed quite easily, though temporarily; just put the lever in the middle position and bend the failing leaf back into contact with the pole with a pair of small needle-nose pliers. Test it with an ohm meter to see if the plastic peg still lifts the leaf. This should only be considered a temporary fix. Getting a new switch is best. A great way to prevent the premature failure of either variety of this switch is to leave it in the middle position when you are not playing the guitar. This helps save the spring action of the leaves so they last that much longer.

These are used with 2-pickup guitars:

This one is used for 3-pickup guitars:

How it works

The way they operate is very simple. A plastic peg connected to the toggle moves a leaf off of the pole when moved in either extreme direction. The two leaves are always wanting to contact the poles due to their spring-action design, so when the toggle is in the middle position the peg doesn't lift any leaves and they both connect to the pole. Note that the pickups are in parallel.

You probably noticed that there are two Pole lugs. This is because of the design of the switch. Wiring the pole lugs together (as is done with guitar wiring) makes the switch a SPDT center-on switch. If you were to leave the pole lugs separated, the switch becomes two SPST switches controlled by one armature, where circuit A is "on" while circuit B is "off", circuit B is "on" while circuit A is "off", or circuits A and B are both "on"; circuits A and B can never both be "off" at the same time.

Rotary switches (to be expanded on later)
From MonkeyLink07:
This is a Rotary Switch:

Rotary switches come in many different sizes, and are classified like normal toggle switches with Poles and Throws. The Pole can be thought of as a common terminal. In any position, this terminal will always be connected to another terminal. Which terminal is is connected to is determined by the position and is called the Throw. So in position 1, throw 1 and the common terminal will be connected. In position 2, throw 2 and the common terminal will be connected, and so on.

This switch is a 4 Pole, 6 Throw, with 4 common terminals and each of those common terminals having 6 throws. These Poles are all separate and no connections are made between different poles. It can be thought of as 4 different 1 Pole 6 Throw switches if you like, but all controlled with one knob.

Here is a pinout of the 4P6T switch. CT stands for Common Terminal:

And the schematic version of one of the poles, for a better visual concept.

Also, let's cover Super Switches. A super switch is a 4P5T switch in a 5 way blade style. They work on the same basic throw and pole system as a rotary switch.

This is a Super Switch:

Some guitar tone controls (and how they work)
A guitar signal is not made up of a single frequency (unless you have a magic guitar that can generate a perfect sine wave). Just plucking a single string will generate many frequencies at once, all superimposed on each other. The fundamental frequency has the highest amplitude and harmonics are present at ever-decreasing amplitudes. The specific harmonics present and their individual amplitudes and phase relationships to the fundamental frequency will determine the shape of the waveform and, therefore, how it sounds. There's a whole field of study devoted to this, called Fourier analysis, and it can get very complicated very quickly. But for this article you only need to know that a guitar signal is an amalgamation of many frequencies all present at the same instance in time.

The standard default tone control

What it is:
Everyone is familiar with this one. It's the standard tone circuit used in guitars since the beginning. Known as a variable low-pass filter, it simply cuts high frequencies out of the signal. The pot and cap values are not critical and can be adjusted to suit anyone's preference. For example, early Strats used a 100n cap and 250k pots (the earliest models used 100k). Humbucker-equipped guitars tend to use 47n caps and 500k pots. Cheaper guitars tend to use 500k pots and 47n caps regardless, probably because it's easier and/or cheaper for the factory to only have to order a single value for their pots and capacitors.

How it works:
Notice that the tone control circuit is parallel to the signal path (it is connected across the signal path and ground); the output signal doesn't pass through it. The parts of the signal that do pass through the cap are shunted to ground and out of the signal path, never to be heard ("ground" can usually be thought of as "oblivion"). Since this is a passive tone control (it uses no amplifying devices) it can only cut frequencies out of the signal. The circuit is not boosting lows, but is throwing away highs.

When the tone pot is rolled all the way up (the wiper rotated all the way to the unconnected terminal), there is a 500k resistance in series with a 47nF cap to ground present across the signal. A cap's reactance varies with the applied frequency (reactance is basically the AC equivalent of resistance) with the reactance being the lowest at higher frequencies, causing them to pass through the cap very easily. The pot's resistance does not change with frequency. So the total impedance (resistance+reactance) of the tone circuit will be 500,000+Xc where Xc is the reactance of the cap at a specified frequency. Simply put, this puts a very light load on the signal (ignoring the parallel loads of the volume pot and whatever the guitar is plugged into) and only the very highest audible frequencies in the signal are bled off (because the load gets heavier as the frequencies get higher).

When the tone pot is rolled all the way down it is out of the circuit, being unconnected at one end, and only the reactance of the capacitor is present across the signal. This loads the signal quite heavily--but again, the load varies with frequency. All the highs are dumped from the signal, along with the mids in this case. The cap's reactance is highest at lower frequencies so the lows stay in the signal. With a big enough cap the tone circuit could let all the frequencies in the signal pass and the tone control would then become a terrible volume control. Conversely, very small tone caps will subtly shave off very high frequencies to smooth out the sound without it becoming a useless, muddled, treble-dump.

If you have ever wondered why (or if it's even true) that the value of the volume pot can affect the guitar's sound, higher values place a smaller load on the signal so the guitar sounds noticeably brighter. Single-coil circuits tend to use 250k to even out their inherent brightness and humbucker setups tend to use 500k to keep them from sounding too dark and muffled.

Note that any time a pot lug is not used it can be connected directly to the wiper. Should the pot become intermittent or fail (the wiper loses contact with the resistance element), connecting the unused lug to the wiper will ensure that a resistance is always present, regardless of the state of the wiper. Otherwise the pot would electrically "disappear" if the wiper lost contact. It's not mission-critical for a guitar, but it is good practice. You'll see this in the rest of the diagrams; I omitted it this time for clarity.

Treble-bleed mod

What it is:
When you turn down the volume pot on your guitar, you are dividing the pickup's output voltage down while also placing a heavier load on the signal path. This loading can cause a noticeable loss of high frequencies and playing dynamics. The cure is to put a small-value capacitor across the "input" terminal and "output" terminal of the volume pot to bypass some highs around it. Other ways to do this involve adding resistors in various configurations; some diagrams have a resistor added in parallel to the cap, and sometimes a second resistor is added in series with the cap. However, the resistors will change the apparent value and taper of the pot.

How it works:
Capacitors let highs pass more easily than lows so, being such a low capacitance value, the cap is basically shorting highs around the volume pot while leaving most of the signal unaffected. It will only have any effect if the volume is rolled down quite a bit. When the volume is fully up the pot shorts across the bypass cap, making it electrically absent; turning the pot down only a bit will just shunt the cap with a relatively low-value resistance meaning that, electrically, the cap is barely there. An audio-taper pot would be best here.

Peavey "dual/single" tone control
I don't know what else to call it...

What it is:
This is a clever modification of the standard tone control. By using a tapped pickup the tonal range of the guitar is greatly expanded. You could think of it as a hybrid blend pot/normal tone control. A 3-wire humbucker is shown but it would also work with a 4-wire humbucker, a tapped single-coil, two single-coils in series, etc...

How it works:
It is important to use S-tapered tone pots for this; modern pots have a W to indicate an S-taper (i.e. W250k). By having the tone pot full-CW, the bottom coil is shorted out, leaving only the top coil active, giving a bright "single-coil" sound. At 7-ish the tone control becomes "neutral" and both coils are active. Going below 7-ish acts like a regular tone control.

Bass-cut control

What it is:
By putting a high-value pot and a low-value cap in parallel and wiring them in series with the signal you can block low frequencies to get a much brighter sound. Due to the lack of lows, there will be a slight volume drop.

How it works:
The stuff in black is just a standard tone control, so let's just ignore it. With the 1M pot at full-CW, the 2n2 cap is shorted out and nothing is happening. With the 1M pot at full-CCW rotation, there is a 1M resistor across the 2n2 cap; for this purpose, that resistance is so high that it can be ignored and treated like an open circuit. This means that the 2n2 cap is now in series with the signal. Remember that caps pass high frequencies more easily than low frequencies, so the lows are being blocked and only the highs are making it to the output jack. Increasing this cap value will let more low frequencies into the signal and make the drop in volume less apparent.

Fender "Grease Bucket" control

What it is:
Rumor has it that this one is so named because the metallized film caps that were used in this circuit by the OEM supposedly look like buckets of grease. This circuit acts like a standard tone control but without the boomy characteristic when the pot is rolled all the way down.

How it works:
If you ignore the 4k7 resistor and 100n cap you'll see that, once again, the circuit reduces to a standard tone control. Adding the 4k7 resistor makes sure that there is always a resistance between the 22n cap and ground; it's exactly like having a ~255k tone pot that can never be turned down below ~5k. So what about that 100n cap? Having the tone pot at full-CW shorts it out and it does nothing. Having the pot set to full-CCW puts the 100n cap in series with the 22n cap. This is the equivalent of an 18n cap, which is in series with the 4k7 resistor to ground.

So why not just use an 18n tone cap and 4k7 resistor and be done with it? Well, this is where things get tricky because so far I've been ignoring the pickups and their effect on the guitar's tone circuit. Suffice it to say, some pickups sound best when loaded in a certain way. Even when the standard tone control is at maximum, it is still loading the pickup. When the Grease Bucket circuit's tone pot is at maximum, it loads the signal essentially in the same way as a standard tone circuit but rolling down the pot gradually lowers the apparent value of the tone cap, causing fewer mids to be dumped; this, combined with the effect of the 4k7 resistor, help mitigate the boomy sound that accompanies a standard control that's rolled down all the way while loading the pickups in the way they were intended while the tone pot is at maximum. Realistically, though, since the 4k7 resistor is such a small fraction of the pot's value the effect it contributes is probably not going to be that noticeable. You could probably just leave it out; increasing its value will only make the control less versatile. But at least now you know how it should work.

Tweed-style tone control

What it is:
This is another modification of the standard tone control. It's similar to what was originally used in old Fender tweed amps. I found this circuit online (really wish I could remember where) and I think it used a 1M tone pot. I didn't have one when I tried this circuit, so I used 500k.

How it works:
For simplicity's sake I'm going to say the volume and tone pots are both linear-taper 500k pots. With both pots fully "up" (full-CW rotation), the 1n and 470p caps are shorted out and therefore out of the circuit. The signal is loaded by the full resistance of the volume pot and the full resistance of the tone pot in series with the 22n cap to ground. In other words, there's nothing really going on and it's no different than the "default" control with the same volume and tone settings.

With the volume pot still at full-CW and the tone pot now at full-CCW, the full reactance of the 22n cap is across the signal, as with the standard tone control. But instead of the tone pot being out of the circuit, it is now a 500k resistance in series with the 1n cap to the signal. Some highs will bypass the tone circuit, but it's essentially negligible. The most effect is seen with the tone set around the middle, not at the extremes.

With the tone pot at full-CW and the volume pot set near mid-travel, the 470p and 1n caps are essentially in parallel, causing their values to sum and act like a treble bypass cap for the volume pot. The exact setting of the volume pot will change the caps' total apparent value by making them "more" or "less" shunted by the pot's resistance between the wiper and CW terminal.

With both pots set near mid-travel (let's say exactly halfway), the circuit will look like this:

The "treble-bleed" network is now a 1n cap and 250k resistor in series, shunted by a 470p cap and half the volume pot. There is a 250k resistor and 22n cap in series to ground, moderately loading the pickup signal and a 250k resistor to ground on the output jack, moderately loading the output signal. The 1n cap and half the tone pot let some signal bypass the circuit, but the 470p cap is having the most effect. Since a guitar signal is composed of many simultaneous frequencies, you'd have to pick a few frequencies and work out the caps' reactances to them and view the circuit in that light to fully see what's going on here ... You go ahead...I can wait.

I wired this one into my Michael Kelly Vex NV using the values shown and I quite like it. When the pickup switch is selecting the neck pickup only or both pickups at once, the sound is much more useful and less muddy. With the tone pot rolled all the way down there seem to be more mids left in the signal, which makes this setting much more usable. I can't explain why this would be (it could just be my ears playing tricks on me), but if it sounds good, it is good.

As always, there's more to come...
I may do a section on old Hofner tone controls. They did some interesting and unconventional stuff...

This is intended to give people a good working knowledge of capacitors in general, not just as applied to guitars. I know, it's long; capacitors can be a complex subject. There's a lot of information here. I tried to keep it simple, but not overly so.

Capacitor construction is very simple. It is just two metal plates put really close together, never touching, with an insulator of some kind (the dielectric) between them. Examine an old radio tuning capacitor. It has two sets of metal plates, one stationary (the stator) and one connected to a rotating shaft (the rotor). Each individual set of plates is connected to a common point, putting the plates in parallel (to increase effective plate area; capacitance adds in parallel) but the stator and rotor themselves are separated by air and never touch. The more enmeshed the plates, the higher the capacitance because of the higher shared surface area. For variable caps this value is very low, usually 500pF or less because physical size becomes a factor (RF circuits don't require high values anyway). Modern tuning caps are much smaller because they have polyethylene sheets between the plates, which are extremely thin and so close there's virtually no air between them, allowing a far smaller size. Putting the plates closer together increases the strength of the electrostatic field (where the energy is stored) but has a lower breakdown voltage than a cap with the plates farther apart for the same dielectric material. Note that the shape of the rotor plates determines the "taper" of the variable cap. Also note the old cap's segmented outer plates; these can be bent to adjust the tracking of the low-end of the band (they adjust the maximum attainable capacitance). Modern tuning caps have them too, but you can't see them or even get to them. Lastly, note the screws on the caps; these are called padders, as they are used to "pad" the value of the main cap (they are in parallel) to help alignment and tracking of the top-end of the band (they adjust the minimum attainable capacitance). On old caps they are two metal plates with a mica sheet between them; the top plate bows outward and is compressed with the screw, increasing the plates' proximity and thus capacitance. On modern caps they use the stator/rotor arrangement like the main cap. The value of the padders is only a few pF.

Fixed capacitors are folded up tightly inside a container of some kind, like a ceramic disc or epoxy. They are not polarized. In the old days, the "outer foil" side of a non-polarized cap was marked on the case and usually treated like the negative terminal. This is for noise-reduction purposes, as the outer foil sort of becomes a shield. I've read in old texts that it also "increases the life of the capacitor slightly". If you want to see which lead of a particular cap is connected to the outer foil, all you need are your guitar amp and a cable. Wire the capacitor across the two wires of the cable, noting which lead is on the hot wire, and squeeze the capacitor tightly between your thumb and index finger. Reverse the connections and squeeze it again. Whichever lead was on the hot wire when you heard the loudest hum/noise is the outer foil side.

Electrolytic capacitors are a different beast. They are made of aluminum plates with electrolyte-impregnated paper between them. The leads are welded to the plates at a certain point to minimize inductance (the plates are coiled up, after all) and the assembly is rolled up into an aluminum can and sealed with a rubber plug. The paper is not the dielectric, but is actually part of the negative plate. At the factory a voltage is applied to a newly-made cap to start a chemical reaction, forming an extremely thin aluminum-oxide layer on the positive plate (a process called anodizing). The magnitude of this voltage and how long it is applied determines the voltage rating of the cap. As such, electrolyic caps will "unform" if left unused for long periods. A voltage must be present to maintain the oxide layer. It will deteriorate while it sits on a shelf or in your junk box. Over many years the electrolyte will also evaporate and can even corrode the plates. The oxide layer makes electrolytic caps polarized. If you hook it up backward it will break down, causing the plates to short, destroying the capacitor. The anodized plate must always be more-positive than the other plate or the forming will be undone. Exceeding the voltage rating of the cap will also break down the oxide layer, by ripping electrons from it, and will heat up the electrolyte, causing a pressure build-up until it explodes. On larger caps you'll see score marks on the top of the can to control the explosion. Note that you should never use a capacitor whose case is bulged, cracked, or dented, or whose plug is cracked, bulging, or has leaked (the leads look corroded). To prevent premature failure of the electrolytic caps in electronic equipment, just turn the device on and let it run for an hour or so every month.

Non-polarized electrolytic caps, like those used to start some motors (such as a drill press), have both plates anodized, allowing them to work with either polarity (ever wonder what that hump on the motor's case was?). You can make a non-polarized cap by wiring together the negative leads of two identical polarized caps. Since they are in series the total capacitance value will be half that of a single cap. Note that in reverse-series their voltage ratings don't add. The oxide layer prevents significant leakage in the forward-direction, but acts almost like a short circuit in the reverse-direction. Using a polarized cap with AC slowly breaks down then partially reforms the oxide layer as the voltage swings, leading to eventual failure. Using two caps in reverse-series prevents excessive leakage in both directions. You can still improve on this, however.

Capacitors are classified according to their dielectric material. These materials include air, mica, pulverized ceramic, polyester, polystyrene, and Aerogel, an almost invisible ultra-light material that's a near-perfect insulator. It's what made very small-size, very high-value caps ("supercaps") practical. In the old days, waxed paper was a very common dielectric material. Paper isn't very robust so these old caps are incredibly unreliable. "Black beauties", tubulars, and "postage stamps" are some types of paper caps. You should replace any and all paper caps you find in old electronic gear.

Notes and Cautions
Electrolytic caps have an average service life of 20-30 years. If you get an old electronic device, a cap job should be high on the to-do list, even if it still works. Power supply filter caps take the most abuse so you should replace them in equipment older than 20 years (or even less). If your vintage gear has multi-section filter caps and you want to retain the original looks (important when servicing vintage amps), you can "re-stuff" the cans. This means removing the old guts and soldering modern discrete replacements to the old terminals. You could also try re-forming a vintage electrolytic by slowly bringing it up to full rated voltage and keeping it there for some length of time based on how long it sat unused, but this is tricky, time-consuming, and requires constant supervision. Sometimes it works, even if only temporarily, and sometimes a cap just can't be re-formed. Personally, I think it's better to just go through a circuit and shotgun all the electrolytic and paper caps. Why prolong the inevitable? Besides, new caps can bring a tired old circuit back to life.

In audio gear, weak or bad filter caps cause a pervasive hum with the volume and tone controls usually having little or no effect. In extreme cases this can damage the power supply or other circuits. Tonally, worn-out filter caps cause bad bass response. The entire amp literally lives off the first filter cap (the reservoir cap) most of the time. The rectified AC becomes DC pulses that charge the cap up to the peak voltage, while the load (the amp) pulls the charge from the cap at all other times, so the reservoir cap powers the whole amp by itself (thus, filter caps smooth the DC voltage from power supplies). The speaker is a paper cone connected to a moving electromagnet, and it takes more current to push the cone out on lower frequencies. Worn-out filter caps have a harder time supplying this current due to high leakage and other damage resulting in lowered capacitance, so the lows sound weak.

Some Theory and Practice
Caps store a charge because any voltage across the plates causes one plate to lose electrons (become more-positive) while the other gains electrons (becomes more-negative). Since the plates never touch, the electrons have nowhere to go and remain on the negative plate (ignoring leakage current through the dielectric since there's no such thing as a perfect insulator), forming an electrostatic field. Increasing the distance between the plates two-fold will lower the capacitance between them four-fold. Any two adjacent conductors will have capacitance between them as long as they are insulated from each other. Even two adjacent wires can become capacitively coupled.

Capacitance is the measure of how much charge a capacitor can hold and is measured in Farads. A Farad is a huge amount of capacitance, so most caps are rated in micro- (millionth), nano- (thousandth of a millionth), or picofarads (millionth of a millionth).

Capacitance adds in parallel because the total surface area of the plates adds up. When in series, the separation distance adds up, lowering the total capacitance. Parallel caps are like series resistors and series caps are like parallel resistors. Like many components, you can wire identical caps in series to increase the total voltage rating. The catch is that the total capacitance is reduced (the math is the same as with parallel resistors). It's good practice to include divider resistors across each cap to divide the voltage equally across them and ensure that one cap won't take more voltage than it is rated for. The typical value is from 100k-470k across each capacitor. They also serve to bleed off the caps' charge when the power is shut off.

A capacitor can block DC and pass AC, though with DC a pulse always gets through. If you wire a battery, lamp, and capacitor all in series, you'll see that the lamp glows briefly when you apply voltage. While the capacitor charges, electrons move through the lamp to one plate of the capacitor and the other plate loses electrons to the battery. This gives the illusion of current flow. When the cap is fully charged, no more current can flow (because the plates are "full" and there's a gap between them) so the lamp goes out. Small values don't hold much charge so the effect isn't as noticeable. If you replace the battery with a piece of wire you'll see that the same thing happens as the cap discharges, though the current flows in the opposite direction.

This pulse can be heard as a pop or thump in an amp when switching effects in and out. The reason "pull-down" resistors across the input and output get rid of this pop is that they provide a DC path to ground for the floating end of the input and output caps to discharge. When one end of a cap is open, the leakage current through the dielectric lets the voltage on the connected side bleed onto the open side. When the signal is switched back onto the open side, this voltage difference equalizing itself is heard as a pop. Typically a value of 1M is used on the input and the volume pot itself is the pull-down on the output, if it's a master volume with no caps after it (sometimes you'll still see a pull-down resistor on the output anyway--this is redundant and serves no real purpose). The value used depends on the value and leakage of the cap; smaller resistors do a better job but cause more signal loading and treble-loss. If using grounded-input true-bypass, you can do away with the input pull-down because the switch shorts the circuit input to ground in bypass mode.

With AC things are a bit different. As the voltage rises and falls, the cap charges and discharges, giving the illusion of current flow. The voltage across the capacitor lags the current through it by up to 90 degrees because caps resist voltage changes across them. This is why capacitors respond differently to different frequencies (it's called capacitive reactance). The ability of a cap to block DC and pass AC makes it perfectly suited for coupling amplifier stages, where it passes the AC audio signal while blocking the DC supply voltage, which would upset the operation of the following stage. They're also perfect for bypassing gain stages because they act like an open circuit to DC (not upsetting the stage's DC bias) and if the cap is arbitrarily large, as is usually the case, act like a short circuit to AC (maximizing stage gain). Partially bypassing gain stages (using small cap values) creates a treble-boost effect. I've rarely seen this done with guitar amps and effects; it's a great opportunity for tone-shaping rather than indiscriminate gain-pumping.

A look at this equation will illustrate how frequency affects capacitive reactance. Try working it with a fixed capacitance and different frequencies and graphing the results ("Where's my TI-83??"). Xc is capacitive reactance in Ohms; f is frequency in Hertz; C is capacitance in Farads.

You'll notice that caps aren't like "walls" blocking frequencies, rather they have a center-frequency where they have the least reactance, and the reactance "tapers up" as the frequencies decrease. It has to do with the voltage lagging the current. Caps pass highs more easily than lows because lows don't cause the cap to charge and discharge fast enough for a particular capacitance--remember when I said RF circuits don't need large capacitances? Large caps end up acting like short-circuits at radio frequencies.

Like a battery, capacitors can hold a charge--even for years--but unlike a battery, a capacitor can dump it's entire charge almost instantly. This characteristic makes high-voltage caps dangerous. If you were to end up across the cap's terminals, you'd get a nasty shock. It could even kill you, especially if you have a heart condition you're unaware of. Tubes, unlike transistors, stop conducting when their cathodes cool off. Semiconductors discharge their own circuits and don't use such high voltages anyway.

A related phenomenon exists, known as dielectric absorption. It's a strange but common occurrence where a capacitor that has been fully discharged, even removed from the circuit, starts to charge up again. No, your voltmeter isn't lying to you, there really is a voltage there. The molecular dipoles in the electrolyte become aligned with the electrostatic field produced by the voltage across the plates. When the voltage is removed, not all the dipoles are "reset" to a random orientation. The remaining aligned dipoles give the illusion of a voltage across the plates so the cap charges up again to a percentage of the voltage that was across it. Consider an old TV picture tube. On the back is a conductive paint called an aquadag (it's the same paint used to shield guitars). It forms one plate of a capacitor. An internal dag coating and the tube's second anode form the other plate, with the thick glass between them the dielectric. Together they make up the filter cap for the tube's high voltage. This cap can be up to 10nF with up to 30kV on it depending on the physical size of the screen. Even if you discharge the tube you'll get a horrible shock unless you wait a few minutes and discharge it again, and maybe a third time. Dielectric absorption is especially common with old, worn-out caps and high-voltage caps, though it occurs to some degree with all caps, especially electrolytics.

Coming soon: Potentiometers and Pickups
Last edited by Invader Jim at Today
---Frequently Asked Questions---

Before you do any of the troubleshooting tips listed here, rule out the obvious: test different cables, guitars, and amps to see if the problem lies in these. Also be sure to check the batteries. If the problem persists, then keep reading.

I need to learn how to solder. Any tutorials?
The internet is loaded with soldering tutorials, tips, and tricks. All you have to do is expend some effort to find them. Here's a really good one:

My guitar's output is really low or makes intermittent sound when I wiggle the jack or volume pot.
It could be one of several things. If it cuts in and out when you wiggle or turn the volume pot, then that pot is dead and needs to be replaced. If the same happens when you mess with the jack, then the jack is defective and should be replaced. Another cause is that there's a component or wire shorting to a ground point, which includes any foil or shielding paint (called "aquadag" or just "dag"), and is reducing or completely killing your signal. You might also just have crap soldering. A word about that...

If a solder joint is bad, then it has some resistance. Since these "resistors" are scattered all over, they make lots of series and parallel circuits with the other components. All series circuits are voltage dividers, and the largest voltage is always found across the largest resistance. Wires have ultra-low resistance (but resistance nonetheless) and bad solder joints have far greater resistances. This means that those bad joints have far greater voltages across them than are in the actual wire so your signal doesn't go anywhere and is dropped across the resistance of the solder joint (re-read the third sentence of this paragraph). Bad soldering can also make accidental diodes. Diodes always have a forward voltage drop, meaning if the voltage is the wrong polarity or isn't high enough, they won't even pass any current. If it does, the AC audio signal will be turned into a string of partially-rectified-DC "pulses".

I just rewired my guitar and now there is a loud, constant buzzing and when I touch metal the buzzing gets worse.
If this happens when you touch any metal part (that should be grounded), then you might have swapped the jack wires by accident. The lug connected to the inner circular part is the ground. The other lug is hot. If it only happens to individual metal parts (that should be grounded), then check to make sure you grounded the individual metal parts, rather than leaving them floating (unconnected) or accidentally connecting them to "hot" instead.

My guitar buzzes, but the buzzing stops/is reduced when I touch the strings or other (grounded) metal parts.
Relax, it's normal. Your guitar just needs better shielding techniques to quiet it down some (results can vary but there's always at least a bit of improvement).

Can I mix active and passive pickups?
This is from EMG's website:

It is possible to mix EMGs with passive pickups.
There are three possible wiring configurations; one is better than the other two.

1. Use the high impedance (250K-500K) volume and tone controls.
The problem is that the high impedance controls act more like a switch to the EMG [either Full Volume or No Volume]. The passive pickup, however, will work fine.

If you have a guitar with two pickups, two volume pots, and a three-way switch, there is another alternative. Use the 25K pots for the EMG, and the 250K or 500k pots for the passive pickup. This way you can use one or the other with no adverse affects, but with the switch in the middle position the passive pickup will have reduced gain and response.

2. Use the low-impedance (25K) volume and tone controls provided with the EMG.
The problem here is that the passive pickup will suffer a reduction in gain and loss of high-frequency response.

3. This is the best alternative. Install a buffer (impedance converter) on the passive pickup. There are two benefits to doing this: the gain of the passive pickup can be adjusted to match the EMG, and the buffer circuit acts as an impedance-matching device so you can use the low-impedance EMG controls (25K) without affecting the tone of the passive pickup.

What kind of wire should I use for wiring my guitar and where can I get it?
You don't need anything special. Basically any electronics store will sell spools of wire. Look for something around 22awg. You can use shielded, solid, or regular stranded wire. Obviously, shielded wire can help with noise. Solid is easier to work with because you don't have to twist and tin it, but it can break inside the insulation if handled roughly.

I have an unknown pickup. How can I figure out which wires do what?
Say you have 4 wires; A, B, C, and D. Get a DMM (digital multimeter) and measure the resistance between all of them.

A+B= Infinite
A+C= Infinite
A+D= 6k
B+C= 6k
B+D= Infinite
C+D= Infinite

Then A and D are one coil. B and C are the other.

Now set the DMM to DC Volts and get something magnetic, like a screwdriver. Lay it onto the pole pieces of, say, the North coil and quickly pull it straight up. If you get nothing on A and D, that means B and C are the North coil. A and D are the South. If the voltage goes negative, then swap the DMM probe connections. The wire on the red lead is hot for that coil. That last part is really tricky.

Say you have only 3 wires; A, B, and C. Measure the resistance between all of them.

A+B= 12k
A+C= 6k
B+C= 6k

A and C are one coil and B and C are the other, meaning wire C is the tap because it is common to both coils.

When splitting the coils, the 'on' coil is determined by whether the tap is connected to the pickup's hot wire or ground wire (you're basically just shorting out one of the coils). If the pickup ground and the tap are shorted, one coil remains on; if you short the pickup hot and tap, the other coil stays active. Use this info to make sure the pickups in your HSS or HSH configuration are in phase when selecting the single and humbucker/split humbucker. Wiring the tap to hot and the pickup's hot to ground will put the coils in parallel. Three-wire pickups can do everything that 4-wire pickups can do, except phase-reversal of the individual coils, which you wouldn't want anyway.

Figuring out which wires go to which coil is the same as with a 4-wire pickup.

I have a guitar with 2 volumes [and other stuff maybe] and one volume pot affects both pickups. WTF?
This is normal for LP style wiring. Try swapping the wires on the 2nd and 3rd lugs of each volume pot (looking at the pot from the front of the guitar).

My volume or tone pot sounds scratchy or acts funny. Should I replace it?
Probably. A scratchy pot means it is either dirty or worn. Either way, it's a sign of a cheap or aging pot. It's best to replace it now before it causes problems down the road.

Do I have to have F-spaced pups for my tremolo bridge? Does pole piece spacing even make a difference?
Not really, but it looks better and can keep the string volume more even on bends.

Is it possible to convert a two-conductor pickup to 3- or 4-conductor?
If the pickup is wax-potted (or not potted at all) then it's definitely possible and even pretty easy. If it is potted in lacquer then it is going to be very difficult and should only be attempted by a pro. If the pickup is epoxy-potted then it's impossible. Here's a tutorial explaining how to do it:

More to come...
Last edited by Invader Jim at Jul 9, 2016,

Here is a clipboard of switches, pickups, etc. that you can save to your computer and use to better illustrate your own diagrams, since many people are quite MSPaint-challenged.

Here's a really clever way to rewire a standard 5-way Strat switch to get the usual Strat combinations, but in position 3 you get the neck and bridge pickups in series, rather than the middle pickup alone. This is another one I found online and really wish I could remember where...

Here's a nifty way to wire LEDs for guitar pedals that doesn't have the LED/resistor solder junction floating in mid-air where it would cause undue stress on the components and look terrible. It's so simple it's stupid, but I've never seen it done before.

Pin-out for the Ibanez/Jackson/Yamaha VLX53 switch (thanks to SYK) :

Common switch pin-outs:

A pin-out for Aria switches (thanks to stuartm65):

How to wire an effect circuit into your guitar:

How to wire a DP6T rotary switch for 3 pickups to get all the standard 5-way lever switch settings (and in order!) plus the Neck and Bridge pickups for a Tele-style tone.
Last edited by Invader Jim at Jul 16, 2016,
Due to a lack of space above and no one noticing this as a link. I (zakkwyldefan79) am hijacking Chuck's post so I can make this an image. Now maybe people will notice it.

A list of pickup wire color codes:
Fender Thinline Telecaster Deluxe

1983 Aria Pro II XX Deluxe Flying V

2007 S101 EGU34

1963 Kay Vanguard

1964 Kay Vanguard

AXL Badwater SRO

Hondo Strat

1974 Acoustic(brand) 134 4x10 combo

Epiphone Valve Jr.
Reserved for myself, in case I have anything to bring to the table.

Edit: Also, great idea. This should be stickied.
Errr are general wiring q's ok? I'll delete this if not. I got this:

off the lovely people at Irongear, but I don't know where to ground it, is just on the side of the pots ok?
Ultimate wiring thread maybe?
Fender Thinline Telecaster Deluxe

1983 Aria Pro II XX Deluxe Flying V

2007 S101 EGU34

1963 Kay Vanguard

1964 Kay Vanguard

AXL Badwater SRO

Hondo Strat

1974 Acoustic(brand) 134 4x10 combo

Epiphone Valve Jr.
Quote by Invader Jim
Minibrowny: Wire it as-is and attatch a wire from the bridge to the case of a pot. Ground all pot casings to the sleeve of the jack.

Ahhhh thank you, I get it now I've never really understood them before. Cheers!

EDIT: Is it wired to the bridge on all guitars? I got a wraparound so would I just route out a small hole underneath and solder it to the bottom of the bridge?
Last edited by minibrowny at Dec 10, 2008,
wow! that last diagram on the 2nd post is crazy. Great idea too!

Quick question, if there was no single coil in that diagram, would the switch need to be adjusted in any way? would it need a three way switch??
A man said to the universe:
"Sir, I exist!"
"However," replied the universe,
"The fact has not created in me
A sense of obligation."

Last edited by ezlntrooper at Dec 12, 2008,
You could change it, or you could come up with funky things to do with it. I think you can wire a standard 5-way to auto-split two humbuckers. I'd have to sit down and think. I know you can auto-slpit the humbucker in a HSS guitar. Simple to do, too.
Sweet thread, yeah I'm getting pretty tired of all the repetitive $hit. UG = your personal search engine *sigh*

Also this wont be stickied, no 'ultimate thread' will ever be, there are too many, it takes up too much room. Although an 'ultimate ultimate' thread would be good, as there is no index of all the unstickied threads like 18V, killswitch, pedal mod, etc and the current stickies are old and not updated by the mods.

Most wiring diagram threads could just be answered by going to the Seymour Duncan website, they have a ton of diagrams there, people just dont look...

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Absent Mind is, as usual, completely correct.

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I have a question that's just to satisfy my curiosity. It's more of an installation question than a wiring question, but I thought I'd ask here and save some space instead of making a relatively pointless thread about it.

On a Les Paul or something similiar, how do you ground to the bridge? I know there's some kind of shaft leading from the control cavity, but if I needed to reground to the bridge, how would I do that?

Seems like a kind of impossible task, as though that's something that'd get done before the maple cap was put on. This is just something that I think might be a problem if I ever try to repair my LP with a broken headstock.

Sorry if this isn't the place for this question, too.
Reserved for my future diagrams I may find, and I did this to my guitar, by the way.

This is a pretty cool mod that makes your bridge and middle or middle and neck pickups sound like a humbucker, and they are noise-free too.
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Boss DS-1
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GAS List:
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Invader Jim, the seemingly boundless affection I hold for you has increased in it's vigor by at least 4 orders of magnitude because of this thread. You are the King.
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Quote by Chaosinborn
I am going to install a duncan sh-6 along with a 59 in my guitar, the sh6 has the 4 conductor wiring as shown on the duncan wirings, but the 59 doesnt. what is the diffference?

To my knowledge 4 conductor just gives you the option to coil tape, do phase switching, etc. Mods that wouldn't be possible with just two wires.
Quote by lumberjack
Invader Jim, the seemingly boundless affection I hold for you has increased in it's vigor by at least 4 orders of magnitude because of this thread. You are the King.


Thanks J-bomb.

So, haow to I put in that mods so I can whammy without the whammy bar? I grounede it wrong, my pots broke, and it isn't tube.
Enjoi <--- Friend me
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Quote by chip46
^Sound like or act like a humbucker? Because on Strats the 2nd and 4th positions do this already, making the middle and neck or middle and bridge act like a humbucker, or hum-cancel.

No they don't. A humbucker is two coils wired in series like this:
GROUND -()()()()+ -()()()()+ OUT

Two single coils like on a Strat would be in parallel, like this:

GROUND -()()()()+ OUT
GROUND -()()()()+ OUT

The mod I speak of acts like a humbucker as opposed to on regular Strats.
Schecter Hellraiser Deluxe
Boss DS-1
Crate GTD65

GAS List:
Mesa Boogie Dual Rectifier Roadster
Maybe add a post about the wiring differences between passive vs. active? Like the different cap and pot values? Other than that, great contribution dude! =]
Quote by Invader Jim
You could change it, or you could come up with funky things to do with it. I think you can wire a standard 5-way to auto-split two humbuckers. I'd have to sit down and think. I know you can auto-slpit the humbucker in a HSS guitar. Simple to do, too.

Very good point. I'll see what I can come up with.
A man said to the universe:
"Sir, I exist!"
"However," replied the universe,
"The fact has not created in me
A sense of obligation."

Quote by chip46
To my knowledge 4 conductor just gives you the option to coil tape, do phase switching, etc. Mods that wouldn't be possible with just two wires.

Actually, you can phase-reverse a two-wire pup (just swap hot and ground). Phasing refers to both pups, not reversing 1 coil in a humbucker. I've done that by mistake and it sounds terrible.

Quote by snot_foster25
On a Les Paul or something similiar, how do you ground to the bridge? I know there's some kind of shaft leading from the control cavity, but if I needed to reground to the bridge, how would I do that?

Seems like a kind of impossible task, as though that's something that'd get done before the maple cap was put on. This is just something that I think might be a problem if I ever try to repair my LP with a broken headstock.

There's a small hole drilled into the shaft where the bridge post will go. Before installing the bridge post bushing, a wire is inserted into this hole and held fast by the bushing.
Okay, check it out, I dunno if this should go in this thread, but I have a really simple question. Here's the diagram for my Strat configuration, it was a SSS but I'm putting a JB humbucker in the bridge. I figured everything out, but look:

The humbucker has red, white, silver, green, and black wires coming from it. The diagram doesn't differentiate between white and silver, so I'm not sure which one to solder to the Master Volume, and which one to tie up with the red wire.

So where do the white and silver wires from the humbucker go?
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If you fuck with me, I'll put my foot in your ass
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Yo, what the fuck are they yellin?!

Quote by JesusOfSbrbia
Okay, check it out, I dunno if this should go in this thread, but I have a really simple question. Here's the diagram for my Strat configuration, it was a SSS but I'm putting a JB humbucker in the bridge. I figured everything out, but look:

The humbucker has red, white, silver, green, and black wires coming from it. The diagram doesn't differentiate between white and silver, so I'm not sure which one to solder to the Master Volume, and which one to tie up with the red wire.

So where do the white and silver wires from the humbucker go?

The silver gets grounded to the back of the pot with the green wire. The white wire connects to the red wire.
I have two ground wires coming from the body of my guitar:

One connects to that screw in the middle, and the other goes into a hole and I assume connects to my tremolo block or something. Do both of those get soldered to my master volume pot? I forgot to make a note of that before I disconnected them.
I'm the type of nigga that's built to last
If you fuck with me, I'll put my foot in your ass
See, I don't give a fuck cause I keep bailin
Yo, what the fuck are they yellin?!

Thanks! This project is on hold for now because Musician's Friend sold me a pickguard with screw holes that don't match the ones on my new pickup. But I think I've done a pretty good job so far...
I'm the type of nigga that's built to last
If you fuck with me, I'll put my foot in your ass
See, I don't give a fuck cause I keep bailin
Yo, what the fuck are they yellin?!

Quote by Invader Jim
There's a small hole drilled into the shaft where the bridge post will go. Before installing the bridge post bushing, a wire is inserted into this hole and held fast by the bushing.

Oh, so it's not soldered to the bushing or anything? So, to replace this wire, I would need to remove the bushing, insert the wire, then hammer the bushing back in?
Hi folks,
The diagram that asfastasdark posted is from my website
Yes, a Strat in positions 2 and 4 is a humbucker wired in parallel. However, the really full, long sustain type of sound (great for distortion) is a humbucker wired in series. In order to hear the difference go to my webpage and click on the link to the you tube video that demonstrates both sounds very well.

I know I'm probably in the minority here, but if you buy a new Danelectro, they don't use the same wiring as the original. Originally the two pickups were wired in series. Here is a diagram of how they were wired back in the day. PLEASE NOTE: The switch is 3-way on/off/on, NOT on/on/on.
Good to know, end_citizen, and thanks for the contribution.

Quote by snot_foster25
Oh, so it's not soldered to the bushing or anything? So, to replace this wire, I would need to remove the bushing, insert the wire, then hammer the bushing back in?

Right. You shouldn't need to hammer it in, but yes, that's right.