#1
I have a vintage strat with 3 single coils, and I want to change the bridge and neck to humbuckers.
To do this, would it be as simple as cutting bigger holes in the pickguard for the humbuckers to fit, and then changing pickups? Or would the actual changing pickups be difficult? (I mean would wiring change? or is a humbucker wired the same way as a single coil?)
Thanks
#2
you can get stacked pickups, which are humbuckers in a single coil size

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#3
That Depends. Your pots might not have enough juice for a HSH configuration if they were meant to be running an SSS. Or you could go with a humbucker sized to fit a single coil routing, like the SD Little '59 or Hot Rails.
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Last edited by JagerSlushy at Aug 1, 2009,
#4
Yeah, i know about the hotrail type pickups, but I was looking at other pickups such as JB/59 etc. Sorry, but what do you mean "your pots might not have enough juice for an HSH configuration"?
THe sound would become weak?
#5
Quote by imbaguitar
Yeah, i know about the hotrail type pickups, but I was looking at other pickups such as JB/59 etc. Sorry, but what do you mean "your pots might not have enough juice for an HSH configuration"?
THe sound would become weak?

No, you probably wouldn't hear anything at all.
For example, if you have a 250k pot, less power is running to it than a 500k pot.
Therefore, the 500k pot can power more than the 250k.

Also, you'll have to route the guitar for the new pickups, or find a HSH pickguard if your guitar has a pickguard.
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#6
The pots have nothing to do with power, just how it shapes the tone. You can run 4 pickups off 1 250k pot or 1 pickup through a 1meg tone and 1 meg volume, it all depends on the sound you want.
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#7
Yah, the pots just affect tone, the different values dont have more "juice" than the others, theyre just personal preference.
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#8
Holy smokes Batman, this thread is full misinformation! Imbaguitar, this is why you should have posted your question in the Guitar Wiring Thread.

Jager, if your pots have juice in them, then you need to stop eating breakfast while playing guitar.
Also pots don't power anything. We are talking about passive electronics here. You could wire an HSH strat with no pots at all and it would work just fine. In passive electronics pots do not add anything (that requires an active circuit), they can only cut. Volume pots work by varying the amount of the signal that goes to ground instead of output. Tone pots work by varying the amount of treble that goes to ground instead of output.

Using a higher resistance pot (500K Ω is higher resistance than 250K Ω puts more resistance between your signal and ground and makes your sound "brighter". Because of this, 500K pots are typically used with humbuckers, and 250K pots are typically used with single coils. However, it is perfectly fine to use a different pot value if you want a different sound.

Now that we've had our electronics primer for the day, on to Imbaguitar's question.
You are correct that you will need to cut larger holes in your pickguard (or buy a different pickguard). Before you cut holes though, remove your pickguard and look at the routing in your guitar (the cavities that the pickups fit into). There are a few common varieties. SSS routing, HSH routing, swimming pool routing (aka universal). If you have a swimming pool or HSH routed guitar, you're good to go. If you have an SSS routed guitar, then you would need to route a larger cavity for the humbuckers, or get stacked (single coil-sized) humbuckers. Unless you want coil-splitting or series/parallel options with the humbuckers, then the wiring is exactly the same as with 3 single coils. You might want to change out your pots, you might not. That is explained above and is largely a matter of what sounds best to you.