#1
How can I test which leads are which(hot or ground)with a multimeter?
Quote by The Silent Fool
^ a winner we have.
#2
What you're trying to do is extremely difficult, if not impossible. A pickup is nothing more than wire wrapped around a bobbin and magnet. As such, it really doesn't have a hot or ground. We do want the pickups to be in-phase, which means that when we pluck a note, both pickups produce a positive signal at the same time and a negative signal at the same time. In other words, when the signal crosses the 0 volt line, both are either going positive or negative together. If they're out-of-phase, the sound will be thin. Really, the best way to do this is using an oscilloscope. It would let us see the phase relationship between the two and wire them identical. Failing that, your only hope is to wire it up and listen to it, then switch the leads from one pickup and listen again. One way it will sound nice, the other not so nice. We really can't do this with a multimeter. Of course, when you use this method, you need to have the pickup selector on both pickups.
#4
Well the guitar has not brand or anything. The pickups don't have anything either. They're p90s though. This guitar has rocker switches to turn each pickup on or off and a slide to turn them both off or on. When I got the guitar to fix it, it wasn't working so I can't tell which lead is which.
Quote by The Silent Fool
^ a winner we have.
#5
Quote by Scarr77
Well the guitar has not brand or anything. The pickups don't have anything either. They're p90s though. This guitar has rocker switches to turn each pickup on or off and a slide to turn them both off or on. When I got the guitar to fix it, it wasn't working so I can't tell which lead is which.

try to keep all your related questions in the same thread..
but anyway, you have red white and bare on your pickups, right?

measure the resistance between bare ->red, and bare->white
it should be an open circuit for both (infinite resistance), otherwise you may have some coil taps or something.

if both of those give you an open circuit, then just ground bare and choose which other wire you want to be ground. just be consistant between both pickups to stay away from phase problems
#6
Quote by james4
try to keep all your related questions in the same thread..
but anyway, you have red white and bare on your pickups, right?

measure the resistance between bare ->red, and bare->white
it should be an open circuit for both (infinite resistance), otherwise you may have some coil taps or something.

if both of those give you an open circuit, then just ground bare and choose which other wire you want to be ground. just be consistant between both pickups to stay away from phase problems

I apologize for the multiple threads

But uh, what should I set the multimeter to?
Quote by The Silent Fool
^ a winner we have.
#7
Quote by Scarr77
I apologize for the multiple threads

But uh, what should I set the multimeter to?

no worries

and what settings do you have?
set it to resistance. there's usually different settings, but it's usually 10R, 100R, 1k, 10k, 100k, maybe a few more

set it to 1k and you should be good. so any number that shows on the display should be multiplied by 1k to get you the actual number

though the purpose of measuring the resistance in your case is more to see if you have coil taps, or just phase reverse options.
all you really need to see is if there's any amount of resistance or continuity between bare either of the other leads
#8
Well it read 0. So what does this mean for me? Also how can I tell if the pickups are dead? My friend got the guitar for cheap at a fleamarket.
Quote by The Silent Fool
^ a winner we have.
#9
which setting were you on?
and where's you measure between that gave you zero?
was it zero, or 1? when a display shows an even one with no decimals it usually means infinite, not 1 or zero

just to make sure the pickups work at all, you could measure the resistance between the red and white wires from one pickup. on the 1k setting, you should get somewhere between 5 and 9-ish
#10
I have an analog, it was on x1k.
Quote by The Silent Fool
^ a winner we have.
#12
Nevermind, I did what James said and it works now, found out that the neck pickup is dead.
Quote by The Silent Fool
^ a winner we have.
#13
ffr, from the wiring thread.

I have an unknown pickup. How can I figure out which wires do what?
It's pretty easy.

Say you have 4 wires; A, B, C, and D.

Measure the resistance between all of them.

Say:
A+B=12k and A+D=6k. Then A and D are one coil. C and B 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 move it around. If you get nothing on A and D, that means C and B are the North coil. A and D are the South. If the voltage goes negative, then swap the wires. The wire on the red lead is hot for that coil.

...
#14
Contrary to what my esteemed colleges have said, you can measure a pickup's output as a voltage using a multi meter. The difficult part is getting the pickup to produce a DC output. You cant do with a string, the string moves in and out of the magnetic field producing AC. You have to introduce something magnetic into the field just once. That's hard to measure because the signal is small and very temporary. Yeah, an oscilloscope makes that a lot easier. If you get a positive signal when you do that with one pickup but a negative with the other, you have the phases reversed.

But as was mentioned, its really easy to do by trial and error (on a two wire pickup). It doesn't matter which side is hot or ground, as long as you get the two pickups in phase. Or add a switch to reverse the phase of one pickup. You were going to add that anyway, right ;-)

If its two, four wire humbuckers, the number of combinations is significantly higher than I would want to sort using just trial and error, so a multi meter will be very useful.
First, sort out which two wires are for each of the separate coils. This assumes that the center tap has already been separated. If those two are still together then ignore them and the other two wires are your hot and ground, skip to the last step. measure the resistance between any two wires. If its infinite, those two wires are from separate coils, or that coil is broken. Experiment with the two coils of one humbucker as if they were separate, two wire pickups until you get them in phase. Then wire the two coils together to make a two wire pickup (either in parallel or series, or switchable, your choice). You can unwire them later when you want to do a coil tap, but for now you have identified what the wires are. Repeat for the other humbucker. then (last step) a third time with both humbuckers and were done.