Heres the deal, I have an Ibanez S470 that I want to install an EMG S in the middle position on. The guitar is originally an H-S-H setup, and I had an EMG 81 and 60 installed back in 2005 professionally, so I dont really know exactly what was done or how the installation should go.

I want to add an EMG S into the middle position. So how exactly would I do that?

Heres a pic of the wiring. Im assuming the red wire on the pickup would splice into where the red arrow is pointing (the red lead off the battery clip) and the white wire on the pickup would splice into where the white arrow is point (on the back of the tone control)? Does the white wire just get soldered into that whole mess, or does it have to make contact/not make contact with certain things?

Now that I kind of have that figured out, the guy that installed them installed a 3 position switch. I still have the original 5 position switch. Can I use this instead of buying an EMG one? He didn't bother using one of the quick connect switches. The only quick connectors on this setup is at the back of the pickups, so Im gonna be soldering it all in anyway.

Assuming the answer to the above is yes, what wires would I run where on the switch when I go to swap them out? Heres a better picture of the leads on the stock 5 way switch.

Tried posting in there too. Still no answers. Surely one of the 77 people that have viewed this thread knows a little about wiring? Bump
This should help you a bit:

Here's another diagram for both the switch used in this diagram and your switch:
If you need me to explain further, let me know.
Last edited by blaaargh at Dec 26, 2011,
That should get me through it just fine. So my switch is most likely the "import"? What are the "c" leads for? (i know where they go but what is it and what does the c stand for?) also is it safe to assume that only one of the bridge middle and neck leads on the switch gets soldered onto in an active setup? DOes it matter which one? Thanks for the diagrams. Helped a whole lot
C = Common. That contact is always connected to one of the others. Which one is determined by what position the switch is in. Whichever one you use determines the side you should solder the pickups to. There's no need to do both sides unless you want different tone knobs for each pickup (Think Stratocasters).
So without worrying about the left over wires on my stock switch and tone/volume controls and trying to understand where they went to and what they did (because that will just confuse me) is this diagram basically what I want to do?

Thats a pic of my stock switch with left over wires and tone/volume controls. I drew the white wires off the switch longer to make it easier to view, and "cut" the black and red wires off the switch, and "extended" the red wire slightly.

Im going to call the 8 pins on the switch in the picture 1 through 8, in numerical order from bottom of the pic to top. So pretty much I would just remove the wires off of pins 1, 2 and 3 (the wires circled in black). Pins 4 and 5 are "common", and then 6, 7 and 8 are where I would connect the pickup wires off the back of the tone control?

Is that it, or is there more to it?

It looks like in the diagram posted above that the two common wires are jumpered, and that one of them (on the side the pickup wires come off of) goes to the volume control. Do I need to worry about this jumper wire, or just leave the common pin on the non connected side of the switch alone? Whats the purpose of jumping those two pins in the diagram if its not necessary?

Assuming thats it, I have a few more questions that could use some clarification. My pickup wires are soldered to the back of my tone control. Everything else I see uses the volume control. Does this matter?

At that joint on the back of the volume (or tone in my case) control, are all 3 wires to be soldered together, then soldered to the back of the control, or does each individual wire need to not make contact with one another, or does it not matter?

Sorry for being such a pain. If I can get these last few questions answered, I think Im good to go
Actually, you need to jumper the common pin from the side the pups are connected to to the common on the other side, and from that pin to the volume. The way a 5-way switch works is there are two stages - the input stage, where you connect your pups, and the output stage, which goes to your pots. This article explains it pretty well. You'll want to wire it like this: Pin 8=bridge pup, Pin 7=mid pup, Pin 6=neck pup, Pin 5=jumper to pin 4, Pin 4=out to volume. If you don't jumper those two pins, you won't have any output.
As for the other questions, soldering to the back of the volume control is how most passive systems are grounded. I'm guessing EMGs have a different method for grounding. I don't really know why they're soldered to the tone pot, but I don't think it matters. For your second question, there's no way to solder wires together and have them not be in contact with each other. That said, the way I'd do it would be to connect the pup lead to the wire going to the switch first, then solder that connection to the back of the pot. That way you've made sure everything that's supposed to be connecting is connecting properly. Hope that helps!