I just received a REDactive handwired pickguard from GFS.

I was about to solder on a groundwire from volume pot to trem.... but thought I better check the net first...

No instructions arrived with the guard... so maybe its just a case of popping it in ?

Maybe Active pickups don't require a ground wire ?

Maybe Active pickups still do ?

Your advice please I dont want to die
Last edited by itsjohnkirk at Jan 17, 2014,
I'm not sure if you ground the pots (I would not think so) But you do not ground to the bridge, like you would passive pickups
2002 PRS CE22
2013 G&L ASAT Deluxe
2009 Epiphone G-400 (SH-4)
Marshall JCM2000 DSL100
Krank 1980 Jr 20watt
Krank Rev 4x12 (eminence V12)
GFS Greenie/Digitech Bad Monkey
Morley Bad Horsie 2
MXR Smart Gate
did some research...

in general I found that active pickups don't need a ground wire, that's apparently a feature of them.

Popped in the pickguard, new battery, strung up..

something's wrong,
No sound through high channel on my amp..
faint sound on the lo channel.
volume pot dosnt seem to do anything ?


could it be that these REDactives need an earth from volume pot to trem ?
Actives don't need a bridge ground because they are low-impedance and thus aren't very susceptible to noise pickup. For the same reason you don't need the ground the backs of the pots (remember that the CCW lugs of any volume pots and any tone caps present must still be grounded).

Make sure your pickups are getting power and make sure there are no shorts or solder bridges between adjacent pot and switch lugs. What all did you actually touch? Its odd that a prewired pickguard wouldn't work.

Did you get a stereo input jack to wire in place of the original on the guitar?
2002 PRS CE22
2013 G&L ASAT Deluxe
2009 Epiphone G-400 (SH-4)
Marshall JCM2000 DSL100
Krank 1980 Jr 20watt
Krank Rev 4x12 (eminence V12)
GFS Greenie/Digitech Bad Monkey
Morley Bad Horsie 2
MXR Smart Gate
I did not get any wiring diagrams with the guard (as it was pre-wired)

So... no clue as to what to do, I did send a email to GFS but its a weekend..


I found this image on the GFS site, which is a picture of what I received. (except I went for the REDactives without the EQ's)


I checked the Jack connection order with the picture and all 3 were in a different place.
Once I changed the order to the above picture....Ta Darrr !... working

Now, before I took these connectors off to thread the cables trough the bodywork I marked the ends to be sure to get them back in the same order...
So... Looks like GFS got the order wrong.

CCW lugs ? ... Well, as I got no instructions with the pickguard I assumed no soldering is required ?
CCW=counter clockwise. With the pot shaft pointing toward you, lug 1 is the counter clockwise lug and lug 3 is the clockwise lug.

Anyway it seems to be moot point now. Glad you got it working.
Took it to a local guitar shop... brought it out of the tweed case...

WOW ... IS IT VINTAGE said the gentleman shopkeeper...sunburst, black pickups and knobs on a mirrorguard.
and are those EMG's ?

No... paint still wet I replied

Tried it through a 80's amp... FAT tone, Very quiet/noisless pickups.. as far as I could tell silent. Still sounded and felt very much like a quacky strat !!!
Huge Powerful tone, with that additional compression strats don't normally do.
In order to get treble, I 'HAD' to select bridge/bridge&mid .... Im so used to keeping the strat in neck or mid and using the tone pot for variety..
GREAT to see all the pickups with a true role !.
I play blues styles mainly...
Love em !
Had an Ibanez once with actives, hated the neck, hated the metal (always on) compression..

I had lots of boxes I hoped these would tick, and I nearly went for vintage premium coils instead....
The REDactives 'in my humble opinion' ticked every box and do exactly what GFS say they do.
I was grinding my teeth when I struck the first licks preparing myself for potential disappointment.... My smile just got bigger and bigger though, exceeded all hopes.
bit of red house, bit of trower, bit of rory (I wish, but I try )

Hardware IS and feels solid/smooth,

shame they mixed up the pull on pull off jack connectors... but, easy fix in the end...
Thanks for all the forum responses as well

Worth every penny... immmmmensly improved guitar
Sounds killer, man. I've heard nothing but good reports about GFS pickups. I've been eyeballing the Fender Custom Shop '69s for years, though (do they even still sell those?). I do love a strat with a good blues sound. I barely even play anymore but I'm always messing around building pedals and such. Ironic, really. Lately I've been messing with my micro-sized Radio Champ tube amp, trying to wring all I can out of it.