#1
I have an odd no name humbucker that I am trying to wire up in the 1 volume only style. My only problem is the wire colors are odd and unlike any diagram I've seen. I bought a multimeter and now I know which wires go together but I'm not sure what to do now. Which ones do I twist together and which ones do I solder to a pot?
#2
send me a photo i can tell you in two seconds, i may have bought the same pickup before. I take pickups apart and modify them when I am bored so I can give you all sorts of insight.

first lets start off with the intimating "absolute worst case scenario" unravel the tape and remember there is two poles
north pole (one closest to the guitars neck)
south pole (closest to the guitars bridge)

to make a 4 wire humbucker work and do all the stuff it wants to do it's pretty straight forward. there should be 2 wires sticking out of each coil

north start - hot lead - signal in
north finish -ground - signal out
south finish - ground - signal out
south start - signal in / hot lead
bare wires are always soldered to the base plate.

so what does this mean? well to get it to be in series it's simple.
so the two inner wires are to be soldered together - tape the soldered wires together to prevent shorting (loss of signal if it touches the inside of the guitar)
the wire closest to the neck pickup goes to your selector
the wire closest to the bridge is to be soldered with the bare and goes to ground (back of pot lets say)
the base plate always goes to ground
you can re-wire a pickup to be permanently parallel too for a hum cancelling single coil tone , but yeah , electricity walks in , electricity walks out.

the risk free and easier way to start with is to just strip the ends of the wire together (no soldering needed) and set the multimeter to 20k in ohms and look for a reading. There is a few readings you can get so look for the biggest. Series (full power) , coil split (accentuating on one coil that makes the pickup buzz .. hence the term humbucker 50% the resistance) ... and parallel is your weakest reading you'll get.

any other questions or photos of the pickup , front and back plus whatever colors of the leads (wires) you have help. For the schematic use seymour duncan wiring diagrams even though the pickup isn't a seymour duncan they have the best diagrams.

this is an interesting video on the topic to help you visualize the first way i mentioned. the guy explains the importance of pickup poles
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ScDTlxqU64
Last edited by Tallwood13 at Jun 20, 2015,
#3
Thanks that stuff was interesting
I tried to take a picture but the cover won't com off because I superglued it in place but there are yellow,blue, black and red wires as well as the barre. The yellow and blue and the red and black are the pairs
#4
i just checked all the major color codes and i've never seen a blue wire inside a pickup. The fact it's pairs though may make things tricky. Perhaps a stacked humbucker would explain the 8 wires if i'm reading it right.

if not set the multimeter to 20k in ohms and see what happens. Usually since the wires are all different lengths the pickup usually tells you as I'm sure it was used prior. Kind of like this time i bought some PRS SE pickups off a guy and he didn't know , but he made a really good point to tell the neck pickup from the bridge pickup just look for the longer wire.

the good news is that since it's one pickup you don't have to worry about throwing the pickup out of phase.
Last edited by Tallwood13 at Jun 20, 2015,
#5
You already identified the pairs, and you want both coils in series. Since the overall polarity doesn't matter with just one pickup, there are only 2 ways to wire it. Choose one at random, and if the coils are out of phase, you know it needs to go the other way. For example, try hot to black, red to yellow, blue to ground. Out of phase coils will make it somewhat thin sounding with some "quack" noticeable on different notes, and I think it will produce a lot of hum as well (adding rather than cancelling). In that case, simply change it so red goes to blue and yellow to ground.