Hello all, I need some electrical help. I have a guitar w/ this pickup and volume and tone combination:

Dual humbucker, 1 volume, 1 tone. I have the led string below.


These are just run on 2 button batteries. What I would like to be able to do is NOT use a battery and use the input jack as a power source. I also want the lights to use the volume knob. Like so when the volume is turned down on the guitar, it turns the lights down as well. Can someone help a bit? I have seen LED's in guitar, but they were all run by switch and battery operated, is there a way to do it how I described?
You'll need to use a TRS jack and cable, and you'll need a transformer and an AC cable.

Older Variax guitars do this very thing, and you can probably pick up a replacement box from them. One of these: http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/VariaxPwrKit?adpos=1o1&creative=54989263441&device=c&matchtype=&network=g&gclid=CjwKEAjwzdGxBRC3rPWZq83FzyUSJAB9IC5ieBrYk2ikQ2RrKZf40QwoPlf7LeC1WkBSqL-rpBoLyxoCV_3w_wcB

Then you just need to find the right kind of potentiometer, etc., for your LEDs for the guitar. If you can set that up to work off a concentric volume knob, you're done.

It can be done, but since I'm not doing it for MY guitar (onboard batteries make far more sense, honestly), you'll have to gin up the rest of the electric values yourself.

Guitar signal voltage is not enough to power any LEDs. And your LEDs need 6 volts.

What you can do if you don't want to have a manual switch is get a stereo jack for your output jack and wire the LED ground to the ring terminal on the jack and the shaft terminal to the battery ground. Then they'll always be on when you have the guitar plugged in.

That's the way they wire onboard effects like Sustainiacs and also regular active pickups, too.

Warning--this might make your guitar noisy. If you don't have enough shielding LEDs can do that in high-gain situations even if they're not wired into the audio circuit at all.
Thanks, after seeing that I'll just use the battery pack and have it sitting in the trem cavity in the back
Quote by SpeedSterHR

Guitar signal voltage is not enough to power any LEDs. And your LEDs need 6 volts.

Just to clarify; SpeeSterHR is correct that guitar signal voltage is not enough to power LEDs.

The Variax solution, above, carries a separate voltage to the Variax electronics on those modeling guitars via the TRS cable. I'm guessing it's around 6 - 9V. You could power the Variax either with a multi battery AA setup or through one of these boxes. The box also works as an A/B box.

LEDs work off a fairly wide variety of voltages; my Princeton Tec hiking headlamps utilize three AAA batteries (4.5V nominal). Others make use of a 9V, etc.
Quote by keebaeklim
Thanks, after seeing that I'll just use the battery pack and have it sitting in the trem cavity in the back

Any idea how you intend to use the LEDs?
FretFX and others have fret marker lights (fret edge only) ready to go: https://fretfx.com/
The coin-size battery lives in a tiny adapter on the back of the headstock.

one out of the box idea. I know the strip light LED's that you can get on Ebay run on roughly 9v , so ask ourselves this. Prior to 2010 or so forgetting custom shops exist and thinking of what only the "winners" like fender , gibson , prs and so forth did to their production models and to a time where there was no separate compartment for 9v batteries what stopped everyone from cramming a 9v battery into our control cavities?

I'd get some of those LED's and install a stereo jack onto a guitar. This is without getting into transistors and all that PCB world to boost the electrical current of something more stealth like a AAA battery or so.
Last edited by Tallwood13 at Oct 31, 2015,
Looks like a cool project.

BTW, I don't doubt dspellman's Variax solution would work great. He posted while I was typing, so my post didn't have anything to do with his.

There's nothing "wrong" with putting a battery in the control box. It's all personal preference.

I prefer buying a $15 Gotoh battery box, a cheap router, an expensive bit that cost more than the router, doublestick woodworker's tape that cost 1/2 what the router did, cutting out my own template with a jigsaw and DIY. I'd rather front-load the PITA like that and have easy battery swaps later than have the PITA later of removing a pick-guard (or even a cover on the back) to get to a battery. Plus eventually screws can strip out the holes, and I prefer not to deal with that later either, even though it's a lot easier (and cheaper) than installing a professional-looking battery compartment. Heck, I had the factory not even drill holes for the trem cover in my last Strat, because once it's off I wouldn't put it back on anyway. They gave me a cover and screws in case I ever change my mind

In this case, the lights use 2 watch batteries, and the clear body would reveal a battery box route...that just wouldn't be cool. Sticking it in the trem cavity sounds like a good compromise for this project.

Looking forward to seeing the completed photos, and hearing whether the LEDs create noise when playing at high gain.

It's not finished yet, but this is what it looks like so far. The battery box lives in the tremolo cavity in the back (circled in red) It's small enough that I can still bend and even dive. The neck is new too, that is where my issue lies. I had an Ibanez RG neck in it before, which was a "U" shape neck and just didn't feel right. I got a Squier maple "C" shape which feels great. Although the neck is smaller than the neck pocket, so it moves from side to side; I have to shim it so it stays in place. I also have a Dia de los muertos decal I created that should be sent soon to finish it.