#1
Hey guys,

I recently took out all of my stock Epi LP wiring, and re wired it with good wire myself. I replaced all the pots and have 2 Bumblebee's coming for caps. I changed the wiring to the 50's style mod as well. I would really like to do it all again. Why you ask?

I want to re wire the whole guitar with the single conductor braided vintage wiring. I want to change it all. The switch , jack, pots won't be a problem. I am worried about the pickups. I bought and installed SD Alnico ll pro's. They came with the 4 wire harness on each of them. I got the nickel covered ones, so I cant pull the cover off to re wire them. What should I do about this?

I really want to change everything to braided single conductor, but I don't think I want to pull the cover off the pickup, and break the wax seal. I was thinking about cutting the wires short off the pup and soldering the braided stuff to the existing 4 wire stuff in the pup cavity, then just running the braided stuff down to the pot cavity. I don't know if doing this will cause any noise, since I am unshielding the wire close to the pup.


Any ideas?

I just want to see what you guys think. If I cant change the pup wires, I don't know if I want to do the rest.

Thanks.
#2
sounds completely rediculous and a waste of time that would accomplish absolutely nothing at all.

have fun if you try it, i warned you
dont take any guff from these bastards man

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#4
Hang on a tic, can someone fill me in on the difference between the wire you've got now and the braided stuff you're wanting to replace it with? Does it conduct better? Are you trying to pick up less interference? What difference does it make? Surely if you've got decent single core wire, proper insulation good solder joints and you've done a bit of shielding you don't need to do anything else. What are the magical properties of vintage braiding?

LPs don't seem to pick up much interference anyway, what with rear routing and humbuckers, if it was a strat you could spend a lifetime trying not to pick up local radio stations.
Quote by The devil at the crossroads
E|-------------------------------------------1--
B|-----------------------------------1--4--
G|-------------------------1-3-4--
D|------------------1-3----
A|--------1-2-3----
E|-1-4-----

Just move it around the fretboard
#5
Quote by Cosimo_Zaretti
Hang on a tic, can someone fill me in on the difference between the wire you've got now and the braided stuff you're wanting to replace it with? Does it conduct better? Are you trying to pick up less interference? What difference does it make? Surely if you've got decent single core wire, proper insulation good solder joints and you've done a bit of shielding you don't need to do anything else. What are the magical properties of vintage braiding?

LPs don't seem to pick up much interference anyway, what with rear routing and humbuckers, if it was a strat you could spend a lifetime trying not to pick up local radio stations.



Honestly, if you have good wire in there already, I don't think it will make any difference. Some die hard vintage ppl say they can hear a difference, some don't. For me it will be purely a visual upgrade. But for ppl to say it's ridiculous is just wrong. I mean have you ever ripped apart a strat or something to change the pick guard? Just visual, and prob takes longer to un string and remove all the electronics. I paid $550 for the guitar, $200 for the pickups, $50 for vintage bumblebee caps, $50 for good pots knobs and wire, and another $120 for a good case. So I am into this guitar for $970. I feel like if I want to do a visual upgrade like this it would be worth it if I want to do it.

But to answer your question it is possible you could hear a slight difference in tone. That is a fact due to the shielded wire. Having the braided ground on the outside of the wire does in fact help with the magnetic field created by the pickups. I'ts like you are better off on long cable runs to twist the ground and hot wires around each other. We have all seen this before. It does the same thing.
#6
Most pickups come with shielded leads anyways. It isnt always a braided wrap. Only pickups I have that dont have shielded leads are some cheap single coils out of a knock off strat.
#7
Quote by ninja23
So I am into this guitar for $970. I feel like if I want to do a visual upgrade like this it would be worth it if I want to do it.


Yeah I know what you mean. I spent a few years tinkering with old cars before music and photography called me back, and what people modifying and restoring always want is for wiring to look "factory". I try and keep my installation of things as pro looking as possible.
Quote by The devil at the crossroads
E|-------------------------------------------1--
B|-----------------------------------1--4--
G|-------------------------1-3-4--
D|------------------1-3----
A|--------1-2-3----
E|-1-4-----

Just move it around the fretboard
#8
The wires on your SDs are shielded, its just under the insulation(the ground wire wraps around the other wires). This would really be a waste of time. You'd also be adding an unwanted joint/connection in the wires since you aren't opening up the pickups. I'm also not following your logic on it being a cosmetic mod. Are you leaving the control cavity cover off?
#9
If youre really dead set on further sheilding the wires on the pickups use copper tape and be sure to ground it somewhere
#10
Jason43-

I know my pup wires are shielded already. I don't agree it would be a waist of time if it is something I want to do purely for looks. I do agree I might be adding noise by soldering onto the existing connections. Which is why I am not going to do it. It is a cosmetic upgrade regardless if I am leaving the cover off or not, but no I wont be leaving the cover off. I will just know. I know it sounds stupid, but I would feel better if I had all my wires ran with this stuff. I like the way it looks and it makes for a cleaner cavity, you cant say it doesn't.

Entrant 21

Thanks for the tip but I am not doing it to shield my wires I want it for the clean vintage look.


Here is what I want it to look like.



Here is what I have so far.
#12
I know it's not a big deal, and won't sound or play any different, but the wire itself would be short money(under $10), and would only take a half hour to do everything minus the pickup wires.


I am just debating if I still want to do it knowing that my pup wires wont be done.
#13
Out of curiosity, those are resistor chillin above the pots correct? How many ohms? Also, what exactly are they there for?
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Last edited by a4lrocker at Jun 3, 2008,
#14
If your doing it for looks, i'd sort the paintwork out in that cavity, maybe fully shielding it? or just sanding it.

Also, i think that as long as you have the pickup wires tight, they won't look too out of place along side the new wire. Just leave it, if it doesn't look right, you can then think about doing something too the pickup wire.
#15
Quote by a4lrocker
Out of curiosity, those are resistor chillin above the pots correct? How many ohms? Also, what exactly are they there for?

Not resistors. Those are capacitors. The tone caps.


And as for this...take the pickups apart. You'll see where the wire leads go. As long as you do it very carefully (you unscrew the screw on the back plate of the pickup), you shouldn't break anything.

Then just clips and strip the old wires, and solder on the braided conductor. Really easy and self explanatory.
#16
That would make a lot more sense. It threw me off because they looked a lot like resistors.
Quote by Peradactyl
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Quote by The_Paranoia
a4lrocker is an offical thread legend.
#17
Quote by a4lrocker
That would make a lot more sense. It threw me off because they looked a lot like resistors.


Ya those are my new vintage 1959 Bumblebees I just put in.

Quote by TomR
If your doing it for looks, i'd sort the paintwork out in that cavity, maybe fully shielding it? or just sanding it.


I was thinking about doing that actually. I have heard it is good to sand the paint off any wood you cant see. I think I am going to sand out the cavity if/when I take everything out.

Quote by forsaknazrael
And as for this...take the pickups apart. You'll see where the wire leads go. As long as you do it very carefully (you unscrew the screw on the back plate of the pickup), you shouldn't break anything.


I would do that in a second if it was that easy. These pups have the nickel covers that are double waxed sealed to the pup. Then soldered onto the pup. It is not a matter of unscrewing anything. I have never talked to anyone that has wax sealed there own pickups before. I am real good with wiring and stuff but to me, it's not worth risking the pups at $100 a piece.


Thanks for the advice guys, I might leave them for now and see. I might go ahead and sand the cavity and change the rest of the wires.

Thanks.
#18
Well, use a dremel (i was able to cut solder that held a pick cover on with a knife. Try it) to cut the solder. Then heat the pickup cover with a solder iron to melt the wax, and try to loosen the cover off.

If you're feeling adventurous, you can remove most of the wax by dipping the pickup in hot water (not boiling, but hot enough to melt the wax) and it'll remove the wax. You can figure it out from there.

Personally, I'm not a fan of just cosmetic changes, and am more for functional improvements. I'd just shield the guitar, if I were you.
#19
Quote by forsaknazrael
Well, use a dremel (i was able to cut solder that held a pick cover on with a knife. Try it) to cut the solder. Then heat the pickup cover with a solder iron to melt the wax, and try to loosen the cover off.

If you're feeling adventurous, you can remove most of the wax by dipping the pickup in hot whttps://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/newreply.php?do=newreply&p=14580740
UG Community @ Ultimate-Guitar.Com - Reply to Topicater (not boiling, but hot enough to melt the wax) and it'll remove the wax. You can figure it out from there.


I'm not going to cut the solder I would just un solder it if I wanted. The problem is how would I double vacuumed wax seal the nickel cover back to my pickup when I am done??

I am guessing you have never done this before. A bad vacuumed wax job will make my pickups sound muddy. I am all for adventure, but not willing to ruin a good set of brand new pickups for this. I dont believe you can get the pup covers back on as good as Seymour Duncan can. Maybe I am wrong, if so please enlighten me.
#20
haha I think I'm gonna post some pictures of some of the cavities I've wired later. You will have a heart attack. I am so unorganized with my wiring its insane. The way I see it is that as long as it sounds good and doesn't buzz its fine.
#21
Quote by carousel182
haha I think I'm gonna post some pictures of some of the cavities I've wired later. You will have a heart attack. I am so unorganized with my wiring its insane. The way I see it is that as long as it sounds good and doesn't buzz its fine.



And thats the way it should be but I have a problem.
#22
That wiring looks pretty clean, I'd just leave it as-is. If you're really worried about noise, you could shield the control cavity. If you've done the wiring right and have a good ground and lead dress, you really shouldn't have any noise.
Those look like CTS pots, so it looks like we have almost identical electronics ( I have vitamin Qs in slightly different values), and my guitar is completely silent. Did your Epi have a metal grouding plate that the pots were mounted to? Those seem to help a little. I thought they were stock in epiphones but I don't see why you'd remove it if you had one before.
#23
You know, TS, I'm just like you. I wanna re-do my guitar's wiring with cloth pushback wire and vintage components, too, simply for cosmetic reasons (even if only I know about it).

Soldering onto the pup's existing wire won't do much in the way of adding noise, btw. Go ahead and do it.
#24
I never had the plate in there. And yes those are CTS pots.

I am not getting any noise at all. I am happy with how quiet it is.
#25
Meh I don't see the point. I always thought that first and foremost your sound is the most important, and then cosmetically that your guitar is appealing to you... but I guess if it bugs you that much...

but anyways potting pickups isn't hard just take some time. I made a little how to thing, but Corduroy informed me that different materials will give you different sound

Quote by CorduroyEW
wax potting does change the tone, but so does shellac, epoxy, or lacquer. Potting with epoxy or wax is going to make the pickup sound less airy than shellac or lacquer because epoxy and wax hold the wires absolutly solid. Epoxy will give you better top end than wax too. Something like shellac will give you more mellow airy tone with slightly rolled off high end. It's very vintage sounding. Lacquer doesn't roll off the high end as much as shellac. So the best potting depends on your aplication. I look at potting as a way to manipulate your tone. If done right it won't rob your tone away, it just changes it


So it really depends on what kind of sound you want. I guess the best thing to do, if you liked the ton, would be to figure out what SD uses in their potting
-------------------------------
Faded Gibson SG Special - Black ice mod
Seymour Duncan SH-5 in bridge
B-52 AT 112
Ted Weber Mass100 attenuator
EHX Small Clone
EHX Metal Muff
DIY Modded tubescreamer
Dunlop 535Q Wah
Wax Potting tutorial
#26
If you do a search, there are several people who have wax potted pickups before. It's not hard.

There's also two tutorials on projectguitar.com.

You're making this all out to be harder than it is. BTW, Seymour Duncan himself doesn't put those covers on. His machines do.

EDIT: And I suggested that you cut the solder because it is VERY hard to desolder the solder that holds a pickup cover on. Trust me.
And BTW, theoretically, all a wax potting job does is make sure that there's no parts that'll move around. If the pickup is made well, removing the wax won't change anything....it won't make the coil's windings loose - those are already tight.
Last edited by forsaknazrael at Jun 4, 2008,
#27
Quote by forsaknazrael


You're making this all out to be harder than it is. BTW, Seymour Duncan himself doesn't put those covers on. His machines do.


Not to be rude but no $hit. I meant Seymour as a company can vac wax seal a pickup better then I can.

Quote by forsaknazrael
And BTW, theoretically, all a wax potting job does is make sure that there's no parts that'll move around. If the pickup is made well, removing the wax won't change anything....it won't make the coil's windings loose - those are already tight.


I would like to read that if you have it somewhere. I highly doubt all the wax potting does is "keep thing from moving". What exactly would be moving inside a pickup? I have read numerous times the wax is essential for the transfer of the string vibration through the cover to the pole pieces of the pup.

I know if I remove the cover, nothing will change as far as tone goes, I know that and I never said it would. I know the coil winding are not going to come off. Do you think I never saw a pup before?


I have never vacuum wax sealed a cover on a pup. I don't know if I want to start with my Alnico ll pro's. If there is a easy tutorial out there that ppl can back up and say ya mine came out real good then maybe I would consider it. I love how my guitar sounds right now. Right now it is perfect to me. If doing this will change my tone a little because of using different wax or something, I would be pissed.
#28
^No, Azrael is correct. Wax potting is not necessary at all to the function of any pickup. The original Seth Lover pickups had no potting whatsoever and they turned out OK (just check ebay prices!). Wax can't possibly "transfer the string vibration" to the pickup. The pole pieces are magnets- wax is not paramagnetic. In fact, it dampens the string vibrations so they don't affect the pickup.
All the wax does is hold things down so they don't rattle and get microphonic.
Wax potting is overrated. If you want a good tutorial on wax potting there's a video on the Seymour Duncan website by the man himself. Removing the cover from a pickup DOES change the tone, by the way.
#29
My point being that they're ONLY machines. Machines don't do everything amazingly well, you know. Seriously, to was pot a pickup, if you checked out any of the tutorials I mentioned (There's even a shellac potting tutorial in the ultimate tutorial thread) all you need to do is basically dip the pickup in hot wax until all the bubbles are gone.

Anyway, I've consulted with a user on here who makes excellent pickups, CorduroyEW, and he's backing me up on this. BTW, I have removed the wax from a pickup in the manner I described, and it still worked afterwards.

Quote by ninja23
I would like to read that if you have it somewhere. I highly doubt all the wax potting does is "keep thing from moving". What exactly would be moving inside a pickup? I have read numerous times the wax is essential for the transfer of the string vibration through the cover to the pole pieces of the pup.

Plenty of **** can move inside a pickup. Let's say the pickup isn't potted at all, and has a metal cover. The metal cover will be more susceptible to microphonic feedback. At loud volumes, it will vibrate.
Also, windings can move around, just whatever. It happens at high volumnes, with lots of gain. Go play with an unpotted pickup. Try it. Get all that feedback? That's **** moving around, sir.

Also, I'd like to hear where YOU read that last statement. Sounds like a lot of people are feeding you baloney and mojo.

Quote by ninja23
I have never vacuum wax sealed a cover on a pup. I don't know if I want to start with my Alnico ll pro's. If there is a easy tutorial out there that ppl can back up and say ya mine came out real good then maybe I would consider it. I love how my guitar sounds right now. Right now it is perfect to me. If doing this will change my tone a little because of using different wax or something, I would be pissed.

I already gave you information about several tutorials. Try looking at them...
#31
imo. it's a waste of time. no one will see it. you shouldn't really give 2 ****s what the inside of a guitar looks like as long as it's connected up correctly and works.
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Last edited by funguy at Jun 4, 2008,
#32
Metal pickup covers themselves shouldn't affect your sound. They shouldn't alter the magnetic fields. And like forsaken said, its all about microphonics. Adding covers is mostly cosmetic. But when you add covers you should make sure the pickup itself is potted, and then you need to wax pot everything again with the covers on to fill in any gaps between the pickup and cover.

And also like Forsakn said, I would trust corduroy's information on pickups and potting over anyone else here. But the composition of what you use can change your tone. Its all a matter of how well it soaks into the copper wiring and holds it. Some things might get it a more high end, while other might give some more bottom end etc...

I made a little tutorial on wax potting like I said, you can check my sig for the link, nice blown up pictures.
-------------------------------
Faded Gibson SG Special - Black ice mod
Seymour Duncan SH-5 in bridge
B-52 AT 112
Ted Weber Mass100 attenuator
EHX Small Clone
EHX Metal Muff
DIY Modded tubescreamer
Dunlop 535Q Wah
Wax Potting tutorial
#34
Quote by carousel182
haha I think I'm gonna post some pictures of some of the cavities I've wired later. You will have a heart attack. I am so unorganized with my wiring its insane. The way I see it is that as long as it sounds good and doesn't buzz its fine.



AAAAAAMEN.

------

Shwiggity.
#35
OK forsaknazrael I see what you are saying, I think I got some wrong info. I still don't know if I want to do all that potting just to change the cables.

Let me clarify something 1 last time before I go crazy. I am NOT getting any noise. I don't know if ppl are not reading the whole thread and just flipping to the end, but wow every other post is ppl telling me how to eliminate noise. I have none, I just want the damn wire. Is that such a bad thing.

Rant over

If I do decide to do this, once the cover is removed, are the wires going to be right there or do I have to take the pickup apart to get to them???

If they are right there I have to jump the red and white together to run them in series. That can be done in the pickup right?

Thanks guys but I am still unsure if I want to do this.


P.S. I did read the tutorials you linked. None of them were installing a cover.
Last edited by ninja23 at Jun 4, 2008,
#36
Well, are the Alnico Pro Two's 4 conductor?

If so, then yes, the red and white wires should come from the middle of the pickups. Just solder those together and put some heatshrink on them. Well, you'd need to put the heatshrink tubing on before you've soldered them together, but you'll see what I meant.

You'll need to unscrew the screws I mentioned before, the ones on back of the pickup. You should see four of them.

You'll be able to see where the wires are attached at the pickup level, if you follow the wires.

Would you like some pictures?

EDIT: Oh you needed a tutorial for installing a cover? It's not that much different; put the cover on the pickup, and if you can, try and solder it on. It may be hard, since the entire cover and pickup are working as a heatsink. Then just pot it as normally illustrated in the tutorials. You may need a higher wattage iron to solder it to the pickup.
Last edited by forsaknazrael at Jun 4, 2008,
#37
This has been one pretty bad thread huh, full of ppl telling me not to do it, and ppl telling me how to shield stuff.

I want to thank all the ppl that helped me out.

This is what I think I'm going to do. I am going to solder onto my pickup wires right where they are for now, and try it out. I may not get any noise if I twist the wires good before I solder them, and make good grounds with my solder joints. If it's noisy then I can go right back to the way it was. If it is good, I will remove the pup's and cut the wires a couple in. out of the pup, and run my new wire down the body to the cavity. If that is good I will leave it. If that turns out to be noisy for some reason, then I will take the pup apart re solder right onto it, re pot and be done. Nothing to loose but the cost of some wire.


forsaknazrael

If you have pics I would like to see. If I do choose to re pot them, do I have to get all the old wax off before re doing them? And is there anything I really need to watch out for while doing the potting. Would I be better off trying it on my stock pups first? They are installed on my strat right now but I can remove them.

Thanks again, and I am still not sure I want to do it but would like to know what to expect if I do.
#38
I don't have any pics on me, but I have an old pickup I take pictures of, and show what it looks like underneath, wand which parts I'm referring to.

Alternatively, there's a thread by That_Pink_Queen where he turns a 2 wire pickup into a 4 wire pickup. Search for threads in the GBC under his username, I'm sure you'll find it. You'll be able to see some of the innards of the pickup, and how easy it is to find things.

As for potting, I don't think you need to remove all the old wax, and as long as your wax isn't TOO hot. Just make just hot enough to melt the wax. Cord says he's seen people melt their bobbins when the wax was too hot.