Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups

Has anyone ever A/B'd

Discussion in 'Tele-Technical' started by Telecentric, Sep 4, 2018.

  1. Telecentric

    Telecentric Tele-Meister

    Nov 23, 2016
    Boulder Creek, Ca
    Installing a connector or 3 to ease changing pickups, control plates, etc?

    Why exactly are we soldering everything, when we use connectors in audio all the time? Has anyone shown them to add noise? Affect tone?

    I think it would be great to have a couple of loaded pickguards, and a couple of modified control plates to mix/match. I could make 3 Teles out of one, depending on my whims.

    A good quality Molex connector should be very reliable, so why are we slaves to the solder?
    ftbtx likes this.
  2. ftbtx

    ftbtx Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    I'm interested to see if anyone has tested either. Good question.
  3. maj34

    maj34 Tele-Meister

    Nov 19, 2013
    Some Epiphone Casinos (probably other hollow or semihollow guitars) that have quick connectors of some form.

    It's just one of those things - another one of those things - where there's a theoretical difference and most people are going to have a hard time getting on board with it.

    I bet no one would hear the difference in a blind test though. Only about 2pf capacitance in a typical molex connector and most connectors have a rated bandwidth in the MHz.

    If it works for you, go for it!
  4. 24 track

    24 track Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Nov 6, 2014
    kamloops bc
    I believe that the solid soldered connections are less prone to breakage, having Molex type connectors are another point of inconsistent connections and would be prone to oxidizations , there are guitars that use that method for quick replacement , but you have to have one system only for all your connections .

    I would use it for experimentation s then would solidify the connection once I figured out what i wanted , but thats just me
    teleaddicted likes this.
  5. The Ballzz

    The Ballzz Tele-Afflicted

    Apr 11, 2016
    Las Vegas, NV
    I've been a sound engineer and musical/audio equipment repair tech for over 40 years. In that time, I've seen enough failed connections at connectors of all sorts (in mixers, amps, etc,) caused by oxidation, corrosion, dust build up and on and on, to never trust any connector for a fool proof, long term electrical connection! Soldered, welded or mechanically held connections are far superior, in most ways!
    Just My $.02 & Likely Worth Even Less!
    teleaddicted, Toadtele and Amby like this.
  6. greysun

    greysun TDPRI Member

    Nov 6, 2011
    i recently got a tele, and my voice mentor (a tele guy through-and-through) gave me a system he was just not ever going to use called an Elek-Trix that is completely solderless. Someone on this forum actually reviewed it and sang its praises:

    I think that company is now out of business, but I recently read about another one that does the same thing called a Toneshaper TS-T2-SS - although they appear to have more options for different setups:

    I'll also echo what The Ballzz just said - connectors fail, so solder is the most solid way to go. THAT BEING SAID, inside the guitar, where things aren't being pulled or tugged on, you can probably get away with it, which may be why the above solderless systems work. The parts that need to be soldered are soldered, and the rest have strong connections.

  7. TimTam

    TimTam Tele-Meister

    Jun 4, 2010
    Because it's cheap. So much of what we think of as 'vintage', from the wire to the capacitors to soldering to the back of pots, was done because it was cheap. Leo was a clever businessman, not prone to take the expensive approach when the cheaper one would do. Which makes the people who strive to replicate that 'vintage correct' look in a modern guitar seem rather silly IMHO.

    Fortunately guitar wiring is pretty damn simple and pretty much any way of hooking it all together will 'work', more or less ... as the insides of most vintage instruments proves. Spending a small fortune on overpriced wiring components will almost certainly make zero difference to your sound.

    The reason why some companies like Epiphone now use Molex-style connectors is again most likely because it's cheap(er). The harnesses are made in one place, and the pickups in another. The cheapest way for an untrained worker to slap them together is to plug one into the other, without solder.

    So yes, use whatever connector makes your guitar life more efficient - screw terminal blocks, molex connectors, spade connectors, mini audio jacks, etc, etc.
  8. Telecentric

    Telecentric Tele-Meister

    Nov 23, 2016
    Boulder Creek, Ca
    I'm not really buying into either the cost or reliability arguments. I build, test and launch spacecraft for a living, and we use Molex and other pinned connectors for many applications. I dare say their mechanical reliability has been proven. Cost factors in to production, and while a couple of dollars here and there on a budget guitar add up, but on a higher end build are a non issue. I haven't found oxidation to be an issue with output jacks, only mechanical failure due to fatigue & abuse. Someone above stated that a single connection system is necessary, and again I think that is not supported by fact.

    We are creatures of habit and 'tradition', for better or worse.

    Maybe my next 'build' will be the testbed. I'd like to build an Esquire, with the ability to swap in a wired up pickguard, change the bridge pickup and have a completely different switching configuration for the control plate, all using the same body/neck/bridge.

    My biggest concern is if I will induce any noise. Guess I will find out.
    JMac52 likes this.
  9. TimTam

    TimTam Tele-Meister

    Jun 4, 2010
    If you are going to go with a no-solder connector solution, the proprietary solutions may restrict any upgrades you might want to make ... to staying with the same system, ie buying from a limited range of parts from the same supplier. So while they may involve less issues for the initial installation (especially for those people with no soldering skills), they are often restrictive going forward.

    So to my mind the proprietary solutions are more for the "I don't want to solder" crowd than for the "tinkerer" crowd. The latter ideally need a generic connector system that they can use with any hardware, eg screw terminal blocks, molex connectors, spade connectors, mini audio jacks. However some of the proprietary systems are more 'adaptable' to other hardware than others. For example if you have the GFS connect system and you want to swap in a non-GFS pickup, you just need to find what looks to be a 4-conductor TRRS socket ... which you then have to solder (!) into place.
  10. Telecentric

    Telecentric Tele-Meister

    Nov 23, 2016
    Boulder Creek, Ca
    Yeah, I'm just looking at it from a modding standpoint.
  11. eddy8dynamite

    eddy8dynamite TDPRI Member Silver Supporter

    Jun 28, 2015
    Chardon, Ohio
    I work for a company that makes high reliability products for data centers, and we use Molex type connectors for some crucial points in the gear. I can say when properly installed they are quite reliable. The major concern is the proper crimping of the wire to the pins. If you don't use the correct size pin for the wire size, or the correct crimper tool for the pin it will come loose. If you don't strip the wire properly or nick the wire strands connection will fail eventually.

    I've tried using them but unless you use really small plugs it gets very cramped in the wiring area and the smaller the pin the harder it is to crimp them correctly.
    But I'm with you - if you like to try different things out under the hood, it would be convenient to be able to just use plugs.
    Final note: If you try them out I'd advise using the gold plated connectors due to the low signal levels of the pickups.
  12. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

    Apr 18, 2014
    Near Detroit, MI

    Here's what I did with my test mule guitar. I can remove the loaded pickguards without detuning the strings, without any tools, and in under a minute. Regular old style RCA connector. Computer case thumb screws to hold the pickguard down.


    If you are looking for other ideas on swapping pickups..

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