2 Wire to 3 Wire Conversion

Discussion in 'Just Pickups' started by preactor, Dec 19, 2018.

  1. preactor

    preactor Tele-Afflicted

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    Is there a way to add a 3rd wire to a humbucker with just 2 wires without splitting the pickup? I have an Epiphone Special 2 that has only 2 wires leaving the pickup...no shield. I would like to have the following by using push-pull switches (2):

    Pickups in phase and out of phase

    Pickups in series and parallel

    Thanks
     
  2. rigatele

    rigatele Tele-Afflicted

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    So the 3rd wire is a shield? I think you will find that one of the 2 wires is connected to the pickup frame internally, you would have to open it to disconnect it, which you must do if you want to reverse the signal polarity for out-of-phase.
     
  3. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    To reverse phase you need to find which wire is grounded to the case and cover, unground that wire, and run your third wire from the bucker base to your switch.

    For pickups in series with three wire I assume you want to run all four coils in series?
    Yikes!
    Sounds like a mud fest but I never tried it.
    That would be a basic switch wiring like the four way Tele wiring.

    If you mean you want to run individual pickups in series or parallel, you need to make them four wire, but I'm guessing that's not your plan.

    You would only need to add the switch to one pickup to get the OOP setting.
     
  4. moosie

    moosie Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    You need a five wire solution, not three. Ground / cover can be a bare wire. Then cut the junction between the two coils, and attach leads.
     
  5. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I'm uncertain of what the OP is looking for here.
    He said "without splitting the pickup", so that sounds like he only want to be able to phase reverse a pickup to run the two HB's OOP with each other.

    But he also says he wants "pickups in series and parallel" which could mean splitting the coils so they can be run either in series or in parallel, or it could mean he wants to runs "series/ parallel" like a Tele four way, but using two dbl coil pups instead of two single coil pups.
    Specifically saying "without splitting the pickup" could mean he wants to split the coils for wiring options but doesn't want to run only one coil.

    A typical day at the TDPRI!
     
  6. moosie

    moosie Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    Yeah, well...
     
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  7. preactor

    preactor Tele-Afflicted

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    I found a wiring diagram to wire 2 humbuckers, 1 Volume (Push-Pull), 1 Tone (Push-Pull) and a 3 way toggle to a push pull series/parallel (using both pickups and a push pull to make both pickups in phase/out of phase. Both pickups are not split into individual single coils. You need 3 wires: one to the toggle switch, one to the push-pull switch and one to ground. Sadly the cheap pickups in the Epiphone only have 2 wires instead of the 3 wires in the diagram. BTW these pickups do not have a cover on them. Could I run a separate ground from the base of the pickups for the 3rd wire?
     
  8. moosie

    moosie Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    Even though there's no cover, the common is connected to the frame, most likely. You'll need to separate that and run a separate ground.
     
  9. luckett

    luckett Banned

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    You don't need a third wire to do out of phase or parallel/series.
     
  10. waparker4

    waparker4 Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    You do if one of the two wires is currently attached to ground.
     
  11. luckett

    luckett Banned

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    No, you just need to detach the ground connection and use the same two wires.
     
  12. moosie

    moosie Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    And then you need to ground the frame...
     
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  13. luckett

    luckett Banned

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    You don't need to ground the frame. You only need two wires from the pickup coils.
     
  14. rigatele

    rigatele Tele-Afflicted

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    Only if you don't need the electrostatic shielding. A grounded baseplate alone will give you some of that, even if there is no metal cover. Your experience of it will depend on the electromagnetic environment(s) that you try to use it in.
     
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  15. luckett

    luckett Banned

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    And you don't need shielding to run the pickups out of phase and series/parallel. Especially when you have hum cancelling coils. Only two wires needed.
     
  16. rigatele

    rigatele Tele-Afflicted

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    Hum canceling coils don't have any effect on electrostatic interference. Only magnetic.
     
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  17. moosie

    moosie Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    Right. Looked at the other way, play a single coil Tele next to a computer monitor, neon lighting, etc. Noisy. Now shield it. It gets quieter, but the coils themselve are still noisy. The electrostatic has been eliminated, but not the magnetic. Now change the single coil to a humbucker, and both things are quieted. Humbucker with no shielding? Electrostatic noise.

    Also, even though it's not common these days, not grounding all the metal on the guitar is a potential safety issue. If an old or improperly wired amp fails, the instrument cable could become hot. Properly grounded, it immediately blows the fuse. Ungrounded, the metal hardware / frame, etc could be 'floating hot', just waiting for you to touch it. Current follows the easiest path to ground, which may be across your heart. You're dead.
     
  18. moosie

    moosie Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    Also, think of the rule that all shielding, of any kind, must be grounded, lest it attract electrostatic noise. What is shielding? Just any bit of conductive material that's not part of the circuit. Not grounding the pickup frame, the three-way switch frame, etc, is just as bad noise-wise, as not grounding a big bunch of copper foil lining a cavity.

    Gibsons tend to be quieter than Fenders because they handle the electrostatic noise better, with shielded cables. I imagine this came about because of the longer runs generally needed (on all but SGs...). We may confuse that with humbuckers, and assume it's the dual coils quieting all the noise. But then why do Gibsons with P90s generally not exhibit much / any electrostatic noise.
     
  19. rigatele

    rigatele Tele-Afflicted

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    Gibson probably had to use shielded wiring because of all the hollow and semi-hollow bodies (not possible to shield the cavity).
     
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  20. moosie

    moosie Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    That, and even the long run from the LP switch to jack.
     
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