4 Wire HB to 2 wire...Which Colors do I Use?

iluvchiclets

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Hi everyone!

Ugh, an awful question I know.

I recently bought two used humbuckers off someone on Kijiji for a guitar project. He's said they were Epiphones, but they don't look like that to me? I included a picture of them...of note, one is stamped "F" and the other "R" (front and rear)
Has anyone seen Epiphones like that?

Regardless, I want to wire them up as two-wire Pickups. Is there a way to determine which two wires I solder together and insulate without knowing the brand of pickup? A quick look at the internet suggested different colors depending on the manufacturer.....Argh!

Any tips or secrets to figure this out? Any replies would be appreciated :)
 

nathan5782

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Use a multi meter and the higher number would be wired correct, say a PAF type pickup would read from 7K-8.5K ohms where a modern hotter pickup could get maybe 16kohms. If you get something low like 3K ohms then maybe one coil is active
 

Billy3

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I'm pretty sure Epi is same as Gibson:

North start: Red
North finish: White
South finish: Green
South start: Black

Red is hot, black is common / ground, and green + white are twisted and soldered together.

Confirm with the meter test.
I love multimeters. Anyone doing any electrical mod should buy one before a soldering iron. Learned the hard and time consuming way.
 

iluvchiclets

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20220114_192820.jpg
 

iluvchiclets

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(I completely forgot to attach images) I was hoping someone could identify the P.U.s, but I know that's a long shot.

I just noticed, there is also a ground wire along with the four colored wires. Does that change anything?

I will attempt a multi-meter test tomorrow...I will twist green+white together and see what readings I get from Black+red. Any other combination should be low resistance, correct?
 

nathan5782

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The bare wire will always go to ground, hopefully they match Gibson/Epiphone and there's not too much trouble, yes you'll get a low reading on the meter if the combo is not right. The Epiphone pickups that I've seen I think they did have the F and R stamp on them but not sure, but they did have a sticker that said something like "LP classic" and "LP Hot" Here's a color code list and see how many variations there are:

 

iluvchiclets

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Here's a color code list and see how many variations

Yes, these pickups look different than most of the Epiphones I have used.

That list is very useful, thanks! But it shows how many variations between companies there are...
 

iluvchiclets

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Ok, maybe I'm doing things redundant here...
(Is twisting two colors together and reading the others the same as doing them vice-versa?)

Here's what I read this morning before work:

G+B twisted
R+W = 8.5K

R+B TWISTED
G+W= 4.5K

R+W TWISTED
B+G = 8.5K

G+W TWISTED
R+B = 4.5K

G+R TWISTED
W+B = 8.5K

Is there something that can be deduced from the above? Also, since I'm using both pickups in the same guitar, as long as I wire both neck and bridge the same then I shouldn't get any weird phasing issues? (Which is the whole point of this...I remember doing this procedure years ago installing a 4 wire beside a 2 wire, and you could hear when I got it wrong...!)
 

nathan5782

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Let me try and help, I looked at the chart from earlier:

G+B twisted - Nobody has Green and Black tied together it's the reverse of the third combo
R+W = 8.5K

R+B TWISTED - one coil shorted
G+W= 4.5K

R+W TWISTED - Matches SD, Lollar, GFS, Gotoh, Golden Age, Suhr, Rio Grande, Joe Barden - black is hot and green is ground
B+G = 8.5K

G+W TWISTED - one coil shorted
R+B = 4.5K

G+R TWISTED - Matches Fralin, Bill Lawrence, TV Jones, Wilde - white is hot and black is ground
W+B = 8.5K

I would try the middle choice with the red and white tied together and black and green as the hot and ground there are more companies using those colors. If they are both wired the same there shouldn't be a phase issue
 

iluvchiclets

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nathan5782, you are a gentleman.

That's just the kind of solid advice I needed....thank you for reading and interpreting my findings.

I wish I could by you a beer!🍻
 

iluvchiclets

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Ok...just asking for a confirmation about that extra bare "ground" wire. It should be soldered to the back of one of the pots I assume along with the green wire? (Which is a "ground" as well?)

The previous pickups (two wire) had hot going to one of the pot legs and ground going to the back of a pot.

And, it shouldn't matter which pot back I use? They all seem to be conducting/joined by a single black wire going from pot-to-pot...

(Could the bridge pickup green/ground go-to one pot back and the neck pickup green/ground go to a different pot back?)
 

sjtalon

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Ground point is ground point- put it anywhere there. Also there is no reason electronically that the bare necessarily HAS to be right with the green, or the same place for that matter.

One thing to consider with that is not to try to get too many together because all the extra heat you need to flow/re-flow that much solder, and the heat you lose with too many wires could cause you to ruin a pot.
 
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