Cloth Covered Wire Question -

DiamondDave

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OK, so here is a set of modern RI pickups where Fender makes a point of making the hot lead yellow on the Bridge PU but white on the Neck PU. I presume the idea is so you can easily identify which pickup you are attaching in the control cavity. QUESTION: Is this how Fender was always doing it back in the day, before the switch to plastic coated wire? Thanks
white and yellow.jpg
 

schmee

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No idea, hopefully someone will know. The wire colors seem to also help indicate what pickup it is. For instance a Nashville Tele middle pickup is Yellow and Red IIRC. No black or white. Also, Black is hot on some pickups where white is ground.
 

Boreas

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Google the interweb for images of vintage fender guitar wiring. That should yield some results. From what I can tell, most pre-CBS were just white and black. May have depended on who was doing the wiring. Somewhere around the 70s you start seeing plastic insulation and some yellow showing up for one of the pickups.

But someone here will likely know dates, colors, and who manufactured the wire...
 
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pipthepilot

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I'm not an expert on this but I would suggest, they haven't always been yellow.

This is a link to a 1965 Fender Telecaster Lake Placid Blue Maple Cap + OHSC (atbguitars.com), it has some really nice photographs with the control plate and bridge removed that clearly show the Bridge pickup with Black and (dirty) White cloth wires.

Pickup.png

That said, Leo would use what he had. So there're probably examples of yellow wires on original guitars.
 

KokoTele

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It appears that the convention to use yellow for the bridge and white for the neck pickup came in the modern era. The Duchossior book doesn’t make any direct mention of them, though it does have some relevant drawings. Schematics from 1967 show that either white or yellow can be used for either pickup (though they’d be plastic covered by then). The Fender service manual doesnt even mention a color, though the Esquire diagram specifies a yellow wire.

46E7242F-6007-4D21-B24C-EB23AD0F767C.jpeg


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LowCaster

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Anyway, black white or yellow doesn’t matter, you have to look which wire is connected to the shield/cover/baseplate or you’ll hear unwanted noise.
 

DiamondDave

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I'm not an expert on this but I would suggest, they haven't always been yellow.

This is a link to a 1965 Fender Telecaster Lake Placid Blue Maple Cap + OHSC (atbguitars.com), it has some really nice photographs with the control plate and bridge removed that clearly show the Bridge pickup with Black and (dirty) White cloth wires.

View attachment 1055496

That said, Leo would use what he had. So there're probably examples of yellow wires on original guitars.
Right. A bit confusing as dirty white can almost look like yellow. THANKS
 

DiamondDave

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It appears that the convention to use yellow for the bridge and white for the neck pickup came in the modern era. The Duchossior book doesn’t make any direct mention of them, though it does have some relevant drawings. Schematics from 1967 show that either white or yellow can be used for either pickup (though they’d be plastic covered by then). The Fender service manual doesnt even mention a color, though the Esquire diagram specifies a yellow wire.

View attachment 1055505

View attachment 1055503 View attachment 1055504 View attachment 1055507
thanx.. I'll study this.
 

DiamondDave

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Ok.. I decided to research my own photo data-base of 428 Broadcasters, Nocasters and Telecasters. Although there are exceptions, it appears that White/Neck and Yellow/Bridge color coding lasted through the entire range of cloth wiring. The earliest example I could find was 1950 Broadcaster s/n 0084 and the last example I could find was a 1966 Telecaster. According to my data-base, cloth pickup leads lasted well into 1968 - unless a LOT of people were putting older pickups in newer guitars.
 

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Steve Holt

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Ok.. I decided to research my own photo data-base of 428 Broadcasters, Nocasters and Telecasters. Although there are exceptions, it appears that White/Neck and Yellow/Bridge color coding lasted through the entire range of cloth wiring. The earliest example I could find was 1950 Broadcaster s/n 0084 and the last example I could find was a 1966 Telecaster. According to my data-base, cloth pickup leads lasted well into 1968 - unless a LOT of people were putting older pickups in newer guitars.

So you have your own photo database of 428 broadcasters, nocasters, and telecaster and you're asking us?? Sounds like we should be asking you!😅
 

Matthias

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Fender did sometimes color code their wires in the 60s. The biggest example is offsets to make sense of the spaghetti in those. I guess even on simpler circuits there was cost saving from being easy to see what’s what and likely fewer errors.
 

Chipss36

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The issue with the tele, is you can not see what wires run to what with the bridge installed. I can see why they would do this, from a production standpoint.

a Strat, is different….
this is from the 50s, it’s yellow, not faded white, so thinking it’s not a new idea.
7BD1D832-7DC8-46E0-9E67-1A8715A8BBEB.jpeg
 

Masmus

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I'm not an expert on this but I would suggest, they haven't always been yellow.

This is a link to a 1965 Fender Telecaster Lake Placid Blue Maple Cap + OHSC (atbguitars.com), it has some really nice photographs with the control plate and bridge removed that clearly show the Bridge pickup with Black and (dirty) White cloth wires.

View attachment 1055496

That said, Leo would use what he had. So there're probably examples of yellow wires on original guitars.

Leo likely used the color of wire that he could get for the lowest cost.

They probably would steal wire from the amp shop when needed!
I think all three of these nail it. The early guitars were fairly simple so they probably had black and something different.
 

Frisco 57

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I thought I had a photo but I guess not. I used an old 1966 grey bobbin Telecaster bridge pickup in one of my builds. I think it had yellow (+) wire and a green (-) wire from Fender factory.
 




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