Obsidian universal wiring review

maxvintage

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Ok I'll be the first to admit that this is expensive and that if I was better with a soldering iron or electrical theory I would not need it.

The problem:

Part Tele with a humbucker in the neck position (fralin "Big single mini") and a tele bridge pickup (lollar something or other)

The neck pickup was dull. But if I switched to 500 k pots and a .022 cap, the bridge pickup was too shrill. I tried to wire it up so that the bridge was "seeing" 250k and .047, but I had all sorts of problems--weird grounding issues mostly, which I could not sort out. I've wired a fair number of guitars, but this was giving me fits.

This company makes a solderless wiring harness for tele (and strat and others). The appealing thing for me is that you can swap pickups and turn a little mini pot and it alters the circuit, so that the humbucker "sees" 500 k and .022 and the single coils sees 250 and .047. if you have a bridge humbucker and a single coil in the neck, you simply adjust the trimpot. It's pretty cool.

So I ordered. As you would expect, the solderless connector is the weak link. It did not want to take cloth pushback wire, at least the kind lollar uses or what seems to me to be the kind fender uses. I wasted a lot of time trying to get the wires firmly fixed in the connector. I did eventually get it going. Smaller gauge wires work better. I spent way more time trying to get the wires connected reliably than I would have just soldering them.

Cons:
cost
Solderless connector is barely adequate for some kinds of wire
Solderless connector is more likely to fail than a good solder joint.
Came with split shaft pots.

Pros: ingenious and elegant,
quality components (except for the connector)
magically resolved all grounding issues
Seems to hum less seems quieter now
Single coil and hummer are both sounding their best
 

ejphotos

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I had one in one of my old partscasters. First kit I got was defective, never switched to the neck position.
I agree, the connection points were a pain to try to get pushback cloth wire to fit.
Never again.
Lol
 

maxvintage

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I had one in one of my old partscasters. First kit I got was defective, never switched to the neck position.
I agree, the connection points were a pain to try to get pushback cloth wire to fit.
Never again.
Lol
I could be a good idea with a better connector, but it's odd that they would pick a connector that's such a pain.

I mean make a version with solder terminals in place of the spring-tension wire connector. Or screw terminals. Itdwould be faster and easier than trying to fuss pushback style wire into a reliable connection


It's working extremely well at home, and it's very quiet, maybe because it reduces some wire runs? But I'd be hesitant to gig with it because I don't trust the connections with the pushback wire
 

Blrfl

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Reminds me a great deal of the Toneshapers NextGen kit I have in my '73. (Didn't paste in a link; they no longer make it.) Being able to experiment with different pot and cap values is handy. I think if I ever switch back to the old wiring, the Toneshapers stuff met get mounted in an open box with a couple of jacks to use in-line for picking pots and caps.

But I'd be hesitant to gig with it because I don't trust the connections with the pushback wire

As long as the terminals hold a solid connection, the insulation isn't going to matter.
 

maxvintage

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Reminds me a great deal of the Toneshapers NextGen kit I have in my '73. (Didn't paste in a link; they no longer make it.) Being able to experiment with different pot and cap values is handy. I think if I ever switch back to the old wiring, the Toneshapers stuff met get mounted in an open box with a couple of jacks to use in-line for picking pots and caps.



As long as the terminals hold a solid connection, the insulation isn't going to matter.
Yeah I know, the problem is the pushback wire barely fits int the no-solder connector
 

SuprHtr

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I have an Obsidian Wire circuit I removed recently from my AO 50s Tele. The previous owner put it in when swapping to SD Quarter Pound pickups. The terminals for the wires are tiny slots in a plastic terminal strip that look like they can barely accommodate 24 gauge bell wire. Pre-tinned push-back wire would be a serious challenge to fit.
 

telesitewqb3

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I think they're great if you're not sure about which pups to keep. And they work better than my own version of quick connects do. Making a nice smooth tinned wire end helps too. It seems counterintuitive to solder (tin) an end to avoid soldering..... but it works well.
 

bobio

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I have the same kit for a project I am working on, but I chose the push/pull pot option for coil splitting as I am using SD Hot Rails. I have a couple other partscasters with the modern 4-way Obsidian kits in them and I haven’t had an issue with the wiring block. Hate the split shafts as it limits me to cheap import knobs. I have ordered brass sleeves for the split shafts that should allow me to use knobs for solid shafts.

I was hoping to have it done by now, but the weather and the holidays have delayed some of the parts I need. :(

6991894D-B3D8-41AE-AC6D-C4331B3A29FD.jpeg Universal-HH-HS-Tele-Wiring-Harness-1_750x.jpg
 
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