Pickup wiring: Stupid Question

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by NateD81, Feb 17, 2020.

  1. NateD81

    NateD81 Tele-Meister

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    Ok - putting together my first Jazzmaster. The lead wires on the bridge pickup were ridiculously long so desoldered the wired and shortened them. Go to resolder the wires and realize I can’t remember which side is hit and which size is ground. If I mixed the connections up, would my bridge pickup be out of phase? I ask because when I play the JM, the neck sounds great, but the middle position and bridge position sound weak and much quieter. I’m trying to determine if it’s a wiring issue or if I’m out of phase. It just doesn’t sound right which makes me think I wired the pickups backwards. Thank you guys in advance for the help!
     
  2. grooveiron

    grooveiron Tele-Holic

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    If you mixed them up, they would be OOP in the middle position. It'll sound trebly and thin. But it shouldn't affect the bridge pickup alone. Best thing to do would be open it up again and switch them…
     
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  3. epizootics

    epizootics Tele-Meister

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    Since a pickup cannot be out of phase with itself, I'd say you resoldered the bridge pickup the wrong way around AND got a bad connection somewhere in the process, ie. got the end of the wire going through the eyelet and sticking out enough on the other end to touch something it shouldn't touch. Just in case, compare what you see under the pickguard with this:

    https://www.seymourduncan.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/Jazzmaster_Standard.pdf

    The other possibility would be some kind of damaging of the pickup in the process, but I very much doubt it to be the case. Pickups don't usually die too easily.

    Swap the bridge pickup wires again, make sure your soldering job is clean, and you should be OK :)
     
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  4. NateD81

    NateD81 Tele-Meister

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    Thanks guys — I’m going to swap the wires on the bridge pickup tomorrow and see what’s what. I’m usually pretty careful but the one time I wasn’t, I desoldered the wires then realized I couldn’t remember which was which. I’m used to having a volume drop at times going from neck to middle position, but something just seems off. It doesn’t sound bad, just lackluster and like something is missing if that makes sense?

    Embarrassing I know. Hopefully it’s an easy fix, if not, you may be hearing from me again!
     
  5. NateD81

    NateD81 Tele-Meister

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    Addendum: this might be a good time to note that I cut out the rhythm circuit entirely as I NEVER used it on previous JMs, so I deviated from the typical wiring schematic.
     
  6. trev333

    trev333 Telefied Ad Free Member

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    If both pickups are the same make, the colours should be the same?....

    see what colour wire is the ground of the neck pu.... and use the same colour wire for the bridge ground...:)
     
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  7. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    take the pup out of the cover... look closely at the winding... the side that has the lead going under the coil is ground, earth or neutral, whatever they call it down under.. the other side is, by default the "hot" side... it's pretty easy to see..

    r
     
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  8. NateD81

    NateD81 Tele-Meister

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    Thank you guys - going to check it out today!
     
  9. crazydave911

    crazydave911 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Ummm, I suppose just cutting them back shorter wasn't on the menu?
     
  10. TeleTucson

    TeleTucson Tele-Afflicted

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    This may be the most common convention, but I honestly don't think you can't take it to the bank with certainty. After all, winding directions can vary from one vendor to the next, as can magnet polarity. I think you need to inspect winding direction and magnet polarity to be sure.
     
  11. MrYeats

    MrYeats Tele-Meister

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    Invest in a set of small alligator clips on short wire. Clip the gators to where you think they should go, and move them around till it sounds right. Saves a lot of time.
     
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  12. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    No ya don't, in all but the most bazaar situations, the "start" wire is the negative...
     
  13. moosie

    moosie Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    The bridge pickup alone can't be out of phase. With what?

    Look elsewhere if bridge alone is a problem.
     
  14. TeleTucson

    TeleTucson Tele-Afflicted

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    Right. And magnet polarities are always the same. OK.

    @MrYeats has it right.
     
  15. NateD81

    NateD81 Tele-Meister

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    Didn’t get to mess around with the pickups tonight - but what I’m finding is the neck sounds fine, but when I switch to the middle position, the guitar sounds anemic and hollow, same if I switch over to the bridge pickup only. I’m hoping I can fiddle around with it tomorrow and see what’s up. I feel confidant I have some wiring issue I simply overlooked. I hope so anyway...
     
  16. moosie

    moosie Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Yeah, my point is that it's not a phase issue. Phase only matters (can be 'in' or 'out') when more than one pickup is involved. You can hook up a standalone single coil hot lead to volume pot, cold lead to ground, or vice versa. Either way, it sounds the same.
     
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  17. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    Guys, to quote Bill Lawrence in somewhat redacted language, Electrons don't give a cack about which way the pickup is wound, or which way the magnets are stuck in the bobbin.

    He went on to explain that guys tend to think the current generated by the string just flows from the Positive side through the pup's windings to the Negative... that would be correct were that current a Direct Current, but it is not, It is NEVER a DC.. a DC current is nonfunctional in the Guitar's magnets..

    The generated signal ONLY exists in a state of oscillation. While Alternating Current isn't the correct term for the signal, it is basically the way to visualize the signal, constantly flipping direction. And interestingly, one can have differing frequencies (notes) traveling in the opposite directions simultaneously.

    That current goes back and forth with the frequency of the vibrating string... thus, which way anything is oriented has no bearing. The only way the direction of the coil is wound or the polarity of the magnets is concerned is in the individual pickup's relationship with other pickups..

    I get your point, but I'm assuming the two were constructed correctly relative to each other in the first place.. if one is "mixing" say, DiMarzio's and Lollars, you might expect issues, but choose two Lollars or two DiMarzios, and you have a better chance of having correct functionality. (pup brands selected purely at random)

    To find out... just eyeball the windings.. the "start" wire should begin from the same eyelet on each pup... as viewed holding the two pickups oriented the same, and a simple compass can be used to determine if the magnet polarity is the same on both... it should be, and in a "normal" Jazzmaster, which way is North or South is meaningless as long as both pups are the same.

    Many pickup makers make their pups with the same polarity so you, the end user, isn't futzing around trying to figure out why your guitar sounds so funky when ya have pickups of differing polarity or different wind directions.. Or simply to facilitate manufacture..



    r
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2020
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  18. NateD81

    NateD81 Tele-Meister

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    I'm sure you all were waiting with bated breath - but I solved the problem. As is turned out, I did have the leads coming off the bridge pickup reversed. What happened was in my attempt to clean up the bird's nest of the loaded pickguard I bought (Vintera modified), I accidentally resoldered the hot lead to ground and ground to hot on the bridge pickup. Once I fixed that tonight I was in heaven as it sounds so great now--much less buzzing in the middle and bridge position too! I wish I could say I was surprised I did something dumb like that o_O. Chalk it up to experience, I suppose! I've definitely learned a lot doing my first "build'. Thank you all for your time and help!
     
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