Removing Pickups from Squier Tele

JRapp

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I am helping a friend out with upgrading his Affinity Tele. Got a set of Bootstrap pickups for it and went to swap them. Cannot get the old pickup leads through the tiny channel. They used a smaller gauge of wire for the leads and they just won't budge. How in h**l did they install them? Any handy dandy tips how to get these out without routing a channel? (new pickups have standard cloth pushback leads and the hole will have to be enlarged anyway).
 

Boreas

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I am helping a friend out with upgrading his Affinity Tele. Got a set of Bootstrap pickups for it and went to swap them. Cannot get the old pickup leads through the tiny channel. They used a smaller gauge of wire for the leads and they just won't budge. How in h**l did they install them? Any handy dandy tips how to get these out without routing a channel? (new pickups have standard cloth pushback leads and the hole will have to be enlarged anyway).

Was there any solder still attached to the ends of the leads when de-soldered? Could there be a knot in the leads? Pix always help.
 

Mark the Moose

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Well, bigger hole or smaller wire seem to be the only options. You could clip the wires short and solder smaller wires.

Do they catch and butch up in the channel? Maybe rig up a fish to pull them through?
 

JRapp

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I clipped off the ends of the leads---clean, not bunched up. Neck pickup leads move maybe 1/4 inch before it binds up. I'm yanking on the pickup and that will not end well. I have no idea how they wired this thing up.
 

Boreas

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I clipped off the ends of the leads---clean, not bunched up. Neck pickup leads move maybe 1/4 inch before it binds up. I'm yanking on the pickup and that will not end well. I have no idea how they wired this thing up.

You could try clipping the wires on the pickup side and try to pull them through the other direction. They can always be spliced again if the pickup is to be re-used. There may be a restriction halfway through the tunnel, or the wires may have become knotted.
 

Audiowonderland

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I am helping a friend out with upgrading his Affinity Tele. Got a set of Bootstrap pickups for it and went to swap them. Cannot get the old pickup leads through the tiny channel. They used a smaller gauge of wire for the leads and they just won't budge. How in h**l did they install them? Any handy dandy tips how to get these out without routing a channel? (new pickups have standard cloth pushback leads and the hole will have to be enlarged anyway).

You cannot get the original pickups out? The obvious and dumb question is, are you certain everything is unsoldered/disconnected etc? Pics?
 

Danb541

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Try taking some stiff wire and run it through the hole, wire hanger maybe? sounds like there's something in there hanging things up. Maybe you can knock it loose. If not, cut the pickup wires then drill the hole bigger to accommodate the new pickups. Used squier pickups aren't worth much. Solder the cut wires back together and shrink wrap.
 

JRapp

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Well, yes, they are unsoldered.

You could try clipping the wires on the pickup side and try to pull them through the other direction. They can always be spliced again if the pickup is to be re-used.

This looks like the way to go. I'd like to keep the pickup in good condition, but as has been mentioned, they aren't very desirable either. And yes, I will have to drill the hole for the leads bigger to get the new leads installed. Thank you for your advice.
 

Boreas

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Well, yes, they are unsoldered.



This looks like the way to go. I'd like to keep the pickup in good condition, but as has been mentioned, they aren't very desirable either. And yes, I will have to drill the hole for the leads bigger to get the new leads installed. Thank you for your advice.

I wonder if shrink tubing or tape was used to help fish the wires through originally. It may have unwrapped or come off now causing a constriction in the tunnel. Pulling through in the same direction as inserted may be the ticket.

Good luck! Let us know what it was!
 

gip111

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Probably the best and only upgrade you’ll need for that guitar. I swapped my Bullet pickups with Mim Fenders and it just sounds awesome.
 

jvin248

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.

Squier pickups are hated for their cheap price and that they have ceramic magnets. However,

On average, I've found they have half the capacitance of similarly constructed and kohm wound pickups (so less muddiness, more note clarity/definition) -- just like hand-wound ten times the price boutique pickups. Ceramic magnets are hotter than Alnico, so if you are one to set pickup heights 'to the specs' rather than by ear you need to set ceramic magnet pickups lower. Cort has taken the Leo Fender G&L MFD path on more recent Squier builds and uses lower kohm wound bobbins (3-4kohm instead of 6kohm) with the stronger ceramic magnets so the output is the same volume as classic Alnico but a lot less noise yielding the classic 'springy sound'. Squier pickups are actually quite good, from a pickup performance angle. So I've pulled 'proper upgraded! pickups' to replace with Squier or even ebay cheap imports based on measurements before. Know that you can push tone around with Pots 'n Caps swaps as much as pickups. So don't 'auto swap' pickups just because they seem like 'too cheap'.

Swap Pots 'n Caps, Switch, and Jack when you do those mods to the guitar. And use shielded cable from the volume pot to the Jack (scrounge an old RCA VCR/Stereo hookup cable), that's about half the idle noise floor in a guitar.

.
 

yegbert

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Not all pickups in Squier telecasters have ceramic magnets. I have Standards that came with Alnico, and they are nice.
 

JRapp

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.Swap Pots 'n Caps, Switch, and Jack when you do those mods to the guitar.

CTS/Switchcraft/CRL/cloth wire/Astron amp pull .05 tone cap all done a while ago. Stem to stern. The stock pickups weren't terrible, but this fellow got one pickup free from Bootstrap and ordered another. Total cost: 29 bucks.
 




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