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Thread: Separate a 2-wire TB4 into 4-wire

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    Default Separate a 2-wire TB4 into 4-wire

    So I've been lurking for a while...thank you guys so much for all the info I've gotten from you.

    My current situation is that I got a killer deal on a new JB TB4. I also own a Strat, and the PU is only a 2-wire setup...I'd like to coil split it or do a series/parallel mod (I'm not sure which yet).

    Since the TB4 vs. SH4 string spacing works out to 17/1000 difference per string space, I'm not worried about that. I understand that many Strat players have done this with great success. My question is:

    If I were to cut the coil wire connecting the two pickups and extend them to become a 4-wire setup, what issues should I be aware of?

    How easy is it to do this?

    Can I do it with some simple soldering techniques?

    Thanks guys!

    THM

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    Default Re: Separate a 2-wire TB4 into 4-wire

    Bump

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    Acemanismybiatchologist Jeff_H's Avatar
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    Default Re: Separate a 2-wire TB4 into 4-wire

    Wish I could answer you for certain. I'm sure guys have done it in the past, as I seem to remember reading about it. I know you can send it to Duncan to have it done, but that would negate the good deal you got on the pup to begin with.
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    Default Re: Separate a 2-wire TB4 into 4-wire

    You can turn it into a 4 conductor. What you do is remove the cloth wrapping and unscrew the bobbins from the bottom plate. You will see the coil beginning and coil ends are taped to create the series circuit. If you untape them and then add new leads you have a four conductor pickup. Just make sure you're careful and if you intend to use SD diagrams use the same colors. Scroll down to the bottom of the page, it shows the beginning/end for each coil and their color.
    Last edited by idsnowdog; 11-14-2010 at 06:15 PM.

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    Default Re: Separate a 2-wire TB4 into 4-wire

    Quote Originally Posted by idsnowdog View Post
    You will see the coil beginning and coil ends are taped to create the series circuit. If you untape them and then add new leads you have a four conductor pickup.
    Thanks. I haven't pulled it apart yet and did not know that the two were only taped together. I figured it would be a more...surgical...procedure (cutting or desoldering).

    Thanks for the help idsnowdog.

    If I run into any issues I'll bring it back to you guys.

    Thanks again.

    THM

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    Default Re: Separate a 2-wire TB4 into 4-wire

    Quote Originally Posted by idsnowdog View Post
    You can turn it into a 4 conductor. What you do is remove the cloth wrapping and unscrew the bobbins from the bottom plate. You will see the coil beginning and coil ends are taped to create the series circuit. If you untape them and then add new leads you have a four conductor pickup. Just make sure you're careful and if you intend to use SD diagrams use the same colors. Scroll down to the bottom of the page, it shows the beginning/end for each coil and their color.
    +1
    And
    check out the Sticky first post in this section
    it has pics of a similar process and will show you what to expect
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    Default Re: Separate a 2-wire TB4 into 4-wire

    Ha, that's exactly what I needed.

    Thanks again.

    THM

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    Default Re: Separate a 2-wire TB4 into 4-wire

    Well, I have a specific page on my website to convert 2 wire humbuckers into 4 wires.
    www.1728.com/guitar1a.htm

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    Default Re: Separate a 2-wire TB4 into 4-wire

    The two ends are soldered and taped. I've done several and it is tricky. Be very careful as you're dealing with very small wires. Even though Duncan attaches leads on to the end of the coil wires, you still risk damage to the coils. I accidently just "touched" an X-acto knife to the coils and ruined a pup.

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    Default Re: Separate a 2-wire TB4 into 4-wire

    Quote Originally Posted by wolf View Post
    Well, I have a specific page on my website to convert 2 wire humbuckers into 4 wires.
    www.1728.com/guitar1a.htm
    I actually did come across your site before I posted here. I saw the title of the section, but I must be honest, the long paragraphs and lack of diagrams/photos caused me to move on. Now that I've taken the time to go through it, it makes sense.

    Also, ArtieToo, I will be very careful. When doing this, do you just basically splice the coil wire to the new lead wire? I'd imagine the coil wire is so small there are no connectors that would work.

    Thanks again!

    THM

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    Ultimate Tone Slacker ParameterMan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Separate a 2-wire TB4 into 4-wire

    As ArtieToo said, there are short leads attached to each coil. They're about the size of the core wires in a four-conductor lead. They're not hard to work with but you want to avoid poking, prodding or unwrapping the coils themselves as the windings inside are very delicate. I think the JB has a layer of copper shielding tape around each coil as well, so it'll be decently durable. I suppose I'm being redundant, but there are two layers of tape in a humbucker: the coils are individually wrapped and the pickup is wrapped to make it look cleaner. Unwrap the pickup but leave the coils alone.

    Once you get the outer tape off and the baseplate screws out things will become abundantly clear.

    P.S. Hey Artie! Good to see you around!

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    RiffRaffologist ArtieToo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Separate a 2-wire TB4 into 4-wire

    Quote Originally Posted by thmugger View Post
    Also, ArtieToo, I will be very careful. When doing this, do you just basically splice the coil wire to the new lead wire? I'd imagine the coil wire is so small there are no connectors that would work.
    Yes. Just make sure you have a good soldering iron, and steady hands. When I do this, I just replace the original wire with the proper 4-wire-plus-ground. But that wire is getting harder to find.

    Quote Originally Posted by ParameterMan View Post
    P.S. Hey Artie! Good to see you around!
    Thanks PM. I've been "around" for awhile, but just haven't posted much due to too many irons in the fire, so to speak.

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    Default Re: Separate a 2-wire TB4 into 4-wire

    Quote Originally Posted by ArtieToo View Post
    The two ends are soldered and taped. I've done several and it is tricky. Be very careful as you're dealing with very small wires. Even though Duncan attaches leads on to the end of the coil wires, you still risk damage to the coils. I accidently just "touched" an X-acto knife to the coils and ruined a pup.
    Artie, my man! Where you've been? You've been sorely missed 'round here!

    Glad to have you back!

    Yours very truly,
    Pepe aka Lt. Kojak
    Milano, Italy

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    RiffRaffologist ArtieToo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Separate a 2-wire TB4 into 4-wire

    Quote Originally Posted by LtKojak View Post
    Artie, my man! Where you've been?
    Just workin' on the kitchen remodel from hell. Thats all.

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    Default Re: Separate a 2-wire TB4 into 4-wire

    Is it even possible to get a "new" (as he said) 2-conductor TB4? I thought the only ones that still came that way were 59s and Antiquities?
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