Humbucker Wire Color Translation

Posted on by Peter

We know… you went to install your brand new Seymour Duncan pickups, and the wiring instructions tell you how to connect everything – BUT – the wire colors of your stock pickups look the same but are located in completely different places than our wiring instructions indicate (or they’re completely different colors altogether). You have just come face to face with one of the brutal (and frustrating) realities of pickup swapping: different pickup manufacturers use different wire color-codes. You cannot simply replace your old pickup’s wires with your new pickup’s wires color-for-color. What should you do?

In most cases, ignore the original wiring, and follow the Seymour Duncan wiring instructions. However, if your guitar’s wiring is set up in a way that our wiring instructions do not address (special coil-splitting, or unique switching, etc…), then you may find this pickup wire color-code chart very helpful. All you need to do is put the wires from your new pickup where the original pickup’s wires went, but translate the wire colors by using the chart.

For more wiring info, check out our wiring diagrams here.

 

Written on January 1, 2011, by Peter

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Comments (3)

  • Peter • 8 years ago

    Now I am getting confused: The above says Seymour Duncan: white and red are finish from coil 1 and coil 2. When you connect red and white you will have a humbucker, meaning the two coils are wired in series. BUT wiring in series means connecting the – of coil 1 to the + of coil two. So why is this cart stating to connect the finish of both coils together? (To me this implies the negative connected to negative = parallel, not series)

  • Peter • 8 years ago

    Here’s my situation:
    I have bought to SD pickups a few years ago, a 59 Neck and a Seth Lover Bridge. Both were provided with a 2 conductor cable. I wanted to coil tap both pickups.
    I knew I had to fully open the pickup and replace the 2 conductor cable for a 5 conductor (4 colors and 1 bare ground). The 4 little conductors coming from the coils were all black.
    The issue I have is I cannot figure which wire inside the coils are the start and finish. I have tried several ways and they just won’t work.

    I have inquired your support line and they couldn’t help me at all. They gave me a link to some youtube video instead of telling me which wire was what.

  • Peter • 8 years ago

    Bartolini colors?

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