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Thread: Stupid newbie question (first attempt at pickup swapping)

  1. #21
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Lebanon, TN

    Default Re: Stupid newbie question (first attempt at pickup swapping)

    The first time I swapped out pickups, switch and jack I took pictures at every step just in case I forgot what went where. Also here's a link that might help with soldering...

  2. #22
    Senior Member Downrazor11's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2017

    Default Re: Stupid newbie question (first attempt at pickup swapping)

    Quote Originally Posted by Darg1911 View Post
    Or just pick up a copper chore boy at the grocery store ...
    Sometimes those grocery store ones have chemicals on them that can mess up the tip so watch out..

  3. #23
    Mojo's Minions Gtrjunior's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Wherever you go, there you are.

    Default Stupid newbie question (first attempt at pickup swapping)

    Based on the recommendation in this thread I bought one of these:

    Hands down far superior in every way to a wet sponge. Highly recommended for anyone that works on their own guitars.

    Thanks GuitarDoc!!!

  4. #24
    Junior Member SZjammin83's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2019

    Default Re: Stupid newbie question (first attempt at pickup swapping)

    I just put an Invader set into my guitar about 2 months ago now. It was my very 1st attempt at any type of electrical soldering, big or small. Seeing as I'm SERIOUSLY ADHD as #@%$ (it's pretty bad), and I get frustrated to the MAX with this kinda stuff, same as when I work on trucks/cars (I guess all the frustration and throwing choice words around just makes it feel AWESOME when I get it together n it works. That's the only reason I can come up with as to why I would ever subject myself to dealing with my own craziness like that) anyway, all that considered, I'm still pretty stoked n happy for myself everytime I plug in the guitar I customized and jam! It's a truly a diamond in the rough now in every sense of the phrase. While I was all set to install the pickups, I went to it, but ran into a fairly decent sized bump n the road regarding the existing 3-way toggle that was in the guitar, AND with an issue you mentioned yourself as being very very important.... which it IS. This would be the color coding for your wiring. You'd THINK they have a standard at this day & age, but NOPE... Its alot like MOPAR, only if you were one way, but EVERYBODY else was like MOPAR and just as different as night n day, from not only you, but from everyone! If you go online, I cant recollect precisely, but it could very well be the actual SD site, they've got a list of EVERY pickup company, with a image of a pickup underneath each name and 4 lines off the side of each pickup to represent..... you guessed it, the 4 wires of an actual pickup. So each one will have the 4 different colors listed and based on whatever the placement of the line is in the order (top to bottom) let's you know what its job is, and they match the colors up to the corresponding positions, and that's THAT! Leave it to me though. My ibanez 2003 SZ had probly the ONLY pickups in the face of the earth that werent connected or even affilted with any of the others on the chart. Also, I had an ibanez 3-way "super-swtch" toggle in there that could coil-split one pickup and I DEF wanted that option, but that switch was crazy n I just decided that while I was in my guitar doing the work with the pu's, I'd go on n get ahold of a good solid new regular 3-way and then 2 500k CTS push/pull pots, and a standard 500k for my tone, and shoot my shot at just gutting all the original electrical components and going with all new stuff. It was a Saturday when I got the last of the stuff I needed from GC n I brought it home n started setting up about 12 noon-ish and jumped in head first very shortly after. Now I'm gonna be honest. It took me the entire afternoon, evening, night, and yes, on into the next AM before I had it all set n ready to rock. (And I was so tired that I didnt even wanna try it once till I slept)... BUT, when I did finally let her rip, it was TOTALLY worth all the tedious BS and time spent checking and double checking my work as I did it, because everything functioned/worked and sounded PERFECT as could be.

    Sounds like you're gifted with enough common sense to realize that your best defense against epic failure here is RESEARCH and a good bit of self-education. You dont know if you dont ask, and closed mouths dont get fed. So you're honestly two steps ahead of the vast majority of guys. Most, unfortunately, will just drive right in and more often than not, make at least one severe F@#% up (that could easily be very costly) almost immediately.
    I got a 40watt soldering iron with adjustable temp. and the rest of the kit that comes with it for less than $25 off Amazon, and generic as it may in fact be, it did the trick nicely. The needle nose tweezers were a HUGE help. Also, I ended up paying about ten more dollars to get a device called "helping hands", which is just a little stand with a light, a magnifying glass, and I think 4 arms each with gator clips on the ends and designed so that they are positionable. This too was a HUGE help. Maybe a lifesaver even. I also had PLENTY of people tell me to buy some Lead-Bearing solder because it runs faster and requires quite a bit less heat to do so as well. I never bought/used it though, and everything worked out fine. I did buy a small can of tinning flux from lowes though, which aided in keeping the soldering tip tinned up and clean, and while it may seem irrelevant to many, I DO feel like it helped me along the way. It also made tinning the components a breeze as well. Make sure you give your iron ample time to heat before using it, and heat the component, NOT the solder, and as soon as the solder runs take the heat off and be sure whatever you're soldering at the time is not moved before the solder has time to cool and solidify. Have PLENTY of light, and be sure its angled so that your not casting shadows over your work area. (Sounds simple like common sense, but it's something I didnt even consider until I was all up in the way of my lighting). And dont let yourself get stuck thinking you have to do all that "remove one wire n solder its match from the new pickup and then move to the next, one at a time" type of thing. You can either find your wiring diagram on the diagrams page at the SD site, and just remove your pickups and make sure you follow the diagram, and DOUBLE-CHECK your work. You could even draw your own diagram if you can set one up in a way that's easier to understand. Afterall... it's a typical situation in these typical times... too many choices....

    Sorry if I rambled a bit man, but I was just hoping maybe I'd have SOMETHING in there that might be of some help to you.

    Best of luck with your customization bro. Hope it all goes nice n smoothly as possible for you. Please do let us know how it goes or how it's going.

    The Diagram I used to wire mine up....
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    Original SZ components & wiring...
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    The "Super-Switch"....yea...right
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    Found you a color code chart. hope this helps...
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by SZjammin83; 04-20-2019 at 04:30 AM. Reason: Added images to help another member
    "As I look back over a misspent life, I find myself more and more convinced that I had more fun PLAYING MY GUITAR than in any other enterprise. It IS really the life of KINGS...."

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