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Thread: Helping out a beginner's first pickup swap

  1. #1
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    Default Helping out a beginner's first pickup swap

    Hi

    So like the title i'm trying to swap out the bridge pickup (no brand) on a Edwards "Sexy fingers III"
    https://shop.r10s.jp/bigboss-japan/c...mg60697421.jpg
    to a Duncan SH-4 (What the ESP version comes with).
    It's a 1 volume push-pull pot and a 3 way switch.

    First time doing this (have soldered in the past though, so that's not the concern)
    I just simply don't know what goes where.
    The original pickup came with what i assume is a ground and a "hot" wire.
    Ground was on top of pot while "hot" wire went to the pickup selector.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Now the new pickup however has as you know have 5 cables.
    Got it used and the red and white where already together and taped off (seeing as this has option to split the coils, do i need it?)
    I soldered the black "hot" wire to the same spot the previous black wire went to.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    As for the green and "naked" cable. They are together on the top grounded position.
    But maybe they don't go together at all?
    Click image for larger version. 

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    You can hear the guitar but there's a lot of hissing noise when i try it out.

    Closest thing to my layout on the website i can find is the "1 Hum, 1 single, 1 hum, 1 volume push/pull coil split, 5 way blade"
    I don't have a 5 way blade and diagram confuses me.

    All stock cables are either black or white.
    More pictures for a better understanding.
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    Click image for larger version. 

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    Hope this is enough for someone to help me out.
    Sorry if this also happens to be the wrong place for me to post this.
    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    Senior Member Downrazor11's Avatar
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    Default Re: Helping out a beginner's first pickup swap

    Hi, you are in the correct place, we'd be happy to help..

    First off, the guitar in question is an HSH (humbucker-single-humbucker)?
    If yes, how does the switching work with that guitar, is it just the 3-way toggle that switches neck OR middle OR bridge with no 2 pickups on at the same time?
    What does the push-pull do?

    Let me know..

  3. #3
    Administrator Mincer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Helping out a beginner's first pickup swap

    Welcome to the forum!
    I was a little confused of the layout of the guitar...2 humbuckers? The switch splits one? Is that right?
    Dave, Ambassador/Writer/Artist for Seymour Duncan

    My Guitar, Gear, and Music Webpage

    Gear pics and more on my Instagram.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Helping out a beginner's first pickup swap

    Quote Originally Posted by Downrazor11 View Post
    Hi, you are in the correct place, we'd be happy to help..

    First off, the guitar in question is an HSH (humbucker-single-humbucker)?
    If yes, how does the switching work with that guitar, is it just the 3-way toggle that switches neck OR middle OR bridge with no 2 pickups on at the same time?
    What does the push-pull do?

    Let me know..

    Quote Originally Posted by Mincer View Post
    Welcome to the forum!
    I was a little confused of the layout of the guitar...2 humbuckers? The switch splits one? Is that right?

    Thanks and thank you for the time!

    Yeah, so i believe it's that way.
    A HSH and i would assume that's how it works (not an expert at all) Select the pickup's individually.
    The push-pull i assume splits the humbuckers.

    I've played around with it a little and the position of everything (the wires) seems to be correct.
    The guitar is playable. I'd say 90% good, 10% the "Hissing" if you will.

    Now grabbing the pickup and then grabbing the bridge at the same time make's it go away.
    Telling me, like many other people encountering this problem.
    That the grounding needs to be done better.

    Ordered a new soldering iron (was working with a 10$ one that's awful)
    Will try to re-solder it.

    Now question.
    Regarding "the grounding" [See picture 3]. The three cables at the top.
    If these were to touch each-other it should still be fine right?
    Like for example, if a little bit of solder bleeds of into another ground connection.
    (Of course i'm only talking about the grounding wires now)

    Thanks again!

  5. #5
    Bacteriaolgoist GuitarDoc's Avatar
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    Default Re: Helping out a beginner's first pickup swap

    As best as I can tell from the pics, it looks like the selector switch is a DPDT, on/on/on with the buckers attached. this will work like the typical 3 way toggle of a Les Paul. The push/pull adds the middle pup to any of the selector switch choices when it is pulled up. I don't see any coil split for either of the buckers.

    Does the hum you are hearing stay consistent in all switch positions?

    Yes, resolder all of your ground connections. Make sure your iron is hot and that the solder flows like water. If you still hear the same hum you need to add a wire from the bridge to ground.
    Originally Posted by IanBallard
    Rule of thumb... the more pot you have, the better your tone.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Helping out a beginner's first pickup swap

    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarDoc View Post
    As best as I can tell from the pics, it looks like the selector switch is a DPDT, on/on/on with the buckers attached. this will work like the typical 3 way toggle of a Les Paul. The push/pull adds the middle pup to any of the selector switch choices when it is pulled up. I don't see any coil split for either of the buckers.

    Does the hum you are hearing stay consistent in all switch positions?

    Yes, resolder all of your ground connections. Make sure your iron is hot and that the solder flows like water. If you still hear the same hum you need to add a wire from the bridge to ground.
    I see, yeah your probably right. I've never delved into the hardware side of things before so i'm pretty clueless. But i appreciate everyone input and information!

    So an update on the whole situation.
    I re-soldered all the grounds and still same result. I also re-soldered the hot wire and nothing.
    Same as before.

    So yeah, i should clarify that i'm picky when i say "humming". Up until this point I've never encountered this before.
    My other guitar is equipped with:
    (Neck) Seymour Duncan SH-8n
    (Bridge) Seymour Duncan Sh-12
    In those i don't encounter this problem.

    Could there be some sort of "off miss match" pairing a duncan with whatever they put on an Edwards?
    [Edwards is basically the LTD of Japan]

    Could it be that the SH-4 is just a little bit more noisy?

    Now i do think the noise is prevalent in all positions.
    Especially when the pot is in raised (pulled) position.
    But it sounds stronger when the Duncan is selected.
    This noise can be quite faint/next to nothing when facing nothing. (It's slightly there, but you gotta listen for it)
    But coming close to a computer or other electronics then humming/fuzz sound goes up by 3 - 4 times.
    I've seen other people with this problem. People wrapping stuff in tinfoil and so forth.
    But since i'm not sure of the cause yet i'm not even sure where to begin.
    Now i'm sure all guitar make some noise when holding them up to other electronic devices.
    But i'm only comparing based upon my other one, and there's a clear difference.

    The only reason i'm annoyed by it is that my other guitar with Duncan's don't have this problem.
    And that well, Humbuckers shouldn't humm that much?
    The "problem" guitar is made of alder, the "no problem" guitar is maple.

    Don't know if that has anything to do with it.


    Oh and when you say wire, is that something just available in guitar shops?
    Or something Amazon has? like what's the specifics/requirements of the wire?

    Sorry for sounding all over the place, i'd love to learn, but i'm pretty lost xD

  7. #7
    Bacteriaolgoist GuitarDoc's Avatar
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    Default Re: Helping out a beginner's first pickup swap

    You can use just about any wire (20-28 gauge is fine). I like 24 gauge stranded and pre tinned and with silicone sheath which makes it very flexible. I get mine on amazon, they sell it in kits of 5-7 colors which is really convenient. This stuff is great...
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    Make sure the bridge is grounded to the back of one of your pots. If you still get hum you might want to line the pup and control cavities with copper foil conductive tape...
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
    Originally Posted by IanBallard
    Rule of thumb... the more pot you have, the better your tone.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Downrazor11's Avatar
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    Default Re: Helping out a beginner's first pickup swap

    The wires GuitarDoc suggested should point you in the right direction, I use teflon-coated wire (ptfe) in 24 or 26 AWG, you can find that on ebay pretty cheap as well:
    https://www.ebay.com/itm/60-FEET-PTFE-Teflon-Silver-Plated-wire-26-Awg-Gauge-Stranded-assortment

    Just copy and paste "(26,24,24awg,26awg) (ptfe,teflon,etfe,aircraft)" in the eBay search bar..

    Ultimately, buzzing that gets worse when the push-pull is up tends to indicate that something that provides a shielding benefit isn't grounded (like carbon paint lining the cavity, for example, hence the buzz that is increased when the single-coil is in the circuit), OR that things aren't grounded particularly efficiently to the jack..

    What soldering iron do you have and what's its wattage?

    I ask because a very likely cause of a bad ground on a re-soldered guitar is a 'cold' solder joint, and that is often times a result of the soldering iron not heating the metal being soldered to the temperature necessary to melt the solder. When soldering, ideally, one heats the surfaces being soldered together (quickly) and then uses the heat from those surfaces to melt the solder on to them (with the iron providing assistance getting the melt going), after which it is important to keep the joined surfaces undisturbed until the solder has turned solid.

    Try to avoid melting solder onto the iron tip for the purpose of using the tip to drop or flow molten solder onto cold surfaces, as that will almost always create a solder joint that will fail..

    ALSO...
    ...I know you took pics of the pieces you have in your first post in the thread, but can you take as clear of a pic as you can of the control cavity as it is wired now (maybe even 2 or 3 pics from different angles)? I am still hoping to see all of it together..
    Last edited by Downrazor11; 04-24-2019 at 12:47 PM.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Helping out a beginner's first pickup swap

    Quote Originally Posted by Downrazor11 View Post
    The wires GuitarDoc suggested should point you in the right direction, I use teflon-coated wire (ptfe) in 24 or 26 AWG, you can find that on ebay pretty cheap as well:
    https://www.ebay.com/itm/60-FEET-PTFE-Teflon-Silver-Plated-wire-26-Awg-Gauge-Stranded-assortment

    Just copy and paste "(26,24,24awg,26awg) (ptfe,teflon,etfe,aircraft)" in the eBay search bar..

    Ultimately, buzzing that gets worse when the push-pull is up tends to indicate that something that provides a shielding benefit isn't grounded (like carbon paint lining the cavity, for example, hence the buzz that is increased when the single-coil is in the circuit), OR that things aren't grounded particularly efficiently to the jack..

    What soldering iron do you have and what's its wattage?

    I ask because a very likely cause of a bad ground on a re-soldered guitar is a 'cold' solder joint, and that is often times a result of the soldering iron not heating the metal being soldered to the temperature necessary to melt the solder. When soldering, ideally, one heats the surfaces being soldered together (quickly) and then uses the heat from those surfaces to melt the solder on to them (with the iron providing assistance getting the melt going), after which it is important to keep the joined surfaces undisturbed until the solder has turned solid.

    Try to avoid melting solder onto the iron tip for the purpose of using the tip to drop or flow molten solder onto cold surfaces, as that will almost always create a solder joint that will fail..

    ALSO...
    ...I know you took pics of the pieces you have in your first post in the thread, but can you take as clear of a pic as you can of the control cavity as it is wired now (maybe even 2 or 3 pics from different angles)? I am still hoping to see all of it together..
    Thanks guys for the information!

    So yeah, first off the soldering iron i bough is a 50 watt one and can go up to 500 degrees Celsius. Which proved to be plenty cuz my dumb-ass was re-soldering and trying to make the ground perfect. Even moving them around. Ended up melting some plastic inside the push/pull pot (Be careful folks). Using way more heat then needed.
    Anywhoo, took the pot apart and fixed it. But it wasn't as clicky and snappy as before. Now me being annoyed by small things (i.e the buzzing), this also had me annoyed that now i had made my pot worse.
    Sure it functions, but for how long.

    So the next day i decided to go to the ESP store here in japan and just ask about it.
    He measured everything and checked the grounding and told me that "it should be fine".
    "In this case i don't really think there's much you can do".

    I was just gonna buy a new pot and swap it out. But i wasn't to exited to re-solder everything, so i asked him how much he'd want for him to do it.
    Ended up being about 45$ (with part) and wait 1 hour. So i took it.

    Result is pretty much the same as i had before. All though be it looks way cleaner.
    I don't really feel like pursuing it if he's like "Well this is pretty much how it is".
    I guess i could go the whole copper foil tape route and try to do that.
    But for now i think i'm going to try to get used to it.

    I do however really appreciate your time and input, i definitely came out know more about the whole procedure in general!

    I'll also post some pictures of how it turned out.

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