Hiya everyone. I've been playing guitar for about 10 years and recently decided to modify one of oldest guitars for the first time. I got some new posh machine heads and a Telecaster style 'lipstick' neck pickup. It's not a Fender pickup, but it's basically the same. I'm fitting to a Washburn my father bought me - as standard it had 2 single coils and a tapped bridge humbucker. I planned to replace the middle single coil with the tele style one i purchased.
So after taking to the guitar with a chisel and some swear words I got it to fit, tight but it fits. Me being me I assumed the wiring would be a straight swap with my new pickup having 2 wires, my old old pickup had 1 wire, but the sort where you use the shielding as your earth. Easy.
Well it would be but the tele copy seems a lot quieter then the other 2 pickups, and quieter that the one I took out. All I have done is used one wire for the shared earth and the other straight onto my pickup selector. Am I missing something? Did Tele's have something else my Washburn is missing, or is it just not possible to run this pickup in my guitar?
Post by michaelcbell on May 17, 2007 9:15:06 GMT -5
Welcome to GuitarNuts!
Unfortunately for you, not all pickups are created equal (especially in terms of output), so you may be looking at what might be considered 'incompatible' pickups. A question to clarify: Is the 'tele' pup quieter when it's by itself when compared to the other single coil by itself?
It's funny how you find these kind of places that are full of information after you've already purchased something and found it don't work! But thatnks for the warm welcome.
Well I checked the resistance of the tele pickup and it was 7k, suppose I should check the others to see what they are. And yes it's quieter than the other single coil by it's self. One thing I noticed, but would expect, is if I am to put the new tele pup on the same switch position as the other single coil it makes that quiet too.
So what exactly would make them incompatible, just the output?
Post by michaelcbell on May 17, 2007 13:52:28 GMT -5
Yes, I was speaking of output levels when I was speaking of incompatibility.
One thing I noticed, but would expect, is if I am to put the new tele pup on the same switch position as the other single coil it makes that quiet too.
Now, this is another question. Usually guitars combine pickups in parallel (signal path flowing 'through' both pups at the same time). Parallel wiring does reduce your output, so that may explain why when both are on, the output is quieter than the original pickup by itself.
Another thing to think about is that the tele pup was designed to go in the neck position (where there is more string travel, and therefore greater volume), so putting it at the mid position as it seems you have would also make it slightly quieter.
7KΩ is relatively strong, so I don't think the pup is bad, per se. I think some pictures would be of great benefit at this time. Particularly, the mounting of the new pup into the body. And a diagram of how you wired it up would be useful, too.
Also, can you provide a link to where you bought the pickup itself?
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thanks for the responses everyone. It's much appreciated. I'll take some pictures this weekend, will probably be a lot more clear than my ramblings!
The site I bought the pup from is WD music, the pickup is the Kent Armstrong variety. The bloke who owns the shop told me there should be no compatibility problems, but was most helpful saying if there was anything wrong with anything I could send it back and he'd replace or refund it. www.wdmusic.co.uk/shop/products.php?category=324 is the link, it's the tele hot front pick up I bought. Don't know if that helps at all. It came with a very basic wiring diagram. Not sure if it'll help but I'll scan and post that too.
I wonder if it is just because I have put it in the middle position, not at the neck I hope not because I was nearly in tears having to chisel my guitar to make a bloody pickup fit. Even though it's not my 'best' guitar it's my most cherished. (Says the man holding a hammer!)
Not sure if mine's wired parallel or not to be honest. It looks to me like it's all shared earth (volume/pups/tone/jack output) with the other pup wires going directly to the pup selector switch which is then wired to the maser volume. Like I said, pictures would probably be better!
I'm sure these pictures aren't going to help all that much but might be of use to somebody. This one: and this one
are supposed to show the volume (middle top), pickup selector (bottom left) and tone (bottom right). It looks to me like I have the jack input going to the volume pot and from vol pot to pup selector. Also have one from pup selector to tone and a shared earth from vol pot to everything! The pups go to the pup selector and the shielding goes to the shared earth. The tele pup I have is 2 separate cables, not one shielded if that makes a difference? Another thing I had noticed was on the volume pot it looks as though there should be a wire going to the top pin as there's solder there (there are 3 pins - the jack to the middle and the pup selector to the bottom) but there's nothing else loose so maybe not...
This Is a close-up of the pup selector & volume pot:
As I had mentioned before I've fitted the new pickup into the middle position:
but set it up so it was about the same distance from the strings as the original pup:
I'm sorry the pics are crappy - I took them on my phone.
I'm really gutted about this - it's my favorite guitar and I think I've broke it! Any help would be greatly received...