HSS Humbucker wiring question

Discussion in 'Pickup Forum' started by retroLS1, Jul 21, 2014.

  1. retroLS1

    retroLS1 Strat-Talk Member

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    Hi all

    First post here, so please bear with me. I picked up a new American standard HSS strat a few months ago and I will be changing out the humbucker this week. I have an SD TB-11 due to arrive today, assuming FedEx doesn't make plans otherwise. I have done a lot of searching online regarding the wiring and diagrams for this and just wanted to confirm it with you folks before having to do and redo anything.

    I have usually had my father work on all my guitars & basses over the years as he has been doing this stuff for 40+ years so I trust him. I have all of the tools and I want to have my first go at it myself. I figure this one should be straight forward enough. I have soldered before so I am not a complete novice. This is more concerning "which wire goes where". The Fender colors differ from the Seymour Duncan colors which is ok, except the diagrams I have seem to differ and I just am wondering why? Here are the two main diagrams I am using:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The diagram on the left is from SD and the one on the right is from Fender (newest one I could find). I basically want to wire this up exactly the way my guitar is wired now, but just with the SD in its place. I believe the Fender is wired up from the factory with the "auto split" where the bridge humbucker is split when in the 2nd position on the 5-way switch. Please correct me if I am wrong. From the looks of it, according to the pickup color code chart, the Fender green wire (north start) gets soldered to the back of the volume pot. On the SD pickup the north start (black) goes to the 5-way switch. Is this correct? Fender also has the north and south finish wires getting soldered & taped together, whereas SD has them going to one of the 5-way switch lugs.

    I appreciate any and all help and suggestions. Looking forward to hanging around here more and feeding my gear addiction.
     
  2. waparker4

    waparker4 Strat-O-Master

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    The Fender diagram does not have the auto split configuration. That is why the black and white wires on the Fender diagram are soldered together and covered with shrink tube, and not soldered to the switch like the SD diagram.

    The colors:

    SD will go green - ground,
    red/white - soldered together and shrink tube
    black - switch.

    However, since the SD pickup might be out of phase with the Fender pickups, you might have to reverse the black and green wires on the humbucker. This is a trial and error thing or an email to SD or maybe somebody on the forum has combined these pickups before.
     
  3. retroLS1

    retroLS1 Strat-Talk Member

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    Thanks. I would like it to be auto-split, so I am assuming I would just put the red and white together on the 5-way lug as in the SD diagram? I will shoot an email to SD and see if I have any luck from them on the phase part.
     
  4. waparker4

    waparker4 Strat-O-Master

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    If you want the auto-split, then follow the SD diagram as it is, with the likelihood that you may have to reverse the phase on the SD pickup. Another thing, you may have to replace that black wire to ground on the auto-split side of the switch (the one w/ the red and white wires) with a jumper to the hot input of the volume pot instead. This is all so you can get a noise-cancelling RWRP pair between your split bridge pickup and your Fender middle pickup.

    If you wire the auto-split, you will not be able to configure your tone pots in the same way they are now. The Fender diagram has the 2nd tone control controlling both the middle and bridge pickups, which is impossible w/ the auto-split configuration, since the auto-split uses up that side of the switch.
     
  5. retroLS1

    retroLS1 Strat-Talk Member

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    Good to know about the tone pots.

    So if I were to wire it up as it is currently without the auto-split, it looks like the SD and Fender are opposite in that the Fender currently has north start goes to ground and south start to the 5-way lug, and the SD north start goes to the lug and the south start goes to ground. Does this matter?

    I am still pretty new to a lot of the pickup wiring terminology and what it all means, so bear with me. Thanks for the help.
     
  6. waparker4

    waparker4 Strat-O-Master

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    You are right, the Fender is wired backwards relative to the Duncan. However the only thing that matters is the phase with the other pickups in the guitar. If you wire up the SD like they say and you end up with a thin wimpy out of phase middle/bridge tone, you will have to swap the black and green on the SD pickup to correct it.
     
  7. retroLS1

    retroLS1 Strat-Talk Member

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    Excellent, thank you. Sending an email to ask about the phase issue now, hopefully will hear back.... this year..
     
  8. retroLS1

    retroLS1 Strat-Talk Member

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  9. waparker4

    waparker4 Strat-O-Master

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    Yes, they are just missing that little jumper between the two terminals on the lower side of the switch that enables the 2nd tone control to also work on the bridge pickup.
     
  10. JohnDH

    JohnDH Senior Stratmaster

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    Testing phase - The Screwdriver Pull-off Test | GuitarNutz 2



    When im rewiring with different pickups, I trust in God, but everything else I check out. This is to make sure humcancelling and phase are right first time. Its such a hassle opening up a strat again to swap wires.

    if you are doing auto split, to get a humcacelling in-phase combo with the M pup, it needs to split so the bridge coil with opposite magnetic polarity is used. You can figure out which this is with a compass or placing magnets face to face.

    For phase, you can hear it when its strung, but to test positively, the link above is a good method:
     
  11. Namelyguitar

    Namelyguitar Most Honored Senior Member

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    Welcome to ST!

    You might be interested in the wiring diagram, below. It's in the running for a project converting from Fender SSS to HSS.

    In the bridge position, it will have a Duncan Designed HB-102 humbucker with F spacing (the import version of Duncan's JB pickup). I'll be using a push-pull 500k audio taper pot:
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jul 22, 2014
  12. retroLS1

    retroLS1 Strat-Talk Member

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    Thanks for the advice on the phase checking. I will have to look into that. Here is the diagram I will be going with. I decided against auto-split as I would like to keep it similar or the same as the original Fender wiring, just with the new pickup. This one accomplishes that, I believe (see attached)

    SD should have the wires noted correctly on this to get the phase right, but I will check anyways after it is wired up. Got the pickup last night. Have rehearsal tonight so will probably install either later tonight or tomorrow evening. Will be sure to post my results.
     

    Attached Files:

  13. retroLS1

    retroLS1 Strat-Talk Member

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    Okay so finally got down and dirty last night and opened it up. Took my time as this is my first endeavor into pickup changing myself and soldering such small components (rewired a motorcycle but it was all 16-12 gauge wiring - beefy). Everything went fine, but unfortunately I am pretty sure my new humbucker and the middle single coil are out of phase. I wasn't able to do that phase test so I was going on pure hope and unfortunately I don't think it was enough. Humbucker alone sounds great and the middle sounds fine as I did not change it, but together they drop in volume and have a pretty thin tone. Couldn't really test it until things were back together but I will probably be opening it back up tonight and swapping the black and green wires. I don't play on that switch position much (is that position 2 or 4?) so it's not a huge deal. Here are some photos I snapped last night, stuff I'm sure you've all seen before.

    "Before"

    [​IMG]

    Original wiring - took it for reference

    [​IMG]

    Old 'Diamondback' humbucker...

    [​IMG]

    New TB-11 Custom Custom all wired up. Red/white are soldered together w/ heatshrink on them, taped to the single coil wires for tidiness...

    [​IMG]

    Had to drill a hole in the pickguard between the two original humbucker screws as they did not line up with the TB-11 bracket holes - not a big deal

    [​IMG]

    Now I just have to take it all apart again and swap the two wires :D
     
  14. retroLS1

    retroLS1 Strat-Talk Member

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    Had a chance when I got home from work and I opened it back up. I found my multimeter so I was able to do the phase test and sure enough, neck and middle were both going positive and the bridge was negative.

    Swapped the green and black wires and buttoned it back up (after phase testing it again - all positive). Sounds great now. No volume drop in position 2 and no more thin sound. Actually sounds really good in that position now. Really looking forward to playing it tomorrow night at our gig when I get to play it through my Rockerverb (been home testing on a little solid state Vox amp).

    Thanks for all the help and advice in here.
     
  15. wiregrass

    wiregrass Strat-O-Master

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    Success! Way to go!