Quick Connect in Fender strats for ground+output –– insights? history?

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by cptl975, Jan 11, 2021.

  1. cptl975

    cptl975 New Member!

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    I was surprised to find a 'quick connect' plug inside my Fender Ultra Strat connecting the pickguard harness with the ground/trem claw and output jack. How long has Fender been using these plugs in their guitars? Where could I find a matching male plug to install in a new loaded pickguard for quick pickguard/pickup swaps? Are there any resources that address these 'quick connect' plugs?
    I've found some forum threads talking about DIY plugs like this but nowhere discussing these specifically used by Fender in strats.

    For reference, you can see it in the Ultra HSS specs doc here, item #34 on pg. 3 and in the wiring diagram on pg. 4. Also attached the PDF doc.

    Any insights are greatly appreciated. Thanks!
     

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  2. stevierayfan91

    stevierayfan91 DEEPLY SHY.

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    Welcome @cptl975 !

    I believe those quick connects were new to the Am. Ultra models.
     
  3. John C

    John C Most Honored Senior Member

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    This was the first time I had seen them on an essentially point-to-point wired Fender.

    That being said Fender did use plug connectors on those American Deluxe Strat Plus models with the personality cards that were out in 2014-2015. Those had a circuit card wiring so that the personality cards could change what the pots did; the pickups had plug connectors, there was a plug connector for the ground and output wires, the switch and the pots plugged into the card, and there was a ribbon wire connector that ran from the personality card to the circuit card under the pickguard. You can kind of see that in this photo of a loaded pickguard I found on Reverb - the 3 pickups are plugged in up at the top, the output wires are in-between the volume and the upper tone pot, and the slot for the ribbon wire is in-between the switch (which is sealed in black plastic and the "Fender" logo on the circuit card:

    [​IMG]
     
  4. Skinny Nitro

    Skinny Nitro Senior Stratmaster

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    And the Fender Twin Head humbucker pickups.
    Fender_Twin_Head_Vintage.jpg
     
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  5. cptl975

    cptl975 New Member!

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    Interesting if the newish Am. Ultras are the first to come with it for the ground/trem claw and output jacks. And to see it in some of those pickup setups.

    I'm putting together a new loaded pickguard for the Am. Ultra where I'd like it to also have the quick connect plug with the stock ground/trem claw and output wires.

    Any idea where to buy the proper male plug that fits the stock female plug? Would Fender sell them?

    Thanks!
     
  6. PCollen

    PCollen Senior Stratmaster Silver Member

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    Sure glad I didn't buy one of these.....
     
  7. PCollen

    PCollen Senior Stratmaster Silver Member

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    GFS is how offering wired 1/8" mini-plug connectors for use with pickups. So changing pickups requires no unsoldering/soldering of wires, just unplug/plug.
     
  8. BuddhaFingas

    BuddhaFingas Strat-O-Master Gold Supporting Member

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    No engineering reason not to connectorize the grounds or even the signal lines; low-impedance connectors are common.

    Probably boils down to a combination of cost, and tradition (which according to Mr. Fender's reputation, was also a matter of cost.)

    The labor involved in two more connections for every lead probably costs more per unit than the connectors themselves would. And the idea of owners making electrical mods and swaps probably was not part of the original design spec.

    Or if it was, I suppose it's possible the thinking was that by requiring the ability to solder they would keep modifications within the hands of technically-oriented folks. It wasn't all that common a skill in the 50's, and it's rarer today.

    I'm currently scratch-making a new pickguard/control group for my Player P-Bass; I'm going to change the bridge ground lead so that it grounds mechanically to the same screw point the body lining does, so I can swap guards and pickups with only a screwdriver. I'm certain that the difference from a soldered join will be undetectable.

    If a few milliohms of resistance on the ground were critical to tone or function, Fender wouldn't use the grounding scheme they currently do of daisy-chaining through the pot cases with small gauge hookup wire. They'd use much heavier conductor and all ground leads would go to one common point at or near the jack.

    But that's not needful, and it would cost more.