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I am trying to change the pickups in a guitar I own. I've done this before with more simple circuits but am now trying to follow this diagram to get more complicated switching options. I find the diagram confusing though, there are wires that have to be attached to multiple places, what is the best thing to do here? Am I supposed to solder to one of the destinations and then wire those together?

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    You might get a better answer on the forums at sevenstring.org or almost any guitar modding site - also note that diagram will ONLY apply if you have that exact model of switch. (Other than that I don't have a good answer) – Andy Sep 29 '15 at 13:08
  • This might be a complicated question to answer, but the most important thing to start out with is this: Are the pickups you are installing Iron Gear brand pickups? If not, you can't use this diagram, since the colors of the wires coming from the pickups won't necessarily match. If they are the same brand as the diagram, then the answer to your last question is pretty much "yes". Andy is right that you'll need the exact right kind of switch also. – Todd Wilcox Sep 29 '15 at 13:09
  • I could answer this question, or it might be a better fit at a sister site: electronics.stackexchange.com Based on the help center, I think we can consider this "Instrument maintenance" and therefore it is on-topic. – Todd Wilcox Sep 29 '15 at 13:17
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    I have these exact components, I got them all specifically for this – Stuart Sep 29 '15 at 13:51
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I'm pretty sure you're talking about something like the red wire coming from neck pickup in the attached diagram. The diagram shows a red line coming from the neck pickup and then branching off to four locations, and it's not clear how one wire can go four places. Here's how you do it for that one wire (and you can extrapolate to the others).

  1. Locate the closest of the four places where the red wire should go. Electrically, it doesn't matter which of the four places is closest, it just helps us run the wire more easily.
  2. Run the red wire to the closest point and solder it there. (Note that I would leave as much length as possible still attached to the pickup. If you want to move the pickup later you don't want to wish you had longer leads - don't cut them short if you don't have to.)
  3. Using some additional wire that you might have to buy separately, run a wire from the point you soldered the pickup lead to in step 2. to the next closest point where the red lines go in the diagram.
  4. Repeat step 3., going from point to point with more wire (that you have bought separately from the pickups) until you have connected all the points that are touched by a red line in the diagram together.

Some additional notes:

  • When you buy the additional wire, you want some small, stranded wire, if you can get it. Solid is ok, but stranded is better.
  • If you can get colors matching the colors in the diagram or the colors of the pickup leads, that will make it easier to do the wiring and to fix it or change it in the future.
  • With multiple contacts that are right next to each other that need to be connected together (like on the selector switch), you can do them all at once by stripping extra length from a wire going to one contact and running the stripped length through all the contacts. Flow solder on to each connection with the bare wire running through it and then clip off the bare end. Make sure no stray wire strands or solder are touching any other contacts.

Have fun with your new pickups! I've been planning to wire something like this up in one of my guitars with split-coil pickups and I've just been too busy to get to it.

  • This answer is perfect! – Stuart Sep 29 '15 at 13:51
  • Thank you, and thanks for accepting the answer. You can also upvote answers if you like them (I'm not sure if that requires reputation or not), and if someone writes a better answer, you can change which one you have accepted. Welcome to Music.SE! I think you'll like it here - I certainly do! – Todd Wilcox Sep 29 '15 at 14:10

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