8 Common Guitar Pickup Rookie Mistakes!
Lindy Fralin Pickups has been around for over 25 years, and in that time, we’ve seen all levels of guitar and bass player. From the bedroom hobbyist to the full-blown touring pro, we’ve all had to start somewhere. We’ve also seen all levels of guitar players make these simple mistakes, time and time again. This is our list of the 8 common “rookie mistakes” that can be easily avoided:
1.) Choosing The Wrong Lead:
This one is a biggie, and probably the easiest to avoid. Choosing the right lead when ordering your pickups will solve many headaches down the road. It will make your installation more manageable, and allow you to reverse the phase if need be.
We get a lot of emails with the subject line of “Help!”, and see a customer having a hard time installing a Gibson Lead in a Fender Tele. This lead won’t work for many reasons. The most common mistake we see: Buying a Single Pickup with an irreversible lead. An example would be buying a single P-90 for your Telecaster, with a Gibson Lead. Doing this will give you many headaches down the road – choose a 2-Conductor lead when ordering, and you’ll be set!
Research the correct lead, and go for it. Here are some helpful rules of thumb:
- You Cannot Reverse Gibson Leads. Only get these when you’re buying a Set For A Gibson-Style Instrument. These leads are designed to install in instruments where each pickup has its separate volume pot. Installing this lead in a Fender instrument will create all sorts of problems.
- 2-Conductor With Shield: The most overlooked, but essential lead. You can reverse the phase if need be, and since the lead is insulated, the shielding won’t short anything out in a cavity.
- 3 / 4 Conductor: For Humbuckers, these are super easy to install, and give you all sorts of options down the road. You can reverse the phase too!
2.) Wrong Pot Value
Your Volume and Tone pots are the second most important aspect of guitar electronics – and for a good reason. Putting a Humbucker through a 250K pot will most likely sound like your amp has a “mud blanket” on it. A Telecaster with low-output single coils will sound pretty awful through 500K pots, too. Knowing which pot value your pickup needs is the best way to solve this. Don’t be a rookie: check out our article here to become a pot-selecting wizard!
Well, that does it, for now! Take your time when selecting your options, and you’ll spare many headaches down the road!