Installation

You've got Installation Questions, we've got answers.

General Questions:

General questions regarding installation

We sure do. Check them out at our Wiring Diagrams page, linked below:

Go There: Wiring Diagrams

We ship two sets of screws with a Telecaster neck pickup –

  1. Wood Screws (for mounting directly into the wood of the body)
  2. Machine Screws (For mounting to the pickguard).

Machine Screw:

Example of mounting a Telecaster Neck Pickup with a Machine screw
Pickguard Mounting with a Machine Screw

If mounting to a pickguard, Do Not Overtighten. Doing so can strip the fiberboard.

Wood Screw:

Example of mounting a Telecaster Neck Pickup with a Wood screw
Mounting directly into the body under the pickguard with a Wood Screw

Follow these simple steps below to install our Baseplate on the back of a Stratocaster Bridge Pickup:

Pickup Installation Questions:

Questions regarding the mounting of guitar or bass pickups

On P90s, Jazzmasters, and Humbuckers, the lead comes out of the Treble Side of the guitar. In other words, the lead will be closest to the G, B, and E strings.

Most Alnico pickups have a raised magnet – this magnet goes under the D string, not the G string.

Pickup Orientation, with the Lead coming out of the treble side.

For Neck Position Humbuckers, the lead comes out of the Bass Side.

To properly set pickup height, follow these steps:

  1. Measure by holding the Low E string down at the highest fret
  2. Measure from the top of the Low E pole piece to the bottom of the string – the ideal distance is 1/8″, or 3.2mm.
  3. Perform the above steps on the High E string. The ideal distance on the treble side is 1/16″, or 1.6mm.

String Height - The Correct Starting Point

Pickup Wiring Questions:

Questions regarding pickup wiring and soldering

Oh yeah! We’re masters at soldering. Check the linked page below:

A 3-wire pickup configuration is a courtesy to the customer as it allows you to reverse the coil direction or phase of the pickup quickly. Our standard wiring is:

  1. White = Hot (to switch)
  2. Black = ground

In a 3-wire setup, you have:

  1. White = Hot (reversible)
  2. Black = ground (reversible)
  3. Blue = Chassis Ground (permanent ground)

If you followed the above wiring and notice that your pickup is out of phase with another pickup, reverse White & Black to put your pickup back in phase.

Three Wire Wiring Configuration

We install this wire on all of our Fender models, and it is straightforward to use. To use this wire, push the cloth insulator back to expose enough of the wire’s core. Tips on that:

  1. Get the wire straight before pushing back the cloth insulation
  2. With one hand, hold the wire about an inch from where you intend to expose the wire core
  3. With the other hand, carefully pinch the tip of the wire and push back to slowly expose the wire core
  4. Lastly, if the wire bends, repeat step 1 and try again

Humbucker Color Codes are very important to understand. Check out our in-depth article on the subject here:

Troubleshooting Questions:

Having issues? Check here

If you are experiencing buzzing with your guitar or bass, it helps to break the noise into the correct category before diagnosing the issue. There are two primary types of Buzz you can encounter:

  1. 60-Cycle Hum
  2. Buzz caused by a bad ground connection

Let’s break them down:

60-Cycle Hum is a common phenomenon with Single Coil Pickups, and depending on your environment, can be mild to severe. Causes of 60-Cycle Hum include computer monitors, cell phones, dimmer switches, radio towers, and bad electrical wiring in your house.

Furthermore, it’s not just the pickups that can pick up 60-Cycle hum, but your cables, pedals, and amp can pick the buzz up as well. If you use a lot of pedals, including compression and distortion or overdrive pedals, expect the noise floor to be worse when turning the pedal on.

To verify that you are experiencing a 60-cycle hum, sit in an office chair that can swivel and slowly rotate around your room while holding the guitar plugged into your amp. You should notice the hum worse at some points in the room than others – this is normal.

Steps to mitigate 60-cycle hum:

  1. Add shielding to the guitar’s electronic cavities
  2. Change amp position – placing your amp directly against the wall can pick up 60-cycle hum
  3. Change the angle you sit and play in your room to find the spots where the hum is the least prevalent.
  4. Upgrading your cables can help reduce the noise floor of your signal chain
  5. While not ideal tonally speaking, a noise gate pedal can help in extreme situations

You can describe the symptoms of Buzz caused by a faulty ground circuit as:

  1. Persistent buzz regardless of sitting position
  2. Louder buzz, not like 60-Cycle Hum
  3. Touching metal parts on the guitar causes the noise to drop in volume or completely disappear

Buzz caused by ground issues is common, especially with novice technicians that aren’t well-versed in guitar wiring. In this scenario, at least one metal part on the guitar is not grounded correctly. The leading causes of this issue are a cold solder joint or loose wire. Ground issues can be quite simple to fix, if you understand how to hunt them down. Check out our article on finding and fixing ground issues here:

Install Tips by Pickup Category Questions:

Installation tips by product category

Check out linked page below for our full article on Stratocaster® Installation Tips:

Check out linked page below for our full article on Telecaster® Installation Tips:


Installation Questions

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