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> Instructions For Replacing Pickups?
EddieB
post Jun 14 2007, 01:12 AM
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Well I'm sure most of you saw my thread about trying to choose a couple new pickups for my jackson warrior, but now that I've decided on a set, I was wondering if anyone with experience swapping pups out can give a tutorial on how to do it. Please note that I have absolutely no experience doing this and VERY little experience with soldering so I'm holding off on actually buying my pickups for the time being. The reason I want to learn to do this myself is mostly to save myself a lot of money since the only nearby place that will change them is going to charge me 65 bucks an hour for a job that, in my mind, shouldn't take THAT long for a proffessional. However, I'm VERY worried that I'm gonna screw something up and ruin my favorite guitar or electrocute myself by crossing wires or something blink.gif

So if anyone could help me out with this I would be eternally grateful biggrin.gif

My Guitar:
Jackson JS30 Warrior, 3 way switch, HH configuration, tone and volume knob
and I want to put in a DiMarzio Evolution in the neck and an Evo2 in the bridge.
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blindwillie
post Jun 14 2007, 10:23 AM
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MickeM
post Jun 14 2007, 12:53 PM
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QUOTE (blindwillie @ Jun 14 2007, 11:23 AM) *
"Call for MickeM, please contact Information"

What? Did I leave my headlights on or lose my kids in the store or... Soldering help? Alright...

I'm no expert in this kind of stuff, I just do it and it's easy when the new wires goes to where the old ones were. Problem is when things don't work out, like with my charvel who was S-S-S and were replaced with H-H, then you have to get a voltmeter and take a few shots.. trial and error until it works.


Oh, if I get any words incorrect, like solder with fluss... don't know if that's correct in english, someone please correct me.


Needed: Soldering iron/pen max 45W, solder with fluss included. New Evo pickups tongue.gif

The obvious parts of unscrewing the pu's removing strings etc is left out smile.gif


1) Open the back of the guitar and make a drawing of where all the cables run

2) Remove the old pu's by soldering off the cables (I usually leave the old solder where it's at instead of using a solder sucker... hehe.. that word MUST be incorrect - because Im lazy)

3) Put one of the new pu's in place and lead the wires through.

4) Peel the plastic off, list little bit, 3mm or so. Use a peeling tool if you're not handy with the knife. Don't wanna cut the wire's short.

5) DiMarzio... You got no coil split right? If you do there's a diagram over at DiMarzio com.
If you havn't you'd do like this.
Solder the white and black wires together. Cover with a "shrink hose" or put tape over the connectors.
Solder the naked thread and the green wire to ground (metal housing of a pot)
Solder the red wire to the same place as the "hot" wire of your old pu that you're replacing.

this means that when you first looked at the connection of your old pu, you should carefully look where the "hot" wire from the old pu goes. And be aware it can be ANY color and not neccessarily red as for DiMarzio.

6) Fasten the pu to the body.

7) Go back to 3) until you run out of pu's


Two bad things can have happen now. One is that the bridge pu and the neck pu sound great when run alone but when you use the mid position and both are connected it doesn't sound good. That means you have to phase switch one of the pu's and that's as simple as switching places between the green and red wire for ONE of the pu's.
The other thing is that your tone control may seem to not be working at all. If it doesn't you have to solder a 0.022uF capacitor to the tone pot. It's likely there's one in your guitar already so lets' not worry about that now.

Hope I got everything right... I think so.

IMPORTANT: When removing the old pu's ONLY unsolder wires that belongs to the pu itself. There will be other wires connected to the switch and pots and more stuff, just leave those!
Also, be a little bit careful when you solder wires to ground, on the pots, so hat you don't heat them up too much.


And that will be 75 bucks thank you very much laugh.gif

If you can, post a clean picture or a drawing of the electronics inside.

Anyway, if this fails you still have the option of handing it in for service and put the soldering pen and stuff on eBay. rolleyes.gif

This post has been edited by MickeM: Jun 14 2007, 12:58 PM


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EddieB
post Jun 14 2007, 05:13 PM
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wow lol thanks MickeM! That really helps, I'll try to get a picture up of the wiring so you can take a look at it later. I've heard that the 'cold-heat' soldering irons are really nice since there's no cord to them and they don't get too hot.

If only all forums and boards were this helpful tongue.gif
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Evan
post Jun 14 2007, 06:58 PM
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Actually, the cold heat irons aren't so great. Don't take my word for it, just google it and see for yourself what others have to say. You probably wouldn't even be able to to desolder the grounds from the back of the pots since with this iron since they don't really get hot enough. In any case, the cold heat iron is not meant for electrical soldering. It works by passing an electrical current through the material you touch with the tip of it. The resistance of the material you're working with causes this current to produce heat. The current probably wouldn't damage the passive electronics of a guitar, but are you sure you want to take the chance?

You'll be much better off with just a standard cheap soldering iron. A Hotter or higher wattage iron will be an advantage actually since it will melt the solder on the back of the pots quickly. Heating those pots with a colder iron for longer is more likely to damage the parts inside them.

Don't let this job intimidate you. I've done it many, many times, and the first time I did was the first time I had ever soldered anything. I'm sure that if take your time, use care and common sense and follow the wiring instructions it will be a success. The majority of the work isn't the soldering at all, but physically removing and replacing the pickups into the guitar. Believe me, the toughest part is attaching the pickup to the ring with the adjusting screw. There is a spring that goes on that screw and it makes that part kind of a pain.

If you make a wrong connection with the wiring, it's not a big deal at all. You can just go back with the soldering iron, melt the solder and then fix your mistake. Having the wires connected the wrong way won't damage the guitar or the pickups. There's no electrical shock hazard either (except from the soldering iron itself if it were broken somehow)- your body produces stronger electric currents than the pickups ever could. You only need to be careful not to burn yourself- so use insulated pliers or tweezers to hold the wires as you solder them since they could get hot enough to hurt you. The last thing you want is burns on your fingertips that could make you unable to play for a while.

Here's the instructions that come inside the box of Dimarzio pickups:

Dimarzio wiring instructions

You're going want to follow the 'Standard Humbucking Series Wiring' section (unless you want a special sound and you're sure you know what you're doing). When you've connected the black and white wires together like they tell you to, the red wire goes to the switch, and the green wire and the wire without insulation get soldered to the back of one of the pots. Put some electrical tape or shrink insulation over the exposed ends of the black and white wires, or else if they move and touch something metal while you're playing, your sound will cut out. Make sure that no exposed part of the red wire is touching anything that it's not supposed to, or you will get low or no output. What you're trying to do is basically get connect things the same way the stock pickups were -so pay attention to the way things are hooked up before starting and take a picture if you need to. It certainly helps to wire one pickup at a time so you don't get confused. Only strip back the insulation of the wires the minimum amount possible -this will decrease the chance of shorts and other problems that can be hard to track down. Make sure to use a solder that was intended for electrical purposes -other kinds have chemicals inside that are incorrect for electrical work.
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EddieB
post Jun 16 2007, 03:15 AM
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Well unfortunately I wasn't able to get pictures of my wiring setup, but that post you made, Evan, helped tons. I got myself a Weller soldering iron today, mostly because I accidentally popped one of the solder joints out the other day trying to get a good look at the wires and when I plugged it back in it sounded horrible. So now at least I know I can 'repair' a loose/broken solder joint laugh.gif

I was debating on whether I should go ahead and get my new pickups this weekend or wait a while, but then in the mail i got a 10% off coupon from guitar center b/c I had purchased my Jackson there 6 months ago... so ya, now I'm definiately going in to get them tomorrow biggrin.gif

So ya, I'll let you all know how it goes. Hopefully it won't be a slop job and I'll turn my mediocre guitar into a real screamer cool.gif
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EddieB
post Jun 21 2007, 06:32 PM
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ARgh, sry for the double post...

But I just got my DiMarzio Evolution Neck pickup in the mail today... but they sent me an F-spaced one. As far as I can tell my guitar is is regular spaced and I lined them up but the low and high E strings are a bit off. Will it still work?

This post has been edited by EddieB: Jun 21 2007, 06:35 PM
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Evan
post Jun 21 2007, 10:22 PM
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F Spacing is meant for a string spacing at the bridge of 53mm (2.1") or more. This is the distance measured from the high to low E strings where they pass over the bridge. F spacing was originally introduced to handle the spacing needs for bridge position pickups on strats and floyd rose guitars.

Your guitar is unique because the bridge spacing is narrower -like that of a les paul or similar, but the nut spacing is wide 43mm (1-11/16") like on most floyd-equipped shred guitars which presents you with a unique feel on your axe. For your situation, I suggest you get a non-F spaced neck pickup. If you do bends on the E strings with the pickup they sent you, you might get drop-offs or poor sustain (the problem is more pronounced with the high E). The strings are narrower at the neck pickup than at the bridge, so the wrong spacing is doubly bad for you in the neck slot. Most of the time, a non-Fspaced pickup is right for the neck slot -except on the 43mm nut floyd rose guitars like an Ibanez RG or Jackson Soloist. I use F spaced neck pickups on my soloists.

When you line the pickup up on the strings, if the E strings are at least partially over the outer pole pieces of the pickup it'll probably be ok. If they are completely off the poles though, you probably won't be happy with the sound when it's all done.

Keep being patient with this process because when you're done, you're in for a big, BIG reward with the improvement in tone. The imported Jacksons are actually high quality guitars, but are limited by poor stock electronics. I'm certain you'll be smiling when it's all done.

It's probably worth it to upgrade the rest of the electronics to the best while you've got everything apart, because those stock pots don't take long to go scratchy, and that plastic frame output jack won't hold up. CTS pots and switchcraft jacks switches are what comes in the usa and custom shop Jackson's. This stuff is all pretty cheap to upgrade, and well worth it. Check out www.guitarelectronics.com if you're interested.

Hope this helped. Good luck!
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EddieB
post Jun 22 2007, 01:19 AM
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Thanks again for the great suggestions =)

I just got through installing the pickup and it fits pretty nicely really. The tone however, is... simply... amazing. When I run it through the clean channel on my spider III amp it is so warm i get chills biggrin.gif
When I put distortion on it it's simply jaw dropping. I can't wait to get my evo2 bridge pickup.

Installation was a relative breeze too, the hardest part was stripping the wires b/c my wire stripper can cut the outer insulation off, but the ones on the inner wires I had to use an exacto knife to get (it's a good thing they give you plenty of extra wires or i'd be in trouble).

Thanks guys for helping me out with this. I bought my evo2 bridge PU on ebay so it's gonna be another week before it gets here. I can't wait though XD

Thanks again, Everyone!
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Evan
post Jun 22 2007, 06:25 PM
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Congratulations! I knew you could do it. I wasn't kidding about that BIG improvement in tone huh? lol. If you think the improvement at the neck was big, get ready to be blown away when drop your new bridge pickup in. I really wish Jackson gave us better pickups on their otherwise great import guitars, but at least it's an easy problem to fix.

I'm glad you were able to keep some cash in your pocket, and you learned some useful skills (if you can do this, you can probably handle any normal guitar electronics work). I think it's great that you didn't have to pay that ripoff price the store wanted to do it for you (and now you know how bad of a ripoff that price really is), and now you know it was done right too. Most importantly though, your guitar is going to sound awesome now.

Let us know how that bridge pickup install goes. When it's all done, you'll have one hell of an axe!
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MickeM
post Jun 23 2007, 02:07 AM
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QUOTE (EddieB @ Jun 22 2007, 02:19 AM) *
Thanks again for the great suggestions =)

I just got through installing the pickup and it fits pretty nicely really. The tone however, is... simply... amazing. When I run it through the clean channel on my spider III amp it is so warm i get chills biggrin.gif
When I put distortion on it it's simply jaw dropping. I can't wait to get my evo2 bridge pickup.

Installation was a relative breeze too, the hardest part was stripping the wires b/c my wire stripper can cut the outer insulation off, but the ones on the inner wires I had to use an exacto knife to get (it's a good thing they give you plenty of extra wires or i'd be in trouble).

Thanks guys for helping me out with this. I bought my evo2 bridge PU on ebay so it's gonna be another week before it gets here. I can't wait though XD

Thanks again, Everyone!

Oh baby, stock pickups (uaually) SUCK! You are turning a piece of coal into a diamond with a change of pu's laugh.gif


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EddieB
post Jun 29 2007, 03:58 AM
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LOL you REALLY weren't kidding about the increase in tone. I just got my new DiMarzio EVO2 Bridge pickup today and got it installed. Instead of the full hour it took me last time, this time it took me 15 minutes XD.

I was just floored with the tone. I thought the neck pickup sounded good, this one is just...

The first thing I thought when I threw down my first riff on it was (and love 'em or hate 'em) Trivium. The tone sounds AMAZINGLY close to the sound of their Dean's on the Crusade album. That right there must just be a testament to the quality of these pickups. And I got them for a steal too. My DiMarzio Neck pickup I got for 62 bucks and my EVO2 I got off of ebay (new) for 57 bucks... would have been cheaper if those two other bidderes wouldn't have started a bid war two days before the end date. >.<

But once again, I can't thank you guys enough. The help you have all given me have not only saved me a ton of money, but have also taught me a lot of useful skills (stripping wires with an exacto knife when a wire stripper can't do the job, soldering, and a everything else that goes with this sort of thing smile.gif )

Now maybe I can go around and charge my friends 20 bucks to upgrade their gear XP
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Evan
post Jun 29 2007, 07:16 PM
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Congratulations -and enjoy the tone! I'm happy you found the advice helpful.
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SDMF75
post Nov 28 2007, 01:46 AM
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Will a 15 or 30 W soldering iron work well with installing pickups?


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Guitars - Schecter C1-FR Hellraiser Black Cherry
Ibanez Iceman w/ DiMarzio Super Distortion in the Bridge and DiMarzio Humbucker from Hell in the Neck
Xaviere XV-700 Cherry Sunburst (Les Paul copy)
Lyon Def Leppard Special Union Jack (to go under construction soon - 1st thing to be removed will be the Def Lep logo on the headstock and then off to change the pickups etc. - plays pretty well for a Target special)
Washburn KC-40 (in pieces and about to be re-painted)
Yamaha Classical Acoustic

Bass - Signed Gene Simmons Punisher Tobacco Sunburst #345 - Collector purposes only

Amp - Roland Cube 60, Roland MicroCube

Effects - Ibanez Weeping Demon Wah


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Andrew Cockburn
post Nov 28 2007, 03:11 AM
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QUOTE (SDMF75 @ Nov 27 2007, 07:46 PM) *
Will a 15 or 30 W soldering iron work well with installing pickups?


Should be fine - one of the 100 watt guns is probably too much unless you know what you are doing.


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SDMF75
post Nov 28 2007, 03:59 AM
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QUOTE (Andrew Cockburn @ Nov 28 2007, 03:11 AM) *
Should be fine - one of the 100 watt guns is probably too much unless you know what you are doing.



Thanks Andrew! Was just in Radio Shack tonight reading the specs and wanted to be sure that I didn't fry anything once I got started.


--------------------
Guitars - Schecter C1-FR Hellraiser Black Cherry
Ibanez Iceman w/ DiMarzio Super Distortion in the Bridge and DiMarzio Humbucker from Hell in the Neck
Xaviere XV-700 Cherry Sunburst (Les Paul copy)
Lyon Def Leppard Special Union Jack (to go under construction soon - 1st thing to be removed will be the Def Lep logo on the headstock and then off to change the pickups etc. - plays pretty well for a Target special)
Washburn KC-40 (in pieces and about to be re-painted)
Yamaha Classical Acoustic

Bass - Signed Gene Simmons Punisher Tobacco Sunburst #345 - Collector purposes only

Amp - Roland Cube 60, Roland MicroCube

Effects - Ibanez Weeping Demon Wah


Fat bottomed girls You make the rockin' world go round!!
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Twibeard
post Nov 28 2007, 04:54 AM
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QUOTE (Evan @ Jun 29 2007, 07:16 PM) *
Congratulations -and enjoy the tone! I'm happy you found the advice helpful.

Could anyone that did this mod, take a picture and post it here please smile.gif thanks.


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JCJXXL
post Nov 28 2007, 01:49 PM
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Very good topic. I was curious about changing out pickups.

I apologize if this seems like a hijack of the thread, but I was wondering... when selecting new pickups what are some things to consider? What makes someone go with one style/brand over another?
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skennington
post Nov 29 2007, 05:43 AM
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QUOTE (MickeM @ Jun 22 2007, 08:07 PM) *
Oh baby, stock pickups (uaually) SUCK! You are turning a piece of coal into a diamond with a change of pu's laugh.gif


Unless its a limited edition! ohmy.gif my new bengal with 81 and 85 set up from the factory

http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c29/trai...hitebengal2.jpg

You are right, been there with my RX10D. 99 model with Kent Armstrong SH13 and Sh14 pups which actually did'nt sound to bad. Swaped'em with some EMG H4's and the sustain is alot better but distortion is about the same. They do look alot cooler though!


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SDMF75
post Nov 29 2007, 05:46 AM
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QUOTE (skennington @ Nov 29 2007, 05:43 AM) *
Unless its a limited edition! ohmy.gif my new bengal with 81 and 85 set up from the factory

http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c29/trai...hitebengal2.jpg

You are right, been there with my RX10D. 99 model with Kent Armstrong SH13 and Sh14 pups which actually did'nt sound to bad. Swaped'em with some EMG H4's and the sustain is alot better but distortion is about the same. They do look alot cooler though!



You're in good shape George wink.gif . Nice Ax!!


--------------------
Guitars - Schecter C1-FR Hellraiser Black Cherry
Ibanez Iceman w/ DiMarzio Super Distortion in the Bridge and DiMarzio Humbucker from Hell in the Neck
Xaviere XV-700 Cherry Sunburst (Les Paul copy)
Lyon Def Leppard Special Union Jack (to go under construction soon - 1st thing to be removed will be the Def Lep logo on the headstock and then off to change the pickups etc. - plays pretty well for a Target special)
Washburn KC-40 (in pieces and about to be re-painted)
Yamaha Classical Acoustic

Bass - Signed Gene Simmons Punisher Tobacco Sunburst #345 - Collector purposes only

Amp - Roland Cube 60, Roland MicroCube

Effects - Ibanez Weeping Demon Wah


Fat bottomed girls You make the rockin' world go round!!
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