Dumb question - changing pickups in my Eastman

EDS

Silver Supporting Member
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389
Ok, I'm changing the stock pickups on my Eastman 335 style to Gibson 57s. I got all the guts hanging out of the F-hole at the moment.

The leads from the stock pickups are solder to the volume pots and there is another smaller red wire that comes from the leads that is soldered to another part of the assembly.

The new Gibson pickups leads don't have two wires - just one. So what should I do? I assume that red wire is something important.

Thanks alot!
 

Michael Hunter

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,909
What other part of the assembly is the red wire soldered to? And where exactly is the lead soldered on the volume pots? Answering these questions should help determine which is the "hot" connection and which is "ground."
 

EDS

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
389
Here is a pic. the red wire is coming from the pickup lead and is soldered to something I don't know the name of. Thanks for the help!

 

Michael Hunter

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,909
Assuming that those are the only two leads coming from the pickup, the red one is "hot" and the bare one is "ground." The red lead is connected to a lug of the potentiometer - that's the term you were looking for. The other wire on that same lug is presumably connected to either the tone pot for that pickup or to the pickup selector switch - there's a lot of different ways to wire a Gibson-style circuit that will give you similar results. Make sure that one stays connected where it is!

At any rate, the lead from the Gibson pickups are two-conductor as well - they're just done in the traditional fashion where the "hot" lead is typically surrounded by black shielding (it's on the inside) and the "ground" connection is the silver braided wiring that surrounds the black shielded "hot" lead. You'll have to strip back a little of the black shielding, and that lead will replace the red one from the current pickup in the lug of the volume pot. The outer braided part of the will then be soldered directly to the back of the volume pot casing, replacing the bare wire from the current pickup.
 

EDS

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
389
Thanks - that helped alot.

4 hours later, I finally put it back together and now its crackling, popping and the tone knobs are aren't working right. Is this usually due to shoddy soldering?
 

Michael Hunter

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,909
Most likely the issues you're having now are due to bad solder connections. Can you describe exactly when the crackling and popping is happening? Is it when you turn the volume pots, or is it happening irrespective of any control pot manipulation? And what exactly do you mean when you say the tone controls aren't working? Are they not functioning at all, or are they doing something other than what they should be (like rolling off the highs too soon)?
 

EDS

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
389
Basically the sound is intermittent (turns on and off when you touch the wires) or crackles/pops and sometimes the tone will sound like its rolled off even when the knob is maxed out.

I've tried redoing some of the joints with not real difference. I think I may take it to someone with more soldering experience than me. Those connectors are cramped so tight that I found it hard work on and I'm not too good to begin with.
 

Michael Hunter

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,909
Not a bad idea. 335s are a real b*tch to work on, even for guys who have done them before. It's not the guitar I'd recommend using to get your feet wet with guitar electronics work, that's fer sure! It's really easy to get cold solder joints or shorts in the circuit that only seem to appear after you've put everything back in place. The SD diagram I linked to above is a pretty typical circuit layout for a 2 humbucker guitar, but I will use a modified version of it when rewiring a 335 (developed through much trial and error) that makes it easier to get the components back in without as much hassle.

If you are going to have a pro rewire it, it also wouldn't be a bad idea to have him simply gut it and replace the electronics with better parts. Based on the photo you posted, and my own experience with Eastman guitars, the pots and switch in there are pretty sub-par quality. If your tech is going to be there anyway, have him put some CTS pots (I like the ones from RS Guitarworks) and a Switchcraft pickup selector. With the Chinese parts that are in there now, it's less of a question of if they'll go bad, and more a question of when.
 






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