How to fix short lead from pickup?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Guitar & Bass Technical Discussion' started by philamag87, Feb 18, 2012.

  1. philamag87

    philamag87 Silver Supporting Member

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    I reinstalled my bridge pup in my tele but the tech that took it out the first time cut the wire way too short. How do I fix that? Do I just splice them together or do I have to rewire from the pup itself, which I really don't want to do. What gauge wire do i need? The neck pup I got off eBay had its wires extended but I don't know how it was done. It sounds good though.
     
  2. JJuran

    JJuran Member

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    You can extend the wires on the pickup by "splicing" new wire to the existing leads. Use the same wire (i.e. 22ga stranded) that the short leads are made of. Strip 1/2" of insulation from the two wires, twist them together then solder the twist. Cover that with heat-shrink or electrical tape.

    Use stranded core wire (as opposed to solid core which can bend and break during re-assembly) and don't use anything heavier than necessary. 22ga is fine.

    The manufacturer can usually replace short leads on a pickup but that's more work than necessary unless they're going to re-wind it for you too (as in the case of a dead pickup).
     
  3. philamag87

    philamag87 Silver Supporting Member

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    Thanks JJuran!! Where can I buy 22ga stranded wire? Can I get it at Radio Shack? I don't want to wait to order it online, I would like to try and fix it today and get my guitar ready for a gig on monday.
     
  4. JJuran

    JJuran Member

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    Sure. Radio Shack, or any electronics store should have 22ga hookup wire. Have fun and good luck.
     
  5. John Coloccia

    John Coloccia Cold Supporting Member

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    The general answer to this is "never buy anything at Radio Shack". In this case, I believe you will only find solid wire anyway. It would work but it's not my first choice.

    Almost everywhere has a real electronics store nearby...tools, wires, network gadgets, home security, etc. That's where you want to go.
     
  6. philamag87

    philamag87 Silver Supporting Member

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    JJuran thanks again!!


    Yes I have heard that statement around here many a times! :rotflmaoBut in a pinch it will do for my needs. I did by my variable power soldering iron there and it works pretty good.
     
  7. russ

    russ Supporting Member

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    Why does the extension need to be the same type/guage wire?
     
  8. John Coloccia

    John Coloccia Cold Supporting Member

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    It doesn't but generally it will heat shrink neater and overall look more professional if they're at least very close.
     
  9. epluribus

    epluribus Member

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    Side note...stranded wire...is it true that the conductivity is better than that of same-guage solid wire? A big PA supply house loves to tout their fine-strand speaker wire on that basis.

    --Ray
     
  10. VaughnC

    VaughnC Supporting Member

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    Places like Mojo sells vintage correct cloth covered wire by the foot. So, I'd just buy the wire and replace the whole lead...the wire is typically just soldered in a hole in the pickup base so its unlikely you'll damage anything replacing it as long as you don't use too much heat.

    http://www.mojotone.com/amplifier-wire?range=26,48,48
     
  11. John Coloccia

    John Coloccia Cold Supporting Member

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    The short answer is no, you actually do better with solid wire. Stranded wire is generally used where you want flexibility and resistance to fatigue....both things are desirable in a guitar in general (though there is one place I started using solid wire).

    Stranded wire CAN do a little bitter at moderate frequencies....hundreds of kilohertz to about a few MHz, but it has to be specially constructed...it's not stranded wire like you think of it.

    Anyhow, for all intents and purposes, stranded wire behaves just like solid wire in most typical non radio and power transmission applications, and in fact is a little worse because the cross section of the wire is less for the same gauge, with no improvement otherwise.

    "Welding cable" is made of very fine wires, and people assume it's for current carrying but actually it's so you can have a huge bundle of wires that are flexible. :)
     

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