Pickups-Still Soldering? WHY, WHY, WHY?

Slackerprince

Member
Messages
5,747
So, I guess this is Part II of electronic things that bug and baffle me.
I can't see why, in 2010, that we still have to solder pickups to pots, etc.
Why can't pickup manufacturers use mini computer plugs to attach pickups to pots?
It seems like Seymour Duncan and Larry DiMarzio, etc. would be all over this. Think about how many people would change their own pickups, more often, meaning, buying, selling and trading pickups, if they were just plug and play components. It would put a big dent into guitar tech business, but would help the average player change-out their pickups.
What do you think?

S.
 

I'm so board

Senior Member
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607
Soldering is still used for those components for good reasons. That's my guess anyway. Otherwise I'm sure there would have been a change. Maybe it makes for a better more solid electrical connection and maybe it's actually cheaper than developing something otherwise.
 

Jahn

Listens to Johnny Marr, plays like John Denver
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28,299
at least for semihollows and hollows that have skinny F-holes, I agree with you!
 
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17,654
Your gonna get a LOT of players who insist they can hear the difference between soldered connections and plug ins...others will insist there are reliability issues with plug ins...but imo if its good enough for computers and stereos, why not guitars?

I agree...those quick disconnects would sell a lot more pups...the reason Ive taken so long to upgrade is I dont want to buy soldering equipment or pay a tech...

I think after all these years, guitars would have quick disconnect componants...throw in different pots, switches, pups, micro-switches...coil tapping is just one jumper setting away...
 

Morningstaru

Member
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269
EMG has a quick connect system that sounds pretty much like what you described.

It would be great to see it become industry standard.
 

whoismarykelly

Oh look! This is a thing I can change!
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Very few things in the guitar world are standardized. What you are asking for is something that EMG has been doing for a very long time. Other companies have just preferred to stick with the traditional construction methods because time and time again the market has turned up its nose at innovation in favor of 50-60 year old construction methods. There is no reason to make installation easier if everyone is going to avoid the product because its different from the vintage gear they want to emulate.
 

mullytron

Member
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1,260
I think since a manufacturer has no idea what guitar you are upgrading (or building), it is easier FOR THEM to put a lead on there and basically require a tech to do the job. Speaking as a tech, that's what we're here for! Not for nothing, but there are some things about the procedure that are worth having someone who's done it a few times handle for you...

That being said, I had a Strat that I used quick connects on the jack wiring to swap different pickguards in and out. I spec'd and installed them myself, but there's no arguing with the convenience.
 

skeeterbuck

Member
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1,666
Because we like the old fashion way. :bow
We mostly play guitars and amp that were designed 50 years (or more) ago.
Tele's, Strat's, Lp's, etc. Tweed's, AC30's, Marshall's etc.

They soldered the wires back then and it worked fine. How dare you suggest something that could drag our vintage designs into the 21st century. :rotflmao :stir :sarcasm
 
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3,626
Not an answer per se, but Taylor has a plug-based system for their solidbody guitars as well.

It's probably also used in the T3 (their semi-hollow body) since I think those pickups are interchangeable.
 

jnepo1

Silver Supporting Member
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14,613
I don't have a problem soldering connections, be it pickups or plugs, but that's me. In actuality, Seymour Duncan has somewhat stepped in that direction. A few years back, the introduced the "Triple Shot" pickup rings. They are used for the P-Rails if you go w/ that option, although I don't know if they are compatible w/ any of their other pups. They do have a quick disconnect, but there still lies the eventual soldering to connect the rest of the components. I think Stew-Mac has something w/ a quick disconnect. You take the stripped wire ends and screw them down into a terminal.
 

rummy

Member
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8,577
While I do enjoy swapping out pickups and don't mind soldering, it would be a neat idea to standardize pickups.
 

sfx

Member
Messages
289
I have my Strat wired with a pin header on the gnd/hot signal going to the output jack and pins on the pickguard end. Basically I have pickguards with SSS, SSH, and Lace RSB pups that I can quick change to depending on my mood in 5 minutes or less, and without removing the strings even.
 

stallworth98

Member
Messages
339
My uneducated guess is that it would never become standardized.
- Each pickup manufacturer would develop their own connectors for more "vintage tone".
-There would be tolerances involved in the engineering of the connectors with several manufactures providing stricter tolerances with only the highest quality materials for a more "pure vintage tone"...at an up-charge.
-Of course, not everyone will want to pay top dollar for the "vintage correct", low tolerance, connectors so they can use the standard connectors which won't be compatible with any other connector.
-Eventually someone will come along and develop adapter kits...purchased separately.
-Then one day (insert your guitar hero) will discover the sonic bliss of soldered connections and a boutique market will develop for old-timers who retained their soldering skills and are willing to provide the service at a premium price.
 

Ronsonic

Member
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3,306
Pickups are soldered in place because they are intended to stay there. Computers get thrown out in 3 to 5 years. Guitars are musical instruments that will last a lifetime and be handed down. Or should be. If you really prefer consumer grade crap, that's your call. But real musical instruments are built of semi-permanent parts.

By not having that connector we have one less thing that is going to need cleaned and serviced and retensioned or replaced every couple of years. Really, this is a good thing.

There are already too many things that break and go wrong. Don't add more.
 

CharAznable

Member
Messages
16,728
Pickups are soldered in place because they are intended to stay there. Computers get thrown out in 3 to 5 years. Guitars are musical instruments that will last a lifetime and be handed down. Or should be. If you really prefer consumer grade crap, that's your call. But real musical instruments are built of semi-permanent parts.

By not having that connector we have one less thing that is going to need cleaned and serviced and retensioned or replaced every couple of years. Really, this is a good thing.

There are already too many things that break and go wrong. Don't add more.
:rotflmao

People change pickups. Fact.

It doesn't have to be a chore.

All you need is 2 pin Molex connectors. Cheap and plentiful. They don't break and they don't go wrong. The infrastructure of the world is built on them.

I don't understand why we still solder pickups. It's stupid and has no purpose.

If all I had to do to change pickups was to unplug a Molex connector, I'd spend a lot more money on pickups.
 




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