Pickups-Still Soldering? WHY, WHY, WHY?

spentron

Member
Messages
1,678
If all I had to do to change pickups was to unplug a Molex connector, I'd spend a lot more money on pickups.
"Buy these pickups with quick change connectors so you can spend a lot more money on pickups" ... some would love it, others run away screaming.
 

n8b

Member
Messages
306
For one, not all routing holes in various guitars will accommodate the type of connector you are describing. It will have to be terminated at one end or the other by the user, which is harder to do correctly than soldering.
 

Unabender

Member
Messages
684
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.
It's because those connectors cost money, and the guitar manufacturer does not benefit from you buying 3rd party pickups.
 
Messages
541
any kind of connector can build up crap between the contacts and stop working. I prefer that pickups are soldered. Soldering is easy. I did it for years with a cheap $10 radio shack 25W iron and just now upgraded to a pro soldering station. You don't need to spend a lot of money to solder.
 

Flyin' Brian

Member
Messages
30,035
It's because those connectors cost money, and the guitar manufacturer does not benefit from you buying 3rd party pickups.
any kind of connector can build up crap between the contacts and stop working. I prefer that pickups are soldered. Soldering is easy. I did it for years with a cheap $10 radio shack 25W iron and just now upgraded to a pro soldering station. You don't need to spend a lot of money to solder.
These two responses work for me as well.
 

JoeyHarley

Member
Messages
1,335
if its good enough for computers and stereos, why not guitars?
the difference is the way they're used. guitars, unlike stereos and computers, have to be able to handle the rigors of being used. we bang the hell out of them, jump and dance around in them, put them in cases and throw them in trucks, force them through the extreme pressure changes of air travel, get beer and other liquids spilled on them, and occasionally bang them into stuff. computers that you're speaking of aren't built for this, and those that are use much sturdier connections than a quick connect like you speak of.

soldering is the way to go. it effectively makes the entire setup one wire. soldering is easy to do, and cheap. you can get an iron for $10, sometimes less, and solder's about $5 a roll...and a roll will last you years. after a couple times of doing it, you'll be able to swap out a pickup in about a minute.
 

TD_Madden

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
2,433
To me, unsoldering/soldering pickup wires isn't the painful part of changing pickups...

It's the string-loosening/bridge removal, pickup ring removal, ESPECIALLY fooling with the damned springs, and running the wire that's the real pain in the a**.

Personally, I prefer the stoutness of a soldered connection.

YMMV, of course.
 

taez555

Member
Messages
8,042
Although the idea of a quick connect is cool, I'd be one of those people who would immediately get a pair of wire cutters and snip it right off.

Just think with a standard humbucker, how would the quick connect be wired in the factory? Series? Parallel? North Coil only? South Coil only? Series out phase? Parallel out of phase? North or South coil phase reversed to interact with a secondary pickup? Is it going to made to work with a standard 5 way strat switch or 3 or 4 way, or one of those super switches that can split coils from different pickups?

I just think there are too many possibilities to make standardization feasible, not just with pickups but with switches, pots and routing. Pickups are about as basic a technology as it gets. Copper wire wrapped around some magnets. One side goes to ground the other is your signal. How you wanted it routed is all up to you, your imagination and your understanding of signal flow. Plus, it’s not that tricky to solder a wire to a lug. Once you get everything apart it only takes a minute to attach or disconnect a pickup.

Unscrewing the pick guard, loosening the strings, adjusting the pickup height, reattaching the pick guard and even having access to multiple pickups to test; that’s really what I find to be the most time consuming and costly aspect of trying out different pickups. In the end I just like as much control over my guitar as possible.

(just my 2 cents as someone who wired his last guitar with 31 pickup combinations) ;-)
 

Lolaviola

Supporting Member
Messages
8,443
Soldering is easy, and most people don't change pickups.
On the one hand I think that "quick connectors" would create a lot more problems than they would solve. (issues of polarity/phase and compatibility) On the other hand, I cant think of anything more lame to complain about.
 

Ronsonic

Member
Messages
3,306
: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.
You keep saying that you don't understand, but it has been clearly explained. Connectors fail when solder doesn't. True, people change pickups, but only a tiny minority. Even they only change pickups to get something that suits them and then they leave it alone.

If you want a molex connector in your guitar install one.
 

Felixun1

Member
Messages
778
As someone who is constantly swapping pickups in and out just for fun, soldering sucks. Standardizing on a good connections system would be a welcome change.
 

scolfax

Member
Messages
7,236
8 year bump!

I'm thinking of getting a Mad Hatter solderless system, or adding a Duncan Liberator to my Strat. Anyone else made this journey?
 

rockon1

Member
Messages
12,506
Perhaps someone has already mentioned it but having plug in PU's would severely limit wiring options.
 

coltonius

Señor Member
Silver Supporting Member
Messages
13,277
Perhaps someone has already mentioned it but having plug in PU's would severely limit wiring options.
But what if there were a solderless (or heck, even a soldered) adapter one could install to make it a quick connect? Boom, problem solved.
 




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