Pickups-Still Soldering? WHY, WHY, WHY?

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by Slackerprince, Aug 2, 2010.

  1. BloozDouche

    BloozDouche Member

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    I’m guessing that standards never emerged for pickup swaps because the vast majority of people don’t swap pickups. It’s a niche hobby within a hobby — the tinkering hobby within the music hobby — for a sub-segment of guitar folks. It’s a modification meant to be done by professionals and knowledgeable enthusiasts. I may be wrong, but that’s my guess.
     
  2. urQuill

    urQuill Supporting Member

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    I have more pickups and pickguard assemblies than guitars, and like to change things up. I’ve been using Deans plugs for the connections in my guitars since the early 2000s. The micro-plugs. They work great. There is zero loss through those plugs, they are fantastic.
     
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  3. NoiseNinja

    NoiseNinja Member

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    Conservative people like you, who don't understand how this would work is the reason why we can't have nice things like quick connectors!

    So EMX is doing it wrong and will soon go out of business like all the other companies who mainly make a living by selling pickups, cause no one is buying pickups anyway?

    Is that your point?
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2019
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  4. 0010 0001 0011 1111 1110

    0010 0001 0011 1111 1110 Member

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    I actually think this would create more issues than it would fix.. For example, I want to convert my tele from a 3 pos switch to a 4. Dang it, now I have buy an entire 4 position wiring kit. Or I want to convert from sss to hss, again, need to buy a whole new wiring kit. Now I want to split my humbuckers, another wiring kit. I can go on and on. But with a soldered wiring scheme, all I'd have to do is move a few wires around and problem solved. Easy breezy.
     
  5. tremolo3

    tremolo3 Member

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    There is some opportunity here for a DIYer to make a mini modular patch for pickup configuration.
     
  6. Mincer

    Mincer Member

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    Well, in an ideal world, there would be standards that allow quick changes across manufacturers. We've settled on a size for single coil, P90, and humbucker pickups. But, to answer your question, the Liberator system is the next best thing. It is secure, and it works well. You do have to solder it in, initially.
     
  7. stevieboy

    stevieboy Clouds yell at me Silver Supporting Member

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    Because 99 percent of guitars won’t ever get a change of pickups. For the mfr. soldering is cheaper, easier and more reliable. For the few that do change them, it isn’t prohibitively difficult, just a bit of a PITA. And as said those that want it can set up their own system, do it once and you’re set.

    I wouldn’t object to a quick connect system, there are times I wish I had one. Especially with semi hollow bodies. Don’t blame me!

    .

    We have? There are multiple sizes of all those. Telecasters have two different sizes at once, fer goshsakes.

    We do have the standard sizes. Because the people that invented them also made the guitars they went in, and bereeen them dominated the market, still do. Others just fell in step to the point where they dominate. It just evolved that way, we didn’t settle on them. But they are hardly the only versions.

    I don’t necessarily think settling on a standard kills the idea though. Could have multiple standards, for each type of guitar if necessary.
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2019
  8. scolfax

    scolfax Supporting Member

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    First off, with the Duncan Liberator, everything about your guitar is the same except the connections to your pickups are solderless. No limits of any kind.

    And if you check out the Mad Hatter kits, most of the wiring options you would want are accomplished with dipswitches once it's all setup. You can even select if you want 250k or 500k for your tone and volume pots. And if you want to change out your capacitors a few times to find the ones you like the best, it's all solderless.

    Agree to a point. If pickup swaps were easier and standardized it might be a more mainstream thing to do. Fender tried something similar with "personality cards" so at least at some level they decided there was a market.

    Those look great, I'm considering those. Looks like the "micro" ones aren't available?

    You're right to a point, but again the Mad Hatter kits do a lot of what you'd want to do without needing a new kit. SSS to HSS, and splitting humbuckers would not need a new kit, you'd just turn some screws and flip some dipswitches.
     
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  9. bobbyatomic

    bobbyatomic Member

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    If you ever wanted show someone a thread to disprove the theory that TGP is mostly populated by old guys in tan pants loudly voicing their absolute opinions about things they obviously don't know much about, then this probably isn't that thread.
     
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  10. LeicaBossNJ

    LeicaBossNJ Silver Supporting Member

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    I've been thinking about my response to this thread since 2010. Here's the answer. Guitar gear companies often can barely manage an RMA for product returns. Creating and sticking to connection standards is wishful thinking. In fact, it's far more wishful than assuming that even lazy customers with no manual skills will learn how to solder.

    [​IMG]
     
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  11. scolfax

    scolfax Supporting Member

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    ^^^ Agreed, standardization hasn't happened and there clearly are market forces making it so. A more guitar-centric example is that Gibson sells guitars with quick-connect pickups, and yet neither Seymour Duncan nor DiMarzio sell their pickups with the option of a Gibson-compatible quick connector.

    Having said that, when I swap out my bridge pickup in my Strat I am going to a solderless system no matter what. I can solder but I don't want to. I want to be able to switch pickups as easily as switching pedals.
     
  12. BloozDouche

    BloozDouche Member

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    I’m gonna conjecture that personality cards went the way of the dodo precisely because too small a subset of guitar people are interested in pickup swaps.
     
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  13. scolfax

    scolfax Supporting Member

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    Point taken, but coming up with a proprietary card isn't going to help in standardization.

    But if Gibson couldn't make it happen with their generic quick-connects it's just not going to happen.
     
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  14. Matt Rain

    Matt Rain Vendor

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    Squier/Fender should partner with Weller and throw a 25W iron in their starter packs. Basic tinkering skills yo.
     
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  15. Drak

    Drak Supporting Member

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    Well, an interesting viewpoint:
    If they included any sort of 'EZ' connectors on a stock instrument:
    It would pre-suppose from the Ground Up that the original stock equipment was inferior.
    There is No other way to view this from a manufacturing perspective.
    So, even if they DID, they would then offer their OWN 'line' of substitutes.
    To connect to their 'EZ' connectors.
    Much like EMG does.
    And they would then gear up to supply those substitutes themselves.

    No company of any quality I'm aware of would even remotely Assume you want to upgrade Their product.
    The thought doesn't make the remotest bit of sense from a manufacturing-for-profit point of view.

    To take this argument full circle, full swing, they wouldn't even put pickups in the guitar to begin with.
    They would manufacture the instrument leaving that option fully open to the buyer.
    With your 'EZ' connectors in place.
    And in the process, charge less, and not invest in pickup inventory at all, or offer them as an optional upgrade.
    That's really the end picture of this request.
     
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  16. Matt Rain

    Matt Rain Vendor

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    Allowing quick change pickups wouldn't mean anything more than what camera manufacturers have been doing for decades with interchangeable lenses. Stock pickups aren't inherently inferior - people just have different needs.

    Just as well, I'm sure a lot of DSLR cameras go to the grave with their kit lens having never been swapped, because their owner couldn't be bothered.

    Different strokes and stuff.
     
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  17. urQuill

    urQuill Supporting Member

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    Are you looking at the Deans Plugs webpage? It’s been saying that thing about “new connectors in development” for years. But I found some Micro plugs on Amazon just now so they are still out there. Kind of a niche product, used for power supply connections in RC gadgets. I like the Micro plugs because they will slip through the wiring channel in a Les Paul and tuck nicely into the cavity of a Strat or Tele. I sent some to a fellow who was making very accurate PAF replicas and was looking for an way to set up a guitar for quick pickup experiments. He checked the plugs with his test equipment and found they had no detectable loss if soldered well - I certainly can’t hear any problems with them, even after well over a decade of use.
     
  18. wetordry

    wetordry Member

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    Years ago learning to solder we were told connectors are good for years, solder is good for life.

    Guess I'm generally happy with the results and don't find it a chore.

    I have had some guitars with very small wire passages.
     
  19. madbanjoman

    madbanjoman Member

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    I have strat copy that needed the pots cleaned and what I found when I lifted the pick guard was a complete disaster. One tone knob wasn't even wired to anything. No wonder it never seemed to do anything. I have attempted this sort of job and know that my soldering skills wouldn't produce much improvement over the current setup. I could take this to my local technician but I discovered previously that they are not keen on doing complicated wiring. I ordered a Kinman wire harness that will give me split coil on the hum-buckets and blending in the neck pickup. All solderless. So I am glad such options exist even if they aren't common yet.
     
  20. scolfax

    scolfax Supporting Member

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    Yeah exactly, that's the message I saw. Can you share an Amazon link?

    Out of all of the various options the micro plugs seem like the most minimalist approach. I can keep all of the existing soldering on the pots and switch.

    Still haven't decided yet though.
     

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