Pickups-Still Soldering? WHY, WHY, WHY?

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

  1. ahhlou

    ahhlou Member

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    This ^^^^ There is very little standardization in the guitar industry (wiring, phase, polarity, etc.) My suggestion, if you like to change pickups and components in your guitars, is LEARN TO SOLDER. It is not that hard or expensive and there are many resources online to help...
     
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  2. MoonshineMan

    MoonshineMan Member

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  3. Radar

    Radar Member

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    Tone is in the connector.
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2019
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  4. LReese

    LReese Member

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    Soldered connections tend not to fail if made correctly. They aren't always made correctly.

    That being said, a solderless connection can be reliable if well done. The exact definition of well-done is well... up for debate. Ok... No one's going to agree on that.
     
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  5. LeicaBossNJ

    LeicaBossNJ Silver Supporting Member

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    It's fair to say that the evolution of non-standard connectors is not only driven by the desire to sell proprietary things. It's also driven thigh the challenges with creating and adhering to industry standards.

    It's just not practical to believe that pickup makers will somehow decide on and adhere to a standard.
     
  6. onewire

    onewire Member

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    RC aircraft (my other hobby) have been using connectors forever and in that field safety is very much an issue. Reliability of crimped or soldered connectors is a nonissue if initially installed correctly. I think the mini/micro-bullet or banana connectors would be perfect.
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2019
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  7. MoonshineMan

    MoonshineMan Member

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    Totes McGoats.
    :)
    It’s funny when people actually think soldered stuff sounds better, then don’t solder their entire signal chain together.
     
  8. scolfax

    scolfax Supporting Member

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    The designers of your car, all of your home appliances, and probably your amp didn't agree. And it doesn't bother Steve Vai.
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2019
  9. edward

    edward Supporting Member

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    All this, in spades. The bold is my emphasis, and "personal" summation :)

    Edward
     
  10. hank57

    hank57 Silver Supporting Member

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    Leo didn’t have no connectors.
     
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  11. jimk4003

    jimk4003 Member

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    Well, parts of my car need to be plugged and unplugged during servicing, so Molex connectors make sense. I haven't looked at my home appliances, so neither of us know one way or another there, and my amp is hand wired on a turret board and doesn't contain a single clip connection. And I'm really not bothered one way or another what Steve Vai thinks; I'm sure he's a nice chap, but I don't know the guy, and I'm not really into the whole celebrity thing.

    Plus there are about half a dozen other reasons in my post that I feel are perfectly valid arguments; and given that plug in connectors aren't common in pickup wiring, the industry seems to agree.
     
  12. stratamania

    stratamania Member

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    I have no problem with soldering pickups etc. But I am quite happy to use an EMG or Kinman type system. Kinman even sells adapters to plug other manufacturers pickups into their K series of harnesses.

    One area where I think some kind of connector makes sense is on a Telecaster as the control cavity is separate from where the pickup leads are coming from. If you install and forget there is no issue, but if someone wants to swap out Tele pickups a connector is not a bad idea.

    Of course, there is nothing stopping anyone using there own system of connectors or a hybrid of connectors and soldering.

    Amazing an old thread of 9 years ago has more posts in a couple of days than previously.
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2019
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  13. forgivenman

    forgivenman Member

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    It’s surprising that there hasn’t been much progress on this in 9 years
     
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  14. Nick Sorenson

    Nick Sorenson Rocketfire Guitars Supporting Member

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    I'll bet I could take a mini butane powered soldering iron and do the same between sets. I'll race ya! : ) Somebody's gotta play the other side of the card. lol.

    Hope you're doing well Geno. I thought the quick connect idea was pretty sweet.

    EDIT: to add the real answer of why... it's reliable, quick, cheap, and easy. With a good iron (Hacko 777) and good solder (Kester rosin core), there's not a more effective and practical way to wire up a guitar. It's point to point and it lasts.
     
  15. johnh

    johnh Silver Supporting Member

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    I had a guitar with pcb and connectors (a 2015 Gibson). The problem was that the connectors weren’t universal with other brands.

    To be honest, soldering is so easy that I just don’t see the problem. Far from being more convenient, I found the connector thing made it much less convenient to swap out individual parts of the guitars controls (since the pots were pcb mounted).

    So I quickly swapped out the pcb and connectors for old fashioned pots and normal wires.
     
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  16. scolfax

    scolfax Supporting Member

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    Yep, I'm doing this.
     
  17. spentron

    spentron Member

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    Only time I've upgraded pickups I also upgraded the switching system. I've also just upgraded the switching system and probably will stick to that in the future. If you want a solderless connection, the first upgrade seems a better time to install it than when the guitar was originally made. It would be in pickup makers' interest to sell plug systems.

    Pickup wiring can easily made standardized, you just need a 5 pin connector for all pickups, even single coils. This presumes no 3 coil pickups.
    Pickup signals are poor for using internal connectors though, as they're too weak to blast through oxide buildup like a power connector e.g. Molex.


    There are standards by current rating for DC jacks. Considering how many different currents and voltages there could be, it's still not enough to make sure what is plugged will actually work just because it fits, I don't think. But if you're saying there is no standard, just because there are many plugs, that is false. I always thought they almost always different to be proprietary myself, but with good reason.
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2019
  18. GenoBluzGtr

    GenoBluzGtr Silver Supporting Member

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    that is NOT a wager I would make, Nick! Doing great, hope the same is true for you, my friend!
     
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  19. Hulakatt

    Hulakatt Supporting Member

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    I bet the OP could've learned to solder in those 9 years!
     
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  20. shoepedals

    shoepedals Vendor

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    That's not the same type of signal or use we're talking about, though. The signal generated by a guitar is extremely low output (in the milivolts range) and it's also very low current, not to mention being used to produce audio. It doesn't take much oxidation at all to impede that signal (like often happens with dirty jacks and pots).

    Besides that, an insecure connection in the signal path in a guitar can easily become microphonic, which, as we know, is already an issue with guitar pickups.

    It's really not a big deal to just solder the pickups in with a little bit of practice and a decent iron. I spend probably 50x as much time getting the pole height adjustment just so, tbh.
     

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