Pointers/Tricks for 335 type Pickup Install?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Guitar & Bass Technical Discussion' started by A440, Feb 2, 2006.


  1. A440

    A440 Supporting Member

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    I seem to recall an old post on this, but I couldn't find it.

    Any tricks for fishing the wires thru ?

    Correct me if wrong, but I'll only have to wire up the 3 way switch, right???
     
  2. RL in Fla

    RL in Fla Member

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    Any kind of string ( I use unwaxed dental floss for a lot of things , easy knot ties) , and a length of aquarium tubing slipped over the pot shaft works great for a guide . ;)
     
  3. John Phillips

    John Phillips Member

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    Sorry... you're going to have to pull the two volume pots at least. If it's a real Gibson with braided wiring, or even most other quality guitars with a properly constructed wiring loom (so it all goes around the end of the f-hole), there is no way round removing the whole lot, including the jack.

    Well actually there is, but it's highly "improper", so look away now... ;)

    You can usually pull the pickups up far enough to cut the wires an inch or two down, do the same to the new ones, and solder the ends together, using heatshrink tubing and/or tape to insulate the connections. Not pretty, not professional, but gets the job done and reliable enough if you do the soldering and wrapping well.

    And don't tell anyone I told you to do that :).

    I'd never do it that way myself, but be warned that getting the whole wiring loom out, and especially back in, can be extremely trying and although it's not "difficult" (just fiddly), it's much easier with experience and knowing all the little tricks...
     
  4. A440

    A440 Supporting Member

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    thanks John, your sagely advice appreciated :)

    this is a gibby 356, so sounds like it'll be a pain to do the change.
    I may try tweaking the stock 57's in there a bit more...
     
  5. John Phillips

    John Phillips Member

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    Yes, on a decent guitar like this I would not recommend doing it the 'improper' way. I've actually never done it that way myself - I'm a professional, and I care about having standards of workmanship which I stick to - but I have seen it done many times on other guitars, and it usually does work fine. If one comes to me like that with the connections twisted and taped (no solder! surprisingly common) I will fix them so they're reliable but as they are, rather than rewire the whole guitar usually. It's a total pain with a Gibson - they build the wiring loom by using the outer shield as the framework, so the bridge pickup cable (most commonly changed of course) is soldered to all the pots, since it has to go right round to the furthest one.

    The worst problem is when the cable is so short below the pickup that there isn't enough length left to make a decent joint - then you have to dismantle the pickup as well. I entirely agree, it's far from ideal to do it this way... just sometimes the lesser of the two evils for people not experienced at getting the whole loom in and out.

    If I ever do see it done, it's the first place I look for trouble when something's not working though...

    I do sometimes wonder if it would be better to mount a small tag strip in a recess in the bottom of the pickup cavity and intentionally make the pickup connection there, from the factory.
     
  6. K-man

    K-man Member

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    Unless you splice the wires, you have to take the entire harness out. I cut some 24" long lengths of string, and tie it good around the shafts of the pots and the switch. For the jack I take a paper clip, make a loop at one end and a V at the other, tie the string to the loop end, then stick the pointy end of the V in the jack. Then gently pull the whole harness out through the pickup cavity. Then when you're ready to put the harness back, you can gently pull the strings (also use your pinky through the f hole to help guide them) to get everything back in.

    Just be careful when putting the harness back in. It sucks to have to take it out again because a wire comes loose (happened to me several times.
     
  7. leofenderbender

    leofenderbender Supporting Member

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    Assemble everything outside of the guitar first - make sure all of your solder connections are solid - then test the circuit to make sure everything works right. It can be a real chore to isolate & solve problems with wiring when the electronics are mounted.

    Use surgical tubing to feed the pots back through the routing - very flexible and they grip the shafts well.

    Go slow and do it right without buggering up your guitar.

    Good luck!
     

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