Tutorial, please, on how to change pickups!!!

Discussion in 'Luthier's Guitar & Bass Technical Discussion' started by clay49, Feb 21, 2009.

  1. clay49

    clay49 Silver Supporting Member

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    Hi guys,

    I'm a 30+ year guitar player, and have owned quite a few guitars in that time, and, I am ashamed to say, I have never changed a set of pickups on any of them...nor have I done a setup. I know the basics of setting a guitar up, but I still take mine to a tech that I have worked with for years, and he does great work, but I always fork over the $$ to get it done.

    Are there any tutorials available (online, or DVD, etc), to help me learn how to swap out my own pickups, wield a soldering iron like Darth Vader, and crank that neck back in the right direction?

    My tech told me once, "You need a good soldering iron, not a $15 Radio Shack or Sears model, because if you get it too hot, you could ruin things." Well, that was enough to scare me away! But here I am 10 pickup swaps later (in several guitars, not one!), and my wallet is quite lighter...HELP!!!!

    Thanks!:jo
     
  2. Martian

    Martian Member

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    Interesting. For over 40 years, I've been using Radio Shack and Sears soldering irons and guns and have yet to have a problem.

    Go to the library and take out a book on basic soldering technique; practice and learn on scrap components/parts. Once this is accomplished, many pickup manufacturers websites have easy to read diagrams on how to install pickups. Or, if you want the 'whole package', so to speak in one book, try this one:

    http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Books,_...tar,_electric/Guitar_Player_Repair_Guide.html

    It ain't rocket science and YOU CAN DO IT!!!
     
  3. clay49

    clay49 Silver Supporting Member

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    Thanks...I could have purchased several additional guitars from the money I've spent on pickup swaps and set ups over the last 5 years...keep the resources coming!!!
     
  4. getbent

    getbent Member

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    http://www.terrydownsmusic.com

    he has great soldering lessons and takes you through what you need..... and gives you a parts list and where to buy stuff for less dough that works the best.
     
  5. bchamorro

    bchamorro Member

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    this is all you need
     
  6. clay49

    clay49 Silver Supporting Member

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    Awesome! Thanks, guys!:AOK
     
  7. angus99

    angus99 Member

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  8. skeeterbuck

    skeeterbuck Member

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    Clay, also do a search on Google. Lots of links that may be of some help.

    Do you by chance know someone that could show you?

    I usually use 2 irons when I do guitar work, a 25 watt for the wires themselves and a 40 watt for soldering to the pots themself. The main thing is make sure whatever you are soldering is clean and that you use rosin core solder. NEVER use acid core solder for electronics/electrical work. Also if you have some extra (cheap/junk) pots available experiment on soldering them first to get a feel for it. It not really hard and the learning curve in rather quick.

    Good luck!
     
  9. SnidelyWhiplash

    SnidelyWhiplash Supporting Member

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    I was like the OP,afraid to do my own p.u. changes for years. I recently
    went to Radio Shack & bought a dual watt soldering station. I practiced
    on changeing a couple of tone caps to begin with. Then i swaped a set
    of Strat p.u.'s. All the info on soldering,i found on Stewmac's website
    & in the inst. for the station. As far as setups are concerned,Dan Earl-
    wine's books are all i ever needed. Only you knows what's best for your
    own playing style,preference,etc.
     
  10. clay49

    clay49 Silver Supporting Member

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    Thanks for all the suggestions. I'm going to research each of these places and I'm going to give it a try. I'm pretty good at most whatever I put my hand to, as long as I have some good tutoring...I'll let you guys know how it goes...thanks again!
     
  11. geodr

    geodr Member

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    Youtube also has some clips on soldering technique
     
  12. john b

    john b Member

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    Search "guitar soldering" on Youtube. There are some really good tutorials there. Enough to get me going and do a competent and clean job.

    Lollar's site also has some really good vids of him changing out pups in a strat and LP with alot of advice thrown in.

    Once you get the hang of it, it's alot of fun and very satisfying. If I can do it, pretty much anyone can!
     

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