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Adjusting, changing, adding, or removing the electronics in any device can be dangerous and can cause injuries. This author assumes no responsibility for personal injury or property damage caused by the use of this guide, or products we sell, whether by accident, negligence, or otherwise. Please note that this article is for educational purposes only. Only qualified personnel should carry out any electrical work.


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BONUS SECTION - ADDING A 4-WIRE CONDUCTOR PICKUP TO A CARVIN BOLT GUITAR
I get a lot of questions about changing out the pickups in different guitars, and how to coil cut them. So here is a very common modification done to a Carvin Bolt, but can be done to almost any guitar. It involves changing out an existing 2-wire conductor pickup and replacing it with a 4-wire conductor pickup. This new pickup will be coil cut, so it will now yield 3 different tones instead of just one (north coil on, both coils on, and south coil on). This will allow you to get some real interesting pickup combinations, like the neck pickup on, up along with the north or south coil on in the middle pickup. Click here to download this modification.





BONUS SECTION - ADDING AN ACTIVE PICKUP TO YOUR GUITAR
You are probably used to passive pickups by now, but have you ever played through active pickups, like EMG’s? Active pickups are a special type of preamp and pickup combination that uses an external power source, like a 9 volt battery (passive pickups only need 1-2 volts of electricity to work). You can get some super clean tones and even powerful distorted tones with endless sustain when using active pickups. Click here to download this modification.





BONUS SECTION - USING A BREADBOARD TO DESIGN YOUR OWN GUITAR WIRING
You don’t need a bunch of extra guitars lying around to create your own wiring designs. And you don’t even need a bunch of parts. All you need is a few pots, switches, wire, an output jack, and a solderless breadboard. Click here to download this modification.





BONUS SECTION - USING STACKED CONCENTRIC POTS IN A TWO PICKUP GUITAR
Another type of potentiometer used in guitars and basses is a stacked concentric pot. This is basically two potentiometers attached on top of one another, and controlled by two separate shafts (a thick one and a thin one), so unlike a blend pot, each pot is totally independent of one another. This allows you to pack in two potentiometers in the space of only one potentiometer. Click here to download this modification.





BONUS SECTION - COIL CUTTING A TELECASTER WITH A G&B STACKED HUMBUCKER, TWO PUSH PULL POTENTIOMETERS, AND A 4-WAY SWITCH
Recently I got ahold of some pretty cool stacked humbucker pickups that fit in a standard Telecaster bridge. WHY USE A STACKED HUMBUCKER? Because vertically stacking two coils give you a fat, powerful sound with plenty of punch with the noise reduction that comes from the in-series in-phase wiring of a humbucking pickup (this pickup is wired in series and out of phase, but the reverse winding and reverse magnetic polarity throws it back in phase and cancels out any unwanted noise). This pickup has a width of 2 7/8" and yields a DC resistance of 16K Ohms in humbucker mode (8K Ohms per coil). Note: this pickup is 1" tall, so make sure your body cavity is deep enough to hold a tall pickup. If your bridge saddles are higher up, then the body cavity does not need to be as deep, since part of the pickup will be sticking out above the guitar body. The red wire is hot, black is ground, and the green and white wires form the series link. The lower push pull potentiometer acts as an on/off switch. If you would like to buy one of these stacked humbuckers for $25 plus $5 shipping, shoot me an email. Click here to download the wiring diagram for this pickup.





BONUS SECTION - ADDING A GREASEBUCKET TONE CIRCUIT TO YOUR STRATOCASTER
Here is a cool way to roll off the highs and lows in your guitar while at the same time preventing your tone from getting too muddy. To do this, you need a greasebucket tone circuit, or three 250K potentiometers, two .1 mfd (MICROFARAD) capacitors, two .02 mfd capacitors, and two 4.7K Ohms resistors (1/4 watt). Don't let the greasbucket name fool you, your tone will get cleaner with this modification, not greasy and dirty. This type of band-pass filter only allows certain frequencies to pass through, while others are blocked out. The standard tone circuit in most guitars is called a variable low-pass filter, or treble cut filter, which only allows the low frequencies to pass through while the high frequencies get sent to ground via a capacitor. The band-pass filter is a combination of a high-pass and low-pass filter. Click here to download this modification.





BONUS SECTION - ADDING A GREASEBUCKET TONE CIRCUIT TO YOUR TELECASTER
The same modification as above, but for the Telecaster, or any two pickup guitar. Click here to download this modification.





BONUS SECTION - EXPLANATION OF THE 5 LUG TOGGLE SWITCH
This next diagram will help you get a better understanding of the 3-way five lug toggle switch that is used in many of the three pickup Les Pauls. This switch has 5 lugs and an additional 6th ground lug. Each of the three positions are shown. Keep in mind that one of the lugs on any switch is going to be used as a hot output, and whatever that lug touches will be turned on. This specific wiring configuration, which is also shown in the next bonus section, turns on the neck pickup in position 1, the middle and bridge pickups in position 2, and the bridge pickup in position 3. But now that you know what lugs touch each other in each position, you will be able create your own type of toggle switch wiring configurations for any type of guitar. Click here to view this diagram.





BONUS SECTION - THREE PICKUP LES PAUL GUITAR UPDATE
Here is a new wiring diagram for the 3 pickup Les Paul, using a 3-way switch with 5 lugs (5 lugs plus a ground lug) and a push pull potentiometer for the neck pickup. This wiring configuration will turn on the neck pickup in position 1, middle and bridge pickups is position 2, and bridge pickup in position 3. Pull up on the push pull potentiometer and the neck will now be turned on. This type of wiring will allow you to have the neck and bridge pickups on, or all three pickups on at the same time. Click here to view this diagram.





BONUS SECTION - FENDER S-1 SWITCHING ON A HSS STRATOCASTER
If you are looking for a real complicated way to coil cut your guitar, and also switch it from series wiring to parallel wiring or vice versa, then this next diagram is just for you. Yes, I am talking about the infamous Fender S-1 switching system. A special 5-way switch and push pull potentiometer are needed for this wiring, along with the Fender SCN pickups, so if you are lucky enough to have found some online, you are going to need to solder them back together properly in your pickguard. Click here to view this diagram.

Click here to view some pictures of the S-1 single coil version taken from the Axeblaster.com website.





BONUS SECTION - 35 TONE TELECASTER & STRATOCASTER KIT
Now you can modify your 3-pickup guitar to get a huge "palette" of pickup tones. Transform one guitar to play Rock, Country, Pop, R&B, Jazz, etc. Get big time wide sounds ranging from “muddy/dirty blues” -to- “heavy metal” - to- “British chime” -to- “American brilliant” -to- “Surf” plus dozens of other unique twangy and “tin-canny” pickup tones. This switching method is completely passive so there are no batteries or expensive electronics to fail while recording or performing. If you (or someone you know) can read simple wiring diagrams and schematics, use hand tools and can solder, this Patented Pickup Switching Method is definitely for you. Click here to view the wiring diagrams.

Click here to order the $24.99 kit from 35guitarpickuptones.com.





BONUS SECTION - BUILDING A TRUE BYPASS PEDAL
This project comes from the Stewart MacDonald Trade Secret's Newsletter. It shows how to make a true bypass pedal using pedal boxes or food cans. Have you ever thought about making a pedal out of canned goods? Click here to download this information.





BONUS SECTION - COIL CUTTING IDEAS
Here is another project from the Stewart MacDonald Trade Secret's Newsletter. This newsletter describes some cool ways to coil cut your guitar. Click here to download this information.





BONUS SECTION - COIL CUTTING A 2 WIRE HUMBUCKER
This project from the Stewart MacDonald Trade Secret's Newsletter will show you how to do a little surgery on your humbuckers. Transform your 2 wire pickups into ones that can be coil cut. Click here to download this information.





FREE SOLDERING TIPS EBOOK
Have you used a soldering iron before? If not, then this guide will tell you everything you need to know. Click here to download information on properly using a soldering iron.





Have questions? Send me an email here.