Installing Bartolini MME in my Sterling - I need wiring help!!!

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Philthy, Jul 11, 2001.

  1. Philthy

    Philthy Supporting Member

    Jun 12, 2001
    Wallington, NJ
    I know that many of you out there have the same gripe that I do now with my Sterling Bass - lack of low end. Anyway, I was wondering if you could possibly give some help and or advice. I recently purchased a Bartolini MME pickup to replace the stock pickup. However, when I received it I noticed that it has a total of 7 wires (black, red, white, green, blue, orange and a wire with no color.....a ground I'm assuming). When I opened the back of my Sterling I noticed that the stock pickup only has 5 wires soldered into the preamp (red, black, white, green and clear which I'm assuming is the ground again) This is where I'm confused. How do I put this pickup in with the extra wires? The Bartolini pickup instructions show that: the black & red wire = string sensing coil (south polarity); the orange & green = hum cancelling coil; wires blue & white = string sensing coil (north polarity). Do I assume that Bartolini pickup wires are to be connected to the same places that the stock pickup wires are connected matching the colors? (black wire from bartolini goes to the same spot as the black wire of the stock pickup and so on)

    I know that I might be asking a whole lot from this posting but any advice or help would be greatly appreciated. If you cannot help me then no problem. I figured I'd take a shot.

    Thanks!!!! Have a good one.

  2. Richard Lindsey

    Richard Lindsey

    Mar 25, 2000
    Metro NYC
    No, DON'T assume that the colors match up. Seemingly every PU maker has its own color coding system. Black from one maker is not necessarily equivalent to black from another.

    Beyond, that, I'm afraid I can't help you in detail: I think you need to get more info from MM, Bartolini, or both (or from a guru on this forum). In particular, you need to figure out which wires are which on your original PU, and Bartolini needs to tell you how you hook up their MM for normal (for humbuckers) series operation. If it helps, mentally pull the wires for the hum-cancelling coil out of the equation--the remaining 5 on the Bartolini MM are probably equivalent to the 5 on your Sterling, though again, not necessarily the same colors. Your 5th wire is probably not the ground per se but the shield, which typically goes to ground along with the ground wire. At least that's what I seem to recall from messing around with several instruments' innards.
  3. Philthy

    Philthy Supporting Member

    Jun 12, 2001
    Wallington, NJ
    Thanks man. I totally appreciate your replying. But I decided to not mess with it myself due to my limited experience with guitar electronics. I took it to a reputable guitar repairman in my area. I figure if I want something done right the first time I'll take it to a professional.

    Thanks again.

  4. Luis Fabara

    Luis Fabara

    Aug 13, 2000
    Ecuador (South America)
    Audio Pro - Ecuador
    I had that wiring man.
    Let me look for it.
    I just remember were it was.
    Look for Triple Coil at
    There is a post for the MME on The Bottom end -
  5. philthygeezer


    May 22, 2002
    Spooky. I have a Sterling and I'm thinking of the same thing.