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Pickup to Potentiometer w/o Solder?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by selowitch, Apr 20, 2010.

  1. selowitch

    selowitch Supporting Member

    Aug 6, 2005
    Rockville MD
    Noob question:

    Is there any way to join a pickup to a potentiometer (or any other internal guitar wiring) without using a soldering iron (e.g., with push-on connectors or crimps or something like that)?

    Basically, the lugs on a typical pot are eyelets, and there out to be a connector you can twist onto a wire that in turn snaps onto the eyelet with just a push. And I'll bet it's almost as good electrically speaking as a solder joint. Or am I a doofus for thinking so?

    I realize to do so would be somewhat expensive, but say I had a very lazy client or one who was forbidden from using flammable materials or who was a recovering pyromaniac or something....

  2. grifff


    Jan 5, 2009
    Towson, Maryland
    Alligator clips? I'm no expert though.
  3. selowitch

    selowitch Supporting Member

    Aug 6, 2005
    Rockville MD
    Might not be secure enough. Some sort of pin-and-socket connector I'm thinking..
  4. I've seen solderless systems for wiring guitars.
    More trouble than it's worth, IMO.

    Honestly, I don't understand what the big deal is with some people about just soldering the connections in place?
  5. selowitch

    selowitch Supporting Member

    Aug 6, 2005
    Rockville MD
    OK, OK -- so granting that it's lame, inefficient, and stupid, can it be done? And if so, how?
  6. Hi.

    The obvious "why on earth?" aside, yes, it can be done.

    Abiko-connectors come in all styles and sizes, including quite a few that can (but shouldn't IMHO ;)) be used in potentiometer terminals and on certain jacks as well.

    Your local automotive shop should carry a selection, and so should the better hardware stores as well.

  7. PCR


    Apr 11, 2008
    Yes; you can use a small female blade crimp. You will also probably need bigger gauge wire to get a strong crimp but it's possible.

    However, if you are looking for convience of being able to plug and un-plug the harness, I suggest using gold bullet connectors. I buy them at hobby shops or fleabay. You do need to solder these on, but they are very secure; and cheap.

    You can see the female connectors attached to three wires. The male connectors are soldered to the pickup wires and bridge ground wire.

  8. tubby.twins

    tubby.twins Amateur Pickup Reviewer Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 15, 2009
    I've got a few basses which I used for testing various pickups. In these basses I have installed a 5-pin screw terminal block, so I can quickly attach or remove pickups without needing to use the soldering iron.

    The screw terminals are made by Tyco Electronics, and the part number is "A98336-ND"

    Digikey link: http://search.digikey.com/scripts/DkSearch/dksus.dll?Detail&name=A98336-ND

    They make larger (and smaller) versions, but usually 5 pins should be enough to grab just about all the conductors of a pickup.

    Of course you'll need to solder this to something, but at least it makes it easier to swap pickups!

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