The best way to install electronics is

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Gr00veJones, Jun 10, 2019.

  1. Gr00veJones


    Aug 16, 2015
    Can you tell me? I have zero clue w.t.f. I am doing. I have a pair of soapbars. I need to find electronics that are compatible. How do I determine what to buy? I'd be happy with Volume, tone, and blend. I dont need anything else.
  2. Crater


    Oct 12, 2011
    Dallas, TX area
    Passive soapbar pickups, I presume... This diagram will work.


    The pickup type doesn't matter as long as they are passive (no battery needed) pickups.
    Gr00veJones likes this.
  3. sikamikanico


    Mar 17, 2004
    Probably best to take it to a tech. They can determine what parts you need based on the pickups, and wire it all together.

    Then again, assuming you don’t have active pickups, you’d probably be fine with jazz bass wiring, and I’d recommend 500k pots and a .047 to .1 uF cap... Or, make your life easier and get a similar solderless harness online...
  4. Gr00veJones


    Aug 16, 2015
    It was an active bass. I would like to do this myself. I need only be shown how to determine what is compatible. Can anyone point me in the right direction. Reading material or something?
  5. Gr00veJones


    Aug 16, 2015
    Bump. Am truly lost. Maybe I'm not asking google the right questions but I cant seem to find any resources on how to pair compatible components.
  6. Warpeg


    Jun 20, 2005
    Let's start with your bass. What is it? Next, what make & model are your soap bars?
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  7. Gr00veJones


    Aug 16, 2015
    The bass is a Hartke NT-4. I am trying to use the unmarked soapbars it came with. I would like to install compatible electronics to give me a master vol, master tone, and blend.

    I will likely be routing into the guitar body a little to make room for said components.

    There are no markings on the soapbars, and I am unsure how to proceed from here.

    20190602_141043.jpg back cavity.jpg
  8. Kriegs


    Feb 14, 2018
    alpla, Papazita, ex-tension and 2 others like this.
  9. ctmullins

    ctmullins Dominated Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 18, 2008
    MS Gulf Coast
    I'm highly opinionated and extremely self-assured
    Assuming the soapbars are passive (which you haven’t confirmed yet - how many wires do they have?), the diagram that @Crater posted above is exactly what you need. Study that diagram and post back here if any questions remain!
  10. Crater


    Oct 12, 2011
    Dallas, TX area
    You need a book then, not a forum.

    Bass and guitar wiring is very "generic" - it doesn't really matter what brand bass or pickups you have as far as whether or not they're "compatible". The main issue is whether or not your PICKUPS are active or passive. Most "active" basses in fact have passive pickups with an active preamp.

    Active pickups are almost always made by EMG and will have three wires, colored red, black, and white. A passive soapbar could have two, three, four or even five wires. This is where you really must have a multimeter to figure out which wire is which, especially with a 4 or 5 wire pickup. EMG makes passive pickups too, so not all EMG pickups are active.

    The Seymour Duncan diagram I linked to earlier in the thread shows the specifications for "compatible components": 250 k Ohm pots for master volume and tone, a 0.05 microfarad capacitor for your tone control, and a 250 k Ohm blend pot. Again, this is assuming you have passive pickups, which they most likely are.

    You will have to make sure the components you buy are mechanically compatible - that the shaft is long enough to fit through the body, and that the top of the shaft is the right type (splined of solid) for the type of knobs you want to use. Splined pot shafts used splined knobs that push on. Solid shaft pots use knobs that are held in place with a set screw.

    You can buy these items on-line at Stewart-MacDonald (StewMac) guitar supply or MojoTone. There's other sellers too, just search for guitar electronics.

    Regarding the con-joined bodies: did you think this through? I can't help but noticing you're perilously close to the threaded inserts that hold the guitar tailpiece down. If your router bit hits that threaded insert when you're enlarging the control cavity, you'd better be wearing safety glasses.
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  11. alpla


    Mar 15, 2019
    Madrid Spain

    had the same thinking when i saw the weird picture...

    i'm sorry for the OP, but, what a weird project... it makes me feel uncomfy
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