1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

What is the proper name for this wire type?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by shaft311, Nov 23, 2012.

  1. shaft311

    shaft311 Supporting Member

    Apr 13, 2010
    Mt. Juliet, TN
    Oh hey.

    What is the proper name for the bare wire that you see connecting pots and preamps? I can find plenty of insulated wire online, but I'm having trouble finding the bare wire. Probably beacuse I don't know specifically what it's called. I realize you can probably just strip some insulated solid wire to get this, but I'd rather just buy it bare.

    Thanks :)

  2. Hi.

    There's no advantage of using bare wire, other than the cheap insuation won't melt when the wire is soldered onto high mass parts.
    IMHO anyway.

    EDIT: Looking at Your pic, I'd guess that You are searching for a way to keep the potentiometers at specific places to ease the installation through F-holes. IMLE it's easier to run as many puller wires as there are components.

    That out of the way, I've stripped mine from insulated or used enameled copper wire.

    With enameled wire, one must obviously remove the enamel first.

  3. uOpt


    Jul 21, 2008
    Boston, MA, USA
    Not sure of the name but I'd advise against using it because it can touch hot wires and being bare serves no purpose. It's also stiff and can lever itself off.

    If you want it, bare copper wire in that thickness is available as a spool in home depot.
  4. megafiddle


    May 25, 2011
    Buss wire
  5. shaft311

    shaft311 Supporting Member

    Apr 13, 2010
    Mt. Juliet, TN
    Cool, thanks guys. I just installed some SD Basslines in my old Fury yesterday, and noticed Peavey used it on the pots. At some point I'm going to replace those pots and wanted to use some to connect everything like was done originally, but I guess I can just use some insulated wire and do it a little cleaner than they did.
  6. It's just called "uninsulated wire." Nothing special. A lot of people just use 14AWG solid copper wire. The stiffness of the wire prevents pots from moving, if they come loose.
  7. uOpt


    Jul 21, 2008
    Boston, MA, USA
    Yeah but the ground will break off pretty soon, not an improvement.
  8. Beej


    Feb 10, 2007
    Victoria, BC
    Unusual observation considering how commonly solid buss wires are installed in electric instruments.

    Also, it will not present a problem with interacting with hot wires unless you also wire your hots with exposed solid wire (not wise). This technique is used for several reasons, not the least of which that it allows the pots to stick together in position to ease their installation. It's only used for ground wires and also therefore not a problem with touching the shielding in the bass.

    To the OP, go ahead and use it, it's not a foolish choice in the least...
  9. +1 un-insulated solid core wire is commonly referred to as "buss wire" and is perfectly suited for ground connections.
  10. Break off? Sounds like your soldering skills need improvement. Be sure the chassis of each pot is scuffed up so the solder will stick.
  11. uOpt


    Jul 21, 2008
    Boston, MA, USA
    I can't believe what I'm reading.

    Using stiff wire and electrical solder points as load-bearing devices is not a path to happiness.
  12. +1 it's good to have some "play" when working with small elec. components.
  13. SGD Lutherie

    SGD Lutherie Banned Commercial User

    Aug 21, 2008
    Bloomfield, NJ
    Owner, SGD Music Products
  14. hdracer


    Feb 15, 2009
    Elk River, MN.
  15. It's not meant to be a "load bearing device." If a pot comes loose, you would fix it as soon as possible, but take advantage of fact that the ground bus wire keeps it from moving. In any case, I don't see what the problem is. It would be a very small amount of force tugging at the solder points, and only intermittently, not constant. If people can solder jewelry or art, there is no reason a proper solder joint can't take a bit of physical force if it should be applied.
  16. It's common on Les Paul harnesses, btw.
  17. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    i've taken to using master luthier terry mcinturff's method (his work, not mine):

    if a pot comes loose it can't spin around and break a wire or short out; in that situation i'll take a little stress on a fat copper wire over a guitar that dies in the middle of a show! he calls it making the guitar "tour-worthy".

    besides, there's no stress on the bus wire in normal circumstances if you solder it in after the pots are installed, and if you know how to solder it's not gonna break off.
  18. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    oh, and even though google has lots of entries for both spellings, i think it's "bus" wire.
  19. uOpt


    Jul 21, 2008
    Boston, MA, USA
    Yeah that's not how to wire a guitar that still work out of the box 50 years later.

    However, this looks like a cavity shielded with conductive paint so even if this wire comes off the pots would still be grounded, assuming the touch the paint in the front.