Wiring pickups

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by bassbully43, Oct 10, 2005.

  1. bassbully43


    Jul 1, 2005
    Ok so im not to prepared....i bought a set of Duncan sledge hammer performers pups from GC...i figured $30.00 what the heck...sat down open up the bass cut the wires back but not off the pots planned to un solder them and ....nothing my old soldering gun was dead :( So there i sat with a wife wanting to put dinner on the table i was using and i had no gun so i thought.... what if i stripped back the remaining wire from the pots and conected the wires together???? no soldering needed. I stripped the wire which was the same size multi strand on my SX P bass and carefully tied and wrapped the wires then i used super glue jell on them to fuse them together and covered them with tight wraps of black tape. I plugged her in and she sounded sweet...no noise but not a huge change in sound over the stock Sx pups... notes sounded a bit clearer thou. Did i do a No-no...i know i should of soldered but i figured there is no movement in there and we wire other things all the time like this. :D
  2. :eek:

    That's scary!

    Seriously, dude - super glue is not good for wiring, it's actually non-conductive so by having the glue seep between all the strands you've twisted together will reduce the efficiency of the electrical connection. It may stick them together, but it doesn't do a good job of allowing current to pass through.

    You really should be soldering ;) soldering provides a mechanical bond, and excellent conductivity.

    When you get the chance, and replace your soldering iron, I'd re-do the wiring in your bass (and any other super glue jobs you've done).

    Of course you're only referring to electronic wiring here, and not any mains electrical wiring. Mains wiring should of course only be done by somebody with the appropriate qualifications - and certainly never with super glue.

  3. WHAT????!!!??? :eek: :eek:

    NO DUCT TAPE????!!!???


    Seriously...next time...use solder...ok?....good...I'm glad we got that straight...you can go now.
  4. David Wilson

    David Wilson Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Lower Westchester, NY
    yeah, redo with solder whenever you can. As luke73 said, superglue will do you no favors with conductivity
  5. bassbully43


    Jul 1, 2005
    Yea .... no duct tape ...Hummmm good idea thou :D I only used a dot of super glue where the wires crossed...i knew i would get flamed but to be honest those wires are never coming apart unless they are cut....im getting a a great tone volume etc so there appears to be no problems with the glue not being conductive. Years ago we used to cram a bunch of silicone sealent in big wire nuts then put them on wires when we rewired large A/c units...it kept water out and never reduced conductivity.so if i rejoin the wires and solder them it will be better?

  6. use the old cliche..."if it ain't broke, don't fix it"....

    if its working...leave it....

    I can see the next owner of your bass when he wants to change electronics...((opens up the cavity and says..."What the...???"))
  8. Actually they could slowly come loose over time. Temperature changes and vibrations from playing/moving could eventually cause the strands to loosen....Do it right, it'll only take a couple of hours to fix it right. Otherwise you could be right in the middle of an important gig--with a dead bass.
  9. bassbully43


    Jul 1, 2005
    I love you TBers you make me see the light and my hack job was repaired by me tonight. I cut the wires and soldered them like a good bass player should :p I really feel this would of worked thou I couldnt get the wires apart if i would of used a chainsaw. Question i know the sledge hammer performers are not top shelf Duncans and really thought i would hear a better tone out of my SX p but...not really...now i only played it thru my amp at home at low volume and wont get to crank it until fridays band practice. Are the performers just not that good or are the hot Chinese SX pickups that good? My jazz SX has hot pups I only changed the P bass cuz GC had the P Duncans for 30.00. would a 500 pots help or bigger compassitor(spell) help?
  10. here's a very important tip for getting the best sound out of ANY pickup...

    raise the height of the pickup so that it is close to the strings but not so close that it causes problems (strings touching pole pieces makes a "popping" sound)...you'll get a much "ballsier", richer tone...

    Once you've done this...you can thank me....:)
  11. A 500k pot instead of a 250k pot will bleed off less treble frequencies to ground and give you a slightly brighter signal out of your amp.

    Installing a higher value capacitor will allow you to cut more treble frequencies as you roll off your tone knob, giving you a "bassier" sound. Typical values for bass are 0.022uf and 0.047uf.

    Check the value of your existing capacitor. It will be printed on it.

    A 0.022uf cap will typically be labeled 223
    A 0.033uf cap will typically be labeled 333
    A 0.047uf cap will typically be labeled 473
    A 0.068uf cap will typically be labeled 683
    A 0.1uf cap will typically be labeled 104

    If you have a 0.047uf cap and want less treble roll off from the tone knob, try a 0.033uf or 0.022uf cap. If you want more treble bleed for a "bassier" sound from your tone knob, try a 0.068uf cap or even a 0.1uf cap.

    Be sure to use non polarised film or ceramic capacitors rather than the polarised electrolytic caps.

    Good luck ;)
  12. bassbully43


    Jul 1, 2005
    :eek: WOW...luke how do you know all this stuff...you make me feel dumb :D Anyhow is it worth all the fuss? I love the tone from my SX jazz pups and might change the pots to 500k latter will this change the Jazzs sound? On my SX P bass i added the Duncan Sledge hammers hoping for the bluesy ballsy sound i want with my flats on it...it good but still not quite what i want. If i change the Cap like you said to the one you outlined i might get the tone i seek? Could amp EQing get it or do i really need to change the Cap?
  13. vintageampeg

    vintageampeg Supporting Member

    Feb 2, 2005
    Great thread.

    Dude, gluing your pup wires in sounded crazy at first, but when you think about it, is it crazier than Jaco ripping frets out with a pair of pliers and slappin' boat epoxy all over that jazz neck? Not really.

    With any luck, that SX will be the next "Holy Grail"!

    Q: "How'd he get that sound??"
    A: "Oh, man, that dude used crazy glue!"

  14. bassbully43


    Jul 1, 2005
    OSF....lololol :D :D Funny stuff...yea right i doubt my SX will ever be a holy grail I would have to be a heck of alot better bassist to get it there :p But to set the record stright...i cut the wires and was holding up the wifes vittles...so unless i wanted a lattle full of posssum belly stew over my head i needed to act fast...my soldering gun was so old i think it put Edisons radio together ...then poof it quit :crying: ...gave up the ghost...the wife was steaming :mad: and that possum stew was hot too..... and i thought....Hey just peel back the wire insulation on the wire stubs off the pots and wrap and twist the wires together...since i had no wire nuts that small i thought ...well tape..yep black tape my old friend...i did get flamed above for not using duct tape...sorry. Then i thought .....could the wires ever pull apart on stage when i jump off my Ampeg stack and do the split during roadhouse blues ;) ... Hummmmm...maybe ...i then had a brainstorm....i had a tube of crazy glue jell i use to glue my false tooth in with (no Lie) :p I put a dab on the wires where they met and taped the sucker up...tucked the wires and finished up as the first steaming bowl of Possum belly delite hit the table...i sat back took a deep breath and poped open a PBR to wash down the stew....(a must) :spit: Yep i said to myself i always wanted to be a geetar tech and felt i finally was...yes i finally was.....
  15. pkr2


    Apr 28, 2000
    coastal N.C.
    just to be the devils advocate, There is something to be said for the way the prob was solved.

    About the only thing that solder really does is keep the copper wire from oxidizing. A drop of super glue after a good mechanical connection was made would certainly do that.

    The fact that it's been being done for years, except that a different sealer is used (silcone, as opposed to super glue) says a lot about the method. It's used in extremely high current application and obviously holds up very well.

    Telecomunications wiring uses,in many applications, a mechanical joint with a snap cap filled with silicone grease. Again, it holds up very well even in some extreme environment

    Time will tell whether The super glue reacts with the copper in a negative way. It's sure worth a try, though.
  16. I tend to agree...as long as you can ensure metal-to-metal contact, a tight mechanical joint is absolutely OK...

    industry relies on mechanical connections in their marshalling panel terminals....do you guys think they solder everything?...no way...

    the telephone type terminals usually have a knife-type connect to provide the mechanical joint...other industrial type terminals use clamp screws and screws on bars with crimp lugs.

    Don't get me wrong...I'm an advocate of solder for sure...but if the mechanical connection was tight on the original wiring, then it would have lasted a Very long time...

    now...with that said....anyone want to see how i've shielded two of my basses and a homemade outboard preamp box with aluminium foil and carpet tape???? :D
  17. Yes, you guys are correct that in many industries a firm mechanical bond is sought without the use of solder, such as in telecommunications, networking, and electrical.

    They don't use super glue though :D In each case, the bond is achieved with a conductive material, whether that be a metallic crimp lug, press or punch fit edge connector, nut and bolt etc....

    My point about super glue was not that it isn't a good mechanical bond, but mostly that it's non-conductive and that if the glue seeps in between the wires it reduces the efficiency of the electrical connection. Also, super glue does deteriorate over time, and is quite a brittle adhesive. I've seen more than one application where a bump, or hit has fractured superglue. I'm not saying that would have happened inside a bass, but solder is most certainly better, as it's a better electrical bond (an excellent one in fact), a great mechanical bond and as previously mentioned, protects the copper wire from corrosion and oxidation.

  18. I know a bit about electronics due to my job. I'm a computer network engineer, and teach computer systems engineering. I play with electronics a bit on the side, and our department does alot of electronics training.

    As far as whether or not it's worth all the fuss, well that's up to you. If your bass sounds just the way you like it, then I wouldn't change anything in relation to pots and caps, but if you want to experiment with tone, try out a few different caps and maybe even try out a different pot value.

    The components are readily available from your local electronics store, and they're very cheap. Get yourself a new soldering iron, and play around with it - you might find the tone you're looking for :D

    Amp EQ'ing might get you the tone you seek, but IMHO it's better to have the tone you want coming right out of your bass to begin with. There's nothing wrong with EQ at all, but if I can get my bass sounding the way I like it I'll go with that as a preference.

    Good luck!

  19. I agree with your point...however, I don't think that the joints that the original poster has made relied on the superglue...rather the mechanical connection of tying the two wires together...

    don't get me wrong...the solder IS the way to go...i'd hate to have a piece of gear rock up to work (I work as an EE in a chemical factory) with wires connected with superglue :eek:

    but my point is basically this...the superglue did not (in this case anyway) affect the connections to any point where the performance of the bass was compromised...hence, it would have most-likely lasted a long time...but definitely this is NOT a recommended practice.