My first electric guitar, a Hohner Rockwood purchased 20 years ago, remains one of the nicest guitar I’ve ever played despite its low cost. It’s ideal as a practice guitar, but the pickup switch was temperamental, the pots were scratchy, and the jack input was loose. I decided to give it a new lease of life by replacing the pickups and all electronics.
I fancied trying something a bit different, so I opted for a pair of Seymour Duncan P-Rails pickups in cream. The guitar is a Les Paul copy. Les Pauls come with humbuckers – big fat loud mellow bluesy low-noise pickups – think Jimmy Page or Slash. As oppose to the beautiful raw sound of single-coil pickups like you’d find in a Jimi Hendrix stratocaster. The interesting thing about the P-Rails pickups is that you can use them as a standard humbucker, but you can also play the individual coils. More toys to play with.
To make things easy, I purchased a complete wiring set from Axetec. In the kit were the 4 push-push pots, a nice new switch, jack socket and wires. I decided to try the following wiring to give myself the maximum amount of pickup options:
This wiring set-up devised by Hermetico gives 22 possible pickup combinations through various combinations of the pickup switch and four pot switches. I used a cheap soldering iron and pair of cable cutters, and was able to recreate the above circuit. After soldering everything I double checked each connection. I had to make a couple of adjustments.. then stuck it all in the guitar, plugged it in, and it worked!
After several weeks use, I’m of the opinion there are too many options. Also the push-push pot switches can be temperamental. So if doing this again, I would use push-pull pot switches and choose a simpler wiring set up – perhaps the triple-shot mount, or 2 push-pulls – less options but more manageable.
I do really like the sound of these humbuckers though – will post a song in due course!