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PostPosted: Thu Jan 16, 2014 11:04 am 
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My Outlaw (and Omega) have the stock pickups with one red wire, one white and one bare.

What are these for? Is red Hot and White and Bare ground?

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 17, 2014 6:26 am 
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Most likely the configuration is to allow for a coil tap. To check which is which assume the bare is the ground. Get a multi meter set to measure reistance in K-ohms. Touch one probe to the ground and one to the red wire. You should get a reading in the range of 4 to 14 K-ohm. Touch the probes to the ground and the white wire. Once again your reading should be in the above range but either around half or double the reading for the red wire. The higher number is for both coils; the lower for the tap.

FYI If you have four wires they are set up so you can do tap and phase.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 17, 2014 12:01 pm 
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It only registers if I connect the red and white together, 8.47k. If I connect a bare and the red, or bare and the white, it doesn't read anything.

I think it's three wire for phase. So they're both hot?

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 17, 2014 10:40 pm 
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Some what correct but the white is positive, red is other end of second coil or black and ground/shield is just grounding of the pickup basket. No pickups with two wires and a shield are coil splitable, and the phase is done through the switch reversing the wires one pickup connects with the other pickup.

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Last edited by Shackleton on Tue Jan 21, 2014 9:05 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 19, 2014 10:29 am 
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I have to disagree with Shackleton on this one. I have several pups with three leads that are capable of a coil cut. One lead is for both coils, one is for one coil, and the other is a ground. You can't do phase however unless you have the start and the finish of both coils (i.e. 4 leads). 8.7 is a bit of a mystery. It is very hot for one coil but rather low for both. I think you have one faulty lead.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 19, 2014 12:54 pm 
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Workingman you are wrong why do SD's and dimarzio have four wires and ground? Where I mention phase I am talking about the phase between one pick and the other not the two coils of one pickup. Thats one position on the five way both pickups out phase! 8.7 is not strange since that is both coils in series!

I measured mine 8.0, 8.4 and both have reading on the red and white but neither with the ground wire!


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 20, 2014 7:13 am 
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I tested this on my Omega pickup as well. It has the same red, white and bare as my Outlaw pickup.

It responds the same way, only reads when both white and white are connected, just like the Outlaw pickup. So nothing faulty, it's just how they're made.

I'm still discovering more about about pickups and wiring, glad to be learning. :D

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 20, 2014 8:17 am 
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Check out the wiring diagrams for the five way. It shows what Im talking about. Also see what the five way positions do there is no coil splitting position.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 21, 2014 5:40 am 
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Chad, I don't know what is happening with your pups. Bit of a mystery to me.

Shackleton. Humbuckers have two coils that are out of phase with each other (and have reversed magnetic polarity). Thus you can't put a humbucker out of phase with an other pup as it has both phases already.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 21, 2014 8:38 am 
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See number five.
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Last edited by Shackleton on Tue Jan 21, 2014 10:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 21, 2014 8:47 am 
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Chad there is nothing wrong with those pickups there should only be continuity between the red and white!

In an earlier post I meant that a pickup with two wires and shield is not coil spiltable, but its it could coil tapable there is a differece but with a humbucker you can coil split but not coil tap!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 21, 2014 12:05 pm 
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Shackleton, little civility would be appreciated here.

Frankly what a marketing person says what it happening does not convince me. If you can explain how one pup that has properties of both kinds of phasing can be wired in or out of phase with another pup that also has both kinds of phasing, I am open to learning.

Coil tap is a term that has been loosely used to mean having just one coil in a humbucker turned on in the circuit. Obviously this can be done. I own three guitars that have this feature. Coil tapping originally referred to having two leads from a coil, one that activated the complete coil and one that activated part of the coil. Thus you could have a pup with two different resistances. I don't know of anybody having done this on a humbucker, but it could be done. If it was done only on one coil it would give you the option of having the unbalanced humbucker sound that some people like and others hate. Still there is no reason it can not be done.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 30, 2014 9:08 pm 
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Shackleton, you are right on these particular pickups - the ones in the MPCs. They are two ends of the humbucker pair and a separated ground wire for phase reversal. It is an odd combination but they do that. I don't recall looking at some of the models that had an extra switch - an Ultima - it had to have extra wires in that if that extra switch made the guitar operate in single coil mode. I don't recall taking one apart to investigate, although I had one. It worked so no reason to take apart.

However, other non-MPC pickups used in Electras - namely the MMKs, DO HAVE three wires and one is the ground, one is the middle, and one is the other end - precisely like workingman said. But that is a different pickup than what you are talking about (although they look very nearly identical comparing the dual black coil pickups in MPCs to the black MMKs. The MMKs will have narrower spacing on teh neck pickup and wider pole spacing on the bridge model. The black humbuckers on the MPCs are MUCH LOWER output than the MMKs. MMKs also have a version that also has a separated ground too - that is used on one of the MMK 45 humbuckers in the guitars that have a push/pull phase switches on many of these guitars.

So that is 3 different wiring options for Electra humbuckers - actually 4 - that being 2 conductors for those that only have a hot and the other end is internally connected to the ground (the shield wire).

I dimarzio or duncan with 4 conductors really have 5 conductors, the 5th one being the separated ground. The other 4 conductors are the ends of each coil in the humbucker. Most pickups you see today (and many of the MMKs) with two colored wires and a ground are most likely Hot, middle (between the two coils) and the other side to the ground.

So you both are partially right here - but working man is thinking of the newer MMK pickups because they are just like he said. But Shack is right on the MPC humbuckers. But the pickups are not at all the same.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 30, 2014 11:56 pm 
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Ive got aftermarket pickups in both my 310s and I was not impressed with the stock ones in either my 310 or 940 I sold. Very muffled and not much treble even after correcting the volume pot value in the 940. I did retain the five way and also have coil split on a push pull pot in the tone pot in both. One set is a 57 classic neck and super distortion bridge the other is a 490 neck and a Chris Carter LT Alnico 3 bridge kind of in between a super and a paf not coil splitting though it could be.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 31, 2014 6:05 am 
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The only stock pups I've really liked were in my Outlaw and X930. Both of them have very open, clear, powerful sounding pickups without being too hot. They're a little "honky" though, which is what I didn't care for. The X935 pups are MMK53's, which are good too. Just not as flavorful as I would like, they sound a little sterile to me unless they're used with good overdrive. But they are ceramic magnets, so that makes sense as this is how a lot of them are.

The Omega pups are a little muddy, but great for classic rock. I replaced the bridge pup with a Gibson 500T for greater clarity and fullness. The stock pups sound like you'd expect to hear from a guitar of that period. Though I wonder if these 30 yr old pickups may benefit from being re-magnetized or whatever mumbo jumbo they do to recharge them? :huh:

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