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Thread: 4 conductor shielded wire

  1. #1
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    4 conductor shielded wire

    Hey I found some wire for humbuckers that actually looks pretty good for a change:
    It's Belden 1804A starquad mic cable.
    28awg with 19 strand/ 40awg silver plated copper
    Braided, 78% shield and pvc jacket, O.D. is only .115"
    Capacitance between conductors is 40pf/foot
    Minimum bending radius is .5"
    You get two blue and two white conductors so you'll need to fiddle around with a meter, is that a deal killer?
    It's a $1.25 a foot or so.
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  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by David King View Post
    Hey I found some wire for humbuckers that actually looks pretty good for a change:
    It's Belden 1804A starquad mic cable.
    28awg with 19 strand/ 40awg silver plated copper
    Braided, 78% shield and pvc jacket, O.D. is only .115"
    Capacitance between conductors is 40pf/foot
    Minimum bending radius is .5"
    You get two blue and two white conductors so you'll need to fiddle around with a meter, is that a deal killer?
    It's a $1.25 a foot or so.

    looks expensive.... I was thinking in the $.50 a foot range would be nice.

  3. #3
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    Why do you care about price? How many feet per year are you going to use?

    Here's another than can be had in 4 colors but it's only available in 26AWG for the 19 strand /38awg. It's also silver plated and has teflon insulation.
    Overall O.D. is now up to .133".
    Shield is now 90% minimum coverage
    I'm guessing that the price will be up over $2/foot and minimum is probably at least 1000'.
    Item # 1100-44X, Four Conductor MIL-W-16878/4 on Standard Wire & Cable Co.

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    Quote Originally Posted by David King View Post
    Why do you care about price? How many feet per year are you going to use?

    Here's another than can be had in 4 colors but it's only available in 26AWG for the 19 strand /38awg. It's also silver plated and has teflon insulation.
    Overall O.D. is now up to .133".
    Shield is now 90% minimum coverage
    I'm guessing that the price will be up over $2/foot and minimum is probably at least 1000'.
    Item # 1100-44X, Four Conductor MIL-W-16878/4 on Standard Wire & Cable Co.
    Duh.... I get it now you are looking for a better wire than you can get from regular suppliers. I didn't notice the silver plating and teflon till after I responded.

    Got it now.

  5. #5
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    Restoration aid,
    I apologize, I realize most folks are perfectly happy with the same old same old but I can't stand the stuff I have now.
    Weico makes a 28awg silver teflon that's 7 strands with 4 colors and braided shield.
    You can order it in 100 ft spools
    Weico Wire, Cable & Tubing

  6. #6
    Pickup Maker David Schwab's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David King View Post
    Why do you care about price? How many feet per year are you going to use?
    I went through 100 feet last year. I buy 50 feet at a time.

    I was getting mine from GJ, but I just got some from Mojo that's very nice.

    Same thing with the hookup wire. I use black white and green, and was getting it from Mouser. Now I got some from Jameco for half the price. It all adds up in the end.
    It would be possible to describe everything scientifically, but it would make no sense; it would be without meaning, as if you described a Beethoven symphony as a variation of wave pressure. Albert Einstein

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    This stuff? Mojo Wire AWG 28-Ga 4-Conductor Shielded Guitar Pickup Wire
    How thick is the outside jacket? It looks huge in the photo.
    It's 45/foot?

  8. #8
    Senior Member automan's Avatar
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    It's 1/8" thick. I just measured some from Mojo I have in the shop.

    My least favorite wire comes from Mojo. The cloth covered lead wire isnt plated nor is the cloth waxed. I think Allparts has the good lead wire, but I can't remember who I got my last batch through. I'll have to check the receipt bin.

  9. #9
    Pickup Maker David Schwab's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David King View Post
    This stuff? Mojo Wire AWG 28-Ga 4-Conductor Shielded Guitar Pickup Wire
    How thick is the outside jacket? It looks huge in the photo.
    It's 45/foot?
    .122" to be exact. $0.41/ft.
    Last edited by David Schwab; 02-10-2010 at 12:28 AM.
    It would be possible to describe everything scientifically, but it would make no sense; it would be without meaning, as if you described a Beethoven symphony as a variation of wave pressure. Albert Einstein

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    Kicking a zombie thread back into motion...

    I recently acquired a spool of the Belden 1804A 28AWG wire, and am about to utilize it on a new dual-coil set of bass pickups.

    http://www.belden.com/techdatas/english/1804A.pdf

    The listed min bend radius is 1.25", and this seems to be easily achieved as the cable is nicely flexible. The internal leads are colored blue, blue + stripe, white, white + stripe. The shield is not brittle when teased apart and formed into a lead for solder connection to ground.
    eschertron likes this.

  11. #11
    ToneOholic! big_teee's Avatar
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    A shame they don't make it all in black, white, green, red.
    It makes using standard wiring diagrams easier.
    I've had good luck with the 4 wire, and 2 wire, both with shield, from mojo.
    And, it uses the standard color code.
    However, the main thing is to use whatever you like.
    T
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  12. #12
    Pickup Maker David Schwab's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by big_teee View Post
    A shame they don't make it all in black, white, green, red.
    It makes using standard wiring diagrams easier.
    Yes! Not only that, but why does everyone use a different combination? DiMarzio did it first with the Dual Sound. They have red as hot and green as ground. That makes sense. But then Duncan has to go and change it. Then Gibson uses something else, etc. Schaller uses totally different colors.

    Everyone should follow the DiMarzio code. It should be the standard. Then we wouldn't need these silly charts to try and figure out how to wire some unknown pickup.

    I use the DiMarzio colors. So does EMG for their passive pickups.


    I've had good luck with the 4 wire, and 2 wire, both with shield, from mojo.
    And, it uses the standard color code.
    However, the main thing is to use whatever you like.
    T
    I also use the Mojo wire, and wire from WD Music. Right now I'm using the Mojo wire. It's nice wire. Very flexible.
    It would be possible to describe everything scientifically, but it would make no sense; it would be without meaning, as if you described a Beethoven symphony as a variation of wave pressure. Albert Einstein

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  13. #13
    rjb
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    Quote Originally Posted by big_teee View Post
    A shame they don't make it all in black, white, green, red.
    FWIW, the Belden 1804A "star quad" cable is designed as super EMI-proof balanced mic cable. The color code makes sense because, when used as intended, both white wires go to pin 2 and both blue wires go to pin 3 of your XLR connector.

    Quote Originally Posted by David Schwab View Post
    Everyone should follow the DiMarzio code. It should be the standard.
    Isn't it a little late to make that decree? Should all non-conforming pickups from the last ~40 years be recalled?
    Besides, if everyone copied DiMarzio's code, Larry would probably sue for infringement.

    Quote Originally Posted by David Schwab View Post
    Then we wouldn't need these silly charts to try and figure out how to wire some unknown pickup.
    If you have an "unknown" pickup, the charts won't help anyway.

    But with a screwdriver, an analog VOM, and a little know-how, you can determine which wires go to which coils, and the electrical phasing of those coils.
    And all you need to determine the magnetic polarities of an "unknown" pickup is a "known" pickup. Most times, you don't even need to know if they're North or South - just if they're "opposite" or "the same".
    And if you want to know which wire is the Start lead of a coil - hell, you told me that trick.

    Who needs charts?

    Quote Originally Posted by David Schwab View Post
    I also use the Mojo wire, and wire from WD Music. Right now I'm using the Mojo wire. It's nice wire. Very flexible.
    I know it's sacrilege to ask, but: Does anyone know where GFS gets their 4-C shielded cable? It's very flexible (~1/4" bending radius), ~3mm/0.12" jacket diameter, with "served" (spiral) shield. Reminds me of some Mogami cable, but with the "right" wire colors.

    -rb
    Last edited by rjb; 04-03-2017 at 01:24 PM.
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    Senior Member frankfalbo's Avatar
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    It's been about 40 years, I doubt anyone is changing. In that time, Duncan has likely (yes, literally) outsold both Dimarzio and EMG passive humbuckers combined. Add in Duncan Designed on the imports all those years and it's even higher. The Duncan code makes more sense to me anyway. One coil is black/white & the other red/green. It's easier to keep straight in my head for some reason.

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    Woodgrinder/Pickupwinder copperheadroads's Avatar
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    Black & White & The Red Green show .....(Maybe a Canadian thing ?) but it works .
    "UP here in the Canada we shoot things we don't understand"

  16. #16
    Senior Member LtKojak's Avatar
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    The wiring code that makes most sense to me, is the following:

    * Black=start South = Ground
    * White=finish South
    * Green=finish North
    * Red=start North = Hot

    However, I always assemble my pickups using the Duncan code.

    HTH,
    Pepe aka Lt. Kojak
    Milano, Italy

  17. #17
    rjb
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    Quote Originally Posted by frankfalbo View Post
    The Duncan code makes more sense to me anyway. One coil is black/white & the other red/green. It's easier to keep straight in my head for some reason.
    To me, the Peavey code makes the most sense.
    Humbucker Wire Color Translation | Seymour Duncan
    North coil: Red+/Grn-
    South coil: Wht+/Blk-
    Series connected: Red+/Blk-

    In DC power and analog signal wiring, black is always, always, always (well, usually) "cold".

    Edit:
    Agree with LtKojak- posted while I was writing this.
    Last edited by rjb; 04-07-2017 at 08:46 PM.

  18. #18
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    I don't have two coils, but I have two sets of three coils each that I can wire in parallel.

    "Splitting" doesn't make much sense in my design (as you would be left with only three strings) unless you're combining that signal with three strings from another pickup. I've had a couple of people do this kind of stuff, but not many.

    Parallel wiring is a fantastic option for the higher output models though. It's like putting an HB in parallel, but with a Zexcoil, you're still only picking the string up in one place so there's no comb filtering.

    Anyway, I took stock of all of the 4 conductor wiring schemes and came to the conclusion that none of them really made sense and there was no standard, so I did what made sense to me.

    first set of three coils:
    White - hot
    Green - ground

    2nd set of three coils:
    Red - hot
    Black - ground

    That way, when hard wired in series mode, or when tied to a dpdt switch for splitting, the pickup follows the typical convention of white - hot, black - ground for 2 wire pickups. The grounds follow the convention of using black and green.
    Last edited by ScottA; 04-09-2017 at 07:21 PM.

  19. #19
    rjb
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    Quote Originally Posted by ScottA View Post
    ... so I did what made sense to me.

    first set of three coils:
    White - hot
    Green - ground

    2nd set of three coils:
    Red - hot
    Black - ground

    That way, when hard wired in series mode, or when tied to a dpdt switch for splitting, the pickup follows the typical convention of white - hot, black - ground for 2 wire pickups. The grounds follow the convention of using black and green.
    Yup. That's how I hooked up the DiMarzio Model P in my second-hand PBass.
    Didn't have Google back then.
    DiMarzio came so close to getting it right.

    -rb

  20. #20
    Pickup Maker David Schwab's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rjb View Post
    Isn't it a little late to make that decree? Should all non-conforming pickups from the last ~40 years be recalled?
    Besides, if everyone copied DiMarzio's code, Larry would probably sue for infringement.
    40 years? Who else besides DiMarzio was making pickups with 4-conductor cable in 1977?
    It would be possible to describe everything scientifically, but it would make no sense; it would be without meaning, as if you described a Beethoven symphony as a variation of wave pressure. Albert Einstein

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    Senior Member frankfalbo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Schwab View Post
    40 years? Who else besides DiMarzio was making pickups with 4-conductor cable in 1977?
    rjb used the tilde to mean "approximately" and I said "about 40 years". I happen to have a double cream butyrate "The JB Model" that has original 4-conductor wiring. That's late 70s, possibly 77 but more likely 78 or 79. I'd have to ask Seymour next time I see him but I'm pretty sure he would have put 4-c on rewinds prior to that upon request.

    So at that time you'd be talking about only a couple years of competition from another small business with products likely numbering in the hundreds, not even the thousands. Not what anyone would have considered industry standard at that time.

  22. #22
    rjb
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Schwab View Post
    40 years? Who else besides DiMarzio was making pickups with 4-conductor cable in 1977?
    Quote Originally Posted by frankfalbo View Post
    rjb used the tilde to mean "approximately" and I said "about 40 years".
    Let's say "40 years +/- 20%". Is that better?
    In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is deemed mad.

  23. #23
    ToneOholic! big_teee's Avatar
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    Yep, it's black +, white, red, & green -grd, SD style for me.
    If Dimarzio uses another color code, that's reason enough for me, not to use it!
    T
    Last edited by big_teee; 04-10-2017 at 08:36 PM.
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  24. #24
    Pickup Maker David Schwab's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by frankfalbo View Post
    rjb used the tilde to mean "approximately" and I said "about 40 years". I happen to have a double cream butyrate "The JB Model" that has original 4-conductor wiring. That's late 70s, possibly 77 but more likely 78 or 79. I'd have to ask Seymour next time I see him but I'm pretty sure he would have put 4-c on rewinds prior to that upon request.

    So at that time you'd be talking about only a couple years of competition from another small business with products likely numbering in the hundreds, not even the thousands. Not what anyone would have considered industry standard at that time.
    I actually have a hand written letter from Seymour about having a Rick toaster pickup rewound from back then. But lets be honest here, DiMarzio, Hi-A and Bill Lawrence were the first three replacement pickup makers. We can probably add Dan Armstrong in there, but I don't remember seeing those as aftermarket pickups. Seymour was doing rewinds in the beginning. So the first pickup most people saw with 4 conductor wiring was the DiMarzio Dual Sound in 1974. As seen on Al DiMeola's guitar.

    Interestingly I asked Seymour about making the toaster into a stacked humbucker, since it had the long magnets (I got the idea from the Les Paul Recording pickups). He said that wouldn't work. This was probably 1974 or '75. But then he patented his stacked pickup in 1983.
    It would be possible to describe everything scientifically, but it would make no sense; it would be without meaning, as if you described a Beethoven symphony as a variation of wave pressure. Albert Einstein

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