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Thread: Internal Quick-Disconnects for Strats?

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    Better Tone thru Mathematics bob p's Avatar
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    Internal Quick-Disconnects for Strats?

    I'm wondering if anyone has developed a system using internal quick-disconnect systems when wiring up their guitars. I think this sort of thing would be particularly useful for pickup swapping, or in the case of a Strat, loaded pickguard swapping.

    I'm aware that there are some manufacturers out there who are already using solderless harnesses for their pickups (Epi and Gibson, I think, as well as others). I don't have any guitars like that, and my application doesn't involve testing pickups that have those sorts of connections (at least for now). I'm more interested in hearing about different DIY solutions that people might have implemented that didn't involve buying a commercial solderless wiring harness.

    In the instant case, I'm working on a parts-caster Strat. I'd like to be able to do pickup swaps, and because of all of the screws that are involved in a strat pickguard and pickup removal, the easiest way to do this seems to be to swap out loaded pickguards. The only hurdle to overcome in making it really easy to swap a Strat loaded pickguard is the soldered connection to the output jack. To make the swapping experience totally solderless, I've thought about using some sort of quick-connector located in the main control cavity to connect the output jack to the loaded pickguard assembly.

    I'm wondering if anyone has done this and what sort of connectors they found to be useful. I'm searching my junk drawers for for things to repurpose and it's looking like I might have to buy something, so I thought I'd ask.

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    "Stand back, I'm holding a calculator." - chinrest

    "I happen to have an original 1955 Stratocaster! The neck and body have been replaced with top quality Warmoth parts, I upgraded the hardware and put in custom, hand wound pickups. It's fabulous. There's nothing like that vintage tone or owning an original." - Chuck H

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    I use .1" SIL and DIL connectors in various styles according to what I'm doing. I'll etch a small number of boards and mount an SMD header if it's attaching to a flat surface and use a 'flying' connector with crimp terminals to connect. I only use this system to connect various parts of more complex guitars with synth/piezo/magnetic combinations where I need to be able to easily swap out sections for troubleshooting or changes. .1" connectors are available in SMD, through-hole, crimp and solder bucket formats in all kinds variations. Plus they're inexpensive.

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    Better Tone thru Mathematics bob p's Avatar
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    I had thought of using "Dupont" connectors like these:



    The biggest downside seems to be that they are non-locking.

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    "Stand back, I'm holding a calculator." - chinrest

    "I happen to have an original 1955 Stratocaster! The neck and body have been replaced with top quality Warmoth parts, I upgraded the hardware and put in custom, hand wound pickups. It's fabulous. There's nothing like that vintage tone or owning an original." - Chuck H

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    Lifetime Member Enzo's Avatar
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    There are small connectors similar to that in modern reverb pans, on the transducers. I rarely see them come off, the wires break first.

    But if you wire inside a guitar like that, fold the wire back on itself, and put a tie wrap around it, so there is no slack for the connector to part without cutting the tie wrap. Snip the tie for quick access to do whatever plug in changes, but otherwise secure.

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    Education is what you're left with after you have forgotten what you have learned.

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    Think about all the EMG-equipped guitars with non-locking connectors and they don't come apart. I don't see this as a downside in a guitar.

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    ToneOholic! big_teee's Avatar
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    On some of my pickup test guitars I solder on short pigtails, and test the pickups with small wire nuts.
    On everything else I like a neat layout, with shorter leads, all soldered, and no rats nests.
    Wiring rats nests, usually are very noisy. Here, big on lots of shielding & grounding.

    T

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    Last edited by big_teee; 03-27-2018 at 09:59 PM. Reason: I meant pigtail leads
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    Supporting Member Steve A.'s Avatar
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    Several vendors have their own quick-connect harness systems, none of which are interchangeable AFAIK. Some 2000-ish Epiphones had quick connects inches from the pickup to facilitate pickup swaps and many if not most of the recent Gibsons have been using printed circuit boards for their controls.

    Locking connectors might be good for ES-335 style guitars with wiring accessible through the f-holes, otherwise not...

    Steve A.

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    I used 1/8-3/16" spade terminals and they work great but solder them on the leads, crimps alone are not enough.

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    Bent Member Chuck H's Avatar
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    Now if we can come up with a way to swap strat pickups without unstringing and removing the pick guard THAT would be great.

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    "...less ear-friendly but handy for jazz." Leo_Gnardo

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck H View Post
    Now if we can come up with a way to swap strat pickups without unstringing and removing the pick guard THAT would be great.
    Cut a hole in the back... ... but you knew somebody waz gonna say that...

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    Old Timer
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    Quote Originally Posted by galaxiex View Post
    Cut a hole in the back... ... but you knew somebody waz gonna say that...
    I've never owned a real Strat, but I think the springs and trem block would be in the way... but you knew somebody was gonna say that....

    -rb

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    Supporting Member Steve A.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck H View Post
    Now if we can come up with a way to swap strat pickups without unstringing and removing the pick guard THAT would be great.
    Well, if the strat has a swimming pool route I can usually loosen the strings enough to slide the pickguard out but I guess that doesn't count...

    Steve A.

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    I'll put a bug in your ear for the connector cables traditionally used to connect a CD/DVD drive to a sound card or mobo. Unlike the Dupont connector shown in the thread, these cables are shielded and have two additional wires, making them amenable to phase-reversal, coil-cancelling, or anything else requiring more than a simple hot and ground.

    The caveat is that they are getting harder to find as more and more desktop machines eschew drives of any kind, and that they are long-ish. But they are slender and every bit as flexible as one might need.

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