Stewart-MacDonaldEverything for building and repairing stringed instruments!
Your order cart Your order | Account | Saved list
Sign in
800-848-2273, 9AM-6PM EST, M-F
Home Free catalog Quick order International Customer service

Home : Free Information : Electronics : Wiring diagrams : Golden Age Humbucker

Golden Age Humbucker

Email a friend

Updated 01/10


How to wire for great tone!
Golden Age humbucking pickups use two balanced magnetic coils together to cancel noisy interference in your guitar's sound. For added versatility, you can also wire them so they are switchable between humbucking and single-coil operation (a "coil cut").

To wire the pickup as a standard humbucker, the red wire is hot and the bare wire is connected to ground. Tape off the white wire so it won't come into contact with other wires or components.

Also see wiring diagrams for
newer Golden Age Humbucker
with 4-conductor plus ground

For a "coil cut," use a mini toggle switch or push/pull pot. When wiring a mini toggle according to the diagram, the lever in the down position will give full humbucking output. When switched up, the north or "slug" polepiece coil will be cut and the adjustable polepiece coil will be active.

If you use the diagram for wiring a push/pull pot you may wish to swap the red and white wires. This will give a coil-cut function when the pot's shaft is pulled up.

Pickup height adjustment
For humbuckers, there should be about 3/32" gap between the top of the low E polepiece and the bottom of the low E string fretted at the highest (21st or 22nd) fret, and about 1/16" for the high E. Humbuckers can typically be adjusted closer to the strings than single-coils, since they don't have as much focused magnetic pull. Experiment with the height of your bridge and neck pickups to find the best balance in output and the best tone.

All wiring diagrams are viewed from the back of the guitar.

Humbucker/single-coil/single-coil wiring
In position 4 (bridge and middle) the humbucker is coil-cut.

Humbucker/single-coil/humbucker wiring
In positions 2 (neck and middle) and 4 (bridge and middle) the humbuckers are coil-cut.

Wiring 2 humbuckers (Les Paul®)
When using shielded coaxial wire, the outer braid is connected to ground. The inner wire is the hot conductor to carry the signal.

Alternate volume control wiring:
You can wire both of the volume controls of a Les Paul (or any other dual volume control instrument) so that you can blend the volume of the pickups independently. This solves the problem in the middle position of the selector switch where turning down one volume control affects both pickups.

Toll-free order line:   800-848-2273   9am-6pm Eastern Time, M-F

Your order | Your account | Trade Secrets E-mail Newsletter
Home | Free catalog | Catalog Quick Order | International | Customer service
Our guarantee | Shipping | Security & Privacy | Contact us
Site map | About Us | Employment
© Copyright 2014 Stewart-MacDonald
Your shopping is secure with VeriSign! Trusted Commerce