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Home : Free Information : Electronics : Wiring diagrams : Golden Age Single-coil Pickups

Golden Age Single-coil Pickups

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i-5422 Updated 09/11


How to wire for great tone!
Golden Age single-coil pickups are manufactured to replicate the tone and response of vintage single-coil pickups. However, unlike vintage pickups, the middle pickup is reverse-wound, with reverse-polarity. This gives you hum-cancelling output in the "2" and "4" positions of a 5-way pickup selector switch (when the middle pickup is combined with the neck or bridge pickup).

Golden Age single-coil pickups are available in various output versions. Higher output pickups are typically used in the bridge position; this compensates for the difference in vibrating string energy that is "seen" by the bridge pickup compared to the middle or neck pickups. Higher output pickups can be installed in the neck and/or middle positions, but the output balance may be compromised.

Pickup height adjustment
The pickups should not be adjusted too close to the strings. For single-coils, leave about 1/8" gap between the top of the low E polepiece and the bottom of the string, when fretted at the highest (21st or 22nd) fret, and 3/32" for the high E polepiece. Adjusting the pickups any closer can cause "false" notes from wound strings at higher frets. Strat® guitars sometimes have this problem—to cure it, simply lower the height of the neck and middle pickups on the bass side.

All wiring diagrams use a CRL switch
and are viewed from the back of the guitar’s pickguard.

Simple volume & tone wiring

Strat® wiring, 3 single-coil pickups & CRL switch

A traditional open-contact lever switch can be installed with its spring facing or opposite the control pots; there is no electronic difference, but the spring typically faces away from the pots.

3 single-coil pickups with master volume & tone controls & CRL switch

Humbucker/single-coil/single-coil wiring with CRL switch
In position 4 (bridge and middle) the humbucker is coil-cut. Wire labeled “SL” is the series-link for your humbucker.

Humbucker/single-coil/humbucker wiring with CRL switch
In positions 2 (neck and middle) and 4 (bridge and middle) the humbuckers are coil-cut. Wire labeled “SL” is the series-link for your humbucker.

Golden Age Alnico 5 Single-coil Pickups
Golden Age Alnico 5 Single-coil Pickups

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