StewMac Humbucker Pickup Wiring Diagrams

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Understanding the color-coded leads

Humbuckers have two coils, with opposite magnetic polarity (North/South facing up). The two ends of each coil wire are connected to the Start lead and the Finish lead. The fifth lead is a bare ground wire (some humbuckers do not have this fifth lead).

Understanding the color-coded leads

Series-linked coils: humbucking

Standard humbucking wiring: solder the red and white leads.

Series-linked coils

Parallel wiring: stand-alone coils

Allows access to each coil independently, for custom options using a switch.

Parallel wiring

Standard two-humbucker wiring

HH + 3W + 2V2T

Standard two-humbucker wiring diagram

Independent pickup volumes

To blend the pickups independently, swap the wires from the pickups and the switch where they connect to the volume pot. This solves the problem in the middle position of the switch where turning down one volume control affects both pickups.

Independent pickup volumes

Single-coil / Single-coil / Humbucker

SSH + 5W + VT

Single-coil / Single-coil / Humbucker wiring diagram

Humbucker / Single-coil / Humbucker

HSH + 5W + VT

Humbucker / Single-coil / Humbucker wiring diagram

Custom wiring options

Setting your pickup height

Humbuckers are usually set closer to the strings than single-coils because they have less of a focused magnetic pull.

Setting your pickup height

Start with about 3/32" between the Low-E polepiece and the bottom of the string when fretted at the highest fret, and a 1/16" gap for the High-E string. Raise or lower the heights of the neck and bridge pickups to find the tone/volume balance you like best.

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