This wiring kits gives you the five pickup combinations available on a Paul Reed Smith guitar. It is designed for use with two 4-conductor humbucking pickups. Switch positions are:
- Neck humbucker
- Outer coils in parallel
- Outer coils in series
- Inner coils in parallel
- Bridge humbucker
For the rotary pickup selector switch to work properly, the outside coils of the pickups must have opposite magnetic polarity. To check this, place one pickup over the other. If the pickups repel each other, the coils have the same polarity. The pickups will attract each other if their polarities are opposite.
Opposite polarity can be easily achieved by pulling and flipping the magnet this way:
1. Loosen the polepiece screws so they clear the baseplate, then loosen the bobbin screws a bit so the magnet slides out. Be careful not to damage any of the delicate connection wires.
2. Roll the magnet over, flipping it 180 degrees. This is the move that switches the polarity.
3. Re-install the rotated magnet, sliding it back where it came from.
The large diameter capacitor is the .020µf (micro farad) and is used for the tone control. The small cap is 180pf (pico farad), and is used to retain high frequencies and clarity as the volume control is turned down.
Reduce unwanted electrical noise by using shielded coaxial cable for your longer wiring runs (for example, the connection between the controls and the output jack). Coaxial cable contains a center "hot" conductor which is shielded by an outer braid used for the ground wire.
For short connections between components, use standard non-shielded wire. Typically, white wire is used for hot and black for ground.
Stewart-MacDonald wiring kits contain black and white non-shielded wire, plus shielded coaxial cable. Extra black wire is included for running a string ground.