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Author Topic: Wondering about wires  (Read 2911 times)

wyattriot

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Wondering about wires
« on: July 01, 2012, 06:15:33 PM »
So I've decided to (re)teach myself how to solder in order to swap my own pickups in the future. I'll be learning on a Les Paul Junior—single P90, 1 volume, 1 tone—and swapping the pickup, bridge, output jack, and pots at the same time. It should be easy. I've read up on wiring diagrams, the importance of making a wiring harness first, tinning leads, scoring the backs of pots, minimizing heat on pots and using heat sinks when working with the capacitor, etc. I've actually taken "classes" on soldering at a past job, so I'm sure I can do this.

Where I'm stuck is when it comes to the actual wire I should use. I've heard of people using coaxial cable, speaker cable, shielded and unshielded wire, various gauges from 22 to 28 AWG, solid and multithreaded, etc. It seems like a lot of people recommend this stuff (shielded push-back wire) as an alternative to modern PVC-covered wiring because there's no stripping involved, just push the cloth part back. (I've also seen this stuff (shielded circuit wire) recommended quite frequently.) But it seems that even people who recommend the push-back wire use multiple types of wire in the same guitar, like shielded for the bulk of the wiring and unshielded for ground (or maybe it's vice versa?). Is that really necessary or is there something else I'm not considering, like minimizing cost or simply using different colors to keep it organized?

I'm also picking up some heat shrink tubing and copper tape. Anything else I'll likely need?

HTH AMPS

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Re: Wondering about wires
« Reply #1 on: July 01, 2012, 09:59:04 PM »
I really wouldn't bother with shielded wire, I can't imagine you'll get any benefit from short a short cable run.  You may actually make things worse if anything.

I just use average hookup wire you'd see in a guitar pedal (16/0.2mm) and it's absolutely fine.

Some copper shielding tape likely won't harm and will shield your cavity so that you won't need shielded wire anyway.


wyattriot

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Re: Wondering about wires
« Reply #2 on: July 03, 2012, 03:41:30 PM »
Thanks, I'll look at some unshielded wire and see if there are any good deals in my area.

Now I'm also wondering how shielding could cause problems. I guess I thought shielding was always a good thing?

frankus

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Re: Wondering about wires
« Reply #3 on: July 05, 2012, 05:01:03 PM »
I've shielded most of my strats and teles - like an enthusiatic DIYer in the 70s putting cork-board on everything!

Recently I discovered the Gibson shielded wire and the cool applications of that and have lessened the amount of shileding I use..

Effectively the more shielding there is the more capacitance there is and it acts on the tone of the guitar... not that I've noticed greatly but the alternatives in the control cavities are great fun... wire the core to the desired spot then wire the shielding to the pot case and the earth lugs... it makes for some lovely neat wiring...

a 3 way switch on a 335 has 3 wires converging on it and I used a bit of bare wire to bind the wires together in the position I wanted and soldered that to the shielding too...

I still shield p90 cavities mind ;)