You may be looking for a wiring guide that shows you to wire up a single hum pickup with a volume knob.
This isn’t the most advanced or the best-sounding configuration for the pickups, but it’s certainly a good one that you can have fun with. In fact, I’ve still got the beginner guitar that I swapped out the single coils and put a humbucker in for a better tone.
Wiring Diagram for 1 Humbucker 1 Volume Configuration
The thing you should remember here is to solder the ends properly and make sure that you’ve got a proper connection between the components.
There isn’t much going on in this image. You’ve just got three wires coming out of the pickups, and I’ve drawn them in different colors so you don’t get confused as to which is which.
So, you just connect the bare shield and south-start to the ground (ground just means the metal back surface of the volume pot).
You can see how the output jack is connected with the volume pot as well as the ground, and follow accordingly.
The circuit diagram can be pretty confusing, so if you think you can learn from a video better, you can check this one. There are plenty of videos on Youtube but I found this one the most useful when I was actually trying to mod my guitars.
Soldering Iron Kit and Things You Will Need?
If you’ve never heard of a soldering iron before, wiring up circuits can be pretty intimidating.
But you don’t need to worry, as you can get started with a simple kit or borrow one from a guitarist friend. If you don’t know much about wires in general, and just want to get started, check out this video:
There are many soldering iron models and high-end stuff with bells and whistles but you just need a decent one with temperature controls that doesn’t cost much. If you have never soldered before, I would recommend this $16 soldering iron kit with temperature controls and a digital display. It does sound too good to be true, but there are tons of reviews backing it up, so it’s worth giving a shot.
With electronic devices, you get what you pay for, so if you want to get a better (and more expensive) soldering iron, I would recommend the 70W Weller WE1010NA Digital Soldering Station. I have a very similar soldering station by the same brand, so I can vouch for this. It’s also got a temperature stability feature and temperature lock (+/- 4⁰D) which does wonders for longevity.
Cheap Soldering irons are okay for getting started, but I’ve found that they will get damaged very quickly. The first soldering iron I got blew up after just a day, and the next one lasted for roughly a week.
Other Parts You May Need:
- Cheap Humbucker: Lovermusic Double Coil Humbucker
- Recommended: Seymour Duncan SH-4 JB Model Humbucker
Why Would You Want To Go For A Humbucker?
Every beginner starts out on a cheap single-coil guitar. But the fact is, you do need to upgrade to a noiseless or a humbucker eventually.
Personally, I find that single coils are good for rock but do pick up interference signals so can be a bit annoying. If you are a seasoned player, you will want to go for humbuckers as these are super versatile and sound thicker as well.
But don’t take my word for it- it’s all personal preference and there are thousands of guitarists who swear by single-coil pickups on electric guitars.
Modding your guitars can be pretty tricky especially if you know little to no soldering. The skills aren’t really that hard to learn but it can be a very rewarding experience and can save you a trip to the guitar center which is always a great thing.
We suggest getting a cheap electric guitar like the Squier classic vibe so you don’t have to worry about damaging an expensive one. Plus, the Classic Vibe is a fantastic instrument, you’ll love learning to play your favorite songs on it as well.
You also have the freedom to customize your own tone by choosing what values you want for the pot resistance as well as the circuit configuration.
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Is modding my own guitars hard?
Kind of, yes. But the process is rewarding and the skills you get in the process are certainly worth it.
Do you need an expensive soldering station to get started?
Nope, just get one you can afford, and just make sure that you follow the instructions. You will find that a good soldering iron, regardless of the price- will last you for months if you care for it properly.