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Unread 06-07-2010, 11:19 PM   #1
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DiMarzio/Seymour Duncan wiring problems

I have an American Standard Stratocaster with one humbucker and two single-soil pickups.

I currently have two Seymour Duncan Hot Rails in for the single coils, and I want to put in a DiMarzio Decativator X in the bridge humbucker slot.

The problem is, I cannot find a wiring diagram for this sort of thing to save my life.

Every time I try to put in the DiMarzio in with the Hot Rails, the sound goes all crazy. I mean, it works, but the selector switch does not work properly. If I keep the original Fender humbucker in with the Hot Rails, then everything works and sounds great. I am not sure what I am doing wrong.

I currently have the DiMarzio as such: black and white soldered together and taped off; green and bare to ground; red to the bridge slot on the selector switch.

Can anyone please help me out!

Thanks.
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Unread 06-08-2010, 12:04 AM   #2
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The hot rails themselves are stacked humbuckers I believe and should have four conductors on them as well. the problem with wiring these to a five way switch is you are limited on how they will work with a standard 5 way switch. With this switch you wont be able to split the coils of all the pickups as needed and to work together and cancel hum. Standard 5 way will give you hum bridge, split bridge and middle, middle, middle and split neck and neck. but this is banking on the middle to be a single coil so when you go to the 2nd switch position that the split bridge and middle are reverse wound and will cancel hum, same thing applies when using4th position middle and split neck. you'll need the fender 5 way 4 pole super switch like this
STEWMAC.COM : Instructions for Super Switch if you really want to split all the humbuckers. or you will be left with going with bridge, bridge and middle, middle, middle and neck and neck with standard config.If you try to split the bridge with the hum middle you'll get some hum for sure because theirs is no coil to cancel out with in 2nd or 4th position since the middle is a humbucker. Hopefully this helps in some way. I don't mean to rant. I will check post tomorrow cause its getting late with some more insight.
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Unread 06-08-2010, 01:11 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dirtdog View Post
The hot rails themselves are stacked humbuckers I believe and should have four conductors on them as well. the problem with wiring these to a five way switch is you are limited on how they will work with a standard 5 way switch. With this switch you wont be able to split the coils of all the pickups as needed and to work together and cancel hum. Standard 5 way will give you hum bridge, split bridge and middle, middle, middle and split neck and neck. but this is banking on the middle to be a single coil so when you go to the 2nd switch position that the split bridge and middle are reverse wound and will cancel hum, same thing applies when using4th position middle and split neck. you'll need the fender 5 way 4 pole super switch like this
STEWMAC.COM : Instructions for Super Switch if you really want to split all the humbuckers. or you will be left with going with bridge, bridge and middle, middle, middle and neck and neck with standard config.If you try to split the bridge with the hum middle you'll get some hum for sure because theirs is no coil to cancel out with in 2nd or 4th position since the middle is a humbucker. Hopefully this helps in some way. I don't mean to rant. I will check post tomorrow cause its getting late with some more insight.
Wow, this is great information!

Honestly, I've spent the night playing the original Fender humbucker/Hot Rails combination, and I've come to really like it. I am almost convinced to just leave it. Besides, it seems that trying to drop in the Deactivator with the two Hot Rails will complicate things more than I care to.

I have never replaced my pickups before, so this is a first for me. I'm still learning, and this was some really good information you gave me. Thanks!
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Unread 06-08-2010, 06:32 AM   #4
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I love sinarios like this, so see if this helps you...

This is the wiring diagram for 3 hotrails and a 5 way switch for the strat. For your guitar, the only difference is, for the bridge pickup, you have a Dimarzio humbucker instead of a single coil, and on top of that, Dimarzio and Seymour Duncan wiring are a little different.

This is just in case you have the strat super 5-way switch, just use this wiring diagram instead of the one above, then change the black and red wire order for the Dimarzio

For the Dimarzio wiring diagram, simply flip the order of the black and red wire. For Seymour Duncan, black is hot, but for Dimarzio, Red is the hot wire.

Button it up and you're done...

I included both wiring diagrams for seymour and Dimarzio, but seymour's is so much cleaner, you'll be able to do it with no problem, just some hot iron skillz and you're done.

cheers,
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drgordonfreeman View Post
I have an American Standard Stratocaster with one humbucker and two single-soil pickups.

I currently have two Seymour Duncan Hot Rails in for the single coils, and I want to put in a DiMarzio Decativator X in the bridge humbucker slot.

The problem is, I cannot find a wiring diagram for this sort of thing to save my life.

Every time I try to put in the DiMarzio in with the Hot Rails, the sound goes all crazy. I mean, it works, but the selector switch does not work properly. If I keep the original Fender humbucker in with the Hot Rails, then everything works and sounds great. I am not sure what I am doing wrong.

I currently have the DiMarzio as such: black and white soldered together and taped off; green and bare to ground; red to the bridge slot on the selector switch.

Can anyone please help me out!

Thanks.

Last edited by Guitarwiz2k; 06-08-2010 at 06:46 AM. Reason: Added Super 5-Way Switch
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Unread 06-08-2010, 01:15 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guitarwiz2k View Post
I love sinarios like this, so see if this helps you...

This is the wiring diagram for 3 hotrails and a 5 way switch for the strat. For your guitar, the only difference is, for the bridge pickup, you have a Dimarzio humbucker instead of a single coil, and on top of that, Dimarzio and Seymour Duncan wiring are a little different.

This is just in case you have the strat super 5-way switch, just use this wiring diagram instead of the one above, then change the black and red wire order for the Dimarzio

For the Dimarzio wiring diagram, simply flip the order of the black and red wire. For Seymour Duncan, black is hot, but for Dimarzio, Red is the hot wire.

Button it up and you're done...

I included both wiring diagrams for seymour and Dimarzio, but seymour's is so much cleaner, you'll be able to do it with no problem, just some hot iron skillz and you're done.

cheers,
Craig
Wow!!! Thanks for all of the information! I decided to try to wire in the DiMarzio. I figured it's wrong to shy away from a challenge, even for a newbie, such as me.

For the DiMarzio wiring diagram, would this work better? http://www.dimarzio.com/media/diagrams/B2.pdf
The only problem with that wiring diagram is that I don't have a 24-pin switch like that. I have the type of switch shown in the Seymour Duncan wiring diagram that only has 8 pins? Dirtdog mentioned above that I would need the 24-pin switch in order to make the DiMarzio and Seymour Duncans work together properly. So I guess, the moral of the story is, if I want to wire the DiMazio and Seymour Duncan pickups together, I will need a different switch?
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Unread 06-08-2010, 02:04 PM   #6
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Since it seems you're using the super 5-way switch, just follow the seymour Duncan wiring diagram exactly... Then for the Dimarzio, just reverse the black and red wires. This setup is if you have one volume and two tones.

Follow this wiring diagram if you only have one volume and one tone. But still, when it comes to the Dimarzio pickup, reverse the placement of the red and black wire.

(((( Both Diagrams are for the selector switch with only 8 polls on it. Just follow those diagrams and as mentioned, when it comes to the Dimarzio, swap the order of the black and red wire. ))))

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Originally Posted by drgordonfreeman View Post
Wow!!! Thanks for all of the information! I decided to try to wire in the DiMarzio. I figured it's wrong to shy away from a challenge, even for a newbie, such as me.

For the DiMarzio wiring diagram, would this work better? http://www.dimarzio.com/media/diagrams/B2.pdf
The only problem with that wiring diagram is that I don't have a 24-pin switch like that. I have the type of switch shown in the Seymour Duncan wiring diagram that only has 8 pins? Dirtdog mentioned above that I would need the 24-pin switch in order to make the DiMarzio and Seymour Duncans work together properly. So I guess, the moral of the story is, if I want to wire the DiMazio and Seymour Duncan pickups together, I will need a different switch?

Last edited by Guitarwiz2k; 06-08-2010 at 02:08 PM. Reason: Pickup Schematic Correction
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Unread 06-08-2010, 04:22 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guitarwiz2k View Post
Since it seems you're using the super 5-way switch, just follow the seymour Duncan wiring diagram exactly... Then for the Dimarzio, just reverse the black and red wires. This setup is if you have one volume and two tones.

Follow this wiring diagram if you only have one volume and one tone. But still, when it comes to the Dimarzio pickup, reverse the placement of the red and black wire.

(((( Both Diagrams are for the selector switch with only 8 polls on it. Just follow those diagrams and as mentioned, when it comes to the Dimarzio, swap the order of the black and red wire. ))))
Wow, that seems rather simple then!

By swapping the ground/hot colors on the DiMarzio, will this allow me to select bridge, split bridge and middle, middle, middle and split neck, and neck when I move the selector switch, or will it only allow bridge, bridge and middle together, middle, middle and neck together, and neck?

I'd like to be able to split the coils, but is it possible just by swapping the DiMarzio colors?
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Unread 06-08-2010, 05:16 PM   #8
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I updated wiring info, look below for updated wiring...

Last edited by Guitarwiz2k; 06-08-2010 at 05:55 PM. Reason: Deleted wrong info
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Unread 06-08-2010, 05:35 PM   #9
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I was slightly wrong about the switch, so I'll save face about the coil splitting. You will need a pushpull knob, but you can use your existing selector and do the coil split this way.

You can use the exact switch you have to get what you want. Look at this wiring diagram, and follow it exactly and you'll be set, But then ofcourse, remember the Dimarzio, swapping the order of the Black and red wire for that particular pickup.

Use this wiring diagram if you only have one volume and one tone instead, and I think you got it by now about the Dimarzio color codes. Swap the red with the black.

Quote:
Originally Posted by drgordonfreeman View Post
Wow, that seems rather simple then!

By swapping the ground/hot colors on the DiMarzio, will this allow me to select bridge, split bridge and middle, middle, middle and split neck, and neck when I move the selector switch, or will it only allow bridge, bridge and middle together, middle, middle and neck together, and neck?

I'd like to be able to split the coils, but is it possible just by swapping the DiMarzio colors?

Last edited by Guitarwiz2k; 06-08-2010 at 05:52 PM. Reason: Additional Info
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Unread 06-08-2010, 08:09 PM   #10
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Using the push pull pot is a good Idea cause sometimes its a bitch to fit the super switch in the cavity. the push pull will give you two extra options too. you can split the bridge and neck by themselves.
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Unread 06-08-2010, 09:00 PM   #11
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Yeah, with that option, you can have all 3 single coil or all three humbuckers, the only option you can't have is a mix of the two, but it's almost pointless to do that option anyway. It's a good option to have that standard strat, single coil sound or to have 3 humbuckers at the flick of a switch.

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Using the push pull pot is a good Idea cause sometimes its a bitch to fit the super switch in the cavity. the push pull will give you two extra options too. you can split the bridge and neck by themselves.
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Unread 06-08-2010, 10:05 PM   #12
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Wow, you guys are amazing.

Now, let me ask you this, and this could prove a complicated question. I think having this question answered will go a long way in my fundamental understanding of what I am doing here.

I am a newbie, so I don't quite understand what the color coded wires mean yet. Could someone explain that to me? I understand that the bare wire is for the grounding, but what does the black wire do versus the green wire versus the red wire versus etc.?
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Unread 06-08-2010, 11:14 PM   #13
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Well, most pickups are single coil or humbuckers. For singles they have 2 wires, one positive, one negative(ground)... For humbuckers, they're really 2 single coils, so if they're wired so you can have access to the wires, you get the 4 conductors. They mount the two single coils on a plate, then wrap them with the black cloth you see.

The plate holds the ground wire to ground the picups themselves. Then you have the positive and negative for each pickup. When you join two of the wires together, what you're actually doing is wiring the pickups in series, just like wiring two batteries together, positive to negative to positive then negative. Put both of those on a plate, so they share the same space, and you'll want to ground the plate too; that's where the bare wire comes from.

Oh on a side note, one pickup is usually a north polled charge, and the opposite, south polled charge. Like two magnets put together.

Humbuckers that only have 2 wires; they just join the two pickups togheter, and cut the wires off close to the pickups, and use that tape to cover it up, so you only have a hot and cold wire to deal with, and the bare wire.

I almost forgot to mention... although they only use 4 different colors, Green, White, Red and Black most of the time, the order each company uses can differ, and some comepanies even use blue instead of green, or yellow instead of white, and other combinations as well. Most pickups come with a label card to show what color does what though. So it's best to keep all the information when you get the pickup, because most of the time you'll have to refer back to it for this very situation... Which color does what.

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Originally Posted by drgordonfreeman View Post
Wow, you guys are amazing.

Now, let me ask you this, and this could prove a complicated question. I think having this question answered will go a long way in my fundamental understanding of what I am doing here.

I am a newbie, so I don't quite understand what the color coded wires mean yet. Could someone explain that to me? I understand that the bare wire is for the grounding, but what does the black wire do versus the green wire versus the red wire versus etc.?

Last edited by Guitarwiz2k; 06-08-2010 at 11:30 PM. Reason: Additional Info...
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Unread 06-09-2010, 12:52 AM   #14
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I apologize, but this is a slightly long post. Now that I have the wiring diagram I need to go with, you guys have brought up a bunch more questions!

I think I'm catching on. Maybe...

Thank you, Guitarwiz2k, for the great explanation.

In the case of a humbucker pick-up, the bare wire is the main ground wire for entire pickup. Then, the other wires are just the positive and negative wires for each single coiled wrapped as the humbucker.

As an arbitrary example:
Bare = main ground
Red = positive for first coil in humbucker
Green = negative for first coil in humbucker
Black = positive for second coil in humbucker
White = negative for second coil in humbucker

The only thing I don't get now is why is one specific wired considered the "hot" wire. Is that only in the case when you're wiring in series, but if you're wiring otherwise, then there is no single "hot" wire?

For this wiring diagram that you gave me, I will need a 250k push/pull volume pot.

It calls for two 250k tone knobs, as well. How can I find out if that's what I have on my American Standard H/S/S Stratocaster?

Lastly, and I feel really stupid for asking this, but the diagram shows a need for a .047 capacitor, which is color coded in green. I found a ton of 0.047 capacitors, and I am totally confused as to what I need. I found...

1.) Guitar Electronics Orange Drop .047 Microfarad Tone Capacitors for Guitar & Bass Guitar Parts and Diagrams

2.) Guitar Capacitor, Ceramic Disk

3.) Sprague Orange Drop .047 Capacitor 600v- low Ship - 3pk

4.) Capacitors, Wire & Jacks - Specialty Guitars



I have no idea what I am looking for....


Also, thank you guys very much for all of your help. I know you guys have no reason to help, but you do it anyway. I also know that it can become tiresome answering stupid questions for newbies, such as me, so thank you guys again for taking the time to answer my questions. I will definitely walk away smarter, and hopefully I can pass that knowledge on to a newbie in the shoes I'm in now, as well as repay the favor to you guys!!
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Unread 06-09-2010, 02:11 PM   #15
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It seems you definately got the whole wiring thing. That's pretty much how each company does their thing, and companies don't care what each other does with their own thing, which is why there are so many variations.

Quote:
Originally Posted by drgordonfreeman View Post
I apologize, but this is a slightly long post. Now that I have the wiring diagram I need to go with, you guys have brought up a bunch more questions!

I think I'm catching on. Maybe...

Thank you, Guitarwiz2k, for the great explanation.

In the case of a humbucker pick-up, the bare wire is the main ground wire for entire pickup. Then, the other wires are just the positive and negative wires for each single coiled wrapped as the humbucker.

As an arbitrary example:
Bare = main ground
Red = positive for first coil in humbucker
Green = negative for first coil in humbucker
Black = positive for second coil in humbucker
White = negative for second coil in humbucker
As far as what wire gets hot and what wire gets ground; If I remember correctly, the start of the wind gets the hot label, and the end of the winding gets the negative label; then it's repeated for the second magnet.

Now as for which company does what, the magnets are polarized by north and south polarities, so depending on which company you buy from, they may wire one to be the last in the chain before the out, or vise versa. Then you get the options for adjustable poll pieces, where each poll can be made to get closer to a string or further, for that detailed tweak.

Reversing the magnets south for north, to slightly affect the tone, or even putting less or more winds per pickup also affects tone. It all matters in giving a slew of tones to the guitar, which is why it's soooo easy to make your own, but so hard to actually get a usable tone you're after, with so many variables. But these companies have been doing it for years, some better than others, and some with quirks that people love over others.

Quote:
Originally Posted by drgordonfreeman View Post
The only thing I don't get now is why is one specific wired considered the "hot" wire. Is that only in the case when you're wiring in series, but if you're wiring otherwise, then there is no single "hot" wire?
As for the diagram, you actually can use 500k or 250k pots, you get more throw with the 500k pot, and you also get more brights since it's giving you a wider range for removing resistanc from the pickup, allowing the pickup to be as loud as it can. Most humbuckers love the 500k pot, otherwise you'll hold back the over all gain level and some highs.

Same result using it for tone... Less variation in tone, or I should say, less overall spread from dark to bright. Me, I tend to go for the 500k, but I use humbuckers in my guitar.

Since the hotrails are technically humbuckers also, I'd say you're probably better off with 500k pots for both your volumes and your tone.

Quote:
Originally Posted by drgordonfreeman View Post
For this wiring diagram that you gave me, I will need a 250k push/pull volume pot.

It calls for two 250k tone knobs, as well. How can I find out if that's what I have on my American Standard H/S/S Stratocaster?
As for the capacitors, I'm a bit gray in this area, but I'd say use whatever you have in the guitar already... It'll be find as for tone. Personally, if it were me and I didn't have any at all, I'd go for the second one in your short list... It requires the lowest voltage to be effective, which a guitar is a pretty low voltage instrument anyway.

Quote:
Originally Posted by drgordonfreeman View Post
Lastly, and I feel really stupid for asking this, but the diagram shows a need for a .047 capacitor, which is color coded in green. I found a ton of 0.047 capacitors, and I am totally confused as to what I need. I found...

1.) Guitar Electronics Orange Drop .047 Microfarad Tone Capacitors for Guitar & Bass Guitar Parts and Diagrams

2.) Guitar Capacitor, Ceramic Disk

3.) Sprague Orange Drop .047 Capacitor 600v- low Ship - 3pk

4.) Capacitors, Wire & Jacks - Specialty Guitars



I have no idea what I am looking for....


Also, thank you guys very much for all of your help. I know you guys have no reason to help, but you do it anyway. I also know that it can become tiresome answering stupid questions for newbies, such as me, so thank you guys again for taking the time to answer my questions. I will definitely walk away smarter, and hopefully I can pass that knowledge on to a newbie in the shoes I'm in now, as well as repay the favor to you guys!!
And you thought you had a long post... Talk about long winded!!! I hope it helps...
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Unread 06-09-2010, 05:11 PM   #16
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Thank you for your reply. It helped a ton!

The only thing I remember about capacitance is from my required Physics course back in college. From what I remember, the voltage rating is what the capacitor will handle total. For example, a 600 volt capacitor can store 600 volts. Anything beyond that will damage the capacitor. However, if only, say, 10 volts crosses a 600 volt capacitor, then that's perfectly fine, as well. The capacitor will "fill up" with 10 volts and will also only discharge 10 volts. Therefore, I think using a 600 volt capacitor rather than a 25 volt capacitor is more ideal in that it provides more headroom. I am not sure if this is correct, so maybe someone can correct my understanding?

I have many more questions, but I don't want to volley back and forth here, as I'm sure people are tiring of seeing this thread bumped a million times with my questions. Moreover, I'm sure you're tiring of answering these questions! Is there a book you recommend that I can read that will answer my questions?

Thank you and dirtdog for all of your help!!!
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Unread 06-09-2010, 05:15 PM   #17
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I learned most of what I know from working with a fella back in my home town years ago, but there is a book called, "The guitarists' handbook", that you may want to check into. It goes into many different areas, including pickup wiring, guitar building, chord charts, scales, and much more...

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Thank you for your reply. It helped a ton!

The only thing I remember about capacitance is from my required Physics course back in college. From what I remember, the voltage rating is what the capacitor will handle total. For example, a 600 volt capacitor can store 600 volts. Anything beyond that will damage the capacitor. However, if only, say, 10 volts crosses a 600 volt capacitor, then that's perfectly fine, as well. The capacitor will "fill up" with 10 volts and will also only discharge 10 volts. Therefore, I think using a 600 volt capacitor rather than a 25 volt capacitor is more ideal in that it provides more headroom. I am not sure if this is correct, so maybe someone can correct my understanding?

I have many more questions, but I don't want to volley back and forth here, as I'm sure people are tiring of seeing this thread bumped a million times with my questions. Moreover, I'm sure you're tiring of answering these questions! Is there a book you recommend that I can read that will answer my questions?

Thank you and dirtdog for all of your help!!!
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Unread 06-09-2010, 07:38 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Guitarwiz2k View Post
I learned most of what I know from working with a fella back in my home town years ago, but there is a book called, "The guitarists' handbook", that you may want to check into. It goes into many different areas, including pickup wiring, guitar building, chord charts, scales, and much more...
Yea, I've heard of that book before. I definitely need to buy it, then.

Thanks for all of the help!
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Unread 06-09-2010, 08:15 PM   #19
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You're very welcome... I hope to see some lovely pics of the work when you're all done.

Good Luck...

Quote:
Originally Posted by drgordonfreeman View Post
Yea, I've heard of that book before. I definitely need to buy it, then.

Thanks for all of the help!
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