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Thread: Installing new wire on McCarty pickups?

  1. #1
    Junior Member AndyK's Avatar
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    Installing new wire on McCarty pickups?

    My McCarty 4-conductor wired pickups are a mess - that wire mesh ground doesn't like me, and I need to re-wire the pickups with longer fresh wire.

    How hard is that to do, once I am able to get the covers off the pickups? I am guessing there are 4 connections, one for each color including the ground?
    '94 McCarty
    '02 R8 Les Paul
    '85 Jackson Soloist
    '09 Charvel USA San Dimas

  2. #2
    Opaque John Beef's Avatar
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    I have added split wires to SE pickups but never a total rewire of a traditional humbucker. Those little wires in there are tough to get to and very fragile. I never had the stones to try it out. If you've never done it before, I wouldn't necessarily try it out on your favorite pickups... get some SE pickups or similar budget models and experiment with those.

    The only pickup I ever rewired entirely was this Anderson one where the lead locations are exposed on the bottom, so it's super easy to work on. Afterward I never mounted it in anything. Maybe I'll try it out in my Santana SE.

    The Bovine Fury <-- stream and download our album "Eleven by Twelve" for free.
    05 Custom 22 with DGT pickups ~ 07 Mira with old birds ~ 08 SE Baritone Fralin/Suhr pickups ~ 03 SE Santana

  3. #3
    Junior Member AndyK's Avatar
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    I imagine finding something like your photo when I remove the cover and bottom plate - no? The PRS skinny wires really annoy me - my Duncan humbuckers are currently in my McCarty - night and day easier to wire in!
    '94 McCarty
    '02 R8 Les Paul
    '85 Jackson Soloist
    '09 Charvel USA San Dimas

  4. #4
    Opaque John Beef's Avatar
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    No, I'm sorry, that Anderson is not the typical humbucker. I was only showing it to demonstrate how much easier that particular one was to work on than a typical humbucker. If they were only all designed that way, things would be much easier!!

    The inside of a McCarty pickup will look sort of like this when you take the bottom plate off:



    This is the inside of a HFS but the McCarty is constructed the same way, especially if yours is a 4 conductor version. You'll have to remove the magnet, spacers and the tape around the coils. Each coil will separate from the other, so it can get out of hand quickly.

    I haven't gone this far so I don't have pictures, but at this point you'll have each coil and each one should have two wires coming off it, which should be attached to the main lead wire, and from there you can figure out how to replace the lead wire. But I'm telling you, if you have your doubts about doing this, please don't ruin your good humbucker.

    The best resource on the Internet for modifying pickups is the Seymour Duncan official forum. I would suggest doing a lot of reading over there and figuring out how to do these things and then once again, practicing on some cheapies like SE pickups or some old Epiphones or going down to your local repair shop and asking what sort of no-name budget humbuckers they have left over from repair jobs that you could buy to work on.
    The Bovine Fury <-- stream and download our album "Eleven by Twelve" for free.
    05 Custom 22 with DGT pickups ~ 07 Mira with old birds ~ 08 SE Baritone Fralin/Suhr pickups ~ 03 SE Santana

  5. #5
    Junior Member AndyK's Avatar
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    Thanks for the photo. Not worth saving my pickups.
    Last edited by AndyK; 05-12-2013 at 01:03 PM.
    '94 McCarty
    '02 R8 Les Paul
    '85 Jackson Soloist
    '09 Charvel USA San Dimas

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