I purchased an Alnico Mini Humbucker from ebay a couple of months ago.  It was described as the Bridge end, but I am only installing one near the neck/fingerboard.

 

Now that it's installed, and I am ready to wire it, I am left scratching my head.  The pickup has a red and a white wire, and a single ground wire which I assume to be the overall shield around the cable.  Should I treat the red wire as the neutral, and possibly even tie it to the ground wire?  I'm pretty certain it is not an active pickup, requiring external voltage.

 

I am wiring a single volume and tone pot, along with the jack.  After scanning thru some of the Seymour Duncan wiring diagrams, I did not find anything that resembled this.  Any suggestions or insight would be welcome.

 

Tags: humbucker, mini, pickup, wiring

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Dude, I just instald a humbucker out of a high end dean guitar and it only had two wires one shielded and one not shielded,yours might be active..
Solder the shield wire to the back of the volume pot off to one side. Either the red is hot or the white is. Pick one and solder it to the correct lug on the pot. Solder the other to the back of the pot away from the shield joint. Plug the guitar in and test. If it hums or low output, reverse the wires. Retest.
Don
LIke Don said, but I would just tape them on or use alligator clips while testing instead of soldering.

But anyway, maybe that extra wire is for a coil tap? In which case, both wires are hot, but one makes a humbucker and one makes it a single coil. Maybe you would just leave the single coil one not hooked up to anything?
You might use a meter to test if the braid is connected to either the white or red wires. Maybe it's just a shield.
My experience with humbuckers with a single coil tap is the pickup has three wires plus shield. All three wires then go to a three position switch to be able to switch between humbucker mode or single coil. If he were to remove the cover to the PU he would find four wires, two starts and two finishes for each seperate coil. It will appear to be one wire that connects the two coils but in four wire PU they just use different colors, hence the color coding. In a two wire hummer one has to have a start from one coil and a finish from the other coil. I perfer to solder so wires don't move and disconnect or touch something else.

Skeesix said:
LIke Don said, but I would just tape them on or use alligator clips while testing instead of soldering.

But anyway, maybe that extra wire is for a coil tap? In which case, both wires are hot, but one makes a humbucker and one makes it a single coil. Maybe you would just leave the single coil one not hooked up to anything?
Red looks hot (+) and white is (-) with the bare to be GND to me BUT... Try what has been suggested. One good way is to play and if the song comes out in reverse or the notes are backwards, you have the wires reversed*.

I think a tap coil has at least 4 wires (North Start, North Finish, South Start, South Finish) but I could be off by a mile. The one I bought that is 'tapable' has 5 (one is bare ground).

-WY

* That was a joke
LOL Wes Yates.

If you don't have alligator clips like Skeesix suggested use electrical tape. Tape the red our white wire around the indented place at the end of a guitar cord plug. Make sure no wire goes beyond the spacer. Tape the other wire to the shaft. Tap the pickup with something metal. I'm thinking your going to get a sound with either
wire. Go with the one that's louder. The loose wires are always a shielding for the cable itself. Magnetic pickups create an RMF field. The ground around the red and white wires ( loose wires ) helps to shield against that.

One thing to note. Because the pickup is mounted directly to the body you'll have some feedback issues. Most modern pickups are suspended to keep the body vibrations down. But either way it's a cool pickup! GReat find dude!
Thanks for all the replies. I can always count on the Nation.

I tried Pauls experiment with the electrical tape guitar cord. Looks like white will be my hot side and red will be tied to Ground.

I'll report back later, especially if any of the notes come out backwards.
Turns out both wires are hot. Red alone takes advangage of both coils, while white alone is a single coil operation, or what Steward Mcdonald calls a "coil cut". Here is the description from the stewmac website:

Golden Age humbucking pickups use two balanced magnetic coils together to cancel noisy interference in your guitar’s sound. For added versatility, you can also wire them so they are switchable between humbucking and single-coil operation (a “coil cut”).

To wire the pickup as a standard humbucker, the red wire is hot and the bare wire is connected to ground. Tape off the white wire so it won’t come into contact with other wires or components.

For a “coil cut,” use a mini toggle switch or push/pull pot. When wiring a mini toggle according to the diagram, the lever in the down position will give full humbucking output. When switched up, the north or “slug” polepiece coil will be cut and the adjustable polepiece coil will be active.

If you use the diagram for wiring a push/pull pot you may wish to swap the red and white wires. This will give a coil-cut function when the pot’s shaft is pulled up.



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