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Thread: No Green Wire?

  1. #1

    No Green Wire?

    Looking for a bit of help please. I've just bought a second hand Korean Epiphone Gold Top for another upgrade project which had been converted from it's original P90's to humbuckers. Neck pickup is a Mighty Mite (Dimarzio?) braided ground and single hot which is showing just under 13 on the multimeter which I may re-use on it or something else.

    The bridge pickup is a puzzle though as it's unbranded. There's a braided outer wire and then red, black and white. Taking the cover off it looks like someone may have hooked out the green wire. I can post a photo but in case there's no need here's how it's wired. One line of slugs has the black at one end an a short white cable at the other which is also connected to the red at the end of the other line of slugs next to it. At the other end of that line is a longer white. To summarise, the braided outer has inside it black, white, red all connected to three of the four poles on the pickup itself but then there's a short white on the fourth pole connected to the red one.

    I've connected a multimeter and the readings are as follows:

    When one clip connected to black and the other to white 13.35
    " " red " " " 6.51
    " " " " " black 6.78
    " " red/white combined the other to black 6.78

    Basically all I need to know is it usable in this form and if so how do I go about wiring it up again, needless to say I didn't take photos before removing all the electrics and also it wasn't working while in the guitar as the red had been cut so I've no idea how it sounds.



  2. #2
    GAStronomist Simon Barden's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Reading, UK
    Mighty Mite is a separate company to Dimarzio. They produced lower-cost replacement pickups starting a few years after Dimarzio came out the with the Super Distortion and the PAF and made replacement pickups popular. I had some Mighty Mites I fitted to an Ibanez ST55. Not bad sounding pickups. Both companies are still going, but Mighty Mite are now better known for replacement bodies and necks.

    Your mystery pickup may well be a Dimarzio Dual Sound, basically a Super Distortion with an extra coil-split wire. They originally had red, black and white 3-wire wiring and had around a 13.3k ohm DCR.

    With a 4-wire pickup, the end of each coil winding is taken out to the end of the connecting lead, so you can chose to wire the pickup in humbucking, parallel or split coil mode (or you could select between modes with added switches). In a 3-wire pickup like this, the third wire is connected to the join between the two coils within the pickup, allowing you to coil split if wanted, but not to parallel wire the coils. Obviously if you bought the slightly more expensive Dual Sound over the Super Distortion, you'd want a single coil option.

    If you just want a humbucker, then you'd connect the black and white leads and leave the red unconnected. This is obviously what the previous owner did and why the red wire was cut back. The screen drain wire will always go to ground on the back of a pot.

    So black and white are the main wires you want, and connect the red to ground via a switch if you want a single coil sound as well; otherwise leave the red wire unconnected.

    What I can't tell you exactly is what wire (white or black) should go to ground and which should be used as the signal wire as it all depends on the polarity choice of the other pickup. If the other one is a single-wire plus braid pickup, then the braid is obviously ground, and the single wire the signal. But different manufactures have different output polarities, so there's a 50/50 chance of black being ground and white the signal and the output being 'in phase' with the output from the neck pickup, and the same chance of white being ground and black the signal and the output being 'out of phase' with the output from the neck pickup, so that you get that nasal 'Peter Green' sound with both pickups on.

    You can use a multimeter to test the polarity of the pickups:

    Or else you can wire them up and if the middle position is 'out of phase', just swap the black and white wires round.

  3. #3
    Thank you for the very informed response Simon, much appreciated. I hope you're well, I still haven't quite finished the MKA-1 !

  4. #4
    And I've found this wiring diagram with your help, the pickup is identical other than the colour.

    The plot thickens. After trawling the internet for Might Mite and Dual Sound, via other forums it appears that it's a Might Mite after all, hollow poles and now after taking it apart it's stamped on the inside of the base plate. Happy with that.
    Last edited by Mosrite Slab; 08-04-2021 at 10:47 PM.

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