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Thread: Help with wiring IB-5 pickups

  1. #1
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    Help with wiring IB-5 pickups

    Howdy,

    This is my 2nd bass build, my first using a Pitbull kit. I'm building the 5-string bass kit, IB-5. I'm having difficulty with the wiring of the pickups. I am just trying to wire them up like in the diagram. I am using this diagram: https://www.pitbullguitars.com/wp-co...s/pdf/IB-5.pdf

    In the diagram it has a black line coming from the pickups, and going to the center pole of the volume pot. (I don't have a lot of experience with wiring diagrams, so pardon me if I use the wrong terminology). Next to this black line are the words "Hot wire (white)".

    There are both black and white wires coming out of the pickups themselves.

    So in the real world, do I solder the black wire to that center pole, or the white wire? The diagram shows a black line, but then it says white.

    I have soldered everything up, with the white wire being soldered to the center pole. And it's not working at all for me. I've got my multi-tester, and have tested the ground wires to all the pots, and it all checks out. So I'm thinking maybe I should un-solder the white wires and replace them with the black wire soldered to the center pole of the volume pots.

    Thought I would ask here first, before I start unsoldering. Maybe I've missed some other crucial step.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    GAStronomist Simon Barden's Avatar
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    Hi and welcome.

    Can you upload a picture of your pickup wires? (pics need to be less than 1500 pixels on the longest side and under 1MB in size so you'll probably need to resize them, or else host elsewhere and provide a link).

    The kit pickup wires change over time, so the diagrams are now often indicative, rather than fully factual in all details.

    The pickups will either have
    a) one central wire (hot/signal wire) with an outer braided screen (screen connects to ground/back of a pot) or
    b) four coloured wires and an outer braided screen. You should find that one coloured wire should be soldered to the braided screen, two other wires are twisted and soldered together (and hopefully then insulated with some heat-shrink) and one single coloured wire on its own. This single wire is the hot/signal cable which goes to the relevant volume pot lug. The braided screen+coloured wire pair get grounded on a pot back, and the other pair remain unconnected.

    Hopefully that still means you've wired the pickups correctly.

    If so, it's possible you've got the output wired to the wrong connection on the barrel jack socket. If so, tbe signal from the pickups will get grounded when you plug a jack in. Unlike open jack sockets, they only seem to make barrel jack sockets in a TRS/'stereo' format, and the tip and ring connections aren't obvious as to which is which. It is also possible that you may have a loose strand of wire that is touching another of the tabs on the barrel socket and grounding the output. It doesn't take much.

  3. #3
    Hi!

    i just built the 4 string version of this, the barrel jack it comes with is really bad, i would strongly advise to buy a switch-craft one,

    its a little confusing as to which is ground and tip etc on the barrels, hopefully this pic will help..

    Click image for larger version. 

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  4. #4
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    Click image for larger version. 

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    I've attached a photo of current wiring.
    Pot at top (12 o'clock) is bridge volume.
    Pot at right (3 o'clock) is bridge tone.
    Pot at bottom (6 o'clock) is neck tone.
    Pot at left ( 9 o'clock) is neck volume.
    Both of the volume pots have one of the poles soldered to the shell of the pot. It's the pole on the right, #3 as we're looking at them.
    I didn't think to change how I had them positioned, so they would be more inline with the wiring diagram till just now, actually.
    The braid of wires coming out of the pickups, I've only used one white wire and one ground wire.
    The red, green and black aren't used. (Could be part of the problem?)

  5. #5
    With the 5 wire pickups you need to solder together the 2 unused wires and tape them up,

    Iím not certain on which wires are what here (Simon explained it above I think) but you should only have 2 unused ones and another one goes to ground as well

  6. #6
    GAStronomist Simon Barden's Avatar
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    At the moment, three out of the four coloured wires arenít connected at all. Hence no sound. What I donít know are which the correct wire colours to solder to what.

    We need someone who knows how the pickup colours go.

  7. #7
    This is my guess.
    Green and red soldered together,
    black is the hot
    white and bare is ground

  8. #8
    GAStronomist Simon Barden's Avatar
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    According to this post, https://www.buildyourownguitar.com.a...l=1#post208393
    the black will be the hot signal, green and the braid shield should be wired together to the back of a pot and red and white twisted and soldered together and the joint insulated and not connected to anything.

    There are many ways to connect up the wires, and as long as all 4 of the coloured wires are connected somehow (just not all to ground) then youíll get some sort of output from the pickup. But it may just be from one coil, or the two coils in parallel rather than in series as intended.

    Iíd try the above wiring on one pickup first and see what it sounds like.

  9. #9
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    Thanks very much gents! Your advice has fixed my pickup wiring issues. @simon barden's post "the black will be the hot signal, green and the braid shield should be wired together to the back of a pot and red and white twisted and soldered together and the joint insulated and not connected to anything." is what I used to resolve it.

    I am going to replace the output jack, that is an excellent suggestion @barry snook.

    There's still a lot of work left before it's completed, but I would never have figured out the wiring on my own.

    Thanks again!

  10. #10
    GAStronomist Simon Barden's Avatar
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    No problem and glad you've got it working. As a result of this thread I know that the kit 4-wire pickups should follow the Seymour Duncan wiring convention, which makes it easy to point others to the SD wiring diagrams if necessary and they don't have to swap the wire colours over.

    If you haven't ordered one yet, then I'd suggest considering a Pure Tone barrel jack over a Switchcraft one. The Pure Tone barrel jack has duplicated contacts inside, keeping the jack more firmly held and less likely for the jack to wear out as quickly. Those barrel jacks are useful when you've got a thin guitar body and you haven't got the space for a standard jack, but they aren't as robust as a standard jack socket. The Pure Tone jack sockets should stay crackle-free a lot longer than the Switchcraft one (though the Switchcraft ones are certainly good and much better than the kit ones).

    I've swapped to using the open chassis Pure Tone jacks on all my guitars and basses.

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