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Pre-wired pickguard question (Strat).


Harmonic84

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I recently purchased a wired pickguard with three rail pickups for my MIM Fender Strat. The installation seems pretty easy, but I have a question that hopefully gets answered.

 

Everything is wired, except for three loose wires on my volume pot. One wire (gray), splits into two on the end. I am confident those are for my output. Now I have two wires left. Both are black, and on the end of one of them is a washer-thingy. Now I know one of these wires grounds to the back of my guitar on the tremelo bridge. So then what is this extra wire for that I have yet to see on any diagrams? Thank you for you help. If needed, I can provide more explaination.

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In general there are three wires to connect when installing a pre-wired pickguard on a Strat. Two are ground wires (one goes to the tremolo claw, the other to the ground on the output jack) and the other is the "hot" wire for the output jack. The two grounds will normally originate from the bottom of one of the pots. The hot wire for the jack will generally originate from one of the posts on the pots.

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Well I should have been more specific. The gray wire is a combination of two wires, and one of them is white on the end. So I think that the gray wire takes care of the output jack.

 

 

So are there actually four wires then? The combination wire that is for the hot and ground of the output jack, and then two other wires?

 

You shouldn't need any ground wires other than the one for the output jack and the one for the tremolo claw.

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So are there actually four wires then? The combination wire that is for the hot and ground of the output jack, and then two other wires?


You shouldn't need any ground wires other than the one for the output jack and the one for the tremolo claw.

 

 

Correct, technically four wires.

 

I'll be honest, I really think there is just an extra wire attached. The extra wire is soldered in the same place as the one that would solder to the tremelo claw.

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Correct, technically four wires.


I'll be honest, I really think there is just an extra wire attached. The extra wire is soldered in the same place as the one that would solder to the tremelo claw.

 

 

It sounds like it is redundant then. Perhaps it's intended for people who have a hard tail Strat rather than one with a tremolo. That way they can just put that ground wire washer around one of the bridge screws before they tighten it down in order to get the necessary bridge ground.

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It sounds like it is redundant then. Perhaps it's intended for people who have a hard tail Strat rather than one with a tremolo. That way they can just put that ground wire washer around one of the bridge screws before they tighten it down in order to get the necessary bridge ground.

 

 

I'd say you're on the right track. I should be all set. Thanks for all the help.

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I don't know why you got so many inaccurate responses to your question! (no offence intended to those folks who tried)

 

The the two black wires are grounds; the one with a washer (ring terminal) is to be screwed down against the shielding paint inside your pickup/control cavity, and the othre should be soldered to the trem claw.

 

Why connect a ground wire to the guitar body with a ring terminal? Hopefully your Strat will have a liberal coating of shielding paint (usually charcoal/grey coloured) over all of the bare wood behind your pickguard, right underneath the pickups and the controls. This layer is conductive, hence carries penetrative RF noise to ground. The ring terminal and black wire are the ground connection for this shield.

 

If the shielding paint is sorta inadequate-looking, follow the instruction here:

 

http://www.guitarnuts.com/wiring/shielding/shield3.php

 

before you attach the pickguard.

 

I recently shielded my yamaha superstrat with shielding paint, and my Strat with copper foil. It made a considerable difference to my noise level on both.

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I don't know why you got so many inaccurate responses to your question! (no offence intended to those folks who tried)


The the two black wires are grounds; the one with a washer (ring terminal) is to be screwed down against the shielding paint inside your pickup/control cavity, and the othre should be soldered to the trem claw.


Why connect a ground wire to the guitar body with a ring terminal? Hopefully your Strat will have a liberal coating of shielding paint (usually charcoal/grey coloured) over all of the bare wood behind your pickguard, right underneath the pickups and the controls. This layer is conductive, hence carries penetrative RF noise to ground. The ring terminal and black wire are the ground connection for this shield.


If the shielding paint is sorta inadequate-looking, follow the instruction here:


http://www.guitarnuts.com/wiring/shielding/shield3.php


before you attach the pickguard.


I recently shielded my yamaha superstrat with shielding paint, and my Strat with copper foil. It made a considerable difference to my noise level on both.

 

That's a great point. I wasn't even thinking about shielding. The vast majority of Strats do not have a ground wire connected to the shielding paint, however, so usually when you purchase a prewired pickguard it does not include an additional wire for that purpose. It usually just has the three wires (ground to the trem, ground to the jack, hot to the jack) and nothing else.

 

I've shielded Strat control cavities before and added that ground wire. Sometimes the difference is quite minimal, sometimes it's quite large. Can't believe I didn't think of that. :facepalm:

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