Now that I've confessed and suitably admonished myself, I has got a questy-onie.

When I bought the wiring harness the listing said it was for single pickup guitars. Why can't I use it for two pickups though? I mean, I know it hasn't got a pickup selector or anything but, if I don't mind adjusting them both with the same volume and tone pots (both a500k pots with weird looking capacitors on each and a solderless connector for the pickup) why can't I use two pickups on it? I'm building a telecaster style guitar and to my (limited) knowledge they always have two pickups? 

I'd appreciate any help on this and, as always, really appreciate your time in helping me out.

Have a great day/evening all!


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You can wire the pickups in series and they would always be on. You can add a switch or blend pot if you want to use one pickup at a time.,.,skies the limit .,.,Telecasters do have a selector switch.,.,.,

Thanks Jerry. I'm not sure what "wiring the pickups in series" means. Does that just mean, as you went on to say, they're wired together to both always be on rather than switchable?

Thanks for the comment and help. Good to know that I don't have to settle for one pickup!

Series wiring with 2 pickups as an example, would be the black wire of one pickup connected to the white wire of the other pickup, and the other 2 wires would be + and - .... Parallel wiring as an example would be the black and white wires tied together, one side being + and the other - ....
Hard to answer from my phone,.,. Better explanations tomorrow,.,,

Thanks for explaining, Jerry. I think I understand from what you said and I think I'll try this series wiring that you recommended. Thanks again. Much appreciated :o)

There's a couple of ways to do it.

You could add a switch between the pickup and volume pot, add another pickup wired to the switch and switch back to volume.

Get another pickup and harness and splice into the jack lead using the volume pots as on/off.

Another pickup to 2nd volume spliced into the harness at the tone pot like a Fender Jazz Bass.

Or use the blend pot. This group has schematics and Seymour Duncan site has many wiring schemes on their site as well. The visual aid may help you understand it better.

Thanks for the help, Paul. I'm steering clear of adding more electrics as much as possible because a) the wiring rig wasn't cheap and b) I'd likely just muck it up lol. I think I'm going to try the wiring in series, if I do add two pickups to the build. I've bought a lot of pretty expensive parts for this build and it's the first ever build of its kind for me so trying to decide which way to go about things. I may well use your method at a later date though so thanks again!

I'm now thinking of buying a preloaded Tele plate with the selector switch in the rigging and using the harness I've already got for a lapsteel or something else at a later date. Buying the rigs isn't cheap but I don't own a soldering iron, don't know how to solder and don't much fancy my chances of doing a decent job with how shaky my arms are becoming. Those could be excuses though, I haven't decided yet lol.

Thanks again and have a great day. Much appreciated :o)

2 pickups in series needs to have 1 of the 2 pickups to be reverse wind/ reverse polarity(RWRP) from the other to work.

If that's not the case, you can swap the +/- wires to reverse the wind direction, But you may have to flip the pickup's magnet over to achieve reverse polarity. That's if you can get to the magnet. Some pickups have individual poles that would need to be flipped and that is hard to do without tearing up the pickup in some cases.

In some cases, you can get away without flipping the magnet polarity.The pickups need to be as far away from each other as possible(1 neck and 1 bridge).

So You need a pickup that is RWRP from the one you already have. Example would be you have a bridge or neck pickup for a Strat, then you would need a middle Strat pickup that is RWRP to wire in series or parallel. I'll help if you need it. LOL

This is a typical humbucker. Bottom coil is wound CW with a South Pole magnet, upper coil is wound CCW with North pole magnet.

If you separate the coils into singles, you can have 2 identical pickups if they are placed in neck and bridge(Early Tele's and P90 Gibsons). Using them in Parallel gives a thin out of phase tone, wiring them in series would sound awlful. Series requires a RWRP coil like the humbucker. Hope that helps instead of confusing you more.

This is confusing for 7am lol. I didn't know any of what you just mentioned so thank you for saying.

So, I've got a neck Tele and bridge Tele pickup that I bought together and I BELIEVE came off the same guitar (they're used pickups). Would those likely fit the requirements for wiring in series? How can I tell if one is bass-ackwards or not?

How far apart they're going to be is probably not much different than they would be on a factory made Tele (if my measurements don't fail me). Is any of this sounding remotely promising or should I just sod it all and stick to the one Tele bridge pickup in the bridge plate? Haha.

With Tele pickups, Some are RWRP(Later versions). But there's a problem with the neck pickups ground wire is usually connected to the pickups cover and the bridge pickups ground is connected to the base plate. This makes switching wires to reverse wind direction hard to do and hard to wire for series.

This sometimes requires separating the pickup coils ground wire from the cover ground for the neck pickup or from the base plate of the bridge pickup. 

It sounds difficult, but it can be achieved. Strat pickups are so much easier. Tele pickups can sound better though.

If you decide to do it,I'll walk you through it.

Thanks Paul. I'll have a think and may take up your really, REALLY generous offer of a walk through should I decide I want to add a second pickup so badly. Here I was thinking I was making my life easier!

I've just been on eBay and found a Tele rig with five way switching that gives two extra tones to the usual three from two pickups? Something about Fender quack and also a brighter tone for lead thanks to a capacitor. It's £32 with postage but I'm going to consider that too and keep the simple, single pickup, rig I've got now for a lapsteel maybe.

Thanks again for your time in helping me out. I want you to know that I really do appreciate it.

No problem.


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