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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-27-2012, 04:32 PM Thread Starter
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Solderless pickups & other electronics

Plugs are a lovely invention. Soldering isn't much fun. Combine both axioms and it starts looking like a good idea to transition to solderless elements.

I've read claims that soldering gives you better contacts. Is there any truth to that?

Plugs work for EMG, though that's usually actives. They also work inside computers, though maybe more voltage, but besides digital data it was also used for CD-Audio, among other things. Won't it work well for passive pickups?
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-27-2012, 04:39 PM
 
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Re: Solderless pickups & other electronics

They'll work. I suspect that for a production guitar, it's more cost effective just to solder each end, rather than install plugs and have to deal with soldering AND crimping, etc. But yeah, if you were going to do a lot of pickup swaps, or change pots all the time, etc, it'd be very handy to have plugs. For most people though, who don't do a lot of swaps, it probably makes sense just to stick with soldering.

There's also the issue with plugs coming UNDONE sometimes. Not that solder joints can't also break, but maybe there's some concern about players who jump around or bang their guitars into stuff all the time (you know who you are!) causing the plugs to come apart. I'm sure you could get smaller locking plugs, but stuff happens.

Personally, I LIKE the idea of plugs, but I can also see why it hasn't become common.
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-27-2012, 04:53 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Solderless pickups & other electronics

I don't think it's a question of cost, but even if we assume it costs more, how much more, a dollar?

I don't know if shake reliability is a concern. I think EMG users are doing fine?

Even for non-pickup-switchers it could be useful. Replacing bad switches, annoying stock volume pots...

But I think those who stand to benefit the most from it, other than the players, are the pickup manufacturers. A solderless standard for pickup and other electronics could lead to more people buying and experimenting with new elements. Maybe that's where the change will start. Well, it has, with EMG, but where are the others?
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-27-2012, 05:10 PM
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Re: Solderless pickups & other electronics

As much as anything, there's the matter of going against tradition. It's simply not how an electric guitar is made, never has never will. Guitarists are notoriously slow to warm to new technologies.

The other thing that hampers the introduction of the sort of system you describe is the fact that there's no standard format for them and you end up having to solder new "brand specific" plugs onto your guitar to change pickups anyway...
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-27-2012, 05:40 PM
 
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Re: Solderless pickups & other electronics

I have not tired this but this thread made me curious as to if anyone used it or it might achieve what your looking for.

http://www.thinkgeek.com/gadgets/tools/b70c/
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-27-2012, 05:54 PM
 
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Re: Solderless pickups & other electronics

Out of curiosity, whats your age and how long have you been playing guitar?
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-27-2012, 05:57 PM
 
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Re: Solderless pickups & other electronics

Quote:
Originally Posted by jono View Post
As much as anything, there's the matter of going against tradition. It's simply not how an electric guitar is made, never has never will. Guitarists are notoriously slow to warm to new technologies.

The other thing that hampers the introduction of the sort of system you describe is the fact that there's no standard format for them and you end up having to solder new "brand specific" plugs onto your guitar to change pickups anyway...
And all of the components would have to be reengineered and the tooling for manufacturing things like the pots and jacks would have to be changed to accept plugs, etc. instead of the solder tabs. Sounds simple enough, but it'd add to the cost somewhere along the line.
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-28-2012, 01:06 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Solderless pickups & other electronics

Quote:
Originally Posted by jono View Post
As much as anything, there's the matter of going against tradition.
It's not Gibson or Fender. Surely the Ibanez crowd is more open to change? You did see a few instances of modernization from Ibanez: ZR ball bearings, EZ spring tension thumb screw, Premium-style truss rod covers.

Quote:
the fact that there's no standard format for them
EMG started anyway. And after all, it's not that a major shift. Even if you had to pay an extra for a few more parts than you'd otherwise need, I think people in the market would be interested.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TAorama View Post
And all of the components would have to be reengineered and the tooling for manufacturing things like the pots and jacks would have to be changed to accept plugs, etc. instead of the solder tabs.
Adapter kits could help too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CosmicDebris View Post
I have not tired this but this thread made me curious as to if anyone used it or it might achieve what your looking for.
http://www.thinkgeek.com/gadgets/tools/b70c/
It doesn't quite solve the modularity aspect. And it looks like the sort of thing people would be wary of in terms of reliability, even if it seems to work initially.
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-29-2012, 09:13 PM
 
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Re: Solderless pickups & other electronics

Get a Seymour Duncan Liberator volume pot installed in your guitar, and you won't have to solder your pickups again! It uses screw clamp connectors, and the only thing that needs to be soldered is the wires to the pickup selector, and maybe any additional controls you want. These connections are just as good as a good solder connection.
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-30-2012, 01:18 PM
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Re: Solderless pickups & other electronics

As much as I swap pickups out, I've considered installing plugs on them--just haven't done it yet.
It's a great idea. I don't see any sound quality issues, as long as the contacts are good.



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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-30-2012, 02:17 PM
 
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Re: Solderless pickups & other electronics

I have a terminal block in my "experimental" guitar just for trying ut new pickups No soldering and doesn't need a specific plug. But I like soldering so all my other guitars are soldered.

And soldering will always be marginally cheaper than a plug, and it shows up on manufacturers bottom line.
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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-03-2012, 05:15 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Solderless pickups & other electronics

Quote:
Originally Posted by LonePhantom View Post
Get a Seymour Duncan Liberator volume pot
That's nice. Didn't know SD were also doing something in this direction.

Quote:
Originally Posted by knalle View Post
But I like soldering so all my other guitars are soldered.
Like in what way?
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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-04-2012, 05:04 AM
 
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Re: Solderless pickups & other electronics

I like to solder, feels really down to the bone :-)
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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-05-2012, 06:02 PM
 
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Re: Solderless pickups & other electronics

I like setting up new pickups while soldering and stuff, it just feels cool!
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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-07-2012, 06:38 AM
 
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Re: Solderless pickups & other electronics

Why do Americans call it sodering when it's soldering.
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