Terminal Connector

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Frequently Asked Questions...

Can I install a pickup and pick guard in a stratocaster without soldering?

I want to know if I can install a pickguard and pickups without soldering because I'm only a kid and that could be too dangerous for me.

Best Answer...


Hello! Yes, you can complete the installation without soldering, but it is not the most reliable (or preferred) method. There are two ways to accomplish this. The first way is to cut the leads of the existing pickup so that there are a few inches remaining at the termination points on the volume control housing and the pickup selector switch. Although your wiring may differ slightly, see http://www.fender.com/support/diagrams/pdfs/70SSTRAT/SD0137000APg2.pdf for an example. Depending upon the type of pickup you are installing, there should be two different-colored wires coming from the coil. Generally speaking, the red or white wire is the “hot” lead (goes to the pickup selector switch), and the black or green wire is the “ground” lead (goes to the volume control housing). If these are not mated correctly, you may not have the desired pickup output (in effect, it may be wired out-of-phase). Strip the insulation from the ends of the wires, and twist them together with the new pickup wiring. Use a short piece of electrical tape to insulate the exposed ends (folded over once, will look like a little flag), plus help hold the joint in place. Replacing the pickguard does not require any soldering, just going about it in the proper sequence. Please see my response to a similar question at http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index;_ylt=Ahsq_aC5KMGfy.EUr1rZniTty6IX;_ylv=3?qid=20080808173849AAroKFx&show=7#profile-info-VBpg372Raa for detailed instructions. The second (and more-expensive) way is to purchase a “loaded” pickguard assembly, which will still require stripping and twisting the output jack and tremelo claw wiring back together. The advantage here is that you are dealing with heavier-gage wires that can take a bit more abuse that the delicate pickup wiring. The last time I made changes to my Stratocaster wiring, I installed small “terminal” connectors on each of the output jack wires, so for the inevitable future modifications I could detach the whole pickguard assembly to work on it away from the guitar. That way, there was no chance of any solder mishaps affecting the guitar body, and the pickguard assembly can be positioned wherever is needed for modifications. Best regards, Dana