Gibson Quick Connect Pickups Color Coding


Senior Member
Aug 25, 2012
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I grabbed a set of Gibson Quick Connect 4 conductor pickups (490R/498T) from Stratosphere and removed the connectors and prepared them for installation in a non pcb installation. For both pickups I setup the color codes as follows:
Green and White - tied together
Red - hot lead
Black and Shield to ground

This worked but in the middle position with both pickups on the pickups were out of phase. After a google or two, apparently Gibson has changed the color coding of the bridge pickup wires. So I had to change the bridge pickup color codes to:

Red and Black - tied together
White - hot lead
Green and Shield to ground

Now all is well and they sound great in the Flying V but makes no sense really, Gibson should just keep the color codes standard instead of creating more confusion! I think they changed polarity of magnet installation as its opposite polarity on the coils with screws when checked with a pickup magnet tester.

Just thought I'd post in case someone else got a deal on pickups with quick connects for a normal install and their middle position is out of phase!


Transducer Producer
Mar 11, 2009
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This has been the case in pickups removed from Gibson guitars with push/pull switches.

The reason is that the pickups are built RWRP from each other. This is so when you have both pickups in single coil mode, and you are in the middle position, there is a hum-cancelling feature.

It's the same system that Fender has been doing in the 2 and 4 position of Strats for decades.

FWIW, you could have also kept them wired with the same colors as each other, as you first had them, and just flipped the magnet in either pickup to correct the polarity (often incorrectly called "phase") in the middle position. You get the same result by swapping the electrical or magnetic direction.

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