P90 Pickups for Wildkat?

Azathoth

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Suddenly getting the wiring harness in and out through an f hole is a breeze that takes a couple of minutes, in the first time ever in talking about the subject, and every discussion on Wildkats on this forum reaching back years is moot and everyone who upgraded their pups wasted their time and money, despite everyone being aware of the PDF.

Getting all the parts and rebuilding the harness from scratch is also child's play, because everyone was born an electrical engineer with a soldering iron in one hand. Anyone who doesn't find this innately elementary should be talked down to or dismissed.
 

Brians Evil Twin

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Suddenly getting the wiring harness in and out through an f hole is a breeze that takes a couple of minutes, in the first time ever in talking about the subject, and every discussion on Wildkats on this forum reaching back years is moot and everyone who upgraded their pups wasted their time and money, despite everyone being aware of the PDF.

Getting all the parts and rebuilding the harness from scratch is also child's play, because everyone was born an electrical engineer with a soldering iron in one hand. Anyone who doesn't find this innately elementary should be talked down to or dismissed.
They typically come out and go back in through the pickup cavities, not the f-holes but I'll overlook that. But I take umbrage with the "soldering iron" reference, everyone knows guitarists are born with a Weller WES51 variable wattage soldering station in one hand and a Peterson AutoStrobe in the other.

Anywho, here's a cheap Asian wiring harness I pulled out through the neck pickup cavity all in one piece, not even one wire had to be disconnected, took roughly ten minutes:



Here is the new harness, built identically (with CTS pots, braided cable, orange drop, Switchcraft jack, master volume) took about an hour.



Here is the empty geetar:



Here is the final result:



FWIW, I recommended to the client that he live with the stock pickups for awhile and decide whether it was worth it to by a new set of Filtertrons.

It's been about 6 weeks and not a peep.
 

Azathoth

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They typically come out and go back in through the pickup cavities, not the f-holes but I'll overlook that.

But I take umbrage with the "soldering iron" reference, everyone knows guitarists are born with a Weller WES51 variable wattage soldering station in one hand and a Peterson AutoStrobe in the other.
There's youtube videos of luthiers using the f holes exclusively. This method is discussed up thread. :rolleyes:
 

Brians Evil Twin

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There's youtube videos of luthiers using the f holes exclusively. This method is discussed up thread. :rolleyes:
I know those videos, and I'm saying that it's a myth.
Even semis usually have a huge pass through from the bridge pup cavity



vs.



or



or





I know from experience, not PDFs or web tutorials.
Take the damn pickups out and see for yourself!





I'm also saying that if you're going to take the guitar apart and replace the wiring, why not throw in some nice pots and a quality cap?
You're already in there, and while they may not improve the sound, they feel much smoother and will likely last longer.

The bottom line is, a lot of Epi (and other) pickups get a bad rap due to cheap harness parts - switches, jacks, wire, etc.

But if you like flushing money down the toilet, go ahead and swap the pickups out first - aftermarket pickup mfrs are happy to to take your money.
 

notjoeaverage

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I'll be gutting my Wildcat in the next week or two, changing wiring to shielded pushback wire, pots to CTS 500k Vintage Audio Taper 7% tolerance and caps to .033uf/200v K40Y-9 - Vintage Russian - Paper in Oil.

The only thing I have to record with is a Sony Camcorder but I can do a before and after with a review, but I can already state that it will sound better without having done it, but if there is enough interest I'd be willing to just change the wiring and then change everything else to give us 3 versions to go by.
 

Brians Evil Twin

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I'll be gutting my Wildcat in the next week or two, changing wiring to shielded pushback wire, pots to CTS 500k Vintage Audio Taper 7% tolerance and caps to .033uf/200v K40Y-9 - Vintage Russian - Paper in Oil.

The only thing I have to record with is a Sony Camcorder but I can do a before and after with a review, but I can already state that it will sound better without having done it, but if there is enough interest I'd be willing to just change the wiring and then change everything else to give us 3 versions to go by.
That would be highly informative. Keep a stopwatch running, the PDF says three hours, that sounds about right.
 

Azathoth

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I know those videos, and I'm saying that it's a myth.
Even semis usually have a huge pass through from the bridge pup cavity

I know from experience, not PDFs or web tutorials.
Take the damn pickups out and see for yourself!

I'm also saying that if you're going to take the guitar apart and replace the wiring, why not throw in some nice pots and a quality cap?
You're already in there, and while they may not improve the sound, they feel much smoother and will likely last longer.

The bottom line is, a lot of Epi (and other) pickups get a bad rap due to cheap harness parts - switches, jacks, wire, etc.

But if you like flushing money down the toilet, go ahead and swap the pickups out first - aftermarket pickup mfrs are happy to to take your money.
Good info. Thanks for that.

If I were replacing the wiring, I'd replace everything and build the new harness from scratch. Someone, I believe here, made someone a new harness for a kat which the person bought from them. Sorry I can't be more specific. Using a pre-built harness is most likely the only way I'd attempt it.
 

Brians Evil Twin

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It was probably Jonesy or MSSC.

They can both make these kinds of harnesses, they are the same layout as Gretsch 5120s.

Expect to pay about $130 + shipping with +/-9% CTS pots, braided push-back wire, paper-in-oil caps etc.

You can make one yourself for about half that if you have the tools and time.
 

Biddlin

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... It doesn't have much grittiness and clarity that you associate with a P90...
Well, I have a Wildkat and I must say, that is not one of its issues. First, are you familiar with the master tone and volume controls? Wide open 10 volume is brutal on the overwound pickups. Going to a milder wind is not the most economical or even the most efficient route one might choose. Utilising the master and pickup volume knobs, changing by small increments, you should be able to achieve your target grittiness and clarity.
;>)/
 

SessionGuy

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Hello Guys, I'm the author of the Wildkat article! Some of you seem to be confused about how well the re-wiring upgrade works... so here's an independent video by US guitarist, Walker Gibson. As far as I know, all the guitar's other components are original factory fitted parts still, inc. the pickups. Hope this helps you 'see the light', so as to speak. :) https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=jH4ZdxO9RsY
 

SessionGuy

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Total capacitance:

The total value of 22,940 mentioned is incorrect. That value assumes the Tone pots is set to full on (least treble) all the time. Usually we all play with the TONE off (max treble), so then only the wiring capacitance affects the tone - 940pf (neck PU).

Fitting 'fancy' caps is not at all advantageous either. Film/foil caps are inductive and can cause RFI pickup, inc' radio stations too! Mostly a problem in many parts of America it seems. Best to use CERAMIC caps as they are non inductive... the very reason they were used in the first place by Leo et al! Retro fitting orange drops or similar will NOT improve the tone! Sadly!
 

SessionGuy

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Pennyman

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Good info. Thanks for that.

If I were replacing the wiring, I'd replace everything and build the new harness from scratch. Someone, I believe here, made someone a new harness for a kat which the person bought from them. Sorry I can't be more specific. Using a pre-built harness is most likely the only way I'd attempt it.

Wow, am I ever late to this party... Is Azathoth even still around?

Anyway, I can personally attest to the fact that changing the wiring harness makes a big difference to the overall sound, even when retaining the stock pups. And going through the f-hole, while daunting, is doable, even for a first-time guitar-modder. Ask me how I know. :wave:

Now, all that being said, I would consider having the bridge pup re-wound / rebuilt if it were feasible. I wouldn't want the plastic covered P-90s, 'cause the chrome is what makes the Wildkat so badass.



Oh, and if Azathoth is still around, MLP member Jonesy did my wiring harness. Money well spent.
 

Azathoth

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Wow, am I ever late to this party... Is Azathoth even still around?

Anyway, I can personally attest to the fact that changing the wiring harness makes a big difference to the overall sound, even when retaining the stock pups. And going through the f-hole, while daunting, is doable, even for a first-time guitar-modder. Ask me how I know. :wave:

Now, all that being said, I would consider having the bridge pup re-wound / rebuilt if it were feasible. I wouldn't want the plastic covered P-90s, 'cause the chrome is what makes the Wildkat so badass.



Oh, and if Azathoth is still around, MLP member Jonesy did my wiring harness. Money well spent.
Hello. I'm not sure if bumping this old thread is acceptable here, but I bought a wiring harness for $60 here. Huge, huge difference.
 


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