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Thread: Swapping bridge pickup in Cutlass SSS

  1. #1

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    Swapping bridge pickup in Cutlass SSS

    Just took receipt of my new Cutlass and boy is it an exquisite guitar (routed for an HSS configuration too, which is neat and adds to the versatility). Now, I used it with the loud band last night and thought for some upcoming shows I'd the bridge pickup for a JB Jr. I have on hand.

    I contacted support and they said it wouldn't harm the electronics to hook it up, and the hot and ground is clearly labeled on the circuit board, but there's also a third wire coming from the EB pickups that goes to a point reading "PHA." Now, I'm wondering if anyone here has swapped their pickups in the Cutlass, and how I should go about wiring it.

    The JB Jr. is a four-conductor, so I could wire it as a normal humbucker with the two coil leads soldered and taped, but I was wondering if that that PHA has something to do with the 4th position coil sound. Not entirely sure and neither was customer service.

    TL;DR - How do I wire a JB Jr. (temporarily) in the bridge position of the Cutlass?

    Attached is the wiring diagram.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Swapping bridge pickup in Cutlass SSS-capture-jpg  

  2. #2

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    I haven't seen one up close, but my assumption is that the Grey/outside wire is the shield, which always stays grounded. The ground wire of the pickup (I'm assuming Green in this case) is what's wired to the Silent Circuit, which imparts an out-of-phase noise signal to the pickup, which cancels out the hum. (You could easily test this to find out.)

    If you're going to wire in a humbucking bridge pickup, you don't want it wired to the Silent Circuit, or it'll introduce noise where there wasn't any. In which case just wire the ground wire to ground, and leave the wires between the coils joined.

    If you want to wire it up to split when in parallel with the middle, in that position you would use the silent circuit to effectively ground the point where the coils meet, and introduce the out-of-phase noise so as to reduce the hum. (I do this in other guitars, it works well.) But - if you're going to do this, you'll need a different lever switch- one with 5 distinct lugs and multiple poles (a super switch ... MM sells one that they use on other guitars).

    It's more involved, but not that difficult. (I recently rewired an Albert Lee with rail pickups and an older version of the Silent Circuit in this same config.)

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