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Thread: New to Music man. Valentine pickup question.

  1. #1

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    New to Music man. Valentine pickup question.

    Hello all,
    I'm pretty new to Music Man guitars and I'm Very interested in the Valentine signature guitar.
    I play heavy rock/Metal and I have questions about the Valentine electronics.
    I'd like to put a different bridge pup in, namely a Dimarzio Dominion or a Duncan Black Winter.
    can I just install it as normal?
    will the gain boost have a negative effect? can it be bypassed?
    Will I end up having to totally gut the electronics to change things up?

  2. #2

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    I have two Valentines. I love the stock pickups and have them on my buttermilk Valentine but, for variety, I modded the pickups on the other black one so that it now sports a Bare Knuckle VHII humbucker set with chrome covers. I kept all of the stock electronics, namely the boost, neck pickup coil tap, and silent circuit. Everything works exactly as before except in positions 1 and 2 of the selector switch, I have a series humbucker in the bridge position. It combines with either the neck pickup in hum bucking mode or one tapped coil from the neck pickup.

    I just de-soldered and re-soldered 8 connections: 5 wires from the neck pickup and 3 from the bridge. If you are only swapping out the bridge pickup, it will be three solder connections.

    You will need a high quality fine tip soldering iron to remove the wires from the existing pickup and to solder the wires from the new pickup. There is not a lot of room to work with on the circuit board.

    You will want to ensure that the hot (+) wire from the replacement pickup solders to the same place as the hot (+) wire from the stock pickup and that the ground (-) wires from the replacement pickup solders to the same place as the ground (-) wires from the stock pickup. The only somewhat tricky part was determining the functions of each wire since the color coding can vary across manufacturers. A quick internet search will get you the color codes for all of the major pickup brands including DiMarzio and Duncan, but the Valentine pickups are made in-house by Music Man. My multimeter testing revealed the following:

    Valentine Neck Pickup
    Green: ground (-) from screw coil
    white: hot (+) from screw coil
    black: ground (-) from slug coil
    red: hot (+) from slug coil

    Valentine Bridge Pickup
    red: hot (+)
    white: ground (-)

    So, when you install your Dimarzio (or Duncan), you want to make sure that that hot wire (it may or may not be red) from your DiMarzio goes to where the red wire from the Valentine pickup went and that the ground wire (it may or may not be white) from your DiMarzio goes to where the white wire from the Valentine pickup went. The braided ground wires (5th wire from a humbucker and 3rd wire from a single coil) obviously will go to the same places. The remaining two wires from your Dimarzio must be soldered together (you will not be able to tap the individual coils on the bridge humbucker if you choose to leave all the other electronics stock). DiMarzios come with detailed instructions, so, once you have established the correspondences between the functions of the different manufactures' wire colors, you should be fine.

    Finally, find the bridge pickup silent circuit rotary control on the circuit board and turn it fully counter clockwise, otherwise it will generate hum. You will not need hum-reduction on the new bridge pickup, because it will be humbucking!

    Music Man was kind enough to supply me with a wiring diagram for the Valentine, although in the end it was not necessary for the simple operation that I performed. For my purposes, and presumably yours, you just need to make a note of where each colored wire coming from each pickup goes. They may even provide the information about the functions of the wire colors, but my Bare Knuckle pickups arrived on a Saturday and I was anxious to do the swap and couldn't wait till the following Monday to ask. I had fun geeking out with the multi meter.
    Last edited by agt; 04-05-2018 at 07:24 PM.
    "The more of our stuff you have the more awesomely freaky you become." -- BP

  3. #3

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    Wow!! You are amazing!
    Thank you so much!

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