Majesty 8

Question: Albert Lee Pickups/ wire harness question

Pspguitar

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Hi, I purchased a used 2017 AL HH model and the previous owner replaced the entire wire harness and pickups. I want to get the instrument back to what it was or close to what it was - same pickups 5 way switch, etc, Unfortunately EBMM support said they don't sell loaded pick guards - darn.

I'm in a bit of a jam as it is very rare that such a wire harness would be presented on an auction site.

I'm not so mechanically inclined when it comes to the soldering iron. Basic stuff I can do, but not a full wire harness with a five way switch and coil splitting etc.

Do you have any suggestions for me? DiMarzio pickup suggestions? Suggestions for who/ where I could get a wire harness, etc.

Any people build loaded pick guards for EBMM guitars. It seems most are focussed on Fender an Gibson. I'm located in Canada, but could purchase from the USA as well.

Thank for any help with this. I'm at a bit of a loss when it comes to the electronics.
 
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Pink

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Look up. Waaaaay up.
Pickguard Heaven out of the States sells aftermarket pickguards for Albert Lee guitars. Current turnaround time is about 3 weeks plus shipping etc.

L&M sells 5-way switches, both regular and superswitches. They also carry DiMarzio 500k pots. Tone Emporium sells complete wiring kits (pots, wire, switch, capacitor).

If you search DiMarzio’s website under vintage output humbucker pickups, they list quite a few that will be a good replacement for an Albert Lee. Or, for a more budget friendly option, check out Tone Emporium. They have good reviews for their humbuckers.

Most privately owned guitar shops will offer to wire a pickguard for you. Maybe not L&M since they work only on gear/items they sell.

Hope this helps a bit.
 

Pink

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Look up. Waaaaay up.
Any of DiMarzio’s PAF vintage output humbuckers will be suitable. PAF 59s, PAF Masters, PAF 36th Anniversary. They all try to replicate the late 50s/early 60s tone.
 

Pspguitar

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Thanks for the information. I will have a look. I live in a smaller town so no real techs locally to do the work unfortunately.
 

xjbebop

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Good luck finding a stock loaded p/g. (not likely...)
Pick guards and all other components are available aftermarket. EBMM will even sell you the pots & switches if you want 'factory'.
The pickups are proprietary, but once in a blue moon someone will sell a set. There are a ton of other pup's to choose from though. I've changed out a few of mine even.

Here's the factory wiring schematic... get your parts and find someone who can do the wiring properly (a qualified tech / shop...) and get 'er done!

elK9ggr.jpg
 

beej

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Do you like the current pickguard? What's wrong with the current 5-way switch? Don't swap anything you don't need to- there's really no advantage. Anything you want to change (pickguard, pots, knobs, tone cap, 5-way lever, tip for the lever) you can get from MM, any local vendor (e.g. L&M), or online.

The pickups- well that's the real challenge. If you keep an eye out you'll eventually find a set of original pickups (I've grabbed a few over the years). If you want to get close, Dimarzio says the closest sets are the AT-1 or Tone Zone (bridge) and the Air Norton (Neck). Get the covered versions. I put the AT-1/AN in a buddy's Axis a while back and they sound great.

In terms of wiring- it's really not rocket science. If you can't do it and can't find a local tech, I'm sure you could ship the parts to someone.

Whereabouts are you?
 

Pspguitar

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I live in Kamloops, BC, Canada. The entire wire harness was replaced. It currently has a three way switch with two hum buckers. I want the option of a 5 way with coil splitting. Thats not how it is set up right now. The pots are only 250's not the 500K - so very weak output. Humbuckers - but really single coils in disguise is how I would describe it.

Yes, I know what you are saying about the wiring, some more basic then other connections Ive done. I would need to purchase a better soldering iron etc...dont trust myself. Kinda just want it done haha
 

beej

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There's an L&M in Kamloops, right? Could you order all the parts and bring it to them to solder up? Shouldn't be hard for them. We can walk you through the parts order.

Otherwise, your best bet might be to find a buddy that can order the parts, assemble everything, and send it to you. (Even then, you'd need to solder a few connections to swap out the guard ... otherwise, you'd need to ship the guitar to someone.)

I'm sure I'll be out that way next winter (Sun Peaks!) if you can hold on that long ;)
 

Pspguitar

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Hey Beej...yes Sun Peak...our back yard. I may just do that..order up the parts, new pups, and figure this one out...should be generally okay. HH, 1 tone, 1 volume, 5way switch. I've always struggled with electronics mainly because my iron never gets hot enough and I'm all thumbs haha
 

Pspguitar

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The good folks at Diamarzio had this to say about the HH Albert Lee

"The closest available neck pickup to the pickup in the Albert Lee is a standard-spaced Air Norton (DP193). The closest bridge pickup is an F-spaced AT-1 (DP224F). The stock MM wiring requires a multipole 5-way like our EP1112. See attached diagram." Screenshot_20210414_173822_com.google.android.gm.jpg


EDIT: I found a HH Silhouette with a 5 way switch ... Maybe this will hold me over for the time being.
 
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kingdoublecut

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I have ordered an AL loaded pick guard from 920D Custom before. Only thing you need to solder is the jack connection, which they have already soldered so you just un-solder one leg and re-solder and same with the other.
Super easy and they can get you any Dimarzio pups you want. Lots of pick guard color options as well as they use pickguards.com as their pick guard supplier.

I have two HSH and one SSS AL loaded guards lying around if you are interested.
 

Pspguitar

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I have ordered an AL loaded pick guard from 920D Custom before. Only thing you need to solder is the jack connection, which they have already soldered so you just un-solder one leg and re-solder and same with the other.
Super easy and they can get you any Dimarzio pups you want. Lots of pick guard color options as well as they use pickguards.com as their pick guard supplier.

I have two HSH and one SSS AL loaded guards lying around if you are interested.

Thanks for the info. I picked up a used silhouette HH loaded guard for a nice price... It's is 920d and I will swap the parts into the AL guard I have to see if this gets me by for a bit. Yes, I just need to solder the two wires from the input jack. I think one goes to the volume pot back and the other a leg? I need to look into this more. I think one of the legs is bent back and soldered to the volume pot already. I think that takes one wire and the wire should touch the back of the pot and the other wire goes straight to the back of the pot. Does that sound about right? Maybe I'll post pics when it arrives

My route is HH so the two you have wouldn't work unfortunately. Thanks for the offer though.

Here's a screenshot of what picked up. Simple HH with 5 way switch Seymour Duncan pickups and 1 tone 1 volume Screenshot_20210415_062305_com.ebay.kijiji.ca.jpg
 
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Pspguitar

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Well, this went from bad to worse in a hurry. Looks like I have been scammed out of $170 for a loaded pickgaurd mentioned above. Hmmm people willing to do anything during this pandemic-sigh. Guy new all the specs, language, etc... not good... Avoid en transfer at all cost. I have been buying and selling gear for 30 years...99.9% of guitar players, builders, are very cool. Looks like I just interacted with the .1%...no one from this forum.

Anyways, I will likely go with something from 920d...will see...what the costs are.
A quick loaded pickgaurd swap has become something much more unfortunately.
 

kingdoublecut

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I think I paid about $340 for my AL HSH loaded guard from 920D. Dimarzio Transition humbuckers and a Dark Matter 2 single coil with a vintage white pearl guard. I routed the body out to a swimming pool rout...very easy to do.
 

Pspguitar

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That pick guard definitely doesn't look like anything 920D would have done.

Hi, I'm curious why you would say that? I have never purchased from 920D before; however, that guard has the sticker etc...Seems like a lot of effort to fake something? My case was the guy never sent what I sent money for.

Anyways, 920d unfortunately is very low on pickup options right now even though they have an Albert Lee HH guard so I'm back to square one haha.
 

kingdoublecut

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Hi, I'm curious why you would say that? I have never purchased from 920D before; however, that guard has the sticker etc...Seems like a lot of effort to fake something? My case was the guy never sent what I sent money for.

Anyways, 920d unfortunately is very low on pickup options right now even though they have an Albert Lee HH guard so I'm back to square one haha.

920D does very neat and distinctive wiring/soldering. That looks work someone did at home.
 

Magic Jason

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As mentionned above, pickguard heaven offers great pickguards. They are not too expensive and offer quality products. And they are also very easy to work with.

Concerning the pick-ups, you should join us on the "Ernie Ball Music Man Albert Lee Guitar Owners and Fans" Facebook page and ask if someone would sell his set, you never know.
 

Pspguitar

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I may have an opportunity to acquire two stingray humbuckers. I believe these are EBMM in hous made pickups. Now, the stingray has a three position switch. I'm thinking of placing them with a five way switch.

Any comments on this...I do love the sound of a 5 way HH St Vincent. I just don't know how the coil split may sound? Any ideas?
 
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