Installing a Porter Humbucker

Here’s some information about installing a Porter Humbucker. Email us at info@porterpickups.com for any other wiring help.

Humbuckers-Output Wire Types

4 Conductor

Most Porter Humbuckers come with our standard 4-conductor wire. It is a black insulation cable that protects 4 smaller wires inside. It really could be called 5 conductor, because there is a bare ground wire coming from inside in addition to the 4 other wires. We like the 4-conductor wire for humbuckers because of it’s wiring versatility. Pickups with 4-conductor wire can be coil-tapped making only one coil of the pickup in use at a time for two separate sounds from one pickup. See charts below for 4 conductor wiring as well as a coil tap option.

Installation Chart: (For Porter Pickups)

RED: Solder to Bare, Solder to Ground (Top of Pot)

BLACK: Solder to Volume Potentiometer or to Selector Switch

WHITE: Solder to Green, Tape Connection (Can Be Used to Coil Tap)
GREEN: Solder to White, Tape Connection (Can Be Used to Coil Tap)
BARE: Ground (Solder to Red and Ground)

Braided Conductor

Also called single conductor wire, some Porter Pickups will come with this wire. Installation is easy. The outer metal braid is your ground for the pickup. It is usually soldered directly to the top of your volume potentiometer or some other ground. The wire can be “pushed back” to reveal the inner wire. This wire is usually soldered to the selector switch or one of the leads on the potentiometer.

Replacement

If you are installing a Porter Pickup into a guitar, pay attention to where the existing wires go before you remove them. This will make replacement easier and make sure you get the wiring done right. Determine the type of conductor wire in the old and new pickups. It’s easiest if they are the same, but not that big of deal on most guitars. Here are replacement instructions for a typical two humbucker guitar.

1. Remove Control Plate on back of guitar, determine conductor wire type (4 conductor, or Braded Push Back).

2. Remove strings and unscrew pickups from body. If pickups have mounting rings, take them off first with pickup still installed. Put a protective cloth over the guitar body to prevent scratches, unless you like the beat up look.

3. Find out which wire goes where. Tug on the neck pickup and find out where the wires go to. Repeat for bridge pickup, or do the bridge first (This should be easy once you find one!). Make yourself a note where they goes. It may be helpful to mark the Potentiometers with a marker labeled “N” and “B” for neck and bridge.

4. Remove old pickups. It might be useful to do one at a time to make sure they are in the right place. Unsolder the old connections by melting the solder with a soldering iron. A 30watt soldering iron from radio shack does the job just fine. Once the connection is free from the potentiometer, pull the old pickup out of the guitar. If it has a mounting ring, take it out of that now.

5. Install the new pickup. Put it in the mounting ring now if the guitar has one. Secure only 1 or 2 of the screws of the mounting ring (You might need to pull it out). Depending on the wire type make sure the new pickup gets installed in the same place the old one was. 4 Conductor wire will need to be stripped to reveal the inner wires. Cut the wire to length where you are going to install it. It might be a good idea to leave a little extra on the 4 conductor in case the stripping goes bad. for 4 Conductor wire, strip each of the colored inner wire insulation back about 1/8.” Make sure all connections are “tinned” (Put a little solder on each wire). Install new Porter Pickup in the correct spots. Use the 4 conductor wiring chart to help with correct installation.

6. Repeat steps 4-5 for additional pickup in necessary.

7. Once pickups are installed and before you put on strings, turn on your amp and plug the guitar in. Check to see that each pickup makes a thumping sound when tapped with a screwdriver. Make sure each pickup is in the right spot when you use the selector switch. If it is backwards, reverse your wiring.

8. Restring and Rock.

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2 thoughts on “Installing a Porter Humbucker

  1. thank you. im stupid.and my dads an electrition.my only question now is for a single cdtr wire,do i tin up to that black middle stuff, or do i make sure it isnt tinned,or does it not matter either way.i bought lindy fralin pure paf a week ago and a 30w soldering kit.i wanna be %100 sure before i throw em in my gibson lp standard.

    1. Push back the black middle part and there will be a inner wire inside there which is the “Hot” wire. Then Solder the outer metal braid to the ground (The top of the pot). Good luck!

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