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  1. #1
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    10.18.19 @ 04:58 AM
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    Default Peavey Wolfgang Special pickup swap (with pics)

    Hey guys,
    Last year I picked up this pretty clean early 2000's Peavey Wolfgang flame top special. This is the 4th Wolfgang I've owned (2nd USA flame top special) and I always said I wanted to swap around pickups in one of them for something with a little less output & bite. I ordered a DiMarzio Air Classic (DP191) for the neck and a DiMarzio Norton (DP160) for the bridge; the Air Classic is rated as vintage output and the regular Norton is considered medium output. Here are a few misc. tidbits I noted along the way.

    Since the Norton arrived a day earlier, I started with it first:


    The factory Peavey wiring has the leads from the humbuckers going to the switch cavity first; from there a single lead runs to the larger volume pot cavity. The factory WG pickups are 4-conductor, although I've heard not so good results when splitting them.


    Both pickups out; note the single lead that goes from the switch to the pot cavity.


    Here the Norton is wired up for a quick test; for standard series wiring with a DiMarzio humbucker green + bare go to ground, black + white go together, and red is the hot wire.


    I did some thorough measurements with the factory pickups installed and figured out that the Norton was sitting just a bit too high compared to the factory pickup, mostly due to a slight difference in the baseplates.


    One of the Dremel engraving bits is perfect for taking out a small bit of paint & wood to get the pickup lowered down. Since the bit tip is small it's great for getting in tight places and cutting out small pieces.


    All done!

  2. #2
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    Bridge pickup installed.


    At this point I got to thinking about how I wasn't really happy with running the 4-conductor leads to the small switch cavity. I really wanted to leave as much of the lead intact in case I decide to take advantage of DiMarzio's 30-day exchange policy. Notice on the factory pickups how much of the neck lead was trimmed in order to fit everything in to the switch cavity.


    I decided to run the new pickup leads straight to the larger volume pot cavity in order to preserve as much of it possible and then just run jumper wires from the red hot wire on each pickup back to the switch. The factory hole looked plenty large enough to accommodate all of the wires, but I gave touched over the edge with the Dremel for good measure.


    Here's the factory pot cavity wiring. The shielded lead runs from the switch straight to the volume pot. The only other wiring is the trem claw ground and input jack wires. Pretty simple.


    Hot leads in place; orange is for the bridge pickup and blue is for the neck.


    Completed switch wiring...much cleaner than the factory method. Plus if I do swap pickups in the future, I won't have to mess with anything in this cavity.

  3. #3
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    At this point, I want to pass and pass along a couple of tool recommendations. These cheap $3 wire strippers from Harbor Freight are perfect for stripping tiny wires like the red/black/green/white wires from a 4-conductor pickup. I built a 5E3 amp kit recently and used these for 95% of the wire stripping.


    I also bought this Hako digital soldering station when I built the amp kit. It warms up to 700 degrees in about 30 seconds.


    Anyway, enough of that. I had to enlarge the holes on the DiMarzio baseplate in order to reuse the screws to mount the pickup direct to the body.


    If your pickup is sitting too high in the cavity, just use a metal file and remove the small bit of slag that protrudes at the bottom of the mounting leg.


    I didn't have to remove any wood from the neck pickup cavity to accommodate the height of the Air Classic. In fact, I may do some experimenting to raise it up slightly.


    Completed cavity wiring. I left the entire length of the pickup leads intact and just bundled the excess together with a zip tie. The blue and orange wires are the ones jumpered to the hot leads of each pickup and run to the switch.


    All done! Time for a string change.

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  5. #4
    Good Enough nobozos's Avatar
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    Great clean work man! I coil-tapped one of my wolfgang specials, and it was a pain in the ass the way they ran the wires.
    "Having an opinion that people disagree with doesn't make you a Douche, arguing with the people who disagree with your opinion and calling them stupid does!" -Me.

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    Great photos and details on the pickup swaps.
    That's a great looking Wolfgang. I love the red flame top!
    "There's too many people on this basketball that's floating around the sun, who are too afraid to allow themselves to FEEL" - Edward Van Halen
    "Van Halen was never about the singer..." - A very wise fan.
    "Embrace the past. Live in the moment but keep your eyes on the future, and keep on moving forward..." - Richie Sambora

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  9. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by nobozos View Post
    Great clean work man! I coil-tapped one of my wolfgang specials, and it was a pain in the ass the way they ran the wires.
    Thanks man! Oh yeah, definite PITA. Another reason I did it this way is in case I decide to add a series/parallel switch down the road.

 

 

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