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  1. #1

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    Hi, I got two Benedetto B6 pickups that I’ll try to put into my Heritage 575. The pots are old and scratchy and Benedetto has its own wiring specs so I figure I’ll swap everything except the switch. No coiltap, just two humbuckers, two volume, two tone.

    One thing that I noticed is that the current wiring is affixed to the top in at least two places with some piece of plastic with a metal loop. Is this something common on this style of guitar? Should I remove it and make sure wires are correct length? Or should I preserve and try to fit new wires into the metal loops? See photo.

    Help with swapping electronics and pickups in Heritage 575-ccf298da-e6f4-4912-bf60-7e27323908c2-jpg

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  3. #2

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    I wound not do that I would put the new pickups on and I assume you are putting in new pots. I would treat this a regular swap of a new wiring harness and pickups. I not sure what Heritage was doing with all that but seems to be a bit much, heavy and potential to buzz playing. If it was me I would put in a new switchcraft switch. If you are going to clean house do it all.

  4. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by deacon Mark
    I wound not do that I would put the new pickups on and I assume you are putting in new pots. I would treat this a regular swap of a new wiring harness and pickups. I not sure what Heritage was doing with all that but seems to be a bit much, heavy and potential to buzz playing. If it was me I would put in a new switchcraft switch. If you are going to clean house do it all.
    Ok, so if I understand you correctly, you recommend to take everything out, put it aside, and wire a complete new harness with switch, pots and pu’s. And I remove those weird plastic pieces as well from the top I guess?

  5. #4

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    I've seen wire clips in various archtops for anchoring wiring, but usually attached to the bottom, not the top. I like the idea, because I've had loose wiring cause buzzing by vibrating against the back. You can buy the clips at many places if you want, but I would remove them from the top. You can probably buy double-sided mounting tape and replace the tape on the existing clips, and mount them to the back if you want, or wait and see if you need them after the replacement and a period of playing. I tend to doubt that they're heavy enough to matter to the tone if the harness isn't attached, so you could leave them in place, I suppose, but if it were mine I would remove them, and probably reuse them somewhere else.

  6. #5

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    [QUOTE=frankhond;1086973]Ok, so if I understand you correctly, you recommend to take everything out, put it aside, and wire a complete new harness with switch, pots and pu’s. And I remove those weird plastic pieces as well from the top I guess?[/QUOTE

    Yes although I don't have the guitar sitting here in front of me but just routine upgrade is great for most guitars. The problem is this is a Heritage and they make fine guitars. I am not sure of the electronics they used but I know some of the floating pickups they used on carved Eagles were not the best. So the best thing is doing a full new wiring harness with the best grade of CTS pots and all new switches is the way to go. Just like you are starting from scratch and putting them in a new guitar. I would just remove all the old especially if it was scratching and not working well.

    If you are not super good about wiring you can buy a wonderful prewired harness for an L5 type guitar since that is basically what you have. You got 2 pickups and standard tone and volume. I am not familiar with the B6 as such and why it is somehow wired different but it can be wired just like any 2 pickup guitar. Personally if it was my guitar I would have bought Gibson Classic 57 pickups they to me are the finest for built in guitars. However doing this I believe you will have a much superior sounding guitar. Let me know how it turns out.

  7. #6
    Thanks for your insights guys!

    I’ve been looking at photos of prewired harnesses for ES 175 which I think is the closest for this style. I have no problem soldering, fix/replace stuff regularly in my strat and tele... and rewired a les paul once. Problem is that here I have to wire the whole thing correctly outside the guitar, then put it in through the f-holes, so if some wire is 1cm too short it’s gonna suck. I saw a photo where someone had a mockup of a whole top, I’ll probably cut a piece of cardboard to match the top of my guitar.

    My other heritage is an Eagle and has none of those weird plastic pieces. I’ll shoot for not having them inside at all.

    Question: most prewired products seem to use vintage braided wire. Some use shrink tube over it, others don’t. Is there any advantage to either approach? Also, why not use some other type of shielded cable?

  8. #7

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    If doing yourself make a template as to how they all fit in the guitar. Then you just do the soldering and as long as you use shielded wire it does not make a huge different in using the braided wire. I bought a wiring harness to save time on a project once and it came attached to the template in shipping. Actually you are going to put everything through the pickup holes that would be easier. You can use a stiff wire and make a bracket to put pots in. The other option is just tie string and pull it all through.

  9. #8

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    Working on a Hollowbody is a different story. You need wires and small rubber tubes to get all the parts (back) in. There are lots of to-do videos, but best is to look for TV Jones swapping the harness in a Gretsch.

    And yes, swap the complete harness.

  10. #9

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    You don't need wires or rubber tubes to get the parts in place. You need one of these: Archtop Guitar Helping Hand | stewmac.com.
    $15 + shipping is too much for what you get, though, so I made my own. An old wire coathanger and a pair of pliers, and a few minutes, produces the same thing for free. It is an essential tool for working on an f-hole guitar, though. Using one takes about a quarter to a third the time required for doing it with strings and stuff. I can install all the parts in 5 minutes or less, and not be in a hurry.

  11. #10

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    I’m sure it’s more difficult, but I’ve always just used pieces of string.

  12. #11

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    If you're doing the work, you can certainly do it however you want. I used to use thin monofilament fishing line, and I've tried tubing and such. This method is, for me, orders of magnitude easier. YMMV.