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Username: stasz

Post Number: 1
Registered: 4-2011
Posted on Thursday, April 28, 2011 - 12:49 pm:   Edit Post

Hello All,

Noob here at Alembic. I am in need of some assistance in regards to some Alembic pickups.

Long story short: I'm restoring a friend's Peavey Tracer strat style guitar as a surprise for her husband's birthday. The guitar has been fitted with Alembic pups and circuitry. The control cavity is a mess.

What information regarding the pups (and where would I find it), would someone need to assist me in wiring this back the way the Alembic Gods intended it?

-the obvious stuff: Single coil in the neck, Humbucker in the bridge, 1V, 1T, 3 way switch-

I'm very competent with a soldering iron, and have installed many...(many) pickups over the years, but this is my first stab at anyting Alembic, and I'm not terribly familiar...

Any help would be much appreciated. Thanks in advance.


Username: adriaan

Post Number: 2787
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Thursday, April 28, 2011 - 2:30 pm:   Edit Post

Hi John, welcome to the Club!

Probably a good idea to post some pictures of the control cavity. The leads from the pickups should attach to the circuitry with connectors, rather than being soldered.
Senior Member
Username: lbpesq

Post Number: 4844
Registered: 7-2004
Posted on Thursday, April 28, 2011 - 3:00 pm:   Edit Post


Technically, those pickups you have are neither single coil nor humbuckers, just shaped like them. All non-series Alembic pickups are hum canceling - essentially a single coil with a second "dummy coil" with no magnet. The different sizes have different apertures which results in a different tone. Also, the "tone" control should actually be a low pass filter and there should be a 9 volt battery clip and a switching input jack. Adriaan is steering you in the right direction. The folks around here are very knowledgeable and very helpful. Once you post some pics, you'll have a quick answer.

Bill, the guitar one

(Message edited by lbpesq on April 28, 2011)
Username: stasz

Post Number: 2
Registered: 4-2011
Posted on Friday, April 29, 2011 - 8:56 am:   Edit Post

Thanks for the quick response guys!

Bill, after posting, I found the thread that explains the particulars of Alembic pups, so I understand the "faux S/H" situation. Thanks for the heads up.

Here's some pics. It looks like the assembly itself is intact (solderless connectors, boards, output, etc) so I think my main concern is the switch. Would this be wired like a regular 3 way, as in say a tele (N/NB/B)? It looks like the pup leads' sheild wires were cut flush with the outer sleeve and never connected anywhere. is that normal for Alembic or should those be earthed?

Also, is there any reason why ground leads couldn't be tied together and earthed on the back of a pot like "normal" pups?

Thanks so much!


Peavey Tracer

[moderator's edit: changed image layout]

(Message edited by artswork99 on April 29, 2011)
Senior Member
Username: terryc

Post Number: 1556
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Friday, April 29, 2011 - 9:04 am:   Edit Post

stasz..welcome to our club.
Alembic pick ups do not require any grounding to either the back of the pots or the bridge as the 'grounding' takes place at the negative terminal of the battery clip.
I cannot inform you on the 5 way switch as I only have knowledge of the typical Strat layout(I too have installed many pu's and wiring options on guitars..especially for my son's friends!)
SOMEONE will pick up(pardon the pun!) on your query here.

(Message edited by TerryC on April 29, 2011)
Senior Member
Username: fc_spoiler

Post Number: 1261
Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Friday, April 29, 2011 - 11:15 am:   Edit Post

If I'm not mistaken, you should either use shielding paint or connect all "Shield" components together (Housing of the pots, switch and output)
Otherwise there will be a hum in your signal ;-)

Best is to paint the whole cavity and the inside of the coverplate, you'll have a shielded box then (the Alembic way)
Make sure none of the electronic components touches the paint.

Indeed no need for a wire to the bridge.

(Message edited by fc_spoiler on April 29, 2011)
Username: stasz

Post Number: 3
Registered: 4-2011
Posted on Friday, April 29, 2011 - 12:36 pm:   Edit Post

Thanks for all the info so far gang.

TerryC, what has two thumbs and loves puns? This guy right here!

also, thanks mod for fixing my long sideways post :-) For future reference, can that be avoided by having attachments on individual lines instead of strung together?

The attempt shall be made this evening. I'll keep you POSTed. <---- See? Pun.

(Message edited by stasz on April 29, 2011)
Senior Member
Username: dfung60

Post Number: 490
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Friday, April 29, 2011 - 2:17 pm:   Edit Post

stasz -

Yes, you can wire the pickups like a Tele switch. Are there two wires coming out from each pickup in addition to the shield or just one? You do want to connect the pickup wire shields to ground and you can do that at any convenient ground in the cavity. If you leave the shield unconnected, then the guitar may be a bit noisier since the signal is unshielded between the pickup and cavity. If you have only regular wire in there, then you'll need to connect the ground for it to work at all. If there are two wires there, then you can connect the shield to the same point as the grounded audio wire.

Electrically, it doesn't matter how you connect the grounds up. Things aren't normally soldered to the back of Alembic pots because the pickups also usually have the connectors and the grounding is handled there. Everything (including the shielded cavity) is connected together, it just looks neater.

At the point in the circuit where the pickup switch is, the pickups are still passive, so all the normal rules apply.

Good luck!

David Fung

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