This time around, we’ll be looking at how to wire a DiMarzio Fast Track 1. The DiMarzio Fast Track 1 is a mini-humbucker that uses two blades instead of steel posts. This design uses a single continuous magnetic field to create an even string balance with very little magnetic pull. The mini-humbucker design allows the pickup to fit into a single coil space in your guitar, while still achieving the same high gain, warmer tones, and noise-canceling properties that full-size humbuckers deliver. The DiMarzio Fast Track 1 is installed using four colored conductor wires and a bare wire.
The four colored wires are given the label of “conductor” because each carries electricity to and from the two coils in the humbucker. Each of the coils needs to have one Positive and one Negative wire, which corresponds to the beginning and end of each. The colors that go to each one is what we call the pickup’s “Wiring Code,” and we can use this code to wire our pickups in many different ways. Unfortunately, there is no standard Wiring Code, so the colors vary between manufacturers, and sometimes even between different models within the same manufacturer.
The Bare wire is the pickup Shield. The Shield’s primary purpose is to trap radio frequencies and other interferences as they come into contact with your pickup’s casing, and shuttle them to ground before they penetrate to the coils where they can cause hissing and otherwise degrade your signal. The Shield and the pickup coils are not connected, but the Shield does get soldered to Ground and is often attached to one of the pickup’s Negative wires.
The Wiring Code
In the Fast Track 1, one coil uses White for Positive and Green for Negative, while the other uses Red for Positive and Black for Negative (Fig 1).
Humbucker coils are Series wired, which means that the end of the first coil is connected to the beginning of the second, to create one long continuous path for our signal to travel. Combining them in this way makes the humbucker almost twice as loud as a single coil pickup, and it also helps give the humbucker its warmer tones due to phase cancellation caused by two coils being in the proximity of each other.
We’ll begin the DiMarzio Fast Track 1 wiring by considering the Red Wire to be the primary Hot wire and the beginning of the first coil. We solder the Black wire, the end of the first coil, to the White wire. The White wire is the beginning of the second coil. Finally, we use Green as the Ground Wire. It’s standard practice to solder the Green and Bare wires together (Fig 2).
Now we are left with the Positive (Red) and Negative (Green) wires that we will need to install our pickup.
Solder the Green and the Bare wire to the back of the Volume Pot (Fig 3).
Next, solder the Red Wire to the first tab on the Volume control. Solder the third tab to the back of the Volume pot, either with a short wire or by physically bending it until it contacts the casing of the potentiometer so you can solder it in place (Fig 4).
Now we solder a wire from the center tab of the Volume pot to the Output jack. Then solder another wire from the Output jack to the back of the Volume control (Fig 5).
Once these final wires are in place, our project is complete!
This step-by-step guide presents the most common way to wire a humbucker pickup, and many modifications begin with this circuit.
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