In this post, we’re going to show you how to wire a DiMarzio Virtual Vintage Blues in your guitar. The Virtual Vintage Blues is a stacked humbucker that’s been designed to sound very similar to an original pre-1963 Stratocaster pickup, perfect for playing the blues.
A stacked humbucker is two coils placed on top of each other, instead of side by side, like other humbuckers. Stacking allows the humbucker to fit into a single-coil space. This pickup is installed using four colored conductor wires and a bare wire.
The four colored wires have the label “conductor” because each of these wires carries electricity to and from the two coils in the humbucker. Each coil has one positive and one negative wire. The pattern of which color goes to each is called the pickup’s “Wiring Code.” Unfortunately, there is no standard Wiring Code, and it varies between manufacturers.
The Bare wire is called the Shield. Its primary purpose is to trap radio frequencies that reach the pickup’s cover and shuttle them to ground before they reach the coils and degrade your signal. The Shield and the pickup coils are not connected, but the Shield does get soldered to ground.
In the DiMarzio Virtual Vintage Blues pickup, one coil uses Green and White while the other uses Red and Black (Fig 1).
Humbucker coils are Series wired, which means that one coil is run into the other, to create one long continuous path for the signal. Combining them makes the humbucker almost twice as loud as a single-coil pickup, and it is also responsible for its warmer tones because of the inherent phase cancellation caused by two coils in proximity of one another.
To install the Dimarzio Virtual Vintage Blues, we begin by considering the Red Wire to be the Hot Wire. We solder the Black and White wires together and tape them off. 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’ll need to install our pickup. Solder the Green Negative wire and the Bare wire to the back of the Volume pot, which is the standard place to solder all ground wires (Fig 3).
Next, solder the Red Wire to the first tab on the Volume control. Then, 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 before soldering it in place (Fig 4).
Next, solder one wire from the center tab of the Volume pot to the Output Jack. Solder another wire from the Output Jack to the back of the Volume Control (Fig 5).
This is the most basic way to wire a humbucker pickup. Adding a Tone control will only add more components that get soldered to the Volume control, but this circuit will not change. If you have more than one pickup, all of the positive wires will go to the switch. The switch will decide which pickup signal will get sent to the Volume control, and from then on the circuit will be the same as presented here.
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