Fralin Pickups — The Ultimate Installation Guide

fralin installation

In this post, we’re going to show you how to install every kind of Lindy Fralin guitar pickup in your guitar. We’ll cover installing modern single-coils and humbuckers, as well as vintage P90s and PAF-style pickups. We’ve also included illustrations to show you the wiring schematic of each pickup in different types of guitars.

Before You Begin

This post assumes that you have some experience with installing pickups and understand most of the terminology used. You will also need to understand the wiring diagrams so you can check your work against them to see if there are any mistakes or for troubleshooting purposes. If you need help learning how to install your pickups or are confused by some of the terminologies, we recommend checking out one of our many pickup installation guides that walk you through it step-by-step. Our Lindy Fralin Modern PAF Wiring Diagram is a great place to start.

Lindy Fralin Pickups

Here are the different types of Lindy Fralin pickups, along with diagrams showing how to install them in various kinds of guitars.

Vintage Stratocaster Wiring

We’ll start our Fralin installation Guide with single-coil pickups and vintage Stratocaster wiring. Single-coil pickups made by Lindy Fralin include the Vintage Hot, Blues Special Strat, and the real ’54s, plus many others. These pickups have two wires — one white and one black. While it doesn’t matter as long as you stay consistent, white is often Hot, while black is Ground.

In Example 1, we illustrate a common way to wire a Fender Stratocaster using all single-coil Lindy Fralin pickups.

Example 1

Vintage Telecaster Wiring

Another very common single-coil guitar is the Fender Telecaster. Telecaster pickups made by Lindy Fralin include the Blues Special Tele, Split Blade Tele, and the High Output Tele, among others. These pickups also have two wires and use the same black and white color scheme that the Stratocaster pickups use.

In Example 2, we illustrate how to install these pickups in a standard Fender Telecaster.

Example 2

Vintage P90 Wiring

Next up in our Fralin Installation Guide is the vintage P90 pickup. While it looks like a humbucker, the P90 is a single-coil pickup. It’s essentially Gibson’s answer to the Fender single-coil. Vintage P90s created by Lindy Fralin makes several versions of the P90, including the P90 and the Hum-Cancelling P90. These pickups typically use a single conductor (colored wire) inside a braided shield wire. The single conductor is the Hot, while the braided shield is the Ground.

In Example 3, we illustrate how to install P90s into a guitar like the Gibson Les Paul.

Example 3

Humbucker Wiring (Braided Wire)

Humbuckers originally used the same type of wiring that the P90s use—one Hot single conductor inside a braided shield that becomes the Ground. There are still plenty of humbuckers around that use this wiring scheme, and Lindy Fralin allows you to choose between this style and the modern four-colored wire design on most of their pickups. We’ll talk about this next.

In Example 4, we illustrate how to install this type of humbucker in a Gibson Les Paul-style guitar.

Example 4

Humbucker Wiring (4-Wires)

The modern humbucker has four colored wires and one bare wire that acts as the shield. Each coil has two wires, one for the beginning and one for the end of the coil. There are two coils in a humbucker, hence the four wires. Determining which wires go to each coil is called the wiring code, and it’s an essential part of installing the pickup. It can be troublesome figuring out the wiring code, but we already know what the wiring code for Lindy Fralin is.

Lindy Fralin Wiring Code

  • White = Hot
  • Red + Green = Soldered together and taped off
  • Black + Bare = Soldered together; Ground

In Example 5, we illustrate the Lindy Fralin Wiring Code.

Example 5

Once we have the wiring code, we can install the pickups the same way we connect the single-coil pickups. In Example 6, we illustrate a common way to install four-wire humbuckers in a Gibson Les Paul.

Example 6

Humbucker Coil-Splitting

The primary reason to choose a four-wire humbucker over a single conductor is that you can perform modifications like splitting or wiring the coils out of phase. In this section, we are going to show you how to split the pickup.

To perform this modification, you will need to convert one of your tone controls into a push-pull pot. Once you convert to the push-pull pot, you will only need to solder a few connections to access a single-coil tone from your humbucker.

In Example 7, we illustrate what the coil-splitting modification looks like in a Gibson Les Paul style guitar. Pulling out the push-pull pot activates the modification, pushing it back in will return the sound to normal.

Example 7


We hope you’ve found this Lindy Fralin pickup installation guide helpful! It all comes down to the Hot and Ground. The Hot always goes to a lug on the volume pot or a lug on the pickup selector switch. The Ground always goes to the back of the volume pot.

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Ed Malaker Our resident electronics wizard came by his skills honestly — first as an apprentice in his father’s repair shop, later as a working musician and (most recently) as a sound designer for film. His passion for guitar led him to Humbucker Soup, where he continues to decode the wonders of wiring and the vicissitudes of voltage. Ed has never taken his guitar to a shop — he already knows how to fix it.