House of Tone — The Ultimate Installation Guide

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In this article, we provide a House of Tone pickup installation guide, which includes the diagrams you’ll need to install every type of pickup they make, from P90s to four-conductor humbuckers. House of Tone pickups are from the United Kingdom, and they’ve been making pickups for many years. They have a large selection of pickups, they all sound great, and many come with a unique appearance.

Before You Get Started

This guide will provide you with the schematics to install any pickups made by House of Tone, but you’ll need to be able to read the illustrations and know how to use them in order to do so. It’s not a step-by-step tutorial, but we do have plenty of pickup wiring articles elsewhere on Humbucker Soup that will provide you with a more thorough approach if you need it.

Vintage Stratocaster Wiring

The Fender Stratocaster uses three single-coil pickups to create up to five different tones with the 5-way selector switch. Each pickup has two wires, HOT and GROUND, that you will need to solder to install the pickup in your guitar. House of Tone has several single-coil pickups you can use to replace the stock pickups in your Strat or any other guitar that uses them. The white wire is HOT, and the black is GROUND.

We’ve illustrated how to install House of Tone single-coil pickups into a Fender Stratocaster in Example 1

Example 1


Vintage Telecaster Wiring

The Fender Telecaster looks like it uses very unique pickups, but the functional difference between them and Stratocaster pickups is minimal. These pickups are also single-coil and use two wires to install them. House of Tone has several Telecaster pickups available for purchase single or in a set, and we’ve illustrated how to install these pickups in your Telecaster in Example 2

Example 2


Vintage P90 Wiring

By now, you might be wondering about Gibson-style pickups, and that’s just what the P90 is. These pickups look and sound very different from those in Fender guitars, and are not interchangeable due to size. However, the science behind how they produce sound is the same. These pickups also use two wires but are configured differently. These 3 pickups use a single HOT wire surrounded by a braided GROUND, but are installed in the same way.

House of Tone makes several models of the P90, and we illustrate how to install them in a Gibson Les Paul-style guitar in Example 3.

Example 3


Humbucker Wiring (Braided Wire)

The next pickup in our House of Tone installation guide is the humbucker, which uses two coils to cancel noise through phase cancellation. Originally, these pickups had two wires and commonly used the same braided wire scheme as the P90s. You can purchase any House of Tone humbucker pickup with a braided wire configuration, and we illustrate how to install these pickups in Example 4.

Example 4


Humbucker Wiring (4-Wires)

The modern humbucker usually has four wires to allow for more options when modifying your guitar. It is a little more difficult to install than vintage humbuckers, because it’s more unclear which color is HOT and which is GROUND.

House of Tone Wiring Code

  •         Black = HOT
  •         White + red = soldered together and taped off
  •         Green + Bare = soldered together and GROUND

We’ve illustrated the House of Tone wiring diagram in Example 5.

Example 5


Once you have the wiring code, you can install the pickup using the HOT and GROUND wires. House of Tone has several humbucker models, and you can order any of them with four wires. We’ve illustrated how to install these pickups into a Gibson Les Paul-style guitar in Example 6.

Example 6


Humbucker Coil Splitting (4-Wires)

Now that we’ve shown you how to install the different pickups, we’d like to leave you with an example of using the four-wire humbucker to create a coils-split modification. This simple modification will require you to convert one of your tone controls into a push-pull pot. The push-pull pot is the same as the standard tone pot, but it adds a switching mechanism that we need for the mod.

We’ve illustrated what the converted tone control will look like in a Gibson Les Paul-style guitar in Example 7

Example 7

With the tone control converted, connect the red and white wires from the House of Tone humbucker to the switching mechanism and connect a short ground wire from the switch to the pot’s back to complete the modification.

We’ve illustrated these connections in Example 8.

Example 8



We hope you’ve enjoyed reading, and that this guide has been informative. House of Tone has a wide selection of pickups to choose from, and each can help you improve and shape your sound to fit your needs. The coil-split mod gives you access to two new tones, one for the bridge pickup and one for the bridge plus middle pickup, and you can add another coil-split to the neck pickup for even more versatility.

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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.