In this short guide, we’ll show you how to install a Railhammer pickup in your guitar. Railhammers are a relatively new brand of pickup that came to the market in 2012. These pickups feature a unique design that uses rails to pick up the sound from the bottom three bass strings and use posts to pick up the sound from the top three treble strings.
This design gives the pickups a unique tone. It also opens up plenty of new configurations to unlock even more sounds. These pickups install the same as any other pickup. However, like most manufacturers, Railhammer uses a unique set of wire colors that you will need to understand to install the pickups correctly.
This time we are going to talk specifically about the Railhammer Humbucker pickups. At another time, we’ll cover installing Railhammer Humcutter pickups, which are their modern take on the P90.
Railhammer has a surprisingly large selection of these unique humbuckers. Each one is tuned to create a slightly different tone, and most players should be able to find a few models to enjoy. All of the humbuckers use the same wiring code, so if you can install one, you can install them all.
- As you probably already know, a humbucker contains two single-coil pickups.
- The windings in the coils are in opposite directions, which is how they cancel out noise.
- Each coil has a start wire and a finish wire with a unique color (4 wires).
- The bare wire grounds the pickup and has nothing to do with the coils.
If you look in the paperwork that comes with the Railhammer humbuckers, you will see something that looks like Figure 1.
You can see in that example that the south coil uses the red wire as the start and the green as its finish, while the north coil uses the white wire as its start and the black as the finish.
- The black finish wire of the north coil is our Hot.
- Since we wire humbuckers in series, we would connect the start wire of the north coil to the finish wire of the south coil, BUT the north coil is wound backward.
- The white start wire of the north coil is connected to the red start wire of the south coil, and the green wire becomes our ground.
- The bare wire is connected to the Ground wire.
When you connect the wires, it should look something like Figure 2.
Solder the Ground wire to the back of your volume pot and the Hot wire to the switch, as seen in Figure 3.
Once you have these wires, you have installed your pickup.
We hope you’ve found this wiring guide and diagram informative. Railhammer pickups provide an interesting look and sound for a guitarist, and they are no more difficult to install than any other humbucker once you know the wiring code. There are several models of these pickups available, and we recommend checking them all out. Many great players are using them including Billy Corgan, Reeves Gabrels, Bob Balch, and more.
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