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Mandobird Replacement Pickup Installation

Installing the pickup requires no modification to the instrument. Included with the pickup is a ground wire and shielding tape to help reduce the noise that is produced by exposed wiring. The following is a step by step instruction for installing the stacked humbucker pickup in your Epiphone Mandobird.

Remove the control cover and note the black wire that is attached to the lower solder terminal of the pot on the left (volume control). This is the 'hot' wire which is usually white but in this instrument happens to be black. The red 'ground' wires are soldered to the metal casing. Normally these are black.

With the pickguard and pickup removed, you can see the black hot wire and red ground wire coming from the control cavity. The short black wire above the red wire is the ground to bridge connection and is spliced onto one of the red ground wires soldered to the volume pot casing. Also note the gray shielding paint that covers the inside of the wire channel and pickup cavity.

Make sure there is continuity between the wire channel shielding and pickup cavity shielding as in the photo below. It might also be a good idea to check the continuity between the bridge and volume control casing to ensure that the bridge is grounded.

On this particular Mandobird I noticed that there's no connection between the control cavity shielding and wire channel shielding. Unfortunately if there is no connection the shielding ability of the wire channel and pickup cavity paint is nullified. This exposes the pickup and wiring to ambient EMR and induces noise into the circuitry. If you have some shielding paint all that's needed is to brush a few coats on the inside of the hole from the wire channel to the control cavity and that will make the necessary connection. If not, solder the ground wire onto the (red) ground wire coming from the control cavity.

The next photo shows the black and red leads from the control cavity soldered to the pickup's white and black wires and the ground wire eyelet is being attached to the shielding paint. Slide the heat shrink tubing over the bare ends of the wires and gently heat them with a lighter or the tip of your soldering pencil until they wrap tightly around the wire ends.

The last step is to peel off the paper backing from the copper shielding tape and adhere it to the underside of the pickguard so that it covers the wire channel and makes contact with the shielding paint as in the photo below. Fasten the pickguard back onto the instrument and you're ready to go.

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