Installing Fender SCN Samarium Cobalt Noiseless Telecaster Pickups (henceforth referred to as SCNs) is a relatively straightforward process and should not be particularly challenging to anyone who has had any experience working with guitar electronics. Even if you've never looked at the inner workings of your Telecaster, if you can follow colour coded instructions and know how to use a soldering iron, you should be able to install these pickups in less than an hour. This how-to assumes that you have already removed the existing pickups and are ready to install the SCNs.
Place the guitar, face up, on a sturdy, non-marring, non-skid work surface.
Remove the control plate, pick guard and bridge assembly, if you have not already done so.
Thread the three wires for the neck pickup though the hole provided in the back of the pickup pocket until they protrude into the control cavity.
Mount the neck pickup in the neck pickup pocket, securing it with screws on either end. To ensure proper positioning, it is best to use the screw holes left from the original pickup. The screws should be tight and the pickup should not move when gently tugged upon.
Thread the three wires for the bridge pickup though the hole provided in the side of the pickup pocket until they protrude into the control cavity.
Mount the bridge pickup in the bridge assembly, using the three screws and springs that held the original bridge pickup in place.
Screw the bridge assembly and pick guard back onto the guitar body.
Solder the white wire from the neck pickup to the front-most (closest to the top edge of the control plate) outboard lug on the pickup selector switch. To solder a connection, hold the exposed core of the wire against the connection point. With the same hand, hold a 4- to 6-inch section of rosin core solder directly above the connection. Hold the tip of the heated soldering iron against the end of the section of solder until it begins to melt. As the solder begins to flux onto the connection, remove the soldering iron from the connection and allow it to cool.
Solder the yellow wire from the bridge pickup to the bottommost (closest to the volume pot) inboard lug on the pickup selector switch.
Solder the green wires and the black wires from both pickups to the spot on the bottom casing of the volume pot where the ground wire (either red or black) comes off and goes to a grounding point.
Gently tug on all connections to ensure that they are securely connected.
Replace the control plate and secure with screws.
Things you need
- Small Phillips head screwdriver
- Soldering iron
- Rosin core solder