Seymour Duncan Liberator and Pre-wired Pick Guards

Seymour Duncan Loaded Pick-Guard

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Changing Out Pickups Just Got Easier

The Liberator Volume Pot

Liberator Volume PotSeymour Duncan just eliminated another excuse for not trying out their pickups. Now, you can get the Liberator volume pot and once it’s installed – changing out pickups becomes a solderless adventure that can only help your tone quest become ridiculously productive.

Basically the liberator is a 250k or 500k volume pot – which serves as the hub for your pickups in most guitars – that has screw-clamp connections instead of the old solder tabs that we’re used to struggling with.

Whether you’re an experienced guitar tech, or someone who has never soldered before in your life, the Liberator makes changing out pickups pretty easy. Once it’s installed, that is. Of course there will be some soldering involved in getting the thing installed in the first place.

The Liberator replaces your traditional solder connections with screw-clamps – you insert the wire and turn the screw, which compresses a carriage down onto the wire and secures it in place, tight up against a pad.

For those of you who have changed out pickups before – have you ever accidentally soldered a wire to the wrong terminal? No of course you haven’t. Haha, neither have I. Anyway, if you were to make this mistake, fixing it would be much easier than desoldering with a bulb or those vile desoldering braids.

Also, the Liberator is color coded to all Seymour Duncan Pickups, so knowing where to put that wire in the first place is easy. If you don’t opt for a Seymour Duncan brand pickup – they’re not going to hold it against you – they’ve thoughtfully included a color coded chart which will help you figure out how to join other popular pickup brands with the Liberator.

Too Much Work? Try the Fully Loaded Pick-Guards

Seymour Duncan Loaded Pick-GuardIf you’re a Stratocaster owner, Seymour Duncan is offering fully loaded pickguards as well. These were displayed at NAMM 2012 earlier this year, and they can save you a bunch of time if you want a quick change of personality for your Stratocaster.

The fist option you have is the “Bring Your Own Pickups Pick-guard”. This is a fully wired pick-guard – sans pickups. You can throw any combination of pickups in it and mount it on your Strat. They’ve also included the output jack for you, which is solder free as well. After that, all that’s left for you to solder would be the ground – and I’m sure they’re coming up with a way to eliminate the need for soldering there as well. Maybe next year? No, you really shouldn’t jam the ground into one of your tremolo springs. Have you ever done that? Neither have I.

The fully loaded pick-guards are a great way to quickly do a full electronics upgrade if your Strat is suffering from rotten pickups, scratchy pots, or pickup selectors with personalities of their own.

There are other options if you don’t want to have to mount and connect the pickups as well.

The first option for a fully loaded pick-guard is the “Triple Rails” setup. You’ve got three Seymour Duncan Hot Rails pickups loaded in the bridge, middle and neck positions.

You can also opt for the “Classic” setup with three noiseless pickups pre-loaded in it. You’ve got the vintage “Classic Stack Plus” in the middle position, the “Hot Stack Plus” in the neck, and the “Custom Stack Plus” at the bridge position.

Or, you can go with the old familiar “Everything Axe” set, which includes the JB Jr. at the bridge, a “Duckbucker” in the middle, and a “Little 59” at the neck. This is a pretty flexible setup, regardless of your musical style.

So there you have it – if the pain-in-the-ass factor has kept you from upgrading that old Stratocaster – check out Seymour Duncan’s options – you could be up and running in no time.


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Tim Monaghan

Tim has been playing guitar & bass since he was 12 years old and has been in Jazz, funk, rock & metal bands. Influences include Jeff Beck, Stanley Clarke, Doug Stegmeyer, Baden Powell, Steve Vai, and pretty much anyone else who has a unique style that expresses their individuality. One of Tim’s many hobbies is building, tweaking, and repairing basses and guitars.

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Doug Hancock
Doug Hancock
10 years ago

In changing from active to passive,and incorporating the liberator volume pots,do you use a liberator for your tone pot too? Also,how does the liberator accommodate coil splits,push pull?

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