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Gear Watch: Seymour Duncan Liberator Solderless Pickup Change System

Seymour Duncan Liberator Solderless Pickup Change SystemSeymour Duncan has introduced the Liberator, a new, universal solderless pickup change system for bass and guitar. The unit is a bare-wire lockdown system with a volume pot, and works with virtually all passive pickups. With the Liberator installed, changing pickups only requires a mini screwdriver.

The process of installing new pickups with Liberator is simple. The bare-wire ends of the pickup leads insert into color-coded lockdown connectors on the Liberator. With the turn of each station’s screw, a metal clamp secures the leads without the need for solder.

Liberator with Volume Pot is available in 250kΩ and 500kΩ versions for single-coil and dual-humbucker guitars, each for a U.S. retail price of only $35. In early 2011, Seymour Duncan will offer more completely wired, easy-install versions of the Liberator system, including pre-connected volume-and-tone wiring harnesses and pre-wired pickguards.

The company says Liberator is “akin to a telephone switchboard or studio patch bay, where easy-insert plug-in stations up front correspond to hard-wired connections behind the scenes. Liberator has two patch bays: The ten-station Pickup Connector and the four-station Potentiometer Connector.”

The Pickup Connector’s ten stations directly match the connections of two four-wire humbucking pickups, plus the shield wire, which goes to ground. The colors of the adjacent outbound wires correspond to Seymour Duncan’s humbucker wiring color scheme, but an included color-code guide makes it easy to install pickups from other companies that use different color schemes, as well as single-coils, and single-coil and humbucker combinations.

For the Potentiometer Connector, three stations correspond to the three lugs on a volume pot—input, output, and ground—with an additional ground for bridges or tremolo systems. For those who like soldering and only want to use the Liberator’s Lockdown stations to connect pickups, there are gold-plated solder points for input, output, and ground, plus seven additional gold-plated ground pads, which are designed to be much easier to solder than the back of a potentiometer.

For more information, visit Seymour Duncan’s website.