Seymour Duncan announced the debut of Liberator, a universal Solderless Pickup Change System for guitar and bass.
Liberator is a bare-wire Lockdown system integrated with a volume pot. With a Liberator-equipped volume pot installed, changing pickups no longer requires heating up a soldering gun—you only need a mini screwdriver, SD says. Since Liberator doesn’t require proprietary connectors, it is said to work with nearly any manufacturer’s passive pickups.
Here is what the company had to say:
“Soldering pickups is an exacting procedure that can be time-consuming for experienced guitar techs and daunting for players who lack soldering skills. With a Liberator volume pot installed in a guitar or bass, replacing pickups becomes a quick and easy process for players and techs alike.”
Check out Liberator for a demonstration.
To install pickups with Liberator, you insert the bare-wire ends of the pickup leads into Liberator’s color-coded Lockdown connector stations. Turning each station’s screw raises a metal clamp that secures the leads far more reliably than plug-in connectors or less-than-perfect solder joints.
Anatomy Of Liberator
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, according to SD.
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.
Pricing & Availability
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 should offer more completely wired, easy-install versions of the Liberator system, including pre-connected volume-and-tone wiring harnesses and pre-wired pickguards.
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