Can I install a 59/09 in McCarty with single wire pickups?


New Member
Apr 11, 2018
New Jersey
Hey there - I scored a rare covered 59/09 on Reverb a while back and want to put this into my Korina McCarty. I opened her up and it appears the stock pickups are single wire with a braid around it. How does one go about swapping the bridge pup for one with 4 wires? Would I need to upgrade to a different harness? I wonder if this is best for a luthier cause I am good with soldering from RC car stuff, but my brain doesn't understand wiring well and if it's possible to retain the push/pull on the tone, etc. Looking for 1) is it possible and 2) wiring explanation. Thanks! Eventually I would like to also put in a 57/08 in the neck.


5909 and 5708 is a match made in heaven and really rocks in Korina. Nice score on a covered 5909, I have one in my KL33 (all korina). The white wire with braided, is the split for the McCarty pup. The braided is actually like 3 wires, the braided (ground), wire inside (hot), and white wire (split). You can put in a 4 wire no problem. If you can soldier and get your head around the schematics, easy job, if not take it to a pro and he'll make easy work out of it.
It is definitely possible. Your existing pickup is technically 3 wires. You will want to check the phasing of the pickups to figure out which wire you should use for the hot wire.

Edit: If the wires are the same color code as the 4 wire 57/08 pickups, the red wire would be the coil tap wire, not the white wire. Shield goes to ground. Where it gets interesting is if the pickups are in phase with each other magnetically. If they are not, the black wire is hot. If they are, the white wire is hot. Whichever of the black and white go to hot, the other goes to ground.
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@hord1080 I added an edit to my last post. I saw you liked it while I was adding it so I am not sure if you saw it. I am posting this to get your attention and point it out.
You can easily tell if the two pickups are magnetically out of phase before wiring them in.

Simply place one pickup face to face against the other...screw polepiece to screw polepiece...slug to slug.

Should be easy if one is not installed.

If they are attracted to each other they're magnetically out of phase.

Opposites attract.

If they repel, they're the same magnetic polarity.
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