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Old 10-07-2012, 11:40 PM   #1
bAngiel01
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Guitar Wiring Questions

I've been having a couple problems with my guitar's wiring lately. First, my neck pickup seems really weak. Second, my three-position switch only works in the bridge and neck position--no middle. I know that I need to dismount the electronics and take a good look at everything, but I have some questions first.

1) Do these problems seem to point at anything specifically wrong, or am I going to have to take a look at everything individually (I expect the latter to be true).

2) There's a resister on my volume pot. Why? Every diagram I look at has a couple of caps. No resistors. Should that even be there? Can/Should I take it out?

I expect I'll have to do some soldering, and I'm perfectly fine with that. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!
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Old 10-07-2012, 11:42 PM   #2
Viban
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The neck pickup issue could be a bad switch, or a cold solder joint maybe.
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Old 10-08-2012, 12:02 AM   #3
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1. Given the no middle issue I'd say you have a bad switch.

2. Probably a treble bleed mod for the volume. Uncommon, but not unusual. Probably not the source of any of your issues.

Switches are cheap, break, and are easy to replace. Good place to start.
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Old 10-08-2012, 12:04 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bAngiel01
I've been having a couple problems with my guitar's wiring lately. First, my neck pickup seems really weak. Second, my three-position switch only works in the bridge and neck position--no middle. I know that I need to dismount the electronics and take a good look at everything, but I have some questions first.

1) Do these problems seem to point at anything specifically wrong, or am I going to have to take a look at everything individually (I expect the latter to be true).

2) There's a resister on my volume pot. Why? Every diagram I look at has a couple of caps. No resistors. Should that even be there? Can/Should I take it out?

I expect I'll have to do some soldering, and I'm perfectly fine with that. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!

What kind of switch do you have, blade or toggle? Could be a bad switch, could be bad wiring.

For the neck sounding weak, try adjusting the pickup height. Also, does the neck pickup hum?

As for the resistor, I'm guessing it's a treble bleed. There is probably a little capacitor there as well. I wouldn't remove it.
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Old 10-08-2012, 01:01 AM   #5
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if its a gibson styled open switch, some contact cleaner (deoxit) fixed the switch on one of my gibsons. may want to try that unless the wiring is in need of repair.
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Old 10-08-2012, 08:54 AM   #6
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I'll try the contact cleaner first, before I try taking everything out and re-soldering the joints.

I'll leave the resistor be. At least I know what it does now.

If I raise the height of the neck pickup, it would start to mute the strings when I play on the higher frets. Is that a neck-curve issue? I like my pickups to be near the strings, but the neck has to be backed off to keep off the strings. The neck pickup does not hum.

Where's the best place to get a toggle switch? The usuals: Stewmac, etc?
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Old 10-08-2012, 07:40 PM   #7
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Anyone?
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Old 10-08-2012, 09:44 PM   #8
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Don't raise the pickups too much otherwise their magnets will dampen the strings vibration... I don't think it's a neck curve issue. Does your neck not look straight?

allparts.com sells switches too. What guitar / switch is it?
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Old 10-09-2012, 12:27 PM   #9
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I tried spraying the electronics with contact cleaner, but the problem persists. I guess I'll have to gut it and take a look around before I send an order off for new parts.

It's a PRS SE CU22. The three-way switch will only work in the middle position if I go, bridge --> neck --> middle. If I go bridge --> middle, only the neck pickup works.

My neck looks straight.

Is it really bad to have your pickups close to the strings? I've always done that... I can lower them, though.
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Old 10-09-2012, 09:23 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bAngiel01
Is it really bad to have your pickups close to the strings? I've always done that... I can lower them, though.


I've only done it once and it sounded horrible. Muddy, weird, no sustain...
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Old 10-09-2012, 09:27 PM   #11
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The bridge pickup is typically going to be pretty close to the strings. The neck pickup will affect sustain more anyway. There is no right or wrong way, just do what sounds best to you.

And I'd recommend getting a switchcraft switch. If you buy some cheapo switch, you'll probably be replacing it sooner than you'd like.
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Old 10-09-2012, 09:48 PM   #12
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I think you can find some information of recommended distances on the internet, I did that not that long ago for my Jackson and got better output from the bridge humbucker. Google it and see if you're way off... or just try backing up a little see if it makes a difference.

There

Last edited by OliveG : 10-09-2012 at 09:52 PM.
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