#1
Hello,
I have been playing music for years, but this past August is when I purchased my first real guitar gear- a 2013 Gibson SG standard and a 1979 Fender Twin Reverb. In the shop, I loved the sound of both together, but I did have some trouble with the bridge pickup- it seemed to cut in and out; the Sam Ash shop guy opened her up, cleaned something out of the pickup pot , I played some more and was satisfied, and I walked out with the guitar and amp (with a 2 year protection plan on the guitar).

The shop guy also said that Gibson neck pickups tend to be hotter than bridge pickups -can any one validate this?

It only happens occasionally and only for a few seconds, but some times I hear a noticeable difference in the output of the bridge pickup compared to that of the neck. It's almost as if the notes lose their sustain, definition, and volume- particularly when I'm playing in the higher frets.

Which of these is most likely my problem?
1) There is something seriously wrong with the guitar- get Gibson's one year or Sam Ash's 2 year to replace it.

2) Unwanted noise interfering with signal from effects (I'm running 4 boxes straight into the vibrato channel).

3) Weird stuff going on with the amp.

4) Nothing's wrong- I don't know crap about playing guitar, am experiencing pretty normal problems, and should just learn to enjoy my gear.

Thanks for reading!

Update!

My tech John contacted Gibson and explained the problem. Now we are just waiting for Gibson to send a replacement pickup and the work will be done free of charge because the guitar is still under warranty.

It's unfortunate I haven't had my SG for over a week now (playing my Squier Jazzmaster has given me a better appreciation for nicer instruments), but cheers to John at Central Jersey music for good customer service. If you live in New Jersey I highly recommend you check his shop out- he has done great work for me in the past and it's great that he's had my back in this situation.

http://www.centraljerseymusicservice.com/
Last edited by rbuist at Nov 15, 2013,
#3
Traditionally, both pickups were exactly the same pickup. Because of the physics of guitars, the bridge pickup always produced less volume than the neck. It wasn't until the '80's when manufacturers began putting an overwound pickup in the bridge position and marketing it as a "balanced" set.

The truth is that most "balanced" sets of pickups really aren't, and the neck pickup is still often the louder of the two. On most vintage Les Pauls, you'll see the neck pickup fairly low, often nearly even with the top of the pickup surround, with the bridge pickup fairly high.

If the bridge pickup is only *occasionally* low output, there may be something mechanically amiss with it. Perhaps there's something shorting out the coils, perhaps there's a cold solder joint somewhere in the chain, perhaps the pots need a shot of contact cleaner.

I've had at least one older open-coil pickup short out due to corrosion. The previous owner used to polish his frets with steel wool (bad idea). A tiny piece of the steel wool was attracted to the magnet in the pickup, stuck in the coil and rusted (sweaty player). When some metals rust/oxidize, they produce crystals that actually expand the metal. These crystals can pierce the coil wire insulation (usually no more than a thin coat of enamel). When that happens, the coil wire itself (if exposed to sweat or outgassing nitrocellulose lacquer) can begin to corrode. Copper produces some very nice crystals that can pierce the insulation of the wire adjacent to it, and you have a tiny short, one that's nearly impossible to find, and one that will reduce the output of the coil but not eliminate it. Fun stuff.
#4
Quote by rbuist

The shop guy also said that Gibson neck pickups tend to be hotter than bridge pickups -can any one validate this?


On your guitar model, maybe. according to the gibson website it has a pair of 57 classics, so if they're not calibrated (I don't think they are, but don't quote me) the neck will be a fair bit louder, most likely.

that being said it sounds like there's something wrong with your wiring/switch/pickups too. Most likely the wiring, probably.
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#5
Quote by rbuist
It only happens occasionally and only for a few seconds, but some times I hear a noticeable difference in the output of the bridge pickup compared to that of the neck. It's almost as if the notes lose their sustain, definition, and volume- particularly when I'm playing in the higher fre


This makes me think it is possibly a faulty switch.
YA GOTTA HIT IT ON THE ONE
pics of gear updated on profile 11/16/09
#6
Just called Gibson and they referred me to their closest customer service center which happens to be the usual tech I take my guitars too. When describing the problem to him, he described it as a "technician's nightmare" because he can replace the faulty pickup and send it to Gibson, if they find no problem with the faulty one, they won't compensate him for the cost of the replacement.

I've played low-quality guitars my entire life and have encountered similar problems, but never in my wildest dreams could I think that a brand new USA instrument would have such a defect but I really don't have great luck in general.

When I was playing today, I was using the bridge pickup, kicked on my loop pedal and the reduced volume was preserved in the loop. I shut the loop off, kicked it on again playing the same exact chords and had zero problems with it. As dspellman said: "Fun stuff" indeed.

Any ways, I still have my receipt of the original sale so I'll bring it to the shop and see what my tech says. I'll let you all know how things pan out.
#7
If it is new, take it back to the shop you bought it at. It really is that easy
2002 PRS CE22
2013 G&L ASAT Deluxe
2009 Epiphone G-400 (SH-4)
Marshall JCM2000 DSL100
Krank 1980 Jr 20watt
Krank Rev 4x12 (eminence V12)
GFS Greenie/Digitech Bad Monkey
Morley Bad Horsie 2
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#9
Made in the USA doesn't say much these days. It's like saying my **** is 8 inches. It's like in the end who cares? The gal riding it. And if it aint' pleasin' she aint' stayin'.
#10
Guitar is still in the shop, and the tech is waiting on Gibson to decide what to do next. I know things happen some times, but I think any one would agree buying a brand new $1300 instrument just to discover electronic issues would be pretty damn frustrated.

Any ways, I'll give it til Monday then I'm calling Gibson and Sam Ash to see what they can do to make this right. I'll let you know how it goes.
#11
Quote by rbuist
Guitar is still in the shop, and the tech is waiting on Gibson to decide what to do next. I know things happen some times, but I think any one would agree buying a brand new $1300 instrument just to discover electronic issues would be pretty damn frustrated.

Any ways, I'll give it til Monday then I'm calling Gibson and Sam Ash to see what they can do to make this right. I'll let you know how it goes.

Why didn't you take it back to where you bought it? they would have traded you a new working guitar or had it fixed with out you contacting Gibson.
You turned a 1 hour fix into a week + of not having a guitar.
2002 PRS CE22
2013 G&L ASAT Deluxe
2009 Epiphone G-400 (SH-4)
Marshall JCM2000 DSL100
Krank 1980 Jr 20watt
Krank Rev 4x12 (eminence V12)
GFS Greenie/Digitech Bad Monkey
Morley Bad Horsie 2
MXR Smart Gate
#12
Quote by Robbgnarly
Why didn't you take it back to where you bought it? they would have traded you a new working guitar or had it fixed with out you contacting Gibson.
You turned a 1 hour fix into a week + of not having a guitar.


Yep, I'm rather bummed about it.
#13
Update!

My tech John contacted Gibson and explained the problem. Now we are just waiting for Gibson to send a replacement pickup and the work will be done free of charge because the guitar is still under warranty.

It's unfortunate I haven't had my SG for over a week now (playing my Squier Jazzmaster has given me a better appreciation for nicer instruments), but cheers to John at Central Jersey music for good customer service. If you live in New Jersey I highly recommend you check his shop out- he has done great work for me in the past and it's great that he's had my back in this situation.

http://www.centraljerseymusicservice.com/
#14
good news
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?