What is cause of pots not doing anything and too low level on active pickups? Also sometimes the volume swings up and down for a few seconds without me touching the pots. When I turn the pots nothing happens to effect the guitar volume or tone.

When I say too low level, I say that ever since I've experienced the volume swing up and down for a few seconds, now it seems like the guitar is too quiet and the pots don't do anything even though they used to.

If its still working, but too quiet, could it be the preamp is bad in the guitar? The preamp in the guitar is EMG 157c.

I would think that if the actual pickups themselves weren't working, you would just hear no sound at all.

With the low level now, I hear hum even with a noise gate pedal. I think the level is definately too low.

The guitar is a Schrecter blackjack ATX and the pickups are Seymour Duncan blackouts.

I tried changing the battery and it didn't change anything.
Sounds logical. So if the preamp was bad you would hear no sound at all right? but if the pot has a loose connection it still works just its quieter and noisier.

Actually, upon further experimentation, I found out that one volume pot does indeed work, and the other one doesn't. If I turn one volume pot down as far as it will go I hear no sound. With the one volume pot turned down as far as it will go, when I turn the other volume pot I still hear no sound.

So that volume pot is bad.

This is with the pickup selector switch set to both pickups.

When I set the pickup selector switch to the top position I hear no sound with the good volume pot turned up.

The static and hum is slightly reduced when I select the pickup connected to the good pot rather than selecting both pickups.

Actually, there is sound sometimes when the pickup connected to the bad pot is selected, but its too quiet and it goes in and out.

by trial and error, I do hear more output now with less static (more output if only one pickup is connected to the battery because more current draw?) by only selecting the pickup connected to the good pot and turning down the bad pot all the way and not selecting that pickup.

Still, that doesn't really solve the problem, it just hides the problem.
Last edited by dietermoreno at Nov 4, 2014,
You are trying way too hard to analyze this situation. This is not a hard fix and you don't need to invent nonsense about current draw or imaginary output increases with a pot that's completely out of the circuit.

Clean the pots and check the wiring. If there's still a problem after you do that, post what the issue is.
Are these the original pots that came with the active pickups?
Were the pickups changed at any time, or are these the original pickups from the manufacturer?
Have you tried a fresh battery?
Last edited by dspellman at Nov 5, 2014,
For what its worth, the same thing happened to me when i put in emgs. I tried different combinations of volume and tone pots, and even tried to go straight to the output jack, and it still didnt work. Then it just suddenly came to life and even all the combinations of pots worked. If you have the soderless system, you can just try some different combinations, and make sure all the connectors are the right way around, that everything is connected to the correct space on the control module, and that the battery is full and connected to where it needs to be.