I replaced a neck pickup and volume and tone pots on my guitar. (2 volume, 2 tone)

The neck pickup is working fine, but now my bridge pickup isn't getting any volume.

They are both wired up the same way.

I know the bridge still works, because if I touch the two volume soldering knubs together, I hear it through the static.

It is a Railhammer H90. Has 3 wires coming out. Red, white, and bare.

What can the problem be?
perhaps the pot isn't grounded properly any more; check for loose wires first. That is my first idea. However it might be a cold solder joint which is another easy fix.

as I continue to write this ensure that the 2nd colored wire is taped off and not touching anything inside the cavity this will create a "short" which means the pickup won't work properly. A bit of electric tape or shrink tubing help to ensure this doesn't happen.

with pickups with 3 wires they made life easy
colored wire 1 - hot lead
colored wire 2 - coiltap / coilsplit (if you're not using this one tape it off or something
bare - ground

you can determine with your ears which is which, this is monotonous or you can use a multimeter and find out in 2 seconds. Have the common prong on the multimeter on ground and look for the bigger amount of resistance when you set your multimeter to 20k in ohms.

this can help , remember to use the correct color code from your pickup brands.
Thanks for the tips, but what does a cold solder joint look like and how do i avoid that?
i had the 3rd wire grounded, havent tried taping it off. Can that really be all it was? I'm gonna go try that and hopefully feel stupid! :P

That didn't work..
Last edited by xocarek at Jan 31, 2015,
I had a spare pot, a new soldering iron, and it worked first try now

I think maybe on the one I was trying it had too much solder and cold joints from a bad soldering iron.

How can I must my multimeter to test things now that it is all wired up? Ive never used one before
for cold solder joints my friend who does wiring more seriously than I do would know right away.

I'd take a look at the volume knob. As we know there is 2 things going on (for the most part)
grounding - the back of the guitars pot has the pickup grounded and the volume pots right contact is grounded like in the diagram. Why it's grounded is for volume control.

the wire that may be wrong is the one in the middle of the volume pot which is called the wiper going to the selector.

but any other wiring experts on here feel free to chime in.
I got both pickups working now.
The only thing is the spare pot I use was a cheap chinese one, and the volume dosen't go completely off, but im ok with that.

I wired it up the same way that I was trying to do on the new pot, so it must have been something with the soldering.
Quote by xocarek
I got both pickups working now.
The only thing is the spare pot I use was a cheap chinese one, and the volume dosen't go completely off, but im ok with that.

so how much does the sound drop by?? even a cheap pot should turn all the way off, its normally the amount of roll off the sucks with cheap ones....it still sound like a grounding issue if you are still getting sound when off
What does a cold solder joint look like?

Dull, lumpy and gray. Good solder joint should be silver, smooth and shiny.
Hmmm...I wonder what this button does...
sorry for taking so long to get back to you, to avoid cold solder joints 60/40 solder helps with rosin core (rosin core cleans the surfaces and stuff), tin everything prior to it working and have a clean soldering iron tip. If it's not clean there's a bunch of ways on youtube.

with a multimeter to test a pickup outside of the guitar we have two prongs
set it to 20k in ohms
put one prong on the bare wire
put the other prong on the other wire (notice there is three, we're gonna get to this)
you'll get one reading

now try
bare on the same first prong, doesn't matter which prong
the other colored wire on the other prong
you'll get a second reading
one will be higher (full power series sound) and one will be lower.

the bigger the "resistance" say 15k vs 9k for a second reading that will tell you which is full power and which isn't.

you can also test volume pots with a multimeter and you can test contacts if you get really into it.
Last edited by Tallwood13 at Feb 1, 2015,