Hi, this is my first post on UG and I have some issues with my guitar.

I've re-soldered my pickups in my old Samick. When I desoldered them, I made a terrible wiring diagram for myself (not on purpose.) It works, however, now the 5 way selector switch acts as a 3 way selector. When I which to either the 1st or 5th position, it stops the signal completely. I must the keep the 5 way selector in the 2nd, 3rd, or 4th positions to hear my guitar.

My next problem is the volume knob. It seems to have no affect. When I do hear my guitar, it's on full blast and the volume knob does nothing. The tone pot works fine.

The setup is 2 single coils and 1 humbucker. The humbucker (bridge position) is a 4 wire humbucker.

This is of the first time I am taking the DIY approach, so I am asking for some patience with me at this point.

The wires coming from the humbucker are white, black, red, blue, and the bare. The white and black cable were soldered together (not my doing.) I think this is where my confusion begins. I know I shouldn't trust the color of a wire but the fact these two were soldered together contradicted everything I know about wiring. The multi-meter I have is very old and when I was testing it out today the display kinda went bad like and old scoreboard.

Help is much appreciated.
Pictures would be very useful.

The two wires that are soldered together will be the end / start of the humbucker coils. Unless you previously had a coil split option you can ignore these.

Ignore the wire colours and the pull switch connections, but try this (left side) as a reference.

Sorry for the blurriness, i just finished my morning coffee and took these.
Last edited by ligbou at Oct 20, 2015,
Okay, maybe "very" useful was an overstatement. Still kind of hard to see what's going on there. :P

I see your 5-way switch and I can make out the volume and tone pots, but is that also a toggle switch in there? I'm assuming the yellow wire goes to the jack socket.

Do you recall what the different positions of the 5-way did before your re-wiring job?

In your first picture there appears to be a red pickup wire (middle, top) that's not connected to anything. That can't be good.

It looks like your switch is one of these so I guess the poles would be something like

1     3
  \ / 
2- 0 -2
  / \
3     1

and I can't quite make out where your common (0) is going to.

I suppose I should also ask what you were aiming for with your re-wiring. Was it broken? Were you trying to get a specific setup?

Anyway, from what I've been able to work out from your pictures you seem to have these connections...

which would explain both why your volume doesn't work (it's not connected to the signal path in any way) and that positions 1 and 5 don't work (your jack "hot" is connected to pole 2 which is only active in positions 2-4).

Obviously there's a bit of guesswork in there and some things I just can't work out. But assuming I've guessed the operation of your 5-way correctly and that is a DPDT toggle switch, this is how I would wire it up...

This gives you the following positions on your 5-way:
1 = Bridge (HB)
2 = Bridge + Middle
3 = Middle
4 = Middle + Neck
5 = Neck
With the toggle switch activating the coil split on the HB.

But you might want to try for a second opinion on all that.
Last edited by von Layzonfon at Oct 21, 2015,
The setup before wasn't particularly bad, that i could recall. I attempted to turn it into a project guitar a couple years ago. Now, a little more patient, I'm just trying to get the thing functioning properly. Thank you very much for the help. I'll wire it up that way.

I do have a problem of not being sure which are the ground wires for the pickups, the sing coils especially. I do have a multi-meter, but the digital display doesn't work well. Does that matter?

That red wire that isn't attached to anything is also confusing. I guess you could say there are 5 wires coming out of my humbucker including the ground, a white and black (soldered) 1 blue, 1 red, and the ground.
Last edited by ligbou at Oct 21, 2015,
The two wires on the singles (and the free ones on the bucker) are just either end of the coil, so there isn't really an earth that you can measure, but which way round you connect the wires will affect the phase of the signal. Generally all the pickups will be wired "in phase". Getting one out of phase will not be the end of the world (it's often done on purpose) but the output might be lowered slightly.
Thanks again, wiring the jack to the volume knob did the trick for that one, and it actually sounds better/louder than before.

I have one last issue, the bridge position on the selector doesn't work. I can get signal from it but once i open the volume all the way the signal goes silent. When i turn back the volume a bit it comes back but its very weak, compared to the other selector positions.

I know it's not wired the way you set it up but like i said the "extra" cable coming from the humbucker is confusing me this is currently the way i have the selector wired.

On the right side are the single coils and the top left is the red from the hum and underneath is the blue from the hum. The presolodered cable are now hooked up to the toggle/"kill" switch and that works fine, which actually didn't work prior, so thanks loads for that.
Last edited by ligbou at Oct 21, 2015,
The extra wire on your humbucker will be the ground/shield - yes, another ground.

This picture is probably the best illustration.

Being a Samick, your colours will most likely be the same as the Ibanez. The blue should be wired to ground. this may not explain your weird volume problem in bridge position, but it just might.
Ok yes, the blue wire is a ground, all 5 positions now work!

However, there's one more thing now. I hope its no biggie.

While in the first neck and last bridge position, I get full volume, however now in the middle positions, when I open the volume all the way it doesn't stop the signal but it weakens it. If I dial back the volume knob to about 8 or less I get a regular signal. For some reason once the volume is fully opened it's as if the signal just gets cut in half or so.

After just moving around the wires on the selector switch, the volume effect changes positions (depending on the wiring configuration)

Right now the top two neck positions give me full signal and no changes. The other three give me different things.

While in the middle position, the volume knob seems to affect the tone when opened up past about "8" or so. Once opened past this point it does this thing where it changes the tone and seems to be switching pickups (I'm pretty new to this stuff so I could very possibly be perceiving it wrong.) The 4th bridge position does the same. The 5th bridge position is the only one where the signal seems to be cut in half.
Last edited by ligbou at Oct 21, 2015,
Sounds like something's finding an easier path to ground when the volume's turned up. When things get weird like this we could really do with a full schematic of your wiring, rather than trying to figure out from photos and descriptions.
Ok, as of right now all positions are hooked up to their proper positions and work well.
Thank you once again for all the help.

It was the pre-soldered black and white cable coming from the humbucker that was connected to the toggle switch which is wired to the volume knob and jack input, it was causing the coils in the humbucker to be on constantly. I can only guess it was "overriding" the single coils when the volume was opened up all the way.

Now I'm just not sure what to do with those two wires.. they're kind just there. the guitar works fine when it's not hooked up to anything, but when i try to place them somewhere it makes problems.
Last edited by ligbou at Oct 23, 2015,
They only need to be connected to something if you want to have a coil split option. Connecting them to earth means you only get the signal from one coil. If you're only wanting full humbucking then just insulate the join and leave it.

Good work, by the way.
Quote by von Layzonfon
If you're only wanting full humbucking then just insulate the join and leave it.

Will Do!

Quote by von Layzonfon
Good work, by the way.

Thanks for your help!