Hi guys, I'm having a problem with my pickups that's driving me crazy.
The setup is an 81 and an 85 with a 3-way switch, 1 volume 1 tone.

It started with my input jack (the one that came with the EMGs already soldered, they're sort of old, before the no soldering system) acting out. So I undid the connections and soldered everything to a brand new output jack according to the attached wiring diagram.

Problem is, when I tested the guitar, it sounds weak, the sound is shaky as if I was using a tremolo pedal, especially on low strings, clean sound is muddy, can't tell the notes apart very well and the distorted sound is way louder than clean (I noticed because I use sound bank effects and my previously balanced clean and distortion banks are now wildly different in volume). Also, the individual pickups sound worse than when I put the switch in the middle position, and the middle position is clearly louder than any of the individual pickups.

This is driving me crazy, I have no idea if I soldered something wrong or if it's a problem with a pot or the new output jack.

Oh, another thing, the only stereo jack I could find had a shunt in the tip, exactly like the one in the attachment. I simply connected the other lugs and didn't connect the shunt to anything, could this be the problem? Does it drain the battery?

Thanks ahead for any help
2 EMG 1v 1t 3wt.pdf
Pictures of your work would greatly help. Do you only have 2 wires hooked up to the output jack? How is your battery in the circuit? Have you tried a known good battery?
Ibanez RG1570 Prestige
Jackson Kelly KE3 - MIJ (Distortion/Jazz)
Jackson DKMGT Dinky (EMG 81/85)
ESP E-II Eclipse Custom (JB/'59)
ESP LTD EC-1001FR (EMG 81/60)
Fender MIM Strat

Mesa/Boogie Dual Rectifier Roadster 212
Laney IronHeart IRT-Studio
Peavey Vypyr 30
Peavey ReValver Amp Sims
TOOOO many T.C. Electronic Pedals. . .
Hi, thanks for the input. I'll post some pictures tomorrow, it's my brother's guitar so the soldering he did is kinda shoddy, but everything seems to be in place.
I have 3 wires connected to the output jack, the ground form the battery, ground from tone pot and lead from volume pot. I'm aware that the stereo jack avoids battery drainage when the guitar isnt plugged in, but I'm worried that the shunt is connecting the conductors anyway and therefore draining the battery. I will be buying a new battery tomorrow, the one I have is new but it's a crappy one. Can't find my multimeter to check the voltage.

This is the jack I bought: http://www.switchcraft.com/Drawings/13B_CD.pdf
Last edited by cheeseoverdose at Oct 15, 2016,
Quote by cheeseoverdose
Hey man, you might find this article useful for your case:
It might explain the output jack wiring a bit better,
although it looks like it is wired correctly as shown in the picture.

With the jack out of the way, that only leaves the potentiomter.
However I would first double check the soldering joints to make sure they're secure & making a strong connection.

Another thing to check if these are newly installed pickups is the pickup height.
If your pickups are sitting low,
this might cause the signal to come out faint & a quick adjustment will bring em back to life.

PS after seeing that last picture, it looks like you got a "Switching" jack which are quite rare with 4 prongs.
You are correct that the extra shunt is not necessary at all but the other 3 prongs should be easily wired up.

I hope that helps you out
Last edited by Iron_Age at Oct 24, 2016,