About a year and a half ago i noticed that my epiphone LP was lacking the balls that it first had when i bought it. It just sounded a lot thinner and weaker, but still decent enough that people who hadn't heard it before just kind of thought it was ok for a cheap guitar. So i eventually put in new pickups (SD 59 and custom), and that caused a whole slew of problems, but I got most of them fixed, and the tone was vastly improved but it still sounded weak and i was getting alot of squeely screaching feedback when my hand wasn't touching the strings. So i gutted it and shielded the cavities, resoldered everything, and replaced all the pots with better ones from StewMac. Then my tone sounded alot brighter, but i still got the same feedback and it was still lacking in oomph.

My other guitar is a peavey raptor (strap copy) and it sound fairly heavier than my LP at pretty much any setting, though it does get similar feedback (its not shielded). I'm guessing / hoping that a cold solder joint is the culprit.

So I have a multimeter, but I have no clue how to use it. All the info i can find assumes I know way more about what I'm doing than i actually do. So what settings do i use, where exactly do i put the probe things, do i have to desolder the pickups, and what exactly would i be looking for, etc...?

edit: ill post some sound clips maybe tomorrow, dont want to turn up the volume at 2am.
Quote by rancidryan
set it to the lowest voltage reading on the multimeter and check everything


You'll to measure the resistance across the solderjoints. It doesn't sound like that's the problem, though.
tone was vastly improved but it still sounded weak and i was getting alot of squeely screaching feedback when my hand wasn't touching the strings

Microphonic pickups. Guitarnuts info and how to. I use a small electric potpourri pot I got at a resale shop for a buck, it works great.

Also check your solder joints, they should be smooth and shiny, not gray and lumpy. Gray and lumpy means cold solder joints, they may hold for a while but may not make good contact and will come loose eventually. If you need some soldering tips, let me know, I'm not going to do all that typing unless it's useful. If it will be useful, no problemo.

If the newer pickups sound weak, they may not be close enough to the strings, the best pickups you can find will be weak if they are too far away and the pickups can't do their job efficiently. Usually I start with the bridge pickup about 3/16" below the strings and neck pickup about 1/4" and work from there to get a good sound and get both/all pickups the same volume. Too close and it will start to sound dirty, and can adversely affect sustain if the magnets can pull the strings and hamper vibrations. Too far away and it can start to sound weak and wimpy.
Hmmm...I wonder what this button does...
The bridge pickup was microphonic when i got it. I already wax potted it, and it seemed to fix it (it squeeled a lot worse than the neck pup and now theyre about the same, and it stopped picking up sound like a microphone).

So to test the solder joints, I just stick the probes between them? What readings am i looking for?
were the pickups wired up correctly? i believe if its wired in parallel it'll wind up sounding thin. (or is that series?)
Grammar and spelling omitted as an exercise for the reader.
im pretty sure its wired correctly, ive looked at the schematics a million times, taken it apart a million times, etc...
Huh? Ok, is your gain the exact same place it always has been? If BOTH guitars are doing it, it sounds like you are overdriving your preamp. Or your preamp tubes are going out. You have a tube right? If I run my amp with the gain cranked and no noise gate on, I get it to howl pretty good, it's worse on my Kramer. So either turn your gain down, replace your tubes or get a noise gate. If both guitars are doing it, I doubt you have a soldering problem.
Current Rig:
Splawn Quickrod
Marshall 1960BX
Les Paul with Dirty Fingers
Isp Decimator
Cry Baby Wah
MXR MX108 10 Band EQ.
BBE Green Screamer
I've got a jcm800 and a fender frontman 25r. it's the same situation on both regardless of gain or eq settings. well, its not like it squeels when its clean... I plan on getting a noise gate, but i'm still not sure what to do about the lp just sounding lame. the neck pup gets a nice clean tone though.

so if i measure resistance across solder joints, HOW do i do that? do i just stick the probes on each side and see what it says? what readings am i looking for?

I was going to upload some soundclips but i just retubed and biased my marshall and i already pissed off my upstairs neighbour cranking it. he was banging on the floor pretty angrily. ha ha. maybe ill do it tomorrow then.