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Electronics question

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Ray Holt, May 6, 2010.

  1. Hey guys, been a LONG time since I've been on here.

    I'm building a guitar right now (I know I know). Got it all done and wired up.

    I have a 3 way on/on/on mini switch, and two humbuckers. I'm getting zero output from the neck pickup though. When I tap the poles with a screwdriver I can hear it tap. But when the 3-way is in the bridge and middle positions, I only get output from the bridge. When I flip it to the neck position, there is absolutely no output.

    The switch is wired correctly, everything is grounded.. what could it possibly be? It's especially confusing since I can hear it when I tap on the pole pieces.

    Thanks for any help you can offer.
  2. Greenman


    Dec 17, 2005
    Ontario Canada
    Don't have a clue, but nice to see you out and about Ray. :bassist:
  3. Thanks Greenman, I remember you!

    This is the first guitar I've built start to finish in a couple of years. I mean I was busy at Benedetto obviously but didn't do the whole process.

    It was a bit of a rush, I built it in two weeks, it's my final project for my woods class. I had been building a tool chest for 4 weeks but it wasn't going well and I decided to scrap it. People thought I was crazy, now I have the nicest project in class.

    It has really just reinforced the fact that one way or another, I'm building instruments. This has to be a part of my life.
  4. Beej


    Feb 10, 2007
    Victoria, BC
    Sounds silly, but I'd wire the neck pickup solo'd directly to the jack to see what came out. If it works fine, then try a new switch, it might be toast. If it does the same thing it does when you have it wired up to the switch, you got yourself a dud of a pickup...
  5. tjmdetroit


    Jan 27, 2008
    Detroit, MI
  6. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    When you tap the pickup, is it a "tapping a live pickup" sound or just a "touching something metal to a grounded point" static-y click?

    Btw nice to see you back.
  7. Thanks guys, I think it's been figured out. I also posted this in the "Electronics" section and Walterw posted this

    "unfortunately, that sounds like a dead pickup, specifically an open (broken) coil. it will produce a weak thin tone with enough gain, but not much when clean.

    a test for this is to crank the gain until you hear the pickup, then roll down the tone knob. with an open-coil pickup, the tone knob will act like a second volume knob."

    And that's exactly what happened. I'll be getting a replacement.

    Just nice to know it wasn't something I wired wrong.

    Thanks again for the help.
  8. Musiclogic

    Musiclogic Commercial User

    Aug 6, 2005
    Southwest Michigan
    Owner/Builder: HJC Customs USA, The Cool Lute, C G O
    Good to see you again Ray
  9. I'll get some pictures of the guitar up soon. It's a sweet piece. Mahogany body, maple neck, all natural finish.

    And it's the first guitar I've done a carved top on. If I may say so myself... it is sick. :bassist:

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