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Electronics question...

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' 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. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    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.
  3. Walter,

    Just tested your idea. And that is EXACTLY what happened. Could hear it with enough gain, then the tone acted like a volume.

    Looks like I'm calling StewMac to get a replacement. Thanks a lot for your help!!!
  4. walter, one other possibility.

    So these are Stewmac pickups that come with 4-conductor wire. Black, green, bare, and red and white. Red and white come soldered together. Since I wasn't using them, I put a piece of shrink wrap over them and melted it. Is it POSSIBLE that I desoldered the red/white wires? And would that cause this problem?

    Figured I'd check before I send the whole pickup back.

    Thanks again!
  5. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    nah, heat-shrinking is the correct step, and wouldn't hurt the wire underneath.

    you can do one other test, which is to peel that heat shrink off, then touch that soldered pair first to hot (volume pot center lug), then to ground. if one way gives you a normal output single coil sound, then you know that the other coil is dead.

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