No signal unless the input is plugged halfway in?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Naggon, Dec 18, 2021.


  1. Naggon

    Naggon

    Nov 8, 2006
    Vancouver, BC
    Hey guys,
    This is a question about my guitar, but I'm not on any guitar forums and I think some of you may be able to help.

    I switched out the pickups in my Les Paul. Everything seems to be wired up correctly (I'm not a pro, but I've done this a few times) but I'm getting no signal, EXCEPT when the input jack is plugged halfway in. Then it works fine!

    I've checked the connections on the input jack itself, and they're solid. None of the other connections seem loose or weird. The only difference is that the guitar originally had a pickup with 2 leads, and I replaced it with a newer one with 5.

    Both pickups are now wired: green & ground to the top of the volume pot, red & white taped off together, black connected to the pole on the pot.

    Originally, the old pickup with 2 leads was wired: black to the top of the volume pot, white to the pole on the same pot. I didn't change anything else.

    Any advice is very much appreciated! I don't know anything about electronics, so I'm just working by trying to copy schematics that work.
     
  2. You didn't accidentally bend the long arm on the jack that touches the tip did you?
     
  3. Naggon

    Naggon

    Nov 8, 2006
    Vancouver, BC
    Nope its for sure connecting at the jack. I only took it out to check after it already wasn't working.
     
  4. Naggon

    Naggon

    Nov 8, 2006
    Vancouver, BC
  5. I meant if it is bent in the middle it would connect but at a lower point as the plug is inserted into the jack
     
  6. Naggon

    Naggon

    Nov 8, 2006
    Vancouver, BC
    Ahh, gotcha. Pretty darn sure it's fine though! Looks perfect when I take it out.
     
  7. Naggon

    Naggon

    Nov 8, 2006
    Vancouver, BC
  8. HardNHeavy

    HardNHeavy

    Apr 17, 2014
    PA
    mono plug?.....are the wires disconnected inside the jack if you unscrew it.....weird
     
  9. devnulljp

    devnulljp

    Oct 13, 2009
    BC, Canada
    Admin on the D*A*M Forum
    Sounds like you've got a stereo jack wired in mono or the tip and sleeve connections the wrong way round.
     
  10. Naggon

    Naggon

    Nov 8, 2006
    Vancouver, BC
    The wires are connected properly inside the jack. This guitar was working properly before I swapped the pickups, and I didn't touch the jack wiring at all.
     
  11. Naggon

    Naggon

    Nov 8, 2006
    Vancouver, BC
    Woah I've never heard of a stereo jack! This is just a regular mono one. It's wired properly though, at least on the jack side. This guitar worked fine before I swapped the pickups, and I didn't touch any wiring other than the pickups.
     
  12. dwizum

    dwizum

    Dec 21, 2018
    Same cable as before?

    You said you didn't touch the jack, but this really sounds like a jack problem. Getting wire colors wrong on the pickup won't cause this behavior.

    Is the cavity shielded? Maybe the jack is touching the shielding - or a loose wire - once the cable is all the way in.
     
    vin*tone, Mechanical, lark_z and 4 others like this.
  13. Naggon

    Naggon

    Nov 8, 2006
    Vancouver, BC
    I know, it sure does seems like it should be a jack problem, but I'm looking at the jack right now and it's working perfectly! I've tried a couple different patch cables so it's not that either. The cavity isn't shielded, but the jack isn't touching anything either. I'm tearing my hair out!
     
    LoveThatBass likes this.
  14. dwizum

    dwizum

    Dec 21, 2018
    Do you have a multimeter? I'd be tempted to start checking for continuity. At least you should be able to determine if it's grounding out vs. losing continuity.
     
    LoveThatBass, vin*tone and TrevorR like this.
  15. Naggon

    Naggon

    Nov 8, 2006
    Vancouver, BC
    I don't have one, unfortunately. Never needed one before... I wouldn't really know how to use one anyhow.
     
  16. micguy

    micguy

    May 17, 2011
    You need to let go of this assumption (that's how you get past troubleshooting issues) - what you describe is exactly what you'd expect if there's a signal on the ring, but not the tip connection - I'd say there's a 90 percent chance your fault is at or around the jack.

    You could have a ground connection (that you don't want) that's being made when the plug is fully inserted - like the tip contact on the jack is shorting to ground when the contact is bent. Is there foil around the jack?
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2021
    CTW68, tblurker, TrevorOfDoom and 6 others like this.
  17. How about a picture of the control cavity and, especially, the jack maybe with a cord plugged in and without?
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2021
    mcnach likes this.
  18. Raman

    Raman

    Feb 19, 2003
    Montreal, Qc
    My bet also.

    Also, if the cavity is a bit tight where the jack goes in, sometimes you need to fit it in just right or else it leans against the wood and bends. So it looks fine when out, but doesn't work once back in.
     
    mcnach likes this.
  19. Why is this bit of good advice often the the hardest to accept :)
     
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    May 28, 2022

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