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FDP Forum / Guitar Mods, Repairs, and Projects / Neck Pickup Suddenly Very Weak

Chris-K

MD, USA

Aug 17th, 2017 06:06 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

The neck pickup (vintage noiseless) on my 2017 MIM Deluxe Strat suddenly sounds very weak (less than 1/4 volume of the middle pickup). Other pickups are fine, and the neck + mid position sounds just like the middle pickup soloed. I didn't do anything to the guitar.

Does it sound like something's wrong with the neck pickup or the 5-way switch?

Peegoo
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The rain sounds like

a round of applause
Aug 17th, 2017 07:25 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Sounds like a partial short to ground in the circuit (e.g., a signal-carrying solder tab on a control contacting shielding paint) or perhaps a broken wire in the coil.

Best way to diagnose is to pop the hood, run continuity checks through the control circuit, and check that pickup against the spec impedance rating.

wrnchbndr
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New Jersey

I'm back with the otters again
Aug 17th, 2017 07:39 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Does this strat have the push button switch?

Chris-K

MD, USA

Aug 17th, 2017 08:32 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Yes. It has the S1 switch, which has no effect on the neck pickup.

SonicBlue

Sunbury-on-Thames

Aug 18th, 2017 04:33 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

If it were mine I'd start by remaking the solder joints involving the pickup, both at the pickup itself and the other ends of its wires. While the pickguard was off I'd also give the switch a squirt of contact cleaner.

Chris-K

MD, USA

Aug 18th, 2017 11:52 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I could take it to a nearest Fender service center (about 30 minute driving distance from my home) to get a warranty service. However, I prefer to fix it myself unless the pickup is dead.

BTW, this was my first MIM Strat (I own 2 MIA Strats). I don't know if I got lucky, but its beefy neck feels fantastic and the quality of fret work is astonishing.

Hammond101
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So. Cal. USA

Aug 18th, 2017 12:29 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

The later MIM Strats are quite good. The best of the bunch actually.

You are in a bit of a catch 22 with your PU situation. You would need to pull the pickguard and unless something is very obvious, unsolder the PU lead from the switch and make some resistance measurements and compare the PU to factory specs.

Doing this is most likely a no-no with the warranty dealer so if the guitar is within the warranty period for electronics, I'd start there.

BTW, I'm not much of a fan of S1 switching. I have two Am Dlx Strats that I've removed it from and never looked back. Switch issues were my problems, both the 5-way and the push-button.

Chris-K

MD, USA

Aug 18th, 2017 02:05 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

The only thing the S1 switch does is to split the bridge pickup (Twin head vintage humbucker). It sounds incredible in the single coil mode.

Peegoo
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The rain sounds like

a round of applause
Aug 18th, 2017 02:18 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Chris, I'm in Crofton. Where are you located?

Chris-K

MD, USA

Aug 18th, 2017 04:32 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

In Clarksville, Howard County.

Peegoo
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The rain sounds like

a round of applause
Aug 18th, 2017 04:34 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Ah, out west. Fellow FDPer Mojito is out that way.

Chris-K

MD, USA

Aug 18th, 2017 05:44 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I will contact Fair $ Repair in Glen Bernie rather than Guitar Center for a warranty service. Not sure why Fender uses 3 GC stores for their warranty service in MD.

FunkyKikuchiyo

VT

Aug 19th, 2017 09:10 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I'm voting for an open circuit somewhere rather than a short since the mid/neck position is behaving as it is.

Not exactly sure what the switch does, but it still could be somewhere on that if the adding of the bridge pickup that it says on the site is for series. If not, then no... it shouldn't matter.

The Fender Noiseless pickups have a kinda high failure rate, so I'd seek out a decent warranty place.

One quick experiment: see if the neck tone control behaves like a volume control. If so, you probably have an open circuit from either a broken coil or bad solder joint somewhere.

Chris-K

MD, USA

Aug 21st, 2017 04:11 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I just checked pickup resistance with a multi-meter without removing the neck pickups. I did the following. I plugged a lead into the guitar but left the other end free. Then, I touched the multi-meter probes onto the tip and the earth of the lead. The resistance value of the offending front pickup is about 200k whereas other pickups' values are normal.

Does this pretty much prove that the neck pickup is dead?

Chris-K

MD, USA

Aug 21st, 2017 04:15 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

The neck control behaves like a volume control. I'll carefully examine solder joints not to void the warranty...

Hammond101
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So. Cal. USA

Aug 21st, 2017 04:16 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Well, you are halfway there. Still could be a wonky switch or connection somewhere. I'd expect to find something in the 6.5K to 8K range as normal.

SonicBlue

Sunbury-on-Thames

Aug 22nd, 2017 04:52 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Your reading means there's an open circuit somewhere in the pickup chain. Starting at the output 'end', it could be a poor solder joint on the 'tone' side of the selector switch, the selector switch itself, a poor joint on the 'pickup' side of the switch, a poor joint on the pickup hot terminal, the pickup itself (I'd say this is the most unlikely cause), a poor joint on the the pickup ground terminal, or a poor ground other end of the pickup ground wire.

It sounds a lot but with the pickguard off you'll fly through it, although I do understand your warranty concerns.

If you do decide to have a go, by far the quickest method is to just remake all the solder joints in the path. If that doesn't crack it start looking at the selector switch.

edited because I can't spell warranty

(This message was last edited by SonicBlue at 06:53 AM, Aug 22nd, 2017)

FDP Forum / Guitar Mods, Repairs, and Projects / Neck Pickup Suddenly Very Weak




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