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FDP Forum / Guitar Mods, Repairs, and Projects / Middle Pickup Problem

Previous 20 Messages  
Leftee
Contributing Member
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VA

Toxic Humility
Jan 26th, 2019 08:53 AM   Edit   Profile  

Dangit!

This is my first 341 pulled!

Peegoo
Contributing Member
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Just beyond Mars

there's a world of fools
Jan 26th, 2019 09:03 AM   Edit   Profile  

341?

Har!

Haven't heard THAT in 30-something years.

LeftyMeister
Contributing Member
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Buckeye Country, USA

Tone is in the lingers
Jan 26th, 2019 09:12 AM   Edit   Profile  

"What?!?!?! You don’t have a PSM-6 laying around."

I'm holding out for a Simpson 260.

TonyMan
Contributing Member
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Lisle, IL USA

That's what she said!
Jan 26th, 2019 09:18 AM   Edit   Profile  

OMG, PSM-6!!!!

1969, USAF, ICBM Guidance technician. During an evaluation I got confused and failed. The corrective action was 90 day retraining on the PSM-6. Never heard another word till day 89 when I was presented with multiple, dated training sheets to sign. What a life!

Anyway, I’ll have to look for a meter with an analog face. Crazy thing is, I wired the pickups the same way they were before. Will check back once I am done.

Thanks

Leftee
Contributing Member
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VA

Toxic Humility
Jan 26th, 2019 09:26 AM   Edit   Profile  

I trained on the PSM-6 in Tech School in 1980. I don't think the last one left the shop until the mid-80s.

TonyMan
Contributing Member
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Lisle, IL USA

That's what she said!
Jan 26th, 2019 10:13 AM   Edit   Profile  

Leftee, ya gotta admit, that was a helluva meter and it could take a beating.

Well, it does look like the humbucker is out of phase, and I believe you can do the test with a digital multi-meter. I saw the humbucker voltage jump negative while the other two jumped positive.

I won't be able to tear this apart till later tonight but am a little confused. As I recall, the humbucker has a single white wire with a shield around it then black plastic around that. I connected the white to the switch and the black to the ground. Reversing the connections sounds backwards, but I will know more when I get to tear it apart.

ejm

usa

Jan 26th, 2019 10:22 AM   Edit   Profile  

It sounds like an out of phase problem, but time out.
Let's go back to the beginning.

"I got this guitar I bought years ago, a no name that no one has ever been able to identify. It is SSH and had a single volume & tone, and five way switch. I decided to add a second tone control, installed a new 5 way switch, and wired the tone controls to N & B."

Question: You've had this guitar for a while.
Did it work right BEFORE you did your new mods?

And....You merely replaced the 5 way switch, correct? Meaning that you had the same 5 combinations before (N, NM,M,MB,B)?


TonyMan
Contributing Member
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Lisle, IL USA

That's what she said!
Jan 26th, 2019 11:10 AM   Edit   Profile  

ejm -Correct, all was working fine before and had the typical combinations you stated. All that was added was a new five way switch and 2nd tone control. Once that was done is when the the issue appeared. I want to agree that out of phase/wired backwards is most likely the issue, but my memory says the humbucker is wired exactly like it was before. When I get a chance to open it up tonight we'll see how good my memory is

Cal-Woody

USA/California

Why do I keep fixing things that work?
Jan 26th, 2019 06:09 PM   Edit   Profile  

Maybe the new switch is wired backwards and just reversing the wires to it might fix the problem, because this may have put it out of phase? Especially since you said that the new 5 way switch works well with the pickups, and until you engage the new pickup switch that you added.
It might just be that simple.

(This message was last edited by Cal-Woody at 08:19 PM, Jan 26th, 2019)

TonyMan
Contributing Member
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Lisle, IL USA

That's what she said!
Jan 26th, 2019 09:11 PM   Edit   Profile  

Cal-Woody, I’ll take a close look at that and verify with the ohmmeter. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to it tonight and hopefully will tomorrow.

Thanks for the suggestion.

ejm

usa

Jan 27th, 2019 08:30 AM   Edit   Profile  

Just swinging wildly here, but take the two switches and make sure that they work the same way and make the same connections.

Let's assume that merely adding a pot is not the problem, and that it was done with no errors.

I have a "budget" guitar, a Sterling SUB AX3.
It has two HB pups, and a 5 way switch.
That 5 way switch is NOT like a regular 5 way Strat switch, even though it looks like it would be.
I believe that Music Man does something similar with their Axis model (and maybe some others).
It obviously makes connections that are not "normal", and does coil splits and combinations that would take either a Super/Mega switch or more push/pull pot options.

In spite of my normally inquisitive nature, I've yet to ohm it out, out of the guitar, to see what it's actually doing.
However, I did make a wiring diagram of the guitar, FWIW.

If the original switch is not damaged, putting it back in the guitar may solve your problem.

(This message was last edited by ejm at 10:32 AM, Jan 27th, 2019)

TonyMan
Contributing Member
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Lisle, IL USA

That's what she said!
Jan 27th, 2019 11:40 AM   Edit   Profile  

I'll check out the switch too. As I recall when I bought it at a local Music store it was either an All Parts or Fender, so I want to believe it was OK. Unfortunately I didn't save the old one.

Edit:
I opened it up and it still looks properly wired which doesn't explain the phase reversal when M B is chosen. From the humbucker in the Bridge is a blue wire that has a shield inside and a white wire insulated inside of that. From everything I am familiar with the shield would be ground. To reverse the phase it seems I would have to connect the shield to the switch and the white wire to ground, but that sounds backwards. Wondering if anyone else has ever had to do that.

Later tonight I guess I will disconnect everything from the switch and ohm it out to see if it is operating properly. If it is I guess I'll have to reverse the humbucker wiring and test that out.

(This message was last edited by TonyMan at 02:38 PM, Jan 27th, 2019)

TonyMan
Contributing Member
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Lisle, IL USA

That's what she said!
Jan 27th, 2019 08:33 PM   Edit   Profile  

I unwired the switch and it checked out fine with an ohmmeter in every position.

I guess the next step would be to connect the humbucker shield to the switch and the middle wire to ground, and see what happens. Can't get to that till tomorrow though, will post the results.


TonyMan
Contributing Member
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Lisle, IL USA

That's what she said!
Jan 28th, 2019 05:52 PM   Edit   Profile  

Well, I've kinda had it. I reversed the humbucker leads and then the humbucker doesn't work at all. I put everything back as it was and still in the M-B position the volume drops and it's extremely tinny. I've verified the wiring a few times and verified there is no issue with the switch. That test with a screw drive & Volt meter still shows the humbucker out of phase for some reason. The only other thing I can see is if I have an extra humbucker laying around to try that. However, I'm a little tired of fighting it right now & been through three sets of strings to remove the pickguard.

Anyway, thanks for all the troubleshooting tips. I just need to get away from it for a day or two and maybe with a clear head I'll stumble upon something I missed.

Mick Reid
Contributing Member
*****

Australia

American-made in Oz!!
Jan 28th, 2019 06:02 PM   Edit   Profile  

"I just need to get away from it for a day or two and maybe with a clear head I'll stumble upon something I missed."

I have no technical solution or suggestion for you, but your statement above is the best advice you can give yourself!

With age comes wisdom, or so I'm told!

Hope you get it sorted next time 'round.


TonyMan
Contributing Member
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Lisle, IL USA

That's what she said!
Jan 29th, 2019 08:19 AM   Edit   Profile  

Thanks Mick. If wisdom comes with age then I should be sitting on a mountain, wearing robes, and distributing it! :-O

(This message was last edited by TonyMan at 01:52 PM, Jan 29th, 2019)

TonyMan
Contributing Member
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Lisle, IL USA

That's what she said!
Feb 25th, 2019 05:27 PM   Edit   Profile  

Well, this has been a real interesting adventure!

I put a different humbucker in and the symptoms changed. Now MB worked but B by itself was dead. I figured the switch had to be the issue so I bought a new switch (Fender) and now all pickups worked properly. However, playing around with it I noticed that switching would sometimes cause some ugly static like sounds. Now I see that different positions seem to go dead, but playing around with the switch brings them back. I can't believe I had two bad Fender switches and was totally confused. Looking at things a little closer, I do see the pickguard does not lay flat right across from the switch. against the body. I am now of the opinion the cavity is not as deep as it needs to be for this switch and the switch is probably getting pressed against the cavity. This could be warping the switch and making the contact closure erratic. In the next couple of days I will open it up again and take some measurements. If needed, I can make the cavity under the switch 1/8 inch deeper and see what that does.

Peegoo
Contributing Member
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Just beyond Mars

there's a world of fools
Feb 25th, 2019 05:37 PM   Edit   Profile  

Holy moly...that will drive ya nuts--especially if the cavity is shielded with copper foil or conductive paint. It causes shorts and all kinds of bad juju.



TonyMan
Contributing Member
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Lisle, IL USA

That's what she said!
Feb 26th, 2019 10:20 PM   Edit   Profile  

Golly Peegoo, is there anything you haven’t seen? 😲

I took the pickguard off, looked in, and sure enough, forgot I shielded the cavity over 10 years ago. I gotta believe the old switch was a little smaller and it never touched the shieding. Since no one has ever been able to identify the make, heaven knows what parts were used. I still cleared about 1/16” out of the cavity anyway. I won’t get it back together till tomorrow, but believe all will be fine now.

Again, quite the adventure.

TonyMan
Contributing Member
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Lisle, IL USA

That's what she said!
Feb 28th, 2019 08:58 PM   Edit   Profile  

Finished it up tonight & all is working fine. I can't believe I didn't notice the cavity was shielded and the possibility of the switch contacts shorting out!

Thanks for all the suggestions.

Previous 20 Messages  

FDP Forum / Guitar Mods, Repairs, and Projects / Middle Pickup Problem




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