Okay, this is about driving me crazy. Long post ahead.
Last night I put a genuine Duncan gold cover on a TB-5 Duncan Custom. Wow, it was a tight fit. A covered TB pickup is so gigantic that I had to trim away some of the mounting ring on my Explorer.
Anyway, I get it all hooked up and it plays fine last night. I plug in today and it's very thin sounding. Sure enough, I measure and I'm only getting about half what the normal reading should be.
So I took the pickup apart. I've owned several SD pickups and this particular one had some of the gooiest, most disgusting tape I've ever encountered. When I've changed mags in this pickup in the past, I've had to clean up thoroughly with lighter fluid because black goo gets everywhere.
So I completely removed that tape and cleaned up all the black goo. In the process some of the scotch-style tape that covers the coil-to-lead wires came loose. So I cleaned up and shrink wrapped all of those.
At some point, I discovered that pushing on the edge of the treble side of the slug coil would cause the reading to bounce back and forth between half and normal reading. I pull off the coils to inspect. Everything looks okay. In the process, a lot of the wax comes loose and I must have spent 30 minutes trying to get the coils level. I ended up having to remove/scrape a lot of the excess wax to get them even and level. I might have to re-pot the pickup at some point.
So it stays at the normal reading. I push and wiggle and it won't budge form the normal reading. I put the pickup all back together, put on new tape, put the cover back on, put it in the ring, re-mount and re-soldered it back into the guitar. DURING EVERY STEP OF THAT REASSEMBLY PROCESS, I kept a meter on the pickup and it stayed proper the whole time.
So I play it for 10 minutes and all is fine. Then it drops back to half reading. I have spent almost all morning dealing with this and am looking for help.
Any ideas what is going on? I'm wondering if the overly tight fit of the cover cut part of the wind and it is connecting and re-connecting. Is that possible with wire that small? Perhaps the coil wire that connects to the wind is loose.
I'm probably gonna take it all apart, then gonna have to pull off the copper tape that covers the slug coil and inspect. But gonna take a break from it for now and hope to get some input from you all.