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Thread: Swapped electronics, now I have very low output and need a sanity check

  1. #1
    Junior Member EMSuffy's Avatar
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    Default Swapped electronics, now I have very low output and need a sanity check

    I just tore some Fishman pickups out of my guitar and plopped the original Custom 5 bridge and 59 neck back into it, based on the attached diagram, and now for some reason the output is ridiculously low. I tested against my G&L ASAT and that guitar's single coils were probably 10x louder.

    The pots are both Bourns 500k audio taper push-pull pots, and the cap is a standard .22uF. The volume pot has been tested and is working fine. Reads ~500k when full open, and 0 when turned off. I haven't tested the tone pot itself, but it's coil splitting and rolling off the high end as it should without doing anything funky, so I don't see any reason that it should be the problem. Additionally, I've bridged the lugs on the volume pot in order to send the signal straight to the jack, and the output issue seemed to go away, which would lead me to believe the problem would be something to do with the soldering on one of the pots, right? If so I'll just clean off and resolder everything to be on the safe side, but I wanted to make sure that I was on the right track in terms of diagnosis.

    As a side note, I'm also using the stereo jack that was installed with the Fishman pickups. I made sure I soldered to the tip and sleeve and ignored the ring, though, so as far as I know that shouldn't be affecting anything, but I might be horribly wrong. Feel free to tell me if I'm being dumb.

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  2. #2
    Mojo's Minions beaubrummels's Avatar
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    Default Re: Swapped electronics, now I have very low output and need a sanity check

    You shouldn’t have to clean off the solder and start over. Just touch the lugs enough to reflow the solder, making sure the wire stays in contact with the lug until it cools again.
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    Bacteriaolgoist GuitarDoc's Avatar
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    Default Re: Swapped electronics, now I have very low output and need a sanity check

    Yes, possibly a cold solder joint. Also check to make sure there is no solder "drip" on the lug which may be contacting the pot's cover or another ground.
    Originally Posted by IanBallard
    Rule of thumb... the more pot you have, the better your tone.

  4. #4
    Bacteriaolgoist GuitarDoc's Avatar
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    Default Re: Swapped electronics, now I have very low output and need a sanity check

    I presume that you meant that the cap is a standard .022uf
    Originally Posted by IanBallard
    Rule of thumb... the more pot you have, the better your tone.

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    Underglazed Hair Metalologist 80's_Metal's Avatar
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    Default Re: Swapped electronics, now I have very low output and need a sanity check

    Probably a cold solder, or a wire crossed somewhere.

    I make the guitar live, (plug it in with distortion) and then start touching things (pots, lugs, etc) listening for a change in signal to help isolate the possible issues.

    Don't know if that's right or wrong, but that's how I find errors sometimes.

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    Junior Member EMSuffy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Swapped electronics, now I have very low output and need a sanity check

    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarDoc View Post
    I presume that you meant that the cap is a standard .022uf
    Yeah, .022uf. The Fishman diagram I have shortens it to .22uf so I had that in my head for some reason.

    But I'll reflow the solder joints here in the next few days when I have time and report back.

    Thanks for the help, everybody

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    Mojo's Minions Gtrjunior's Avatar
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    Default Re: Swapped electronics, now I have very low output and need a sanity check

    Quote Originally Posted by 80's_Metal View Post
    Probably a cold solder, or a wire crossed somewhere.

    I make the guitar live, (plug it in with distortion) and then start touching things (pots, lugs, etc) listening for a change in signal to help isolate the possible issues.

    Don't know if that's right or wrong, but that's how I find errors sometimes.
    That’s my method too. Lol

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    Slutbucker Pimpologist ArtieToo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Swapped electronics, now I have very low output and need a sanity check

    This won't help your problem, but as long as your in there, you may want to go ahead and solder a short between ground and ring on the output jack. I often use stereo jacks on my "normal" guitars. It gives a slightly more solid ground and it allows you to mute your guitar by pulling the jack out "one click."

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    Bacteriaolgoist GuitarDoc's Avatar
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    Default Re: Swapped electronics, now I have very low output and need a sanity check

    I always ground the ring when I use TRS jacks.
    Originally Posted by IanBallard
    Rule of thumb... the more pot you have, the better your tone.

  10. #10
    Junior Member EMSuffy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Swapped electronics, now I have very low output and need a sanity check

    Welp, got it (mostly) all working. Solder joints are definitely good, but the output is still only about 1/3rd of what it should be, and the volume pot is behaving... interestingly. No sound at all until it's about 95% open. and then it goes instantly to full volume. It did this to a lesser extent before, and I figured it was simply a byproduct audio pots being audio pots. But apparently that's not the case. As a result, I have made the executive decision that, quite frankly, bugger it. I'm just going to buy a non-DPDT pot and go with a simple Vol+3 Way config with no tone control. Not really worth the effort to tinker with the push-pull pots thing any further at this point.

    Hopefully that will work a bit more nicely. And if not, it would mean I managed to screw up a diagram with like, three things to solder, which is probably a sign that I should just sell the guitar and pretend this never happened.

  11. #11
    Administrator Mincer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Swapped electronics, now I have very low output and need a sanity check

    Could you quickly wire each pickup to the output jack just to confirm they each are working properly? Other than something partially touching a ground (sometimes that is hard to see), I am very curious to find out what is causing this.
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    Ultimate Tone Slacker KNUCKLHEAD's Avatar
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    Default Re: Swapped electronics, now I have very low output and need a sanity check

    Quote Originally Posted by EMSuffy View Post
    interestingly. No sound at all until it's about 95% open. and then it goes instantly to full volume. It did this to a lesser extent before, and I figured it was simply a byproduct audio pots being audio pots <- That's Crappy Audio pots . But apparently that's not the case. which is probably a sign that I should just sell the guitar and pretend this never happened.

    2 things :

    1 - I would never sell a guitar because of Electronics if I liked the Body and the Neck and it could set-up to Shred + it was a guitar I wanted for personal . btw , I dont relate to selling a guitar because of Electonics period actually ~ I will just show them I'm smarter than Them eventually .
    2 ~ Good quality Audio taper pots have a nice even and consistent Sweep = I dont know what You're talking about

    btw - No Chinese Pots are Good pots imho but I dont know if chinese pot is any good ( havent smoked any in over 30yrs

  13. #13
    Bacteriaolgoist GuitarDoc's Avatar
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    Default Re: Swapped electronics, now I have very low output and need a sanity check

    Believe it or not, there is a simple explanation for this problem.

    It seems as though it is getting worse. Have you tried a new vol pot? Try what Mincer said first. If pups sound fine, then we know that there is something wrong with wiring or pots.
    Originally Posted by IanBallard
    Rule of thumb... the more pot you have, the better your tone.

  14. #14
    Underglazed Hair Metalologist 80's_Metal's Avatar
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    Default Re: Swapped electronics, now I have very low output and need a sanity check

    Sounds like the volume is wired in backwards? Left and right outside lugs maybe try switching those? Just a guess, I've done it half a dozen times over the years.
    Or replace the volume pot altogether.

  15. #15
    Ultimate Tone Slacker KNUCKLHEAD's Avatar
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    Default Re: Swapped electronics, now I have very low output and need a sanity check

    yes , try what Doc say BUT , cannibalize a guitar cord ( like the Cheap 5' fender throw-ins ) by cutting off one end stip back ground and Hots . Unsolder suspected demons on Ax~ attach either alligators or your stainless chinese roachclip/Hemostats ( U solder with ) use/jump leads to bypass V-Pot , can jump to Switches and Pickups , anywhere suspected problem is and You should find it shortly. And consider that JAck/Ring stereo thing Doc brought up

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