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Thread: Possible wiring issue: P-Rails and Triple Shot

  1. #1
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    Default Possible wiring issue: P-Rails and Triple Shot

    Hello all,
    I recently took my guitar (a semi-hollow Hagstrom Viking) to a guitar store to get P-Rails and the Triple shot rings installed. I'm a little worried there are some issues. One is that they installed them "upside down" with the switches faces the high E string, but based on this thread, that doesn't seem to be a problem-https://www.seymourduncan.com/forum/showthread.php?320120-problems-fitting-p-rails-and-triple-shot-mountings-on-a-left-handed-guitar&highlight=triple+shot+upside+down.
    The bigger issue is that the bridge pickup is really quiet and the switches don't seem to work right. One of them seems to have no effect (I test to see which coils are active using a screwdriver) and the other seems to have the reverse effect--that is, when the switch is pointed to the P-90, the rail is active.
    Opening it up, the wires from the pickup are connected to the right tabs in the Triple Shot. For the volume issue, I suspect it's the ground and hot being switched, and I can try and pull those out (although the reason I took it in to someone is to avoid having to mess with the hard to reach wiring). I'm not sure what could be the problem with the switches, and wonder if the Triple Shot could be defective.
    Has anyone run into any of these? Do you have any suggestions? I was going to email the company, but thought i'd see if other users have run into this.
    Thanks for your help,

    tl:dr:
    1. Bridge pickup really quiet with P-Rail and Triple Shot
    2. Bridge pickup Triple Shot switches don't seem to do what they're intended

  2. #2
    Administrator Mincer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Possible wiring issue: P-Rails and Triple Shot

    Welcome to the forum!

    It is difficult to know what is going on with the wiring without pics. Problem is, the wiring is hard to get to, which is why you took it in to begin with. For one, I have no idea why they were installed 'upside down'. We also have to figure out what coils are working when you use the switches (screwdriver tap test, testing every position of each switch).
    The bridge pickup does not seem to be working properly. It honestly should not have left the bench like that, but we can try to figure out what is going on here if you don't want to bring it back.
    Dave, Ambassador/Writer/Artist for Seymour Duncan

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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Possible wiring issue: P-Rails and Triple Shot

    Thanks. Yeah, technically I should take it back, but had already been back twice as it wasn't finished the first time so I'd rather save the trip.

    I've attached three photos of the wiring connecting the Triple Shot to the bridge pickup. I thought I'd start there and then pull everything out if this isn't it. It looks right, although the wires connecting the green tab to the switches look a little weird.

    For the switches, I'll test that when I get home and provide information on switch position and test results.

    Thanks again,

    Quote Originally Posted by Mincer View Post
    Welcome to the forum!

    It is difficult to know what is going on with the wiring without pics. Problem is, the wiring is hard to get to, which is why you took it in to begin with. For one, I have no idea why they were installed 'upside down'. We also have to figure out what coils are working when you use the switches (screwdriver tap test, testing every position of each switch).
    The bridge pickup does not seem to be working properly. It honestly should not have left the bench like that, but we can try to figure out what is going on here if you don't want to bring it back.
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  4. #4
    Mojo's Minions dystrust's Avatar
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    Default Re: Possible wiring issue: P-Rails and Triple Shot

    Quote Originally Posted by RandolphCarter15 View Post
    tl:dr:
    1. Bridge pickup really quiet with P-Rail and Triple Shot
    2. Bridge pickup Triple Shot switches don't seem to do what they're intended
    I'll answer your second question first. The two P-Rails are RW/RP relative to each other so that they'll hum cancel in the middle position with like coils active ie both rails or both P-90s. The downside to this is that you have to wire one of the Triple shots backwards for the switches to behave identically for both pickups. The instructions mention this, but don't do a great job of explaining.

    For your first question, I would use a multi meter instead of a screwdriver to determine which coil(s) are active. Set your pickup switch to the bridge, plug a patch cable into the output jack, and read resistance between the tip and sleeve. I just measured the bridge P-Rail in my SG and came up with the following:

    Series: 18.07K
    Parallel: 4.64K
    P-90: 9.81K
    Rail: 8.21K

    Make sure your volume and tone controls are turned up all the way, and while I wouldn't expect your readings to match they should be in the same ballpark. If they're not, it should at least help us figure out what the problem is. I've heard reports of P-Rails that were wired incorrectly from the factory (and had one myself back in 2008), so that's also a possibility.
    Quote Originally Posted by crusty philtrum View Post
    And that's probably because most people with electric guitars seem more interested in their own performance rather than the effect on the listener ... in fact i don't think many people who own electric guitars even give a poop about the effect on a listener. Which is why many people play electric guitars but very very few of them are actually musicians.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Possible wiring issue: P-Rails and Triple Shot

    thanks. I don't have a multimeter, but will try to get a hold of one and see if the numbers match up.

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    Default Re: Possible wiring issue: P-Rails and Triple Shot

    Quote Originally Posted by Mincer View Post
    Welcome to the forum!

    It is difficult to know what is going on with the wiring without pics. Problem is, the wiring is hard to get to, which is why you took it in to begin with. For one, I have no idea why they were installed 'upside down'. We also have to figure out what coils are working when you use the switches (screwdriver tap test, testing every position of each switch).
    The bridge pickup does not seem to be working properly. It honestly should not have left the bench like that, but we can try to figure out what is going on here if you don't want to bring it back.
    I'm testing by tapping the magnets with a screwdriver. As far as I can tell, only one of the switches is doing anything. For the neck, it turns the rail on or off, but the P-90 is always on. For the bridge, it's the P-90 being turned on or off. So the basic coil splitting is occurring, just not in the right way.

    Here they are. It's possible that some of this is just hard to differentiate, but I can definitely say there's no way to turn off the P-90 on the neck, and no way to turn off the rail on the bridge. So any thoughts why that would be would be appreciated.

    Neck (switch on neck side does nothing, switch on bridge side turns rail off when pointed to P-90, which is facing bridge)-
    Towards each other- P-90 on, Rail off
    Away from each other- both on
    Both to P-90- P-90 on, rail on but faint
    Both to rail- both on

    Bridge (switch on bridge side does nothing, switch on neck side turns P-90 off when pointed to P-90, which is facing bridge) -
    Towards each other- Rail on, P-90 off
    Away-both on
    Both to P-90- rail on, P-90 on but faint
    Both to rail- both on

    I thought I'd try and figure out the switching issue, then get to the volume in the bridge pickup. Thanks again for your help.

  7. #7
    Administrator Mincer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Possible wiring issue: P-Rails and Triple Shot

    Here is the official instructions- keep in mind, this is if they are on the bass side of the pickup:

    The Triple Shot’s secret is its two mini switches stealthily tucked away on one side of the pickup ring. Slide each switch towards each other and you’re in humbucker series mode. Slide them both away from each other and your coils are in parallel. Slide both towards the neck and you’ve engaged the front coil only, or slide them both towards the back and only the rear coil is active. This works with any four-conductor humbucker but when you use the Triple Shot with a P-Rails these switches let you select between the P-90 coil and the Rail coil, or combine them for full humbucker sounds.
    Dave, Ambassador/Writer/Artist for Seymour Duncan

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    Gear pics and more on my Instagram.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Possible wiring issue: P-Rails and Triple Shot

    Thanks. Yeah, it's not right. I may call them, just too see if this could be a wiring issue before I try to put them back in myself. [

    QUOTE=Mincer;4355696]Here is the official instructions- keep in mind, this is if they are on the bass side of the pickup:

    The Triple Shot’s secret is its two mini switches stealthily tucked away on one side of the pickup ring. Slide each switch towards each other and you’re in humbucker series mode. Slide them both away from each other and your coils are in parallel. Slide both towards the neck and you’ve engaged the front coil only, or slide them both towards the back and only the rear coil is active. This works with any four-conductor humbucker but when you use the Triple Shot with a P-Rails these switches let you select between the P-90 coil and the Rail coil, or combine them for full humbucker sounds.
    [/QUOTE]

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