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Question- Pickup soldering Issue
I recently installed two Seymour Duncan pickups into my Les Paul, and am
having trouble with one of them. This was my first time soldering
anything, so the problem may lie in my soldering job, although I read up a lot,
and it looked ok, although if I was guilty of one thing, it may have been too
Anyways, the neck pickup seems to sound fine, but the bridge pup
seems very quiet. I can still hear it ok, but with the volume turned up
all the way on my guitar, and fairly high on my amp, it sounds very clean,
and quiet, instead of loud and distorted. I don't think it's out of phase,
because it's only in one pup, and it doesn't sound too nasley, although
it doesn't have a normal heavy humbucker sound, more that of a single coil.
I would appreciate any help you can give me, thanks very much.
Ricks Answer to - Pickup soldering Issue
Sent: Monday, August 09, 2004 8:32 PM
Well Jason, I would say your pickup is OK. If the pickup is bad then it
will not work at all. The fine as a frog hair split 3 ways coil winding once
broken will not let the current through and it will not work at all. If it
not broke then the current passes all the way through the circuit so it is
There is a slight possibility the high heat could have melted away
the shellac finish on the copper wire coil and the current could be shorting
through and killing the power but I tend to think maybe you overheated one
of the control pots, or a capacitor, or it is possible when you attached
the wires it is not grounded well or some wiring is not soldered in a good
connection as it should be therefore making the signal work but not very
good, only slightly.
Sometimes the metal surface is not cleaned well enough so it only partially conducts
the signal. It is also possible the heat ruined the wiper inside the tone or vilume pot.
To trouble shoot I would suggest this: Un-solder the wires and then connrect the pickup
direct to the end of your jack cord from the amp bnypassing any controls. This way
your amp sends the signal direct through the pickup. Be sure to have a good
connection. The pickup should sound full volume and highest treble tone and
full strength. If that proves true then you know the pickup is fine.
Next, add the volume control into the circuit and see if it alone operates the
volume properly. Then take loose the vilume control and wire in the tone
control only and see what it does. Last check the toggle switch itself.
Now at this point you have checked each indivivdual part alone and it will
prove to you which one is the bad guy. If they all work properly alone then the
wiring and soldering was not a good solid connection. I have seen circuits
soldered together that I could not pull the wires offyet the glob of
solder was heavy and filled with oils and grity and could not get good
It is like the mtrealic soldering wire is alloyed with non-conductive
stuff and inteferes with the signal. You want your soldering to be a good pure
metalic through and through to conduct properly. Check out these things in
that order and let me know. I think you will find it.
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