Pickup cutting out

Saintjonah

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Not 100% sure if this is the place for this question, but here it is.

Recently my SG fell from it's stand, took a bit of a face plant. I managed to touch it before it hit the ground, so not much really in the way of damage. The bridge volume knob shattered, but still works fine.

The other day I was playing a bit at home and noticed that the neck pickup seems to be a bit noisy. I was using a cheep as hell cable so I assumed that was the culprit. I started noticing that the bridge wasn't doing the same thing, and my Les Paul was fine as well, so I switched back to the neck and found that when I would wiggle the pickup a bit it would sort of cut out for a split second sometimes. I figured it was probably a lose connection...but under the pickup?

Anyway, I'm sort of dreading taking the thing apart to see what's up, but I assume that's going to have to happen at some point. I haven't had it apart yet, it's less than a year old! Just wanted to get some opinions from people that know more than me before I bother fumbling around in there.

There are soapbar P90s on a batwing guard, btw.
 

Phildog

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I seriously doubt that the pickup is the issue. You disclosed that the "knob shattered". That tells me that the shaft of the pot has been impacted to the point where the wiper may be damaged. Replace the pot and I bet the problem goes away.
 

61SG

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+1 on checking the pot. Actually, check all of them. If they feel loose, replace them. I would also check the input jack. Retension it and clean it.
 
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Tobacco Worm

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For what it's worth, damage to the switch may be a primary issue. Further, inspect soldering joints within the body cavity for partial connections that may have been loosened from the drop. When moving the pickup back and forth you stated that it cut in and out momentarily. I suspect a wiring issue first. You did mention how the bridge vol. pot acts, but if there's an issue with the neck pickup, then that pot for the bridge pickup is not the issue. Again, I suspect wiring being loose and most likely some damage to the switch. These things can be seen easily with the cover removed. I take it this is the new P/C style wiring yes? Should be fairly easy to spot any loose wires or jamed switch center shaft in the switch body.

Wade
 

Saintjonah

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Yeah, I can't imagine that it's the pot being that it was the bridge pot that broke and neck pickup cutting out. The bridge pickup works fine and I don't hear any issues with the pot's operation. I don't hear any issues when I toggle the switch either, just rocking the pickup, but I guess there's really no way to tell without taking a look.

I appreciate the help. I'll take a look in the rear cavity (eew) tonight. Hopefully it's something obvious.
 

Phildog

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I'm sorry buddy. I should have taken my time and re-reread your post. So it cuts out when you rock the pickup ONLY. Then I would look at the connections on the pickup. It may have been a fragile solder joint from the beginning, and the impact of the fall just exploited it? As stupid as that may sound, it could be the issue. If it is, then just heat up your iron and reflow the solder. I hope this helps in some way.
 

Saintjonah

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Ok, so I just took the pickguard off. The neck pickup has a loose wire coming out of it. There is one shielded wire and then a white wire that's not connected. The bridge pickup has the white wire soldered to the shielded wire. I assume that's what needs to be done. But man that white wire is SHORT. I don't even see residual solder there, but the white cover is melted a bit. Also one of the screws holding the cover on was loose. The 2 washers were laying in the cavity.

I know the guitar fell, but that seems like an odd bit of damage for such a fall.

Oh well. I'll try to get that soldered. Should do the trick.
 

Tobacco Worm

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If that wire was lightly soldered in place from the beginning, it's not that unusual for it to jar loose from a hard drop. Just go easy with the iron and you should be back in business!:thumb:

The buisiness with the screw? Hey, who knows? Anything can, and will happen. But it may have been that way already and just not noticed. If this is the first time to remove the pickguard or back cover to inspect things, then you can't really say it was from the drop or just not tightened at the factory. (Though I suspect the latter. :hmm: )

Good luck with your repair, I'll be rooting for ya!!!:fingersx:

Wade
 

Saintjonah

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Thanks for the support!

I'm a little apprehensive due to the length of the white wire. Should it be soldered directly to the metal braid or to the wire inside? I'll have to put a picture up so you can see what I'm dealing with. It seems... challenging to me. I'm no pro solderer.

Here you go:
IMAG1996.jpg


What do you think?
 

Tobacco Worm

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Well sir, if you have doubts about soldering this little shorty in place, then I'd recommend you locate a luthier, or a decent tech to do this for you. If it were me doing the repair for you, I'd splice in a jumper wire that would give this some added length and allow for greater movement of the wiring as you remove/replace the pickup and the guard.

But it's best to let another do this job for you. A word of advice; you may have a buddy or two with a soldering iron, but I'd let a tech do this. I've repaired too many that were done by well intended, but inexpierenced folks.

Wade
 

Saintjonah

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Well, I'm going to take the advice for sure. I'm just not confident enough with an iron to trust myself with that. I have done pickup swaps and done an OK job, but I had a lot more to work with.

I have a buddy (you called it!) that is an electrician and he's done a lot of soldering in his day. I'll run it by him anyway, see what his take is. He's a pretty straight shooter. I guess it depends on what the shop wants to charge for the fix. I'm not what you'd call a wealthy man.
 

Tobacco Worm

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Okey doke. If you buddy is good with an iron and you trust him then go for it. Again, if I were doing this repair, I'd splice in a small jumper wire to the pickup's wire first. Slip a bit of heatshrink tube to it to stiffen it up and keep it tight. Since this is attached to the sheilding, it's a grounded connection so when the jumper is attached, I'd take a small amount of thin solid copper wire (bare) and give it a few wraps around the pending joint to insure that when it is soldered in place it'll stay put. That will give you a good solid joint that will resist any shock or movement of the wire. Make sure your buddy uses a low watt iron (9W to 15w) and not some 250W soldering gun!:wow:

Let us know how it goes....

Wade
 

Saintjonah

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I have a 35 watt gun, not sure what he's got. Would 35w be too much you think?
 

Tobacco Worm

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That's right at the edge of being a hot one for small jobs such as you're doing. If you use it, don't let it linger in the project too long as you'll burn/melt the insulation from the inner wire of the shielded line. Then you got a real problem...

Love electricians. My grandfather was a great one and was in the business for 55 years! However, they are not electronics trained. World of difference in the mechanics of it. Several months ago I was forced to do a 100% rebuild of an old Gibson tube amp that an electrician "fixed" as he went inside that amp and rewired it so badly that it was a total wreck. In over 3 1/2 decades of amp repair I had never seen such a God Awful mess! But then again, you won't see me trying to do household wiring either. Not my speciality to be sure!!

So just go easy and take your time.... I'd still take it to a tech and let him fix it. That way if he fries it, the cost of the replacement is on him. At least it should be if he's honest that is. ;)

Wade
 

Saintjonah

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I'll probably go that route in the end. Just wanted to explore my options.

I really appreciate all the help. I'm pretty bummed out that it's not working. Guess I can still use the bridge anyway :)
 


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