I want to ask a question about my guitar which I rewired with helpful information on guitarnuts.com several years ago.
The guitar is strat style but when the bridge pickup is selected, it most often just kills all sound coming from the instrument or a quiet low-pass kind of sound can be heard. Sometimes jiggling switches helps, sometimes smacking the back of the guitar helps. I realize this sounds like a simple open/shut case of pots/switches gone south but the problem arose again very shortly after wiring new switches and pots in the same manner. By very shortly I mean within a week. When the problem is new, I found that removing the guitar cable from the first pedal or amp that it's connected to and reconnecting it would fix the problem. These days, spraying some contact cleaner into switches and pots may bring it back to working order for a day or two.
Again, I know it sounds like pots and switches but I thought I would ask if anyone else has heard of something like this? The cable disconnect/reconnect has me baffled. (I was careful to make sure nothing was bumped when I tested this)
Now the obvious question since I've laid the crux of the problem out is how the guitar is wired. To be honest, I will need to open it up to diagram what I did. The switching and functionality is as follows:
SSH (Texas Special, Texas Special, HotRails) 1x Volume(w/pull switching), 1x Tone(w/pull switching), 1x 5 way switch, 1x lead/rythm style switch to select which coil or combo to use from the Hotrails.
The 5 way switch works as follows (I hope I don't get this backwards): 1 bridge 2 bridge/middle 3 middle 4 middle/neck 5 neck
Pulling the volume switch ON activates (IN SERIES) whatever pickup is selected at the bridge.
Pulling the tone switch ON reverses the phase of the neck pickup.
I suppose all that would be left is for me to provide a diagram of my wiring but I think that from what I described someone may be able to flat out tell me it's definitely my components gone south or there is a possibility it's something else.
but a common problem with strat tyle guitars is that the wiring can be forced onto the shielding, perhaps a wire or so is a little close and bare and touching the shielding.
This can be a particular problem with super-switches which are deeper than normal and a lot of hot terminals.
Even without shielding in the cavity, such squeezing of things in can push connection so they just touch...push pull pots are pretty deep too and may be pulling on a while or something...check for that.
Ok...the problem...the solution is to simply cover the switches and such with PVC tape. While you are in there check all your wiring has good clean joints.
Maybe take a picture in case that's not it.
With push pull pots, the switch case is thin and the guts plastic...if you have soldered a ground wire to this case, it is easy to have damaged it.
It will need to be trouble shot...the thing you didn't replace was the output jack...so perhaps check that first, same thing, could be shorting out or a poor socket or one that got damaged when you stepped on the lead perhaps...
all I can think of till pics and you play around inside there...
Mr D.I.Y. Sustainer ;-) [/IMG]New Project...'jazz strat' ... Seagull project and mini PA amplification
So, this only happens when the bridge pup is selected? The guitar always operates normally when neck or middle are selected?
Something that is shorting intermittently can be tough to find. But if it only affects the bridge setting(s), then your attention should be directed to the P/P pot with the bridge coil split, and to the connections out from there to the 5-way switch.
As 4real said, something touching ground is the likely culprit. I suspect that playing with the cable, spraying cleaner, etc. has just jostled the bad connection enough to solve the short for a while.
I'm putting off photos of the inside of the guitar because the cavity looks very ugly because of my first overzealous attempt at shielding involving lots of glue and aluminum foil. (that was years ago and I would like to slap my younger self for doing that) The soldering is amateur and I've learned some better practices since I made the last wiring attempt. I just don't remember being that bad at soldering. It was a weak connection on the positive lead to the 5 way switch. I've opened the guitar several times looking for this problem. I don't know why it took me this long to find it. I re-soldered it cleanly and put some insulating tape over it. Plays like a champ. I'm not sure why contact cleaner helped temporarily. Maybe in the process I jostled things sufficiently get it working temporarily. The disconnecting and reconnecting the jack (at the effect or amp, not guitar) is mysterious. I insist that in doing this I did not jostle the guitar. I even did this with the guitar laying on a table and had the same result. My humble theory is that some kind of electromagnetic business was happening that was interrupted by disconnecting the jack and the weak solder joint settled back into place. It only got dislodged if I physically bumped it again but didn't want to settle back in till the jack trick was done again. At any rate, the weak solder joint was the culprit. (hides)
I plan to go back in there soon and clean up the whole ordeal so that I can photo document my wiring. I think it's a combo of a few mods I've found on the site.
My humble theory is that some kind of electromagnetic business was happening that was interrupted by disconnecting the jack and the weak solder joint settled back into place. It only got dislodged if I physically bumped it again but didn't want to settle back in till the jack trick was done again. At any rate, the weak solder joint was the culprit. (hides)
Glad you got it working again. As far as the jack insertion providing a temporary cure, again, a weak connection can go intermittently with a slight vibration. While the jack seems like an unlikely culprit as it's a ways away from the 5-way connections on a Strat-type guitar, inserting the plug into the jack does physically move the jack's tip connection a bit, and this motion is then transferred to the outjack hot wire, which in turn runs over to one of the common lugs on the 5-way switch (assuming more-or-less std. Strat wiring at that point). So, there could be some jostling of the 5-way with insertion of a cable plug.