i will start by saying this is my first visit here, and am not a big "forum guy"
i have a BC Rich Virgin (dual humbucker setup) i love the guitar almost as much as life. but a while back it suddenly got very quiet, IE i must turn my small practice amp up full volume to hear a slight sound, but there IS sound, and when i play with the added "boost" of distortion it can get louder, but still sounds as if i have my volume turned down (quiet, distortion not "crunchy") and my high strings are hard to even get to register. if anybody has any idea what could be causing this please id appreciate your help. i have machining skills and basic electronics/solder skills, so im not scared to fix this. i just need to know where to look, or even instructions on how to diagnose (i do own a multimeter)
p.s. all the wiring LOOKS fine, nothing loose, nothing looks liek its shorting, loosk basically as it did the day i bought it BTW its only 2-3 years old bought it brand new
once again any help wil be greatly appreciated. an info im missing or can help you with id be happy to supply.
P.S.S. not the amp, other guitar works fine, happens on other amps. and it has never "popped backed and forth" so to speak. by this i mean the problem appeared one day, and has been that way ever since
Last Edit: Jul 4, 2005 15:59:33 GMT -5 by bagofmetal
It sounds like you are well set up to track this problem down - and have come to the right place. Its either going to be something shorting out, or something disconnected/not connecting properly. Either way, some leakage around the problem area could provide the small sound that you hear.
Assuming you have an amp and a lead that you are confident about (plug in the lead to the amp, turn it up, touch the tip, you get a buzz sound?- good)
Plug the lead into the guitar (no amp ), measure the resistance of the guitar, with controls set to full volume. With the pickup selector set to one pickup, you should read somewher around 6k to 15k, depending on your pups. Set it to both pickups, the resistance should be half of that. If it reads a very low value, you have a short, or a much higher value, something is disconnected. Does turning the volume control make a difference? Try the tests measuring resistance inside the guitar - maybe by disconnecting one of the jack leads and putting the probes onto the wires that the jack connects to. Any different? (could be the jack). Try it across the outer connections of the volume control. In a similar way, you can put jumper leads on your guitar lead, plug into the amp and search for sounds, with one jumper to ground (probably back of volume pot), and the other probing each point, working back from the jack. Eventually youll find the sound, and hopefully isolate the problem. You may need to probe directly across the wires from the pickups - hopefully they are OK. If this problem affects both pickups, then its unlikely to be them. If it is independent of switch settings, and the volume controls do nothing, it may be the jack.
My hometown has a medium level of humidity, and such thing often happens in my guitar since +/-2 years I had it. Probably the exact same problem as yours. The humidity of the air is kinda micro-rusting the plugs and the sockets, throwing in a bit more resistance on the signal path (my own theory, though). So up until now I clean the plug with a not-too-soft cloth and spray lubricate the sockets regularly (+/- once in 2 month). oh, and I mean ALL plugs and sockets in your signal path.
"For the liberty and justice for all !" -- Steve Vai, the legend.
just wanted to update a bit, i have not yet tried what has been above suggested (mainly becasue this is the first time ive been back since posting) but,
i can say the volume knob works "normal" in relation to the overall volume of the guitar (no crackle even) and it would seem (from memory here) that the 3 way selector switch is also workign "normal" (also in relation to the guitars ongoing problem) this i mean no position makes the problem drastically worse or better, but does have an effect on overtal sound a bit
before i continue further i would liek to point out that i am a bit confused (mainly directed at johnH) and please i beg you not to confuse my lack of "sophistication" so to speak, for incompetence,everything i know and know how to do (from playign guitar to just about anything) ive taught myself, from my own neccesity to learn (partialy why i would liek to fix this myself) but just clarifying to guarantee im on the same page as you guys. and please excuse the more infantile questions i have (hey nobody knows anything before they learn it)
Lead= Cable, Cord
testing is done by touching pos. neg. terminal of multimeter to respective parts of the lead (was attempting this once but the only tutorial i could find was for a strat.. and and my strat is fine:-P
and if you could laymans terms what you mean by "Jumper" is it just any random (conductive) object/wire to "mock" wiring without actually soldering?
im going to to see if i can try what you have suggested later tonight then i should get back thanks again for even considering helping. and so far you have been very helpful (and friendly)
PS the only working amp i currently have is jut my small practice amp (my "big" one went kaput with my last band... hmm who would have thought i was right? it WAS a very bad idea to run a bass through it... Bastards)
Last Edit: Jul 6, 2005 15:29:53 GMT -5 by bagofmetal
All correct. When you use the meter, youll be setting it to measure resistance (Ohms).
By jumper, I mean any piece of wire you can connect to your guitar cable, and use to probe for sounds. Most convenient, are ones with 'alligator' clips at each end, to attach with but you could try anything. You need to connect wires to both the outer sleeve and to the tip, one wire each - then go probing
If the vol and switchs are working, with reduced volume, it sounds like a problem around the jack. Could also easiliy be the guitar cable - so definately test this. Maybe you have done this already, but trying with another guitar would be a clear test of the cable.
Your practice amp should be fine for sorting this out.