I recently purchased a very nice vintage Hofner 464 with a single Hofner 511 pickup and the Hofner E1 controls (Volume-Treble off/on-Bass 0ff/0n-Solo/Lead). The tone is a little sterile for me and I want to mellow it out a bit for better jazz tones.
The controls seem to have a minimal effect on the output. The 250K Volume POT does not fully turn off the volume, it cuts it by about 1/3. The Treble switch has no impact on tone. The Bass switch appears to ground out the signal when turned on. The Solo/Lead switch does increase output when turned on.
All of the wiring and components look good, no loose connections. The switches and components test OK. The odd thing is when I try to bypass the existing controls, I get nothing. When I disconnect the pickup output from the control board and run it directly to my amp input jack, with ground, I get nothing! I was planning to make a replacement control panel with just volume and tone POTs, but that doesn't seem like it will work.
Any suggestions or hints? I must be missing something basic here. I am not an electronics expert, but have done a lot of electrical work over the years. This should not be a difficult fix, but it has me stumped.
If anyone has a suggestion, or a website where I might go for additional info, please le me know.
This is my first post and your forum looks like it will be a great help!
When I checked the resistance of the pickup, it was inifinite! So I wasn't getting any signal from the pickup at all. The wiring inside the hollow body, and probably the wire in one of the coils in the pickup, was apparently creating a signal strong enough to be magnified by the amp. That is why the sound was so "thin".
As luck would have it, the broken wire was near the end of the coil and I had to unwind 95 % of the coil to get to it. I rewound the coil - what fun - resoldered the wires, and now I have a strong signal (5.4K ohms) that drives the controls fine. Everything works now except the volume control doesn't fully turn off the signal. The POT measures 300K ohms and should do the job. I could replace it with a 500K POT, but I will probably leave it since it is original.
Thanks to all of those that viewed my post. I never would have thought that I could get that much harmonic/induced signal through the wiring when the pickup was an open circuit!
Too bad no one replied to your posting but it is good that you found a solution. Very few people here attempt getting at the winding of the pickups. (I sure don't). If you unwound 95% of the pickup coil, that must have been a couple of thousand turns. Interesting that this is your first posting.