Hi! new to the forum hoping to get some help. I just installed a set of fender samarium cobalt noiseless pickups on my MIM standard strat. Positions 1,3,5 (neck middle bridge) sound fine but positions 2 and 4 don't sound right. I'm not getting that "quack". it sounds like it's out of phase. any input on why this may be?
thank you in advance.
Last Edit: Feb 18, 2013 21:53:02 GMT -5 by heavysoul
There are two possibilities here. First, it's possible that you're not getting the "quack" you're used to hearing because the SCNs, while quieter, aren't the same construction as regular single coils. In other words, you've got them wired correctly and they're operating normally, but aren't what you want.
I've never played a guitar with these so I can't say what they sound like.
Possibility number two is that you have (as you're guessing) wired them out of phase.
Now, first, it is much less likely that you would have wired both the neck and bridge pups OOP with the middle. If they're OOP, it's much more likely that the middle pup is the "odd man out", so to speak. Do you recall (or better yet, did you diagram) your wiring?
The SCNs each have 3 wires. Black and green are the grounds. One is the chassis ground, and the other is the signal "ground". I don't know which is which, but unless you're doing some nutsy wiring, both of these should be going to ground for all three of the pickups, likely to the back of one of the pots.
The "hot" wires are colored orange, red and white- the pickup with the white wire is the middle pickup. Is it possible that you thought the white was a ground? If so, that would mean the middle was OOP.
If you don't recall, then you have two choices to make. You can either unbutton everything again and check your wiring, or you can test for phasing using the screwdriver pull-off test. You can do this either with an analog multimeter or with your PC and some recording software like Audacity.
yes i have the black and greens wired to the volume pots as in the diagram. and the hot wires— red, white and yellow wires going to the switch.
Then just swap your current signal ground with your current signal hot of the middle pup, while leaving the bare chassis ground to the guitar ground (some pot) as well. See if that makes any change. The sound of positions 2 and 4 should not be considerably weaker than 1,3,5. And of course you might do the OOP test as explained by Newey.
Sounds like you've got them wired correctly, so my guess is my first possibility. Greek is right, there shouldn't be a big drop in output as there would be if truly OOP. They will drop a little bit since you've got 2 coils in parallel at 2 and 4.
But swapping the wires would then truly put them OOP, and it's a lot of work to do so. If you have any doubts about the phasing, I'd go with the test described, but again, I'm guessing what you're hearing is the sound of the SCNs.
As already said, your wiring is probably up to snuff. But since the sounds of Positions 2 & 4 are not what you think they should be, I'd take a closer look at the pickup height(s) in relation to the strings, and to each other. If they're out of balance, so to speak, then that special 'quack' is much harder to obtain.
BTW, I have those same beauties in my Strat, circa 2005, and they perform as advertised, or in your case, as you'd expect. Keep tuning things up, you'll eventually find that Magic Mojo®! ;D
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Hey Greekdude what you suggested worked! the volume on all positions have evened out. but here's the thing though, the middle pickup still sounds kind of nasally and i'm still not getting that quack from positions 2 and 4.
so if the middle pickup left the factory with the wires swapped can there be an issue with the middle pickup? i wonder.
How about installing the stock pup (pure SC) in the middle and try again? In my strats (2 of them), the only occasion when i got no quack was from an OOP situation. In almost all in-phase scenarios i get the quack.