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Stratocaster - technical questions for dead guitar
Old 8th August 2020
  #31
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Rick Dalton's Avatar
something you can check on that pickup seeing the solder job everything had, they had to of use an soldering gun. anyway pull that braid/shielding back a ways to see if whoever soldered all that up, didn't overheat the braid/shielding and melt the any wires into it. it could and does happen. Also one usually doesn't short like that, it may open as in taking out a diode.
Old 8th August 2020
  #32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick Dalton View Post
OK,Sorry I see now, these post kind of lag. Well youve two, do they put out?
Yes, I haven't put strings back up, but I don't see why that could be a problem when they respond to the screwdriver.
Old 8th August 2020
  #33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick Dalton View Post
something you can check on that pickup seeing the solder job everything had, they had to of use an soldering gun. anyway pull that braid/shielding back a ways to see if whoever soldered all that up, didn't overheat the braid/shielding and melt the any wires into it. it could and does happen. Also one usually doesn't short like that, it may open as in taking out a diode.
That was my thinking, too. I have inspected the red wires and they look good, even with a magnifier. So it looks like a part inside the PU is fried.
Old 8th August 2020
  #34
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Eppstein View Post
At least one pickup has a dead short. Unfixable, since they're potted.

You need to talk to Zoobiedood, he's our local Duncan guy.
Oh, where can I find him? Since the pickup is dead with 99% certainty, I'm not afraid to dig deeper.

Last edited by stefangs; 8th August 2020 at 03:13 PM..
Old 8th August 2020
  #35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick Dalton View Post
OK,Sorry I see now, these post kind of lag. Well youve two, do they put out?
Well, after wiring the pickguard with 2 pickups, I no longer get output. What else can be broken? A pot? Or do I have a wiring problem? Hope you can make out the wiring in the photo. I suppose the missing pickup would not prevent the two remaining ones from functioning.

Old 8th August 2020
  #36
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Rick Dalton's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by stefangs View Post
Well, after wiring the pickguard with 2 pickups, I no longer get output. What else can be broken? A pot? Or do I have a wiring problem? Hope you can make out the wiring in the photo. I suppose the missing pickup would not prevent the two remaining ones from functioning.

Hard to see, but is that lug on the master volume terminated at the pot housing? and not sure what the red and white wires are, with the blue tape.
Old 8th August 2020
  #37
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Rick Dalton's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick Dalton View Post
Hard to see, but is that lug on the master volume terminated at the pot housing? and not sure what the red and white wires are, with the blue tape.
wire it like a tele, just bypass that last pot and use that one cap you took out. Make sure you understand how that stereo jack/battery connection works. Also the red wires in this diagram will be your white ones. and jumper a wire in place of the cap on the switch.
Old 8th August 2020
  #38
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Rick Dalton's Avatar
Old 8th August 2020
  #39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick Dalton View Post
Hard to see, but is that lug on the master volume terminated at the pot housing? and not sure what the red and white wires are, with the blue tape.
Yes, it is - I just used a short piece of wire instead of bending the lug to the housing as suggested in the diagram.

And the terminated red and white wires are from the dead middle pickup.
Old 8th August 2020
  #40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick Dalton View Post
wire it like a tele, just bypass that last pot and use that one cap you took out. Make sure you understand how that stereo jack/battery connection works. Also the red wires in this diagram will be your white ones. and jumper a wire in place of the cap on the switch.
That's a good idea :-) I'll try that tomorrow, thanks!
Old 8th August 2020
  #41
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Rick Dalton's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by stefangs View Post
Yes, it is - I just used a short piece of wire instead of bending the lug to the housing as suggested in the diagram. The terminated red and white wires are from the dead middle pickup.
The way that pic looked, it was hard to tell if it was a shadow or not. I still think theres something odd with that pickup, you have a diode that should(if its fried) be open, so you shouldn't get a reading period. let alone a short. Anyway, Did you the rest going?
Old 9th August 2020
  #42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick Dalton View Post
wire it like a tele, just bypass that last pot and use that one cap you took out. Make sure you understand how that stereo jack/battery connection works. Also the red wires in this diagram will be your white ones. and jumper a wire in place of the cap on the switch.
I'm just having a go at it. Does this diagram show a 5-way switch? What happens here in the extra two switch positions?
Old 9th August 2020
  #43
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Rick Dalton's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by stefangs View Post
I'm just having a go at it. Does this diagram show a 5-way switch? What happens here in the extra two switch positions?
https://www.premierguitar.com/articl...caster-circuit
Old 9th August 2020
  #44
Quote:
Excellent - thanks! I'll report back after soldering...
Old 9th August 2020
  #45
Quote:
Originally Posted by stefangs View Post
Oh, where can I find him? Since the pickup is dead with 99% certainty, I'm not afraid to dig deeper.
I sent him a PM. You can too!
Old 9th August 2020
  #46
So for the benefit of all who've been reading this thread: The middle pickup is out and I rewired the two remaining ones in Telecaster style as suggested by Rick Dalton above. Just need to get a new cap because the existing one lost a leg.

Thanks to everyone for a fun and educational experience :-)



And finally, here's the broken pickup being measured. Funny that a reading appears briefly between hot and ground with either polarity.

Old 10th August 2020
  #47
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jBranam's Avatar
i miss talking to Bill :( may he rest in peace... he was a good man

cheers
Old 11th August 2020
  #48
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RonKirn's Avatar
 

Considering the state of the soldering.. You may want to consider replacing the pots and switch...

It's entirely possible the heat suggested by the "messy" soldering has damaged the components...

Since the guitar was one you really liked, you may want to consider having the :guts" replaced with some new "stuff" that way you prevent the possibility of future failures due to marginal electronics..

Remember, finding one that's ya really enjoy playing is an Eureka Moment... I'd preserve that one.

ron kirn
Old 11th August 2020
  #49
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uOpt's Avatar
I dunno about replacing things in there.

If you want noiseless pickups in Strat format these 18 Volts Lifewires are actually pretty good. Assuming you like the cleaner "active sound" and are willing to mess with the batteries.

The pots and switches either work or not. Don't rip apart a working system.
Old 11th August 2020
  #50
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uOpt's Avatar
I would try to revive the middle pickup.

Considering it is worthless now there is nothing wrong with slicing open the wire and see whether the shortcut is somewhere in the wire. Then you could cut that out and make a new lead.

As people mentioned, that kind of sealed active pickup is hard to kill. The chances of the wire being at fault are much higher than those of the actual pickup being dead. That's the case in general, and in your particular case you had a bad solder artist mess with the guitar before, so chances are even higher that the access cable is what is damaged.
Old 14th August 2020
  #51
Quote:
Originally Posted by uOpt View Post
I dunno about replacing things in there.

If you want noiseless pickups in Strat format these 18 Volts Lifewires are actually pretty good. Assuming you like the cleaner "active sound" and are willing to mess with the batteries.

The pots and switches either work or not. Don't rip apart a working system.
You don't need batteries for noiseless. Fralin makes a great noiseless pickup that's totally passive - no battery needed.
Old 14th August 2020
  #52
Quote:
Originally Posted by uOpt View Post
I would try to revive the middle pickup.

Considering it is worthless now there is nothing wrong with slicing open the wire and see whether the shortcut is somewhere in the wire. Then you could cut that out and make a new lead.

As people mentioned, that kind of sealed active pickup is hard to kill. The chances of the wire being at fault are much higher than those of the actual pickup being dead. That's the case in general, and in your particular case you had a bad solder artist mess with the guitar before, so chances are even higher that the access cable is what is damaged.
Wrong.

On every count.

The pickup contains active electronics, chip based. The odds of bad electronics are much, much higher the the odds of a bad coil, especially since the pickup is epoxy potted.

And you can'ty get to the coil anyway - it's sealed in epoxy.

D'OH!
Old 4 weeks ago
  #53
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uOpt's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Eppstein View Post
Wrong.

On every count.

The pickup contains active electronics, chip based. The odds of bad electronics are much, much higher the the odds of a bad coil, especially since the pickup is epoxy potted.

And you can'ty get to the coil anyway - it's sealed in epoxy.

D'OH!
I am talking about splicing the cable to separate the power cable from ground. Chances are the shortcut is somewhere in the cable, not inside the sealed pickup.

A bad IC wouldn't cause a shortcut, so I don't think that is it.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #54
Quote:
Originally Posted by uOpt View Post
I am talking about splicing the cable to separate the power cable from ground. Chances are the shortcut is somewhere in the cable, not inside the sealed pickup.

A bad IC wouldn't cause a shortcut, so I don't think that is it.
Well, you've just demonstrated that you don't know electronics. A bad IC can definitely cause a short - it all depends on what's wrong with it.

There's a possibility that the short is in the cable, given the sloppy soldering, but I wouldn't bet on it.

Shouldn't take more than a couple minutes with a ohmmeter to find out.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #55
So the deal is that I will replace the pups with noiseless ones sooner or later, but I would go for passive, since that battery business was about the only thing I disliked about the instrument. The sound was beautiful, though. And I really like how the Strat plays - the neck is perfect for me.

When the time comes, the two remaining SDs end up on reverb or ebay. And while I have a worthless broken one, I will open it as far as it will go, just to satisfy my curiosity. I don't expect some magic healing - just want to see what 'potted in epoxy' looks like. Will sinking it in chlorine dissolve the epoxy? Naw, just kidding
Old 4 weeks ago
  #56
Quote:
Originally Posted by stefangs View Post
So the deal is that I will replace the pups with noiseless ones sooner or later, but I would go for passive, since that battery business was about the only thing I disliked about the instrument. The sound was beautiful, though. And I really like how the Strat plays - the neck is perfect for me.

When the time comes, the two remaining SDs end up on reverb or ebay. And while I have a worthless broken one, I will open it as far as it will go, just to satisfy my curiosity. I don't expect some magic healing - just want to see what 'potted in epoxy' looks like. Will sinking it in chlorine dissolve the epoxy? Naw, just kidding
Kidding or not, no, I don't think chlorine will dissolve epoxy. However I do think that carefully opening the pickup could definitely be educational.
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