Just rewired guitar, didn't work. - Jemsite
Pickups & wiring Discussion about pickup types, replacements, recomendations, switching, wiring diagrams and sustainer systems for ANY guitar, JEMs included.

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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-19-2003, 10:25 PM Thread Starter
 
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Just rewired guitar, didn't work.

I checked all the connections to make sure everything was connected properly, but no go. My solder joints were rather sloppy, but I made sure no solder was short circuiting anything, which it wasn't. I used 60/40 or 40/60 rosin core solder, and 20 gauge stranded copper wire. Any ideas what might be the problem? I'm fairly new with this kinda stuff.
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-20-2003, 03:16 AM
 
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First, I would check for "cold solder joints." This can happen if the solder cools too quickly or doesn't really get hot enough to begin with. They're easily noticed if the solder looks really cloudy. Second, I would check for inadvertent ground connections. Sometimes, the case of a pot or some other hardware may be in contact with one of the hot wires.
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-20-2003, 08:15 AM
 
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Re: Just rewired guitar, didn't work.

Quote:
Originally Posted by guitarkatana
I checked all the connections to make sure everything was connected properly, but no go. My solder joints were rather sloppy, but I made sure no solder was short circuiting anything, which it wasn't. I used 60/40 or 40/60 rosin core solder, and 20 gauge stranded copper wire. Any ideas what might be the problem?
double check the connections, and use a voltmeter if you can to recheck that nothing is shorting anything else out. since you were working with ground wires, it's possible that you soldered or shorted a ground wire to a hot output connection like a switch terminal or the hot lugs of the volume or tone pot. the control cavity is probably shielded with conductive paint that is wired to ground, so if a hot wire or terminal is touching the paint that would short out the hot signal.

it's also possible when soldering in tight confines that you soldering iron can melt the insulation off another wire, if it gets close enough -- check to make sure there's no short from that too.

if the guitar still doesn't work, then start unconnecting things that you soldered one at a time to track down the fault. connect the bridge pickup only to the volume pot, bypassing the switch, and see if that works. move through all the wiring like that and you should be able to track down the problem.
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-20-2003, 09:09 AM Thread Starter
 
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Cool guys, thanks for the help.
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-21-2003, 09:59 AM Thread Starter
 
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I got a chance to talk with an expert on soldering and guitar electronics yesterday. He showed me all the little tricks, equipment, and what-not. "Heat the solder, not the part" and "let the solder flow onto the part" are the keys. Very important.

Before going back to the guitar I'm gonna practice soldering on some old guitar parts. I think I'm gonna go get a voltmeter or whatever to make sure my parts and connections are working. When I get to the guitar I'm gonna wire it up really simple, just a bridge pickup straight to the output, not even a vol. pot. This does work, right?
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-21-2003, 10:29 AM
 
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An "expert" told you to heat the SOLDER?

WRONG WRONG WRONG.

You ALWAYS heat the part, just enough to get the solder to flow . . . heating the solder will get you a cold joint almost every time.

Tin the iron (put a little bit of solder on the tip of the iron), tin the wires and parts, heat the PART, and let just enough solder flow onto the hot part (don't put the solder used for the joint on the iron) to cover the connection, then remove the iron. Let the solder cool naturally (don't blow on it).

When it's done correctly it should look smooth and shiny, not bumpy or cloudy.

Too many people heat the solder (just because it's faster) and end up with cold joints that may work for a while, but they will "dry" out and break eventually, or just start to loose the ability to actually let the current flow properly.

The only time I've ever done that was during a gig when a pup went microphonic and I had to replace it quickly. When I got the guitar to the "shop" (my garage) the next day I did it correctly.

Mic
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-21-2003, 10:51 AM Thread Starter
 
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Oops, I meant to say "Heat the part, not the solder", not the other way around. That was all me.

Another question, what the hell is a bare wire? In all the schematics I've looked at it always says to ground a certain wire and the bare wire from te pickup lead. Is the bare wire the ground wire directly under the pickup, or is it some wire from the pickup lead?
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-21-2003, 01:08 PM
 
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The bare wire is the one without insulation. It is bare (i.e. naked). Normally a ground wire. Normally it is one of the wires in the black lead.

Cheers,
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-21-2003, 01:50 PM Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ibateur
The bare wire is the one without insulation. It is bare (i.e. naked). Normally a ground wire. Normally it is one of the wires in the black lead.

Cheers,
My pickup leads have no bare wires then. My duncan Design leads have a green wire used as a hot, a black used as a ground, and a red and white which are soldered together and insulated. Is it possible that the bares are inside the black ground wire? I didn't look at the wire to well, but it does look funky on the inside compared to the rest.
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-21-2003, 02:48 PM
 
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I was assuming Dimarzio. Sorry. Don't go searching for the bare wire. It should be okay.

On SD 4 wires, I think green is ground and black is hot, not the other way around. Unless of course SD pickups change wiring per model. Try it out anyway, that could be it.

Good luck. I'm off to check for cold solders, since I'm getting a flangy sound on my guitar.
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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-21-2003, 04:42 PM Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ibateur
I was assuming Dimarzio. Sorry. Don't go searching for the bare wire. It should be okay.

On SD 4 wires, I think green is ground and black is hot, not the other way around. Unless of course SD pickups change wiring per model. Try it out anyway, that could be it.

Good luck. I'm off to check for cold solders, since I'm getting a flangy sound on my guitar.
I think SD are supposed to have bares too. Maybe thats just on the real SD pickups, not the cheap Duncan Design stuff.

Yeah, according to SD, Black is supposed to be hot and green is supposed to be ground. However, on my guitar was wired the other way around, black ground and green hot. Go figure.
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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-22-2003, 01:54 AM
 
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That has bugged me for years. I don't think that it's to much trouble for the two companies to sit down and agree on a color scheme. Then again, I'm a computer geek, and an open source one to boot. Maybe I'm a bit more used to companies agreeing to standardize things.
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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-22-2003, 01:57 PM Thread Starter
 
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Just finished doing some wiring to my guitar. I kept it simple, just a bridge humbucker to a vol pot to the output jack. It worked ! Sounds great too.

Before doing this wiring I spent some time practicing by connecting wires to wires, wires to pot lugs, pot bottoms(for grounding, obviously), and anything else I could think of. I just used old, useless parts, no where near the guitar. The practice definitely helped.

Thanks everyone for your help, I appreciate it. My next projects will be to get a new neck and bridge pickup in my guitar. Probably a Seymour Duncan JB or Dimarzio X2N for the bridge, which will be my main metal tone. Not sure what neck pickup to get, but I'll need it for playing Jazz and Blues music. Suggestions?
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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-24-2003, 10:56 AM Thread Starter
 
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Since my guitar only has the bridge pickup installed at the moment, I decided to split the length of my neck pickups's lead a bit, to see why there wasn't any bare wire. Well, I was wrong, it does have a bare wire. When the bare was grounded before I started tearing things up, it was insulated by some black tape or heat-sink, so it looked like a regular black wire. This is why the damn thing didn't work the first time I rewired it, I soldered my bare ground as a hot (can't work) . I also found the little black wire which in all Duncans is supposed to be the hot.

Well, in my bridge pickup the black hot is currently serving as a ground with the bare, and the green wire (which is supposed to ground with the bare) is wired as my hot. It's working just fine though, and it sounds great.
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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-24-2003, 03:57 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guitarkatana
Well, in my bridge pickup the black hot is currently serving as a ground with the bare, and the green wire (which is supposed to ground with the bare) is wired as my hot. It's working just fine though, and it sounds great.
Wired this way it's simply running the signal "backwards" through the coils . . . not that there is actually a forward and backwards . . .but the pickup responds exactly the same way.

The only way this will be an issue is when you wire in the other pup and want them on together. If you wire the other one with the black as hot, it will be out of phase with the bridge pup.

This is a no-no, your sound with both pups on will be weak, nazal and just, well, yuck.

Mic
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air norton , bridge hum , bridge humbucker , bridge pickup , bridge pup , heavy metal , neck pickup , neck pickups , seymour duncan , tone zone

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