Author Topic: What is wrong with my guitar pickup?  (Read 3412 times)

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Offline Tomgudge123

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What is wrong with my guitar pickup?
« on: May 01, 2016, 08:40:31 pm »
Hello All!

I have been experiencing a problem with my guitar's neck pickup. It suddenly decides to stop producing any sound for a while. Then I'll come back to it at a later date and it works fine again. As far as I have experienced it has never stopped working while I am playing on it, only when I switch to it from the treble pickup. But that could just be a coincidence. Also, sometimes it doesn't stop producing sound completely, but just produces very poor quality sound. When I am tuning up through my amp's built in tuner, the lights on the tuner light up and allows me to tune, which I think suggests that signal is getting through from the pickup, but its just not making any sound for some reason. The treble pickup works fine all the time.

Thanks in advance!

Offline shadowscott007

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Re: What is wrong with my guitar pickup?
« Reply #1 on: May 01, 2016, 08:45:48 pm »
It is probably the switch.

Often you can get it to just by toggling it a bunch.

Shadow
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Offline Tomgudge123

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Re: What is wrong with my guitar pickup?
« Reply #2 on: May 02, 2016, 12:50:48 pm »
Thanks for the reply. Well I have tried toggling the switch back and forth but it doesnt seem to help. I've also got it out and fiddled with it a bit, but still no results. I could just take it to a guitar shop to get it repaired, but I'd like to learn how to do everything myself.

Offline joueur de guitare

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Re: What is wrong with my guitar pickup?
« Reply #3 on: May 02, 2016, 12:57:44 pm »
, but I'd like to learn how to do everything myself.


Have you got a multimeter?
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Offline shadowscott007

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Re: What is wrong with my guitar pickup?
« Reply #4 on: May 02, 2016, 02:17:09 pm »
If it is a Les Paul style toggle switch - with long leaf springs - you can clean the contacts with a bit of sand paper. 

If there is enough slack in the wires, pull it out.

Toggle the switch so the contacts are open.  Then take a bit of sand paper folded in half and stick it between the contacts, toggle the switch to trap the sand paper.  Then pull it out.  Repeat several times.  You are just trying to clean up the contacts so don't go crazy scrubbing.  You can repeat with the other set of contacts if you like.

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Offline Scooter Trash

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Re: What is wrong with my guitar pickup?
« Reply #5 on: May 02, 2016, 02:25:45 pm »
If the contacts aren't exposed, DeOxit pot and switch cleaner usually works very well.
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Offline 12-string_Doug

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Re: What is wrong with my guitar pickup?
« Reply #6 on: May 02, 2016, 11:53:40 pm »
  "Ditto" on the DeoxIT. A can of it, and maybe the little Stew-Mac device for getting the cleaner into volume and tone controls, it a handy thing to have in your guitar repair kit.
  You might also have a loose wire somewhere between the switch and the pickup, maybe a bad solder joint somewhere. If anything crackles when the switch and/or contacts are moved or touched, that could be a sign, too.

Offline Tomgudge123

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Re: What is wrong with my guitar pickup?
« Reply #7 on: May 07, 2016, 01:30:15 pm »
Thank you all for the replies.

@joueur de guitare
No, I haven't got a multimeter, but I will definitely get one. I can see it would make it all a lot easier.

@shadowscott007
Thank you for the advice, I will do that. It is a Les Paul style guitar, but I'm not familiar with what a long leaf spring is, but I will google it. Thanks again.

@Scooter Trash
I shall purchase DeOxit. So far I've been spraying WD40 into the pots. It worked well on my other guitar, but hasn't cured this guitar. I will get some DeOxit and give that a go (im assuming its a cleaning fluid, I havent googled it yet!)

@12-string_Doug
I will get a Stew-Mac to add to my arsenal of guitar repair stuff. Cheers! I recently got a soldering iron, so I shall check the soldering joints. Thank you.

Offline 12-string_Doug

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Re: What is wrong with my guitar pickup?
« Reply #8 on: May 08, 2016, 06:11:37 pm »
@12-string_Doug
I will get a Stew-Mac to add to my arsenal of guitar repair stuff. Cheers! I recently got a soldering iron, so I shall check the soldering joints. Thank you.
  If you don't have a multimeter (volt/ohm meter) yet, one of those might come in handy. The resistance (ohms) setting can be used for checking continuity between two points in the wiring. A good digital multimeter (DMM) or even an "old fashioned" analog meter can help spot bad connections.

Offline TB-AV

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Re: What is wrong with my guitar pickup?
« Reply #9 on: May 09, 2016, 02:40:47 pm »
re-melt all the solder joints. Be sure all wires are connected proper.
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