March 27th, 2006, 07:33 PM
The original bridge pickup in my '69 tele is cutting out. I can play it one day and it'll work fine, but the next day I'll pick it up and there's no sound. Sometimes I can jiggle the pickup back to life, but mostly jiggling it does nothing. What's going on? All the solder connections look and feel pretty solid?
March 27th, 2006, 08:16 PM
Maybe the pup selector needs cleaning or replacement or your output jack could have a problem too.
Any scrunchy crackling sounds?
March 27th, 2006, 08:18 PM
Its almost always the switch. When the pickup goes out it will usually go all the way dead.
I always change the switch 1st that fixes it about 99% of the time.
March 27th, 2006, 09:19 PM
No extranneous noises, it's either dead or alive. I'll try cleaning the switch. Thanks.
March 27th, 2006, 10:27 PM
I've never had one "die" on me, but I had one "get killed" by, shall we say, envirnomental factors.
March 28th, 2006, 10:50 AM
I've been playing the guitar for 38 years. I am 48 years old and started playing when i was ten. In all that time i never had a pickup die on me.....right up until two weeks ago. The SD-little '59 on my Tele gave up it's ghost, just like that. I couldn't believe it. I guess there is a first time for everything. I had that pickup for a good five years and played the guitar constantly. The switch and pot's were fine. I changed the pickup and put the original one back in, and...hey presto, it works a treat. I haven't had any trouble at all now.
So, it seems that pickups do die, or rather can die. Who knows the reasons why, but it can happen.
March 28th, 2006, 11:58 AM
No, they go to pickup heaven.
At least that's where the Fralin neck pup I once accidentally massacred with a flat blade screwdriver is now.
March 28th, 2006, 07:15 PM
over time the copper windings can oxidize, shorting out the pickup?
March 28th, 2006, 07:20 PM
hmm, not sure about this, the copper windings are all touching eachother on a wound bobbin, they are already 'shorting out'. If anything, oxidation will cause a build up of resistance or semi-insulation which will cause the reverse effect of a short.
Oh, check the switch!
March 28th, 2006, 09:09 PM
hmm, not sure about this, the copper windings are all touching eachother on a wound bobbin, they are already 'shorting out'.
Nope. The wire has a very thin coating of insulation to prevent this.
March 28th, 2006, 09:58 PM
but you can kill em by melting that insulation if your not carefull with a soldering iron.
March 28th, 2006, 11:44 PM
Yes, they have insulation, but the acidity of some peoples sweet can eat right through it. I've seen oxidized pickups that don't work, and most times, if a pickup is that old, and there's visible oxidation, it's because there's probably a break in the coil wrapping due to sweat, beer, and/or years of humidity..
March 29th, 2006, 02:25 PM
It's very rare.
Using an ohmmeter you can usually track down what your exact problem is, switch, jack, pot etc.
If it looks like it is the pickup, you might just hit the spot where the windings are soldered to the external wires with a soldering iron, you may have a broken connection or cold joint which just decided to fail.
You should find the problem easily if you work logically, and it is very unlikely it is within the pickup itself. If it is, you are better off getting a professional repair/rewind than fooling around with it yourself.
March 29th, 2006, 08:01 PM
I cleaned the switch and it's been good the past few days. Haven't tried it full volume yet tho. Thanks guys.
March 30th, 2006, 09:17 PM
If your guitar has the original switch, then you will find it has no actual spring in the mechanism. These particular switches (used from the late 60s through 1980 or so) seemed to be more condusive to corrosion of the pickup contact points. The plus side is they were a little quieter when switching from pickup to pickup, and in-between.