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Old June 14th, 2013, 02:05 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Strange Humbucker Issue, help needed!!!

I have a strange problem with one humbucker on my Epiphone Dot. Everything work except that the D strings is a lot quieter than the other strings, only on the neck pickup, the bridge pickup sounds fine. I've checked the wiring, the poles alignment and adjust the pole screws but nothing change...

Does anyone has encountered a similar problem, I don't know what could be the issue at this point. I find it strange that only one string is affected. BTW those are Gibson humbuckers.

Thanks for your help!

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Old June 14th, 2013, 06:15 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Something is wrong with one of the D string polepieces on the neck pickup. Precisely what is hard to say. Use an ohmmeter and see if the pole piece itself has continuity to the coil (it shouldn't). If it does, this would indicate a short within the pickup between the coil and the slug. That would be bad, because you can't fix that. But at least you would know what the trouble is.
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Old June 14th, 2013, 06:56 AM   #3 (permalink)
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It's possible that the bar magnet is cracked or broken. The pickup will still work but will be weakest at the point of the break.

Has the pickup sustained an impact recently? Is the cover dented, or the bobbin scratched?
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Old June 14th, 2013, 07:28 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Also screw pole piece to up position., try, and back again...perhaps some waxing
issue....
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Old June 14th, 2013, 08:18 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Thanks a lot for the suggestions guys, I'm gonna do some testing!
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Old June 14th, 2013, 08:28 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Don't overlook the string, while you're at it.
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Old June 14th, 2013, 08:32 AM   #7 (permalink)
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It's a bar magnet pickup so the pole screws won't really play much of a role.

A bad nut slot will make the D string dull when played open. Likewise, a saddle issue would cause a problem with the fretted notes.

I have had several bad sets of DR strings as well where the D was dull and lifeless.

What type / brand strings are you using?
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Old June 14th, 2013, 08:40 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I've got a new set of regular slinky on it now. Wouldn't a bad string affect both pickups?
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Old June 14th, 2013, 09:22 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Yes, a bad string would affect both. D'oh! Sometime my fingers get ahead of my though process. Not having the guitar in front of me, it's all speculation. I'm betting it's the magnet though.
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Old June 14th, 2013, 10:09 AM   #10 (permalink)
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LoL! , I guess I guess I could change the magnet but I'm not sure I wanna go trough that without being sure it will work. These pickups have been bought used for cheap, I think I know why they were inexpensive now!

Would a visual inspection of the magnet show the problem if any, might be the next step...
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Old June 14th, 2013, 10:48 AM   #11 (permalink)
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I cracked open the humbucker and... the magnet looks fine... Not sure I can do anything else to fix that pickup. Something else I noticed about that pickup is that it is slightly quieter than the bridge pickup, but still sounds like a humbucker. I guess I'll just look to buy another one!
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Old June 14th, 2013, 12:11 PM   #12 (permalink)
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The magnet slides out from underneath the coils. If you take it out, you need to be very careful to observe it's orientation in the pickup. Putting it back in flipped over will cause the pickup to sound different than the other one.
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Old June 14th, 2013, 12:15 PM   #13 (permalink)
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This is probably not a magnet issue. It would be very unlikely for a problem with a bar magnet to only affect the D-string. What may be happening is that the D-string screw-pole or slug-pole may be made of non-ferrous material. That is not supposed to happen, but if it does, it would definitely cause what you are describing. You can easily test this by swapping the D-String adjustable screw with the screw from another string (or by touching the tops of the poles with a screwdriver to see if the D-string poles feel weaker than all of the others).

Also, has it always been like that? If so, listen to the guitar unplugged to see if the D string is just quieter for some reason (bridge saddle, nut slot, etc). If that is the case, then the pickup is just reproducing what the guitar sounds like normally.
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Old June 14th, 2013, 12:32 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I fix it! I noticed that the magnet was completely demagnetized when I took it out so I re-magnetized it and now it's working fine! I don't know if it was really the problem but as long as it works I'm happy.

For the orientation of the magnet I always put a mark with a lead pencil to be sure that I put it back the right way.

I don't know if it always been like that cause those are new used pickups I picked for cheap, I guess they were that cheap because they had a problem...

Thank everyone for the good tips!
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Old June 14th, 2013, 01:08 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seymour Duncan Pickups View Post
This is probably not a magnet issue. It would be very unlikely for a problem with a bar magnet to only affect the D-string.
When a magnet cracks or breaks it leaves a bit of a void in the magnet strength at the crack site. That had been my experience with a similar situation to what the OP described.
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Old June 14th, 2013, 01:48 PM   #16 (permalink)
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I've never seen a cracked pickup magnet....and I've seen a lot of stuff. Interesting.
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Old June 14th, 2013, 04:39 PM   #17 (permalink)
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I would be shocked if you had seen a cracked magnet working at Seymour Duncan! You guys make excellent pickups. I own several of them and recommend them regularly.

It's great to have you on board here!
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Old June 14th, 2013, 06:22 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Telenator View Post
I would be shocked if you had seen a cracked magnet working at Seymour Duncan! You guys make excellent pickups. I own several of them and recommend them regularly.
It's great to have you on board here!
+1 to that! I love seeing companies contributing to our forum.
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