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Old April 18th, 2012, 12:05 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Tone Pot Issue, I think...

I installed new pick ups and everything worked. But the next day I would get this ground issue when I would switch between pick ups. There would also be no sound coming from the PUP's. A quick little tap on the control plate anywhere and it would stop, and everything sounded great and worked properly. At that point I realized I would need to have a look. Figured a cold solder joint on the Volume pot grounds. I was away for the weekend so figured I'd play it again for a few minutes when I got home before I pulled it apart to have another look. The ground issue with no sound from PUPS was gone, but it now had no top end. I went staright to the Tone knob to see where it was set. It was up full. I turned it down - no change, turned it up, no change.
Before I start resoldering everything, is there an obvious issue based on the symptoms? Thanks.

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Old April 18th, 2012, 02:21 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Tone cap bad? Otherwise sounds like there's a connection issues somewhere in there. Tough to troubleshoot when things appear and then suddenly disappear for no good reason.
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Old April 18th, 2012, 03:28 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Old April 18th, 2012, 04:12 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Replacing the cap is cheap and easy. Few bucks for the cap and some time to solder it in. You may want to try that and see if you get tone control back again. Otherwise maybe some other posters have had a similar problem and can relate.

While you're at it you may want to pick up a 250k pot too just in case that's where the problem is coming from. I'm one of those process of elimination guys and most of those components are pretty cheap so swapping out old for new and re-soldering the connections isn't expensive or that complicated. The switch is the most expensive thing in there and even that's only about $15.

The real problem comes when you've checked or replaced it all and it still misbehaves. Then you take it to a priest and have it exorcised and have the archbishop bless it. LOL
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Old April 18th, 2012, 06:07 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Can a pot just stop working?
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Old April 18th, 2012, 07:55 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Spray the pot out with contact cleaner a whirl it around real good during the process.

May just have some funk built up in it. Do the vol. while your in there as well.
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Old April 19th, 2012, 06:58 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Re the tone pot, the capacitor lead might be touching the pot, or another grounded part of the circuit. Jiggle everything and a bit while playing, and see what happens.
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Old April 19th, 2012, 12:12 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drob View Post
Can a pot just stop working?
Yes, it can. Any and all electronic components are quite capable of "just stopping working". This fact kept me and my family fed, clothed, and housed for 36 years.

Drob--take your guitar apart and look very closely for extra globs of solder, too much solder on switch tabs, bare wires touching something they shouldn't, cold-solder joints, and anything else that can affect the pups' outputs.

Contrary to many people's beliefs, guitar electronics and wiring is not rocket science. It's very straightforward and simple to figure out once you get over the fright factor. A wire is like a water pipe; properly installed, it will allow current (water) to flow only where it's intended to flow. Remember that electricity is lazy and will always take the path of least resistance, even if that path is not the path you want it to take.

With soldering, a lot of times less is more. You don't need ten tons of solder on a switch lug to secure the wire to the lug and to make electrical contact. Look at your joints and make sure that there is smooth, shiny solder between the wire and the lug.

Hope this little primer helps.
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Old April 20th, 2012, 02:11 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tfsails View Post
Yes, it can. Any and all electronic components are quite capable of "just stopping working". This fact kept me and my family fed, clothed, and housed for 36 years.

Drob--take your guitar apart and look very closely for extra globs of solder, too much solder on switch tabs, bare wires touching something they shouldn't, cold-solder joints, and anything else that can affect the pups' outputs.

Contrary to many people's beliefs, guitar electronics and wiring is not rocket science. It's very straightforward and simple to figure out once you get over the fright factor. A wire is like a water pipe; properly installed, it will allow current (water) to flow only where it's intended to flow. Remember that electricity is lazy and will always take the path of least resistance, even if that path is not the path you want it to take.

With soldering, a lot of times less is more. You don't need ten tons of solder on a switch lug to secure the wire to the lug and to make electrical contact. Look at your joints and make sure that there is smooth, shiny solder between the wire and the lug.

Hope this little primer helps.
+1 Good Analogy

One last thought, make sure you do not have the tone pot turned where the wire terminals are to the side and can short out on shielding if you have the control cavity shielded with copper tape or electrically conductive paint. If it is cocked to the side then loosen the nut on the tone pot and turn it so it is facing straight down the middle of the control plate (toward the volume control pot)
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Old April 20th, 2012, 10:19 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tfsails View Post
Yes, it can. Any and all electronic components are quite capable of "just stopping working". This fact kept me and my family fed, clothed, and housed for 36 years.

Drob--take your guitar apart and look very closely for extra globs of solder, too much solder on switch tabs, bare wires touching something they shouldn't, cold-solder joints, and anything else that can affect the pups' outputs.

Contrary to many people's beliefs, guitar electronics and wiring is not rocket science. It's very straightforward and simple to figure out once you get over the fright factor. A wire is like a water pipe; properly installed, it will allow current (water) to flow only where it's intended to flow. Remember that electricity is lazy and will always take the path of least resistance, even if that path is not the path you want it to take.

With soldering, a lot of times less is more. You don't need ten tons of solder on a switch lug to secure the wire to the lug and to make electrical contact. Look at your joints and make sure that there is smooth, shiny solder between the wire and the lug.

Hope this little primer helps.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bubbalou View Post
+1 Good Analogy

One last thought, make sure you do not have the tone pot turned where the wire terminals are to the side and can short out on shielding if you have the control cavity shielded with copper tape or electrically conductive paint. If it is cocked to the side then loosen the nut on the tone pot and turn it so it is facing straight down the middle of the control plate (toward the volume control pot)
What these two guys said!

I'm mostly thinking bad soldering or unintended ground loops.

Had the same with the braided (ground)wire of the Seth Lover PU in my Bluesboy: It was intermittently shorting my PU switch to ground so I had a weak or no signal at all! Took me some time to figure out because (logically) everything was working fine when I took off the controlplate....
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