Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups Warmoth.com
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups Warmoth.com
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups Warmoth.com

4-Way Wiring Problem

Discussion in 'Tele-Technical' started by Lairdo, Sep 2, 2017.

  1. Lairdo

    Lairdo TDPRI Member

    Age:
    54
    7
    Dec 2, 2016
    Seattle
    I think I've plowed through all or most of the threads on 4-way switch wiring and have a problem that I haven't run across elsewhere. I'm wiring up my fourth telecaster with a 4-way switch and the previous three have all worked fine, using the same wiring configuration I've seen here and other places as well. I'm using Bill Lawrence Keystones (as I have on the other three), which already have the separate ground wire for the neck cover and an extra ground wire on the bridge as well that I ground to the bridge and the volume pot. All fine so far, but for some reason positions two and three on the switch are about twice as loud as positions one and four, which don't seem to be putting out much at all. I believe this means that my neck pickup is cranking it out and my bridge pickup is some how not only putting out low signal but is also a bottleneck in the "series" position (#4). Does that sound feasible?

    Another possible clue is that, when in the first and fourth positions, the tone pot will completely cancel the output at the lowest (least treble) position.

    I've rewired the whole thing twice with no change. Messed with the pickup heights, no change that accounts for the huge discrepancy in output. Changed capacitors (tried both orange dot and Emerson), no change.

    The only things I've done different on this guitar are A) it's left-handed, but I wired the switch the same as a right-handed, just flipped it over; and B) I lost two of the mounting screws that came with the pickups which, it turns out, are mighty hard to source, so I mounted the neck pickup to the body using regular StewMac mounting screws instead of to the pick guard. Again, can't figure out why that would make a difference.

    Any help or wisdom appreciated--thanks in advance
     

  2. Huddy

    Huddy Tele-Meister

    Age:
    34
    208
    Nov 5, 2016
    Newport News, VA
    I'm just commenting to see what other say but and this would probably be a last resort but swapping pickups to test may be a way to go. It's got to be something stupid if you've done a few with no problems. Like go grab a sandwich... take another look... and say "Oh Duh."

    Got any pics? They might help.
     

  3. sjtalon

    sjtalon Poster Extraordinaire

    Loosen the switch screws, and try it. The lever may not be able to throw enough in the control plate slot, which is often to short for the 4 w.
     

  4. Lairdo

    Lairdo TDPRI Member

    Age:
    54
    7
    Dec 2, 2016
    Seattle
    Thanks--tried that and in fact lengthened the slot, but still no dice. Also tried wiring it this way:
    Bridge
    Neck > Bridge ( Or the reverse, I don't suppose it matters)
    Bridge + Neck
    Neck
    and now I have the same low output issue in positions 1 and 3, so I think it's another issue.

    Could it be just a bum pickup? What do others do with that third blue wire Keystones have on the bridge pickup?
     

  5. sjtalon

    sjtalon Poster Extraordinaire

    Can you post a DC residence reading on yours.

    Bridge should be about 7.6KΩ, and the neck 7.9-8K.

    Blues to a ground point, normally the back of a pot.

    Blacks are coil negitive, white, positive.
     

  6. Lairdo

    Lairdo TDPRI Member

    Age:
    54
    7
    Dec 2, 2016
    Seattle
    I guess it's time to go buy an ohmmeter...
     

  7. Mr. Lumbergh

    Mr. Lumbergh Poster Extraordinaire

    Jun 13, 2013
    Initech, Inc.
    This right here makes me think that one of your pickups is bad; check the DCR with a meter and let us know what you find. If there's a break in the coil, the pickup can still sometimes let a signal through because if an effect called capacitive coupling, but it's nearly all treble and very weak; the tone acts almost as a volume control. This is what gave Roy Buchanan's "Nancy" its signature sound. One and four being loudest tells me that the bridge pickup is suspect. Measure it and let us know what you find.
     

  8. Lairdo

    Lairdo TDPRI Member

    Age:
    54
    7
    Dec 2, 2016
    Seattle
    So, the neck pickup reads 7.62k ohms, just like sjtalon said it should, but I get zilch on the bridge pickup. Seems pretty clear that there's a problem with the pickup--I'll send it back and see what they say. Thanks, all, for your input!
     
    Huddy likes this.

  9. elmoscafeo

    elmoscafeo Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    56
    Jun 29, 2012
    Chicago Suburbs
    Are you measuring the pickup out of the circuit? If it's still connected to the switch then your measuring it with your problem still in the circuit. Before sending it back, check the DCR with the pickup disconnected from the switch.
     
    Huddy likes this.

  10. Lairdo

    Lairdo TDPRI Member

    Age:
    54
    7
    Dec 2, 2016
    Seattle
    Nope--pickups were totally disconnected from the switch and pots, etc.
     

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