Need an expert perspective..

Discussion in 'Tele-Technical' started by slowpinky, May 20, 2019.

  1. slowpinky

    slowpinky Tele-Afflicted

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    Ive got a Partscaster - its a homemade job which turned out really well despite my technical limitations and I have used it for many gigs and recordings for the last 10 years or so.
    Its 4 way wiring with Fred Stewart Blackguards but I also had a treble bleed circuit in it. It was so long ago I cant even remember the specs on it - but it was from a respectable source.
    After hanging on the wall for some months without getting played (the guitar, not me!) the Tele went from being a 4 way, to a 2 way with a particularly horrible plasticky tone from what is normally a great sounding FS neck pickup.The pickup selector ceased to function correctly.
    With the circuit out on the table I noticed some noisy signal interruption from the volume pot when poking around the various solder joints. I removed the treble bleed (a resistor and cap) which seemed to be the culprit and suddenly the switch was back to normal - guitar sounded a lot better.
    I am curious as to how these components 'normally' deteriorate - gradually or do they just die?. I checked all the solder joints and they were ok - reflowed them all as well - but it wasnt until I took the TB out that it seemed to make any difference,
    Personally the TB circuit started off as a trial thing and I left it in but really I mostly use the Neck pickup at low -medium levels so I dont mind the guitar sounding a bit darker - it actually sounds better to my ear now!
    Be great to get some insight into the causes of these symptoms if anyone has something to offer.

    Ta!
     
  2. BryMelvin

    BryMelvin Tele-Afflicted

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    Resistors seldom die with that low current/voltage . Depending what type of capacitor was put in that bleed circuit it could be the problem. Use typical electronic industry capacitors for treble bleed circuits. eg poly, ceramic etc. Stay away from electrolytics and "vintage" style paper/oil as they can dry out and cease to function properly. Do NOT use old NOS vintage style caps ever.
     
  3. boredguy6060

    boredguy6060 Friend of Leo's

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    It’s really unusual for a resistor or a cap to go bad in the time frame you stated with as little voltage as is present in a TB circuit.
    A solder joint can fail if it were marginal to begin with.
    Since the TB has been removed, the cause is likely to remain a mystery.
    Just play it and hope that was the problem.
    Good luck,
     
    8barlouie likes this.
  4. 8barlouie

    8barlouie Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    I would try resoldering it back in to see if the problem was indeed a cold joint. Either that or possibly a stray wire or piece of solder shorting it out. Hard to say without having seen it. I think it’s worth another shot.
     
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  5. boredguy6060

    boredguy6060 Friend of Leo's

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    I have installed a TB circuit in several of my guitars and believe that they are very useful. So if it were mine, I’d definitely reinstall it and see that it was working. But that’s just me.
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2019
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  6. BryMelvin

    BryMelvin Tele-Afflicted

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    I'd put it in again too. but wouldn't bother using the same resistor and capacitor. Use new ones in the same configuration.
     
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  7. getbent

    getbent Telefied Ad Free Member

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    cold solder joint or a solder joint broke (maybe two)
     
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  8. slowpinky

    slowpinky Tele-Afflicted

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    Thanks all - I have a bunch that I made up at the same time - I'll experiment with replacing it. They definitely werent vintage components. The tone cap is an orange drop .022 which is still hunky dory.
     
  9. mgreene

    mgreene Tele-Holic

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    Agree - plus invisible corrosion on switches (including pots) can make instruments sound bad.

    One of my favorite corrosion stories is when I lived in NYC and one day I turned on my record player and heard the radio!??? I thought I was going nuts because everything was set and selected correctly. Then something I heard once came to mind. I took the leads off the phono cartridge and the radio noise went away - later someone explained it to me - the corrosion on the phono connectors formed a capacitor and that capacitor was picking up the strong radio signals in the city and the high gain of the phono pre was amplifying it.

    Moral of the story - if your stuff sounds weird / bad as in muted/dull/crackly - start with cleaning the connectors - or in the case of a guitar the switches and pots.
     
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