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

Pole piece not working

Discussion in 'Tele-Technical' started by phil fridge, Oct 11, 2018.

  1. phil fridge

    phil fridge TDPRI Member

    Mar 30, 2018
    I'm putting together a Telecaster at present with a P 90 in the neck position. I have a Seymour Duncan p90 which I've had knocking around for about 15 years and decided to use that. After wiring it up I tapped the pole pieces individually and one offered no response. Could this be a broken magnet ? or something else .
  2. MatsEriksson

    MatsEriksson Tele-Holic

    Aug 12, 2011
    "broken magnet" ? Demagnitized. You may have to re-magnetize it again. If any pickups are thrown randomly in a drawer and you let them "squelch" around for ages, they will lose magnetism. I've found out this the hard way. One of the humbuckers screws or adjusting pole pieces (so to speak) wasn't heard at all when tapping above, and it was the magnet underneath that had become demagnetized.

    Mind you it depends if the pole piece are the actual magnet or if you have any magnetic bar residing at the bottom of the pickup. I think P90s wihtout adjusting pole pieces (screws) do have the magnet in each pole piece. They do crack for real from time to time, but that's a far fetched thing. If you crack a pole piece you probably have broken the copper wiring as well. If you throw the pickup into a stone wall, things will break inside as well as outside. Internal cracks can occur, but that would render all of the pickup stone dead.

    P90s can come in both un-adjustable set pole pieces just as well as adjustable ones. But as you described it was a Seymour Duncan P90, all of their variants hasadjusting screws, which suggests that the magnetic bar is at the bottom. Now, qualified guess, since everything seems dead silent, it is the wiring that has lost connection somewhere.

    It's best to store pickups in the foam/plastic case/box they came in, keeps them at safe distance from other magnets. I don't like - say - sticking 3 single coil strat pickup together so they stick as one big block. Don't know if magnetism are stronger towards other pickups in the vincinity.

    Seymour Duncan P90s (most of them, still around, don't know about 15 year olds):

    Here's something like Gibsons "original" P90s, flat pole pieces non adjustables (never mind the fastening screws in the middle, these are not pole pieces or adjustable pickup screws):

  3. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

    Apr 18, 2014
    Near Detroit, MI

    Strat sized magnetic poles can sometime individually lose magnitization (Alnico V can get reprogrammed around other magnets) so a drop out of one string is uncommon but happens.

    P90s mostly use a bar so it's all or none unless some corrosion happened at the interface, screw broke, unscrewed too far out. Some coils only have the screw shafts between the magnets and not the metal strip so those screws might drop out. Test magnetic pull with a paperclip or screwdriver.


    MatsEriksson likes this.
  4. Mincer

    Mincer Tele-Meister

    Dec 19, 2017
    Tampa Bay Area
    Yeah, the way a P-90 works, it is either all poles work or none. Did you string it up and listen through an amp?
    MatsEriksson likes this.
  5. TRexF16

    TRexF16 Friend of Leo's

    Apr 4, 2011
    If you have a meter you can test for continuity between the "dead" pole piece and its neighbors. If there's none it might not be making contact in the spacer bar. When you turn it does it adjust up and down as if its threads are engaging?
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.