4-way Switch Fail

Discussion in 'Just Pickups' started by Pat D, Feb 16, 2020.

  1. Pat D

    Pat D Tele-Meister

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    I bought this switch from Sweetwater:

    https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/Oak4--emerson-custom-oak-grigsby-lever-switch-4-way

    It's wired it according to this as far as I can tell:

    https://www.stewmac.com/How-To/Onli...y_4-way_2-pole_Lever_Switch_Instructions.html


    Now, Positions 1 and 2 sound alike, and positions 3 and 4 sound alike.

    1 and 2 sound like both pickups in parallel, and then 3 and 4 sounds like it's either just the neck pickup, or it's both in series. I'm for sure not getting just the bridge in any position at all.

    Note: The slot in the switch plate on my guitar had to be lengthened to allow the 4 way switch to move it's full range. I've already worked out any mechanical issues affecting the switch operation AFAIK.

    My first concern was I put the switch in backward, but Stewmac says it can go in either way.

    Anyway, I've gone over and over it. Anyone run into this sort of problem? Any suggestions?
     
  2. sjtalon

    sjtalon Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I'm assuming you modded your neck pickup to a 3 wire (or it was such) ?
     
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  3. Rob DiStefano

    Rob DiStefano Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    if you've very carefully gone over your circuit wiring and it's correct, and the cover of the neck pickup ground has been isolated using a third wire, look for cold solder joints and solder blobs that flow from the switch lugs to the switch knife.
     
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  4. LowCaster

    LowCaster Tele-Afflicted

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    Everyone runs into this kind of problem at least once: Tele 4 way wiring problem

    Usually it is a mistake in the wiring. Or what Rob said. Look for a short from one wire (or other part) to the shielding, if the cavities are shielded.

    Post pics!
     
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  5. Pat D

    Pat D Tele-Meister

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    Yes, my neck pickup came with the third wire already installed.

    I've looked over the switch and can't see any problems there.

    I can't rule out cold solder joints. All the wires are secure when i try to pull them, but I can't guarantee the electrical connection. I will go through the solder again.

    Thanks for the recommendations. I'll post pics if it comes to that.
     
  6. Bob M

    Bob M Tele-Afflicted Ad Free Member

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    I was going to install one a couple of years ago and the damn switch fell apart. I've since played a few Tele's with the 4 way mod and there wasn't enough there for me. Just my opinion.
     
  7. Pat D

    Pat D Tele-Meister

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    This is cross-posted in the "Tele-Technical" forum on a current 4-way switch discussion there. I posted there since it seems to get more traffic. Following up here for completeness...

    Here is my wiring. This is my second shot at it after desoldering everything when it didn't work the first time...

    The situation is,
    a) positions 1 (bridge) and 2 are the same tone
    b) positions 3 and 4 are the same tone

    In the first two positions both pickups are active. In the last two positions only the neck pickup is active:

     
  8. Pat D

    Pat D Tele-Meister

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    Turns out I had the neck cover ground wire (yellow) switched with the neck ground wire. Thanks to LowCaster for catching it in the other 4-way switch thread. I swapped those two and it works!

    After only 5 minutes of playing I find a dramatic difference in the series wiring 4th option. Much fuller and beefier sounding at higher gains than the neck pickup alone, but with brightness and clarity. It's going to be very useful for me.
     
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  9. Si G X

    Si G X Tele-Holic

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    Can you explain how this works? .. or maybe @LowCaster can?

    all ground wires go to ground, so how does swapping two grounds make any difference?

    I guess I must be missing something about this style of set up that I don't know about.
     
  10. Pat D

    Pat D Tele-Meister

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    Well, on my pickups the yellow cover wire is probably technically the only ground. The black wire is really just the '-' negative output from the pickup coil.

    So for neck/bridge pickup series wiring I'm guessing the black "ground" wire from the neck doesn't go to ground. Instead it goes to the positive input on the bridge pickup to complete the series resistance. That can't happen if it's going straight to ground instead of to the switch.
     
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  11. LowCaster

    LowCaster Tele-Afflicted

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    In the usual wiring, when pickups are wired single or parallel you are right, the ground and cover are going directly to ground.

    When wiring two pickups in series the « ground » wire from the first pickup has to be connected to the « signal » wire from the other pickup, so this ground wire has to be soldered to the switch, to be switched from ground to series.

    Notice that when the cover has a third separate wire, this wire (and the cover) is not connected to the coil (signal or ground wire).

    In this series wiring the cover (or any shielding) is independently connected to the ground at the back of a control pot.
     
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  12. 65 Champ Amp

    65 Champ Amp Tele-Afflicted

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    I had a 4way fail too.
    It worked fine (followed Seymour’s wiring diagram), but I didn’t like the sound. Louder and “beefier”... reminded me why I don’t care for most humbuckers.

    I tried to live with it, but playing live, found it too hard to find the 3rd position for that lovely tele neck pickup sound, so I took it out.
     
  13. RadioFM74

    RadioFM74 Friend of Leo's

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    Just the thing that happened with my Baja 60s… (sorry for the OT!)
     
  14. Si G X

    Si G X Tele-Holic

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    Ah, of course... I understand now. Thanks!
     
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