American Elite Telecaster with Dead Neck Pickup

Discussion in 'Tele-Technical' started by letterk, Jan 20, 2021.

  1. letterk

    letterk TDPRI Member

    Age:
    50
    Posts:
    15
    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2021
    Location:
    California
    Hi TDPRI. Been reading for a long time, but I have an issue that made me register today for some help. New tele owner so I'll probably be hanging around here a lot more now.

    I just received a 2016 Fender American Elite Telecaster with the gen 4 Noiseless pickups. Received a week or so ago. Condition is mint if not better. Seller played it before shipped, worked fine. Showed up with a dead neck pickup. The pup was loose too, just an FYI, so was able to rattle around during shipping. I removed the pick guard and control plate. All solder joints are fine, no issues there. I put it back together and it magically worked again. About a week later, practicing tonight, go from neck to bridge back to neck and silence again. When I touch the pickup cover I get a loud hum. Bridge works fine.

    I've read some trouble shooting on tele pickups, but this has the noiseless pickups and the S-1 switch, so those don't really apply. Looking for some help.

    The seller is fantastic and is willing to help out, but I'm hoping to be able to fix myself. I'm a mechanical engineer and good with a soldering iron, so just need direction.
     
  2. Fluddman

    Fluddman Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    646
    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2010
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    My brand new Brad Paisley tele arrived with the neck pickup not working.

    I couldn't bare the thought of sending it back and ended up fixing it myself. The pickup wire had broken just up from where it was soldered on the pickup. A fairly simple fix in the end.

    Hope yours is an easy fix.

    Get an ohm meter and check the resistance of the neck pickup.

    Cheers
     
  3. Collin D Plonker

    Collin D Plonker Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,967
    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2020
    Location:
    Delaware
    I would probably get a refund or at least get the seller to pay for the repair. The pickup should not have been loose, a condition not disclosed and highly unlikely to happen due to handling.
     
  4. teleplayr

    teleplayr Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,654
    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2012
    Location:
    Nicoma Park, Oklahoma
    Check and se if the pick-up switch isn't making contact with the bottom of the control rout.
     
    Archtop Bill and cfreddy813 like this.
  5. Matthias

    Matthias Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

    Posts:
    3,578
    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2003
    Location:
    Third rock from the Sun
    Definitely get a discount if you don't send it back. To fix, I'd try reflowing the solder joints, starting at the pots before moving to the pickup itself. The fact the pickup was loose might be a red herring.
     
  6. Ghostdriver

    Ghostdriver Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

    Age:
    58
    Posts:
    483
    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2020
    Location:
    England
    Check under the hood of the control panel, it is probably something touching something it shouldn’t in the cavity, wiggle the wires carefully and see if it improves.
     
  7. letterk

    letterk TDPRI Member

    Age:
    50
    Posts:
    15
    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2021
    Location:
    California
    Thanks for the recommendations everyone. I'm not sending it back. It's practically perfect in every other way and one of the best examples from Fender I've played. So I'll get this figured out. The seller has been very accommodating and working with me to figure out what's going on with it.

    Some more debugging this morning. It's not in the control panel. Pulled it off again. All the solders joints are solid and no stray wires touching off and shorting. I did push a little on the neck pickup and found out if I push it towards or away from the neck, no sound. If I nudge it in between the two extremes, it works. So it's an issue with the pickup or the wiring at the pickup.
     
  8. cfreddy813

    cfreddy813 TDPRI Member

    Age:
    46
    Posts:
    70
    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2021
    Location:
    Indiana
    The wiring between the pickup and control plate might be tight, or with tension. That might explain why when you rock it, it cuts out. The tough part is going to be where, exactly, in the wiring chain the tension is causing it too short. I would suggest taking it out, unsoldering from the control plate and getting scientific on it. Good luck!
     
  9. Tuxedo Poly

    Tuxedo Poly Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,091
    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2011
    Location:
    Merseyside UK
  10. gkterry

    gkterry Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    1,087
    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2014
    Location:
    the Telecaster Forest
    I had that same thing with an Elite Tele. It would intermittently work. I bought a Gen 4 pickup off reverb.com and replaced it. Everything was fine after that. Replace the neck pickup and I bet it will work. I tried several things including cleaner in the pots and switch. It turned out to be the pickup.
     
  11. Archtop Bill

    Archtop Bill Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    557
    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2015
    Location:
    Asheville, The Paris of the South
    Start with checking the S1 switch. I have an American Deluxe ‘15 which is essentially the same guitar, but with N3 rather than N4 pups.

    The S1 switch has virtually no clearance in the routed cavity. I added copper shielding to mine, but had to remove it behind the S1 as it was shorting out. Even with the shielding removed I had to fiddle with it. Try unscrewing the control plate and see if the pup suddenly works.

    Good luck.


    BTW: Nice Tele.
     
  12. 39martind18

    39martind18 Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    70
    Posts:
    2,752
    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2012
    Location:
    Spring TX
    Could it be that the neck pickup is REALLY noiseless?:confused::rolleyes::D I'm usless on this, so I hope someone can help resolve the problem for you.:)
     
    Fluddman likes this.
  13. letterk

    letterk TDPRI Member

    Age:
    50
    Posts:
    15
    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2021
    Location:
    California
    Closing the loop here. Bad pickup. Ordered a DiMarzio Area T as a replacement.
     
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.