Bridge pickup "leaking".

Discussion in 'Tele-Technical' started by Nope, Sep 29, 2020.

  1. Nope

    Nope TDPRI Member

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    I've just noticed that my 2006 American Tele FSR "leaks" when on the bridge pickup. Here's what I'm talking about:

    On the neck pickup, with the volume rolled all the way down, there is no signal.

    However, on the bridge pickup, with the volume all the way down, there is still substantial signal to the amp.

    I've tried the same cable / amp with other guitars; no signal leak, which I think points to the wiring harness on the Tele.

    Before I open this up, I'm wondering if anyone has encountered this before and can suggest a likely culprit. This is definitely a new issue.
     
  2. AAT65

    AAT65 Friend of Leo's

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    Never heard of that before... a volume control turned all the way down basically shorts the guitar output to ground.
    So my suggestion would be to check all the ground connections. If you’re relying on the control plate to ground the pots perhaps there’s a little corrosion which means that the ground connection isn’t too good on the volume pot.
    You could start by measuring the resistance between the tip and ring of the guitar lead (plugged into the guitar, volume right down, try all 3 selector positions). A few k-ohms could make a difference.
     
  3. AJBaker

    AJBaker Friend of Leo's

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    Photo of the guts?

    Maybe take a bunch of resistance readings as well, especially on the volume pot.
     
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  4. koolaide

    koolaide Tele-Holic

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    My guess is the pot is leaking, not the pickup. As AJBaker noted, some resistance readings would tell the tale. Also maybe a wiring issue.
     
  5. Peegoo

    Peegoo Friend of Leo's

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    Probably something going on with the switch, because if it were the volume pot it would exhibit the same symptome on the neck pickup.

    What's the guitar doing when both pickups are selected?
     
  6. archetype

    archetype Fiend of Leo's

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    If the OP's Tele is a master volume and master tone, both pickups would go through the same volume pot. That setup wouldn't "leak" on one pickup and not the other unless it's wired rong.

    @Nope does it have 4 pots or 2 pots? Please post a picture of the backside of the control plate or pickguard, whichever the pots are mounted in.
     
  7. Nope

    Nope TDPRI Member

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    Measurements off a guitar lead:

    Volume Down
    Neck: 5.61k
    Both: 4.07k
    Bridge: 5.4k

    Volume Up
    Neck: 13.16k
    Both: 4.62k
    Bridge: 6.86k
     
  8. Nope

    Nope TDPRI Member

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  9. Nope

    Nope TDPRI Member

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    @Peegoo Turns out that it's leaking in the middle position too.
     
  10. 63 vibroverb

    63 vibroverb Tele-Afflicted

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    I would double check the hot and ground connections from the bridge pickup, reflow the solder if needed. Then take it from there.
     
  11. Nope

    Nope TDPRI Member

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    Also bears mentioning that the controls on this guitar have been untouched since 2006.
     
  12. Peegoo

    Peegoo Friend of Leo's

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    If you did any soldering on the switch at any point, look closely at the switch's solder tab for the bridge pickup's hot lead, and follow it down to the wiper where it contacts the moving wafer (the part that rotates when you move the lever).

    Look for solder drips or a bend wiper.

    Sometimes solder will wick down from the solder tab onto the wiper and create unintended electrical contact. Sometimes a wiper can become bent if the switch is roughly handled or has been bouncing around unprotected in a parts bin.

    Check all the other wipers on the switch while you're in there. Use magnification and a bright light to help you see, because sometimes the problem is really small. Check the switch solder tabs for bridges (unintended contact between tabs).
     
  13. Nope

    Nope TDPRI Member

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    Wiring harness hasn't been touched since it left the factory. I haven't even opened the control chamber.

    I'll open it up later this week and take a look.

    Many thanks for all the suggestions.
     
  14. AAT65

    AAT65 Friend of Leo's

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    Then it’s the bridge volume pot.
    At a guess either it’s faulty or there’s a high-resistance path from the volume pot to ground.
     
  15. kingvox

    kingvox Tele-Meister

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    Yes, I've had this before. Volume pot all the way down and still substantial signal going to the amp.

    It ended up being a bad pot. Replaced the volume pot and this problem went away.
     
  16. Audiowonderland

    Audiowonderland Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    You have a bad pot. Its more obvious on the bridge because its hotter and brighter
     
  17. Audiowonderland

    Audiowonderland Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    Can't be. The only path from the switch to audible is through the volume pot
     
  18. Peegoo

    Peegoo Friend of Leo's

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    You are correct. But there's only one wire carrying signal from the switch to the volume pot, and the volume is working properly for the neck pickup. If the vol pot is defective, it would be leaking neck pickup signal as well as from the bridge pickup.

    That's my rationale for suspecting the switch. But at this stage, anything could be the culprit.

    Geno
     
  19. Audiowonderland

    Audiowonderland Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    The capacitance and level of output will vary. The neck pickup may not have enough umph to audible. Hard to say. Assuming standard withing, once you eliminate the impossible.....
     
  20. Nope

    Nope TDPRI Member

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    Photos.
     

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