Help with diagnosing neck pickup issue

Discussion in 'Tele-Technical' started by B_Magic, Mar 30, 2020.

  1. B_Magic

    B_Magic TDPRI Member

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    Hey there everyone,

    My main guitar is a 2018 Nashville telecaster, and the neck pickup suddenly has extremely low output, like so low you have to put your ear to the amp to hear it, almost non existent. This is the 4th time in several months I've had this issue. The first time it happened I took it to my repair guy, he checked all connections with a multimeter and couldn't find an issue (other than it not producing much sound obviously). He took out the pickup and also couldn't find anything wrong upon closer inspection. When he put it back in, it worked normally on its own. It worked for a few weeks then the same thing happened, so I took it back to him, same story, removed it and it magically worked when being put back in.

    Again it worked fine for a few weeks before it happened again. This time I took it to a different guy who also couldn't find the issue, so he sent the pickup to someone else who specializes in pickup repair. This guy also couldn't find a problem with the pickup, so he sent it back, the guy reinstalled and, lo and behold, it worked again!

    That was about a month ago and it just happened again. So frustrating! I'm about to check it again with a multimeter before pulling out the pickup and reinstalling again. I was hoping someone here has maybe experienced a similar issue and successfully diagnosed the problem, or has some suggestions of what to look out for.

    Thanks!
     
  2. 8trackmind

    8trackmind Tele-Afflicted

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    Switch contact. Can you wiggle the switch and suddenly get sound? I've only had one do this, but....
     
  3. B_Magic

    B_Magic TDPRI Member

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    I did try that to no avail...
     
  4. Chipss36

    Chipss36 Tele-Meister

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    99% of the time, it’s soldering..
    Not having a good station, with the correct wattage.

    show me a picture of the work.
     
  5. B_Magic

    B_Magic TDPRI Member

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    That was my initial thought as well, but the pickup in question has been removed and reinstalled 3 times now, retaining the same issue, so I don't think the solder work is the issue at this point
     
  6. Chipss36

    Chipss36 Tele-Meister

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    So you think this is that elusive 1%?

    nope it’s the solider work.
    Could be at the eyelet.
    Again show me what it looks like.
     
    slider313 likes this.
  7. B_Magic

    B_Magic TDPRI Member

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    I mean, it's been re-soldered 3 times now. It's unlikely there was a bad solder job 3 times in a row...
     
  8. B_Magic

    B_Magic TDPRI Member

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    I will post a picture when i can
     
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  9. Gardo

    Gardo Tele-Holic

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    Maybe a shot of this in the switch
    626508D2-9F5F-41C5-96DB-5A5911FD8CE6.jpeg
     
  10. B_Magic

    B_Magic TDPRI Member

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    I did try contact cleaner in the switch but that didn't work either
     
  11. slider313

    slider313 Tele-Afflicted

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    Something is touching one of the pickups leads to ground.

    The fine wire on the pickups eyelet may have a cold solder joint. Sometimes a quick hit with the iron will solve the problem.
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2020
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  12. chezdeluxe

    chezdeluxe Poster Extraordinaire

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    Do you or your tech have another neck pickup you could swap in to see if it is a pickup or wiring problem.

    Internal intermittent pickup problems are hard to spot and you should not dump the pickup until you are certain it is the problem.

    A friend played a gig with his strat where his guitar failed and he chased his tail to find the problem, leads, amp, speaker etc, eventually borrowing a guitar to finish the gig.

    It was an internal fault in the pickup and he could have simply gone to another switch position on the strat and kept playing.
     
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  13. Mr Green Genes

    Mr Green Genes Tele-Afflicted

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    It sounds like something's making intermittent contact with ground.

    Is the cavity shielded? If so. one possibility is that something is making contact with the shielding, which would shunt the signal to ground. When the pickup is removed, it works fine, since it's not making contact with the shielding.

    When it's put back in, it's not touching the shielding, but a slight bump could jar it just enough so it's touching.

    Just spit-balling...
     
  14. chezdeluxe

    chezdeluxe Poster Extraordinaire

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    Like what on a Fender Nashville neck pickup?
     
  15. K-Line

    K-Line Tele-Holic Vendor Member

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    Sounds like the magnets may have been unmagnetized if there is resistance and no loose wires.
     
  16. soundcloset

    soundcloset TDPRI Member

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    Wouldn't think that it would cut out then come back if it were bad magnets. Maybe wire in a similar pickup for a while to see how it goes. If that's not it, and once you figure out the real issue, you are one pickup closer to your next Tele.
     
  17. Geo

    Geo Friend of Leo's

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    Could be intermittent contact where the coil wire connects on the pickup bobbin.
    Does the N+B also get the weak signal?
     
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