Mod wiring help for a newbie modder

WeirdFishes

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Hi everyone! I'm new here, and I've already found lots of great info on TDPRI. I'm hoping one of you experts can help me.

I decided to mod a Monoprice Indio Classic DLX, keeping only the bridge, saddles, body and neck. I got locking tuners (went in fine), a bone nut (shockingly also went in with limited difficulty), Bootstrap Palo Duro pickups, a CRL three-way switch and new pots.

With the pots, I decided to try and get fancy - Fender CTS 250k for the volume and Fender 250K no-load pot for the tone.

So with everything wired up and connected to my amp, the guitar plays fine. But the pots - well, something isn't right. The volume pot only decreases slightly from about 10-7 and then gets quieter - but not totally silent when at zero. As for the tone pot, it doesn't seem to be doing anything at all - no matter bridge, middle or neck. Sometimes when the tone pot is all the way up and the volume is also, the guitar goes silent - but sometimes not.

Anyway, I have a few theories about what's going on. Maybe I damaged one or both pots with my crappy soldering? Maybe I wired something incorrectly (although I followed the StewMac 3-way tele diagram)? Or something else entirely?

Attached are pics of how it is now wired. Thanks in advance! IMG_2514 Small.jpeg IMG_2515 Small.jpeg IMG_2516 Small.jpeg
 
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WeirdFishes

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Did you ground tab 1 of the volume pot? That's required.

Also, please make your pics a little smaller; the wiring difficult to see :cool:
I did - I grounded tab one to the pot itself. Do you mean that the pics are too small?

Attached are larger versions. And thanks!
IMG_2514.jpeg
IMG_2515.jpeg
IMG_2516.jpeg
 

Peegoo

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Okay, those pics are easier to see, thanks. It appears your wiring (routing ) is good, but you have excessive solder in the switch contacts, which leads me to believe there may be excessive solder that has flowed into the pots too.

What I would do is first confirm that each and every one of the interconnects (wiring) is terminated where it needs to be. A good way to do this is to have the diagram and a highlighter Look at one of the wires ion the diagram, and then compare that to what you have hooked up. When each end of the wire matches the connections on the diagram, highlight that wire on the diagram, and move to the next one. Take your time, and do one wire at a time.

If all that is correct, next step is to confirm the switch and pots are operating properly. You use a DVM/DMM (meter) for this step. Check continuity through all the switch positions, and check for smooth sweep of each pot (DC resistance in Ohms) through all three contacts.
 

WeirdFishes

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Okay, those pics are easier to see, thanks. It appears your wiring (routing ) is good, but you have excessive solder in the switch contacts, which leads me to believe there may be excessive solder that has flowed into the pots too.

What I would do is first confirm that each and every one of the interconnects (wiring) is terminated where it needs to be. A good way to do this is to have the diagram and a highlighter Look at one of the wires ion the diagram, and then compare that to what you have hooked up. When each end of the wire matches the connections on the diagram, highlight that wire on the diagram, and move to the next one. Take your time, and do one wire at a time.

If all that is correct, next step is to confirm the switch and pots are operating properly. You use a DVM/DMM (meter) for this step. Check continuity through all the switch positions, and check for smooth sweep of each pot (DC resistance in Ohms) through all three contacts.
Thanks for this - I actually rewired everything this morning from scratch, and I'm confident all the wires are connected properly. I suspect I may have had solder drip/get into areas on the pots that it shouldn't have when I first wired it up yesterday (the switch seems to be operating fine). I don't have a MMV - might have to go invest in one.

If the pots aren't operating correctly because of too much solder or something similar, is there much to be done other than replace them?

As it happens I also have two additional new pots arriving later today - another no-load and another regular. I could always try to swap those in (and be as careful as I can with the soldering) and see if that helps.
 

WeirdFishes

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Okay, those pics are easier to see, thanks. It appears your wiring (routing ) is good, but you have excessive solder in the switch contacts, which leads me to believe there may be excessive solder that has flowed into the pots too.

What I would do is first confirm that each and every one of the interconnects (wiring) is terminated where it needs to be. A good way to do this is to have the diagram and a highlighter Look at one of the wires ion the diagram, and then compare that to what you have hooked up. When each end of the wire matches the connections on the diagram, highlight that wire on the diagram, and move to the next one. Take your time, and do one wire at a time.

If all that is correct, next step is to confirm the switch and pots are operating properly. You use a DVM/DMM (meter) for this step. Check continuity through all the switch positions, and check for smooth sweep of each pot (DC resistance in Ohms) through all three contacts.
Well, my multimeter isn't registering anything. Not at the output jack, and not when I measure the pots directly (although they are still soldered into the control panel).
I'm stumped.
 

Gi Tar

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Can you pm me links to pickups and nut? I have the same guitar and want to do some mods. Pups, nut, bridge and maybe pots.
 

wabashslim

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Your pots' behavior is typical of not being grounded. Odd, because I plainly see the black wire coming from the jack area going straight to the volume pot's shell. But - I can't see the wire/jack connection itself. Is there a chance you've got a three-terminal jack & the black wire is going to the wrong one?
 

birdawesome

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Can you link the wiring diagram you used?

You can clean up solder using a solder wick for spots that have dripped. Also a solder sucker is EXTREMELY helpful. It makes for much easier and professional soldering/desoldering/re-soldering

The wiring I typically use for telecasters though has one leg of the tone cap soldered to lug 2 of the tone pot and the other going through the ground pin of the volume pot and finally soldered to the back of the volume pot. For added assurance, you can always bend back the unused pin of the tone pot and solder it to the tone pot to make sure it’s grounded.

However, poor soldering and excessive heat can absolutely ruin a potentiometer...I’ve done it myself. Nothing to be ashamed of though, and we all started there. Investing in a multimeter is invaluable for guitar maintenance and takes a lot of guesswork out of things, so I highly recommend it.
 




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