Neck pickup volume sometimes drops to half

Discussion in 'Luthier's Guitar & Bass Technical Discussion' started by wire-n-wood, Jan 22, 2012.

  1. wire-n-wood

    wire-n-wood Member

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    I have an Epiphone Les Paul. While playing on the neck pickup, the volume sometimes drops out to about half, then back up again. This started happening recently, and it happens approx once every minute.

    I thought there might be a loose wire so I opened up the back and all the soldering and wires on the pots look secure.

    Does anyone recognize this symptom of the volume dropping in and out on one pickup? Not totally out... just dropping to half, then boosting back up - apparently randomly.

    Or is there a way to test whether a suspect component may be the culprit?

    Thanks in advance for the benefit of your experience!
     
  2. LarryN

    LarryN Member

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    Could be oxidation on the switch contacts.
     
  3. fumbler

    fumbler Member

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    Or in one of the pots.

    Toggle the switch back and forth and roll the pots up and down a few dozen times. If that doesn't help then shoot some deoxit in there.

    Eventually you might want to upgrade the electronics which are often a weak spot in epis.
     
  4. HaggertysMusic

    HaggertysMusic Member

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    My guess is that the switch lug for the neck pickup is coming in contact with the switch cavity wall, which is covered in conductive shielding paint. The paint is grounded and if the switch lug rubs against it, it will either cut out entirely or bleed away the signal.
     
  5. wire-n-wood

    wire-n-wood Member

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    Thanks for the responses.
    I rubbed some sandpaper between the contacts of the switch. It seems to have stopped the problem from happening - for now. So I think you're right.

    Yes, I got this guitar secondhand. It's over 10 years old, and I think the guitar's tone could be improved with new pickups anyway. Especially the bridge pickup which is just harsh - and not in a good way. So I think I should take your advice and schedule in an upgrade.

    In this case I have clear space all around the switch lug (which is held securely). So I don't think I'm getting any unwanted contact with the cavity wall. But thanks for the point to note.

    THANKS AGAIN EVERYONE!
     

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