Rewired my 57 Strat reissue and would like some help

Discussion in 'Luthier's Guitar & Bass Technical Discussion' started by Disco Fever, Sep 10, 2006.

  1. Disco Fever

    Disco Fever Member

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    I've had this guitar in a closet for about 13 years or so. The 3-way selector switch died pretty much right after I got it. At the time I was playing bass and later stopped playing all together so I wasn't worried about repairing it. Now I have the itch so... Had done a little reseach about using a capcitor so that I can do the bridge and middle pick up off of one tone pot as I replaced the 3-way with a 5-way. Below are photos of it as I did it. All the single pickups by themselves sound awesome but the sound is thin in the 2 and 4 postions. I've read this means I have the middle pickup out of phase but not sure how to wire it "in phase." Can anybody advise what I did wrong to get it out of phase?


    Here is the patient on the operating table:
    [​IMG]

    I loosened all the strings quite a bit. After that I took off the back cover and removed the two outside spring so that with no strings it wouldn't have too much tension pulling it towards the body:
    [​IMG]

    Here is is with the pick gaurd removed:
    [​IMG]

    This is what the wiring looked like before I did anything:
    [​IMG]

    Everything is disconnected except one pickup:
    [​IMG]

    Everything disconnected and I have the 5-way in:
    [​IMG]

    Here all the pickups are wired and the volume pot:
    [​IMG]
    Here it is completely wired. I've added the capcitor so I can use the tone control with two pickups. The one solder point on the capacitor is nasty and I had it roll off and burn the one next to it a little bit :(. Still none worse for the wear though. I went with the bridge and middle pickup being on the same control.
    [​IMG]

    Got it all back together and ready to slap on some string:
    [​IMG]
     
  2. Disco Fever

    Disco Fever Member

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    Didn't put too much tension on the string, but just enough for the bridge to come up a hair:
    [​IMG]

    Flipped it over to stick the outside springs and cover back on:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    After I get it all back together I notice two things. One I stuck the tone for the neck on the bottom tone control by mistake. Ooops :rolleyes: It works fine though and the bridge and middle are both on the first tone control and work fine as well. I may swap it sometime when it needs restrung but it works fine.
    After playing for a bit I'm having the sound short still. It isn't in the switch as it is doing it across all pick ups. I jiggle the jack a little bit and sure enough there is a bit of static. I took the jack off and there were two issues. Below is a pic:

    [​IMG]

    The white wire in the pic had two issues. One you can see that it is about broken. The other problem was the path that it was run. I've moved it in the photo but it was coming straight across to the hole in the cavity. The 1/4 plug was hitting the wire I'm sure and I think that is how it had gotten to be about broken through. I cut it where it was about to break removed all the solder and reattched it making it circle around the cavity before it goes through the hole where the pots are. It's a nice guitar and an expensive one. After having an issue with the selector swtich and the jack with only a few hours of playing time on it, I'm a little disappointed. Not enough to have lost any love for it though :). Whoever wired mine that day most likely did the jack first then pulled the wires tight through the cavity so that the plug hit it when inserted into the jack.


    [​IMG]
     
  3. GuitarBrent

    GuitarBrent Member

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    That vintage bridge should be sitting flush to the body or you're going to have major tuning problems. I'd put more tension on it and all 5 springs back.
     
  4. rooster

    rooster Member

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    I'd disagree. I'd have the back end about 1/16" to 1/8" off the body.

    But that's me.

    rooster.
     
  5. Disco Fever

    Disco Fever Member

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    Look at the photo below it. I only had one spring on at the time. Still wasn't tuned up or anything. The strings just barely had tension on them. In tune with all three springs on the back, it is just barely sitting up off of the body. Just a fraction of the height in the photo above.It is not flush though. It is in the 1/16 to 1/8 range as mentioned above.
     
  6. sovtekking

    sovtekking Supporting Member

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    i'm not sure if this will work with the cap. trick on the switch like that, but try reversing the leads on the middle pickup (solder the black to the switch, and the white to back of the pot). sometimes that does the trick when i'm using seymours and fender pickups together
     
  7. sovtekking

    sovtekking Supporting Member

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    oh yeah, the bridge position isnt a huge deal, if you dont use the trem, then lock it down with 5 springs and more tension, cause it'll save you some headaches with tuning, but it you use it, then about 1/16" of an inch off the body is plenty
     
  8. Disco Fever

    Disco Fever Member

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    ^^ Danke. I figured that was what I needed to do. Just felt like I was wrong to think the white one from the pickup goes to the pot when that is the ground for the rest of them though. I think I get it though. It just goes hot through the other side and reverses the phase. I *don't think* the capacitor is going to have an effect but I really have no clue. Just thinking that it was already out of phase and I would have had this issue using a 5-way even without the capacitor so I'm leaning towards it doesn't play in the equation. In a couple or few weeks when I wear out the strings I'll rewire it and move the tone controls to where they should be and wire the middle pickup as you have suggested. Right now I'm just enjoying having a good sounding guitar :).
     
  9. GuitarBrent

    GuitarBrent Member

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    This is from the Callaham website:
    When installing a new bridge or checking the set-up of your current bridges, I recommend the following:
    On vintage styled bridges the pivot screws need to be down almost to the top plate. I screw the screw down until it touches the plate and lifts the back off the body. Then back the screw off until the plate rests back down on the body. You should feel small movements, side to side and forward and back of the bridge. It pivots fully up and down. Too far down and the bridge will bind. Too far away and the bridge will slide up the screws. Both mistakes cause tuning problems.
    I recommend a minimum of 4 springs for the bridges. They should be set so that if you are doing double stop bends, the guitar remains at pitch. This means the top plate will have a slight pressure against the body. Sorry no pull ups with a vintage bridge, unless you can live with pitch problems.

    I've found this to be a very good rule of thumb.
     

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