RS kit wiring problem

Discussion in 'Luthier's Guitar & Bass Technical Discussion' started by justonwo, Aug 22, 2005.

  1. justonwo

    justonwo Member

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    So I purchased and RS premium upgrade kit for my new R6 and had it wired by my local shop. Although I instructed them to follow the RS wiring diagram exactly, they deviated slightly. Instead of running ground wires from the back of all the pots to the stop bar grounding wire on the neck volume control, they grounded the neck tone and volume together, and joined the bridge volume and tone together. Thus, it seems that the bridge tone and volume are not grounded to the stop bar.

    I've noticed that I can still hear my guitar very faintly when I turn the bridge volume all the way down and I figured it had something to do with the grounding. However, I ran a new wire from the neck volume to the bridge tone, and I still have the same problem. Any ideas what might be causing this?

    Summary of original ground connections:

    1) Stop bar ground wire soldered to back on neck volume
    2) Back of neck volume and tone connected
    3) Back of bridge volume and tone connected

    I added:

    4) Connection between neck volume and bridge tone. This should ground all four.

    Thanks.
     
  2. John Phillips

    John Phillips Member

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    It's probably not a grounding problem - it's more likely that the ground tab of the bridge pickup volume control has separated from the track slightly; this tends to happen when the tab is bent back to be soldered to the pot casing. You need to re-crimp it onto the track with a pair of pliers (you'll have to take the pot out, but probably not disconnect it).

    The grounding between the two volume and tone networks is completed via the cabling to and from the switch anyhow, so the extra wire you added is unnecessary.

    Don't worry about where the stopbar connection is grounded to - it's just a shield and since no current flows in it, it's irrelevant from a star-grounding point of view; the important connection is the one to the jack and where it goes to. A Les Paul is inherently difficult to star-ground since the cabling to and from the switch is part of the ground path, and if you're going to do things properly the three cables may need to be sleeved so they don't contact each other. I've never come across a Les Paul where that sort of trouble was necessary to make it quiet though.
     
  3. justonwo

    justonwo Member

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    John, thanks for the reply. What you are saying seems to make sense. However, no tab bending was performed in my wiring. The tab was bridged to the casing by a wire jumper. I called RS Guitar Works and they were pretty convinced that failure to complete the star grounding the way they specified in the diagram was the source of the problem, or perhaps a cold solder joint. I think I'll try rewiring things first, and then try working on the pot if that doesn't fix things.

    I also mentioned to him that the strings buzz pretty loudly until I touch them. He told me that this is usually indicative of a bad connection between the tailpiece and the neck volume pot. So it doesn't sound like that connection is very solid either. If it's not the connection at the volume pot, how easy is it to access the end of the wire connected to the stop bar?
     
  4. BPlexico

    BPlexico Member

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    You may have already tried this but having some sort of meter to check continuity is very helpful in these cases (or at least it has been for me) - allows one to check all the soldering points to ensure sound connections. Most multimeters have this capability - and emit a beep to verify continuity between two points.

    Helpful to me who was very new to soldering as a way to check my work before sealing up the guitar...

    I believe the ground wire to the stop bar is connected to one of the two studs so that would not be the easiest connection in the world to diagnose (John coorect me if I am wrong).

    -- Barr
     
  5. justonwo

    justonwo Member

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    John, you were right about the grounding. That doesn't seem to be the problem. Can you describe in a little more detail how to crimp the ground tab back onto the track? I can't visualize the mechanics of the pot very well so it's hard for me to see how this is done. Is it possible that the pot is simply defective and that turning the volume all the way down doesn't shunt the entire signal to ground?

    Also, I don't know if this will help troubleshoot the problem, but I've noticed something else. When I have the pickup selector toggled to both pickups, usually turning the volume all the way down on either the bridge or neck will turn all the volume off. However, on this guitar only the neck pickup has that effect. Turning the bridge all the way down still allows sound to come through. I guess this is probably an extension of the same symptom, but to the extent that it helps, I'm putting it out there.
     

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