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Telecaster 4-way switch wiring woes...

Discussion in 'Luthier's Guitar & Bass Technical Discussion' started by erikaeanlogic, Aug 28, 2005.

  1. Hi all,

    I'm relatively new here so please take it easy on my n00bishness

    I've just re-wired a homegrown Telecaster. It had some crazy ghetto control panel so I replaced it with a pre-built loaded control panel that has a 4-way switch. I really like the 4-way switch that I put into my other Tele with Bardens way back and so I thought I'd give it a try with a stock set of Fralins this time. The panel looks nice. I've grounded the neck cover seperately, as per the wiring schematic. I get NO sound when I plug the guitar into the amp, not from any selecter switch position. I've checked and re-checked and re-re-checked the wiring connections to ensure that there was no cold-solder anywhere. Both pickups are reading around 7K on my multimeter so I can't blame Lindy. Obviously I've missed something, can anybody suggest how to troubleshoot? Please suggest even the most rudimentary steps, since that's probably the one I've missed. Just so you know, I've done dozens of pickups in the handful or so of guitars I've had over the years, I can solder, I can use a multimeter, and I still probably won't be satisfied with this guitar's sound even when I do get it to work, lol.

    EDIT: This is the wiring schematic I'm using
     
  2. tybone

    tybone Member

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    Here is a quick double check of the layout.

    You should also check to see if there are any shorts.
     
  3. Tone_Terrific

    Tone_Terrific Member

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    You probably know this, but plug in a cable and attach your meter to the ends and you should read the pups resistance individually or together as you move the switch (pots on full). If it's shorted or open just trace it back.
     
  4. John Phillips

    John Phillips Member

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    Here's something quick to try - connect the guitar to the amp, and turn the volume control to halfway. Touch the middle tag of the volume pot with a screwdriver or something that you're holding. If it doesn't buzz, either the jack (most likely) or the pot is shorted.

    Shorted far-east-made jacks are surprisingly common.

    If it does buzz, but not when the volume control is up full, the short is most likely either in the tone control or the switch.
     
  5. Thanks for the suggestions, guys! I checked the resistance using the cable method and the values jump all over the place, which is definitely NOT normal (0.0-16.0K). What's the best place to go from here?

    Also, I decided to run a ground to the bridge plate. It doesn't seem to have made a difference either way but will this interfere with the 4-way schema?
     
  6. I get zero signal into the amp (not even buzzing). The way I discovered my issue is that when I install new pickups in a guitar I always plug it in and tap the pickup magnets with a screwdriver to see if they make noise BEFORE I restring it, which can be a real time-saver. These are CTS pots. Is there any way to test the pot? Can I apply the multimeter leads to the two outer pins of the pot while it's on full?
     
  7. okay, I've measured both pots and I got ~248k for Tone and 0k for the Volume. bottom line: Volume pot is shot?
     
  8. Tone_Terrific

    Tone_Terrific Member

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    From the 2 outer tabs? dead short (0)?
    Look for damage or debris in the casing first. Also the casing should be isolated from the contacts.
     
  9. John Phillips

    John Phillips Member

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    If you're metering across the pot with it in the circuit and reading a short you still can't tell whether the short is in the pot or elsewhere. Try what I suggested, and if you get no buzz at any setting of the volume control, remove the jack and test that.

    You might be surprised. I was the first couple of times, but after about the third one I stopped being, and it's one of the first things I check now. Overtightening (which is necessary with that stupid Tele jack arrangement) coupled with poor construction is the cause.

    I could be wrong of course, but I'll bet you a beer it's the jack.

    :)
     
  10. hi John,

    first of all, thanks for all your help!

    to test the jack do i remove it from the Tele, stick a male end in, and then test the two lead terminals on the female jack socket? if not, how do i do it?

    thanks again!

    erik
     
  11. John Phillips

    John Phillips Member

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    Unsolder the hot wire that goes to the jack at the pot end - don't take the jack out unless you have to, it's a pain to get it back sometimes - and meter between it and ground.

    If you don't get zero ohms, I owe you a beer ;).
     
  12. So if I understand correctly: I'm supposed to unsolder the jack's white wire from the Volume pot and test the white wire at one end and where the black wire from the jack is grounded to the Tone pot, right? Well, I DO get zero but isn't that to be expected? There's no tripped circuit, right? Also, with the jack's positive removed from the Volume pot it reads a steady 3.5k which is alot less than I'm looking for, right?

    Thanks!

    Erik
     
  13. John Phillips

    John Phillips Member

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    If you're getting zero ohms between the white wire (unconnected) and ground, you have a shorted jack and you owe me a beer ;) - it's supposed to be an open circuit.

    If you're reading 3.5K at the top connection of the volume pot with the white wire removed, you probably have the switch in the middle position - that's the correct reading (about half the impedance of either pickup) with both selected.
     
  14. hi John,

    I DO owe you a beer:). Next time you're in San Diego let me know and I'll make good on the debt;). Ready for the best part? When I resoldered the jack's white wire to the pot EVERYTHING STARTED WORKING FINE! Cold solder, perhaps? Anyway, my new Ghettocaster is sounding sweet as hell! I even accidentally ended up with neck and bridge pickups which are wound out of phase but it's such a sweet-sounding accident that I'm not going to fix it!:D

    Thanks again, John, and to all who helped me through the Dark Time:dude

    Erik
     
  15. Nonio

    Nonio Member

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    Hi,

    Very sorry to bother you, can I ask a small piece of technical advice ?

    I got a Tele with 4-way switching, all done and fine. I was wondering if I could do the same to another one using a Strat pickup on the neck ( without metal cover ).

    If yes, than all is great, no further questions.

    If no, then this particular Strat pickup does have a bottom plate underneath like a Tele bridge pickup ( with a Strat single-coil shape ), can it be used to connect to the 4-way switch as If it was the neck pickup coverplate ?


    Your help will be most appreciated.


    Thanks,

    Pete
     

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