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Thread: Extremely quiet pickups help!

  1. #1

    Extremely quiet pickups help!

    So my first guitar build was the Ib-5. Everythings finished, but I cant get the pickups to work properly. I can only hear sound from the amps when I turn the amp all the way up with overdrive. I am fairly certain that all the electronics were wired up correctly. Any help would be appreciated at this point.

  2. #2
    Overlord of Music Fretworn's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Hornsby Area, Sydney, NSW
    Welcome drmonstaa! I'm sure one of the electronics gurus will help you but I know they will want a photo of you're circuit. You'd be surprised how many times fresh pair of eyes can pick up the thing you have missed.

    First Act ME276 (resurrected curb-side find)
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  3. #3
    Overlord of Music
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Might be the jack wired back to front, as a guess.
    'As long as there's, you know, sex and drugs, I can do without the rock and roll.'

  4. #4
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    keep in mind that I didnt follow the colour coding like the wiring diagram

  5. #5
    also heres a picture of the general area in case you get lostClick image for larger version. 

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  6. #6
    Overlord of Music kimball492's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Im sure Scott the resident wizard will help here. Here's a link with some suggestions in meantime
    Last edited by kimball492; 17-06-2016 at 05:11 PM.

  7. #7
    Overlord of Music WeirdBits's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    My first guess would be a partial short of your hot to ground, as there are multiple places where that could be happening. There are a lot of bare wire ends that are potentially laying across ground points and/or the cavity shielding. For example, recessed pots can often have the underside of their lugs brushing the shielding, the exposed cap legs can touch the shielding, and the pickup 'hot'? across the back of the pot could be shorting, like in this:

    I'd try placing a strip of electrical tape between the underside of the pot lugs and the shielding, just to make sure they can't short. Also, any exposed 'hot' connections should be insulated as much as possible like the pickup 'hot' above and the tone pot lugs and cap legs below:

    As Pabs said, also check your jack wiring as the factory swaps around the stereo jacks they use from time to time, so the tip and sleeve lugs aren't always in the expected layout.

    I'm thinking it may be a tone pot related short.

  8. #8
    GAStronomist wazkelly's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Caloundra West, Sunshine Coast Qld
    As the experts have suggested probably a short somewhere but it should be noted that these 5 string Humbuckers do not have much output volume grunt compared to P or J Bass single coils but they do sound nice, warm/meaty/chunky in comparison.....a bit like a Gibbo Thunderbird in my opinion.

    Hope you get things sorted as you will love the sound, just beware when switching axes as the next one plugged in may blow your ears joke as that is what happened to me when playing on my EX-5 closely followed by a J Bass.

  9. #9
    Alright so I insulated as many wires as I could and tried swapping the output jack wires. Again, nothing happened. something to take note of is that when I raise/lower the guitars volume, I can hear the change in volume from the amp but I still get no sound from the strings.Click image for larger version. 

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  10. #10
    GAStronomist stan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Geelong, Vic
    the most likely culprits are:
    short to earth of a non earth wire
    bad or incomplete earth
    inconsistent or blobby soldering resulting in an incomplete electrical connection
    dud component
    bad output jack connection
    bad connection between output jack and amp
    amp input socket, or other amp problem

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