telecaster electronics help!

MichaelGitarski

Electromatic
Jan 6, 2020
81
Toronto
I messed up my telecaster in the most inconspicuous way. I was swapping a pickguard and ended up with a screwed up bridge pickup!

Yeah that's right. i don't know how this was remotely possible. my neck pickup is mounted by screws to the pickguard and that one sounds totally fine and normal.

Basically my bridge pickup is now very very thin and quiet. It still makes sounds, but basically no low/bottom end is present. If you turn down the tone on the bridge pickup, it just gets quieter as if you were using the volume knob. having the switch in middle position sounds like 95% neck pickup, 5% bridge pickup. what the heck.

I took a look at the wiring and everything looks "ok" under the panel.

Just wondering if someone here has had a similar experience where a pickup somehow lost it's presence like that all of the sudden? Just trying to self diagnose a bit to see if i can fix it myself.
 

GreTschocaster

Synchromatic
Feb 11, 2013
713
Canada
That is really strange a simple pickguard change shouldn't create this issue for a bridge pickup. Was there any stress on the bridge pickup wires that may have bent or pulled on the selector switch or pot. If you have a multimeter you can check the pickup output.
 
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MichaelGitarski

Electromatic
Jan 6, 2020
81
Toronto
I checked the pickups with a multimeter. I think the bridge pickup is dead.

neck pickup reads 9.2, bridge pickup doesn’t read anything. I did this two ways. 1, with the patch cord and 2, using The multimeter probes directly on the wire leads under the tele control plate.

crap. i think the pickup is toast. Ironically this is my only guitar with upgraded pickups. Fender noiseless n3’s.

this leads me to the question. How does a pickup die? Like I said it was fine for years and years. And now suddenly it dies without any reason?
 

radd

Friend of Fred
Dec 27, 2017
5,985
Santa Cruz
I would think “KISS“ before I jumped to a pickup issue. That means to me, your bridge pickup was fine prior to the pickguard change and not after the change. Stick with that until you prove otherwise..

I have changed pickguards many times on my Teles and I know that even though it only involves the neck pickup and those wires, those wires enter the control cavity and there is not much room in there. The wires often times cross each other in the cavity. Pulling on the neck pickup could easily tug on the wires in the control cavity. I would pull out the control plate and look for and test for broken or loose solder joints.
 

MichaelGitarski

Electromatic
Jan 6, 2020
81
Toronto
thanks for the replies.

the pickup has failed the multimeter tests so i can't see how it would be anything other than a dead pickup at this point. (the neck pickup passed the test).

Is it even possible for it to be something else?
 

loudnlousy

Gretschified
Oct 18, 2015
12,554
Germany
The Flying V that I bought in 2021 as a defetive item, had a simple short that came when un-screwing the pickguard and putting it back on squeezing two wires.
 

Lucky Jim

Gretschie
Oct 16, 2020
205
Kent, England
thanks for the replies.

the pickup has failed the multimeter tests so i can't see how it would be anything other than a dead pickup at this point. (the neck pickup passed the test).

Is it even possible for it to be something else?
If I read your earlier post correctly you only checked the pickup’s continuity below the control plate, not at the actual pickup. I suspect that @radd’s theory is correct - that you may have inadvertently pulled on the bridge pickup’s wiring when moving the neck pickup. This could conceivably have broken a soldered connection at the bridge pickup.

The best action would be to remove the bridge to inspect the underside of the pickup. You may find a broken connection or possibly a dry solder joint. Try taking a resistance reading on the solder joints. If that still reads open-circuit try, before dumping the pickup, resoldering those two joints very carefully. If still no joy the pickup has a broken winding.
 

MichaelGitarski

Electromatic
Jan 6, 2020
81
Toronto
The best action would be to remove the bridge to inspect the underside of the pickup. You may find a broken connection or possibly a dry solder joint. Try taking a resistance reading on the solder joints. If that still reads open-circuit try, before dumping the pickup, resoldering those two joints very carefully. If still no joy the pickup has a broken winding.
thanks. That's the plan.

I'm going take the guitar apart and go from there. Hopefully i can salvage mine otherwise it will be a new set of fender vintage reissue pickups for me. not the the worst thing that can happen to that guitar.
 

swivel

Country Gent
May 13, 2018
2,260
PNW
Have look at the windings where the fine winding is soldered to the pickup leads. Often these fine wires can get broken. However, this shouldn't happen with a pickguard change
YEAH, check the little thin wires that solder to a round glob on the pickup base. They break easy, like just inserting through the pickup opening. BUT WAIT..., it's a TELE, you didnt have to touch the bridge pickup did you?
 

Ricochet

Senior Gretsch-Talker
Nov 13, 2009
22,303
Monkey Island
As said before, these are thin strands that are easy to accidently pull apart.
Did you get a Over Load or Infinity reading when you did the measurements?
 

MichaelGitarski

Electromatic
Jan 6, 2020
81
Toronto
YEAH, check the little thin wires that solder to a round glob on the pickup base. They break easy, like just inserting through the pickup opening. BUT WAIT..., it's a TELE, you didnt have to touch the bridge pickup did you?
Yeah bridge pickup. Totally untouched the whole time. That’s way I’m so baffled and annoyed.

anyways I can confirm the pickup is dead. I removed It and it looks perfectly fine. it Doesn’t read anything on the multimeter So it must have shorted out.

I have already installed a new set. I opted for fender Tex mex. They were cheap and had great reviews online and I gotta say I really like them. To tell the truth I like them more than the noiseless pickups I had in there before.
 

swivel

Country Gent
May 13, 2018
2,260
PNW
Yeah bridge pickup. Totally untouched the whole time. That’s way I’m so baffled and annoyed.

anyways I can confirm the pickup is dead. I removed It and it looks perfectly fine. it Doesn’t read anything on the multimeter So it must have shorted out.

I have already installed a new set. I opted for fender Tex mex. They were cheap and had great reviews online and I gotta say I really like them. To tell the truth I like them more than the noiseless pickups I had in there before.
Yeah, Tex Mex are good and a bargain. That happened to me. Had a set of Texas Special Strat pups around, went to use them and one is just plain dead. No broken wire visible! Ugh. Go figger.
 

FunkyWilly

Electromatic
Dec 27, 2020
32
Chicago
Is it possible that the height of the pickup changed? I believe that if the pickup is too low, it may sound thin and quiet, as you described.
 


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