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Repair cord for pickup, can it be done?

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  • Repair cord for pickup, can it be done?

    I have never used a portable pickup in a guitar and got a used Dean Markley Promag Plus pickup from a friend. His dog had chewed up the cord and the rubber is cut down to the mesh wire (shielding?)in a few places. He had taped it over with some non-electrical tape. The pickup hums when plugged into the amp and it increases when the guitar is facing the amp, but it is always present at all volumes. Could this be caused by the tears in the cord? What do you recommend to repair it or is it worth it?

  • #2
    It may not be the tear in the cord. Try using it on another instrument and amp.
    R.I.P. TAH & Dak

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    • #3
      Dog's tooth may have penetrated deeper than you think exposing the signal conductor to the shielding. Exploratory surgery may be required. Stat.

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      • #4
        As long as there's a couple clean inches of cable at the pickup a splice wouldn't be any big deal. Might be slightly tricky if it's a piezo pickup because shielding is critical, and shielding is hard to do in a splice.
        "I would kill the children of a thousand planets, just to see you smile"

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        • #5
          I did plug it into another amp and it hummed in that one as well. I plugged a drum machine and also a mic into the same input on the amp to make sure it wasn't the amp. I also noticed that when I turned on another halogen light in the room, the hum was louder. I plugged the amp into another plug and it still hummed. Upon looking on the Dean Markley website, it appears to be a magnetic pickup. Do you think that wrapping the torn spot with copper tape would help or should I just splice another cord on?

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          • #6
            Aluminum foil and pieces of heat shrink tubing of suitable size for the conductors and outer insulation jacket. Tubing is available at automotive stores, ACE hardware and radio Shack.

            1. Unsolder the plug marking where your wires connect.
            2. Remove enough of the outer insulation jacketing to effect repair. This should be about an inch on either side of the damaged area (2 inches total). Try to slit the shielding all the way around at the damaged area and slide it away to either side of that area.
            3. If conductor is damaged cut it, strip the insulation and tin the two resulting ends. Slide a small piece of heat-shrink tubing over it long enough to cover the repair extending about 1/8th inch on either side of repair. Move it up the conductor away from the area requiring resoldering. Solder the conductor together making sure heat doesn't transfer to the shrink tubing. Slide the shrink tubing over the repaired conductor and shrink it around repaired area. You can use a Bic lighter if you carefully fan the flame back and forth under the shrink tubing.
            4. Work the existing shielding back in place and contour it to the cord size as best as you can.
            5. Cut a small piece of aluminum foil and wrap it around the shielding allowing it to extend on either side of the removed outer insulation jacketing by about 1/8th inch. Work it down well.
            6. Slide larger heat shrink tubing over cord and shrink over repaired area completely with about 1/4 inch extending on each side of the aluminum foil. Flick your Bic again.
            7. Resolder your end plug.

            Alternate Method

            1. New Pickup.

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            • #7
              As long as there's a couple clean inches of cable at the pickup a splice wouldn't be any big deal. Might be slightly tricky if it's a piezo pickup because shielding is critical, and shielding is hard to do in a splice.


              Yup - the mesh part (shielding) is hard to splice. I've known some people that have done it successfully, but I'm not one of them.

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              • #8
                Well..the Dean Markley Pro-Mag pickups are single coil and very prone to hum in the first place. I also find that the cord that comes with it is very thin, flimsy and not really shielded all that well which doesn't help.

                If you are using this type of single coil pickup near a TV or computer monitor the hum will really be magnified.
                Guitars = Chick Magnet
                Guitar Hero = Guy Magnet
                You do the math.


                HCAG Civil Posters Society, Charter Member #002.
                Simple music is the hardest music to play and blues is simple music. - Albert Collins

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                • #9
                  Well..the Dean Markley Pro-Mag pickups are single coil and very prone to hum in the first place. I also find that the cord that comes with it is very thin, flimsy and not really shielded all that well which doesn't help.

                  If you are using this type of single coil pickup near a TV or computer monitor the hum will really be magnified.


                  I remember that now. A friend of mine gave me one and that was one of the problems with it. If it's that wood block P/U I couldn't use it on one guitar because of its height. I gave it away.

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                  • #10
                    Thanks for all of your assistance. I especially appreciated the detailed instructions on splicing the cord. Maybe it's time to invest in a permanently mounted pickup or a better quality portable mounted one.

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                    • #11
                      Thanks for all of your assistance. I especially appreciated the detailed instructions on splicing the cord. Maybe it's time to invest in a permanently mounted pickup or a better quality portable mounted one.


                      I think that might be a good idea. The other posts reminded me of many issues I've had when using poorly shielded cables - lots of crap bleeding into the signal chain that made me a very unhappy camper.

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