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mbengs1

How do i fix a broken pickup ?

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I got 2 single coil pickups that don't work anymore. It died when I tried to add shims to raise the pickup. I unscrewed the pickup, put foam under it and when I put the pickup back on and tested the guitar, the pickup did not work. How do I fix this?

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By first determining what is wrong with it.

 

You may have simply accidentally shorted something out... one of the wires may be grounding out on something inside the pickup cavity. Or maybe you broke one of the leads off, or one of the tiny wires that go from the bobbin to the coil. That’s worse, and potentially harder to fix. It is also possible one of the wires within the coil is broken... in which case, the only real way to “fix” the pickup is to rewind it.

 

Start by undoing what you did and pull the pickup out of the cavity and test to see if it works. If so, it is shorting out somehow...

 

Do you have a DMM? Do you know how to use it?

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if diagnosing a short isn't fruitful... try simply reheating the solder points on the pickup where the leads are attached to the bobbin... this is more common than many realize... just touch a solder tool to the contact add a touch of fresh solder, let it harden and check it..

 

rk

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first thing is a basic understanding of electricity . The term circuit means circle. If the circle is broken or open it needs joined. look for a break and solder it

If the current is returning to ground (black wire ) without without going through the complete circle this is a short circuit . There may be some evidence of damage.. look at the damage and decide if you can fix it

 

 

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Gardo's correct. to check. you need a simple VOM. otherwise called a Multimeter.... many have a continuity check position where when there leads are touched together you hear a beep . . or a LED comes on.... you simply touch each of the VOM test leads to teach of the pickups leads.. if you hear a beep, or the led comes on.. the pup is good... if not.. there is a break in the circuit. ... if so. try the tip I mentioned above...

 

Here's one that's pretty inexpensive:

 

https://www.amazon.com/AstroAI-Digital-Multimeter-Voltage-Tester/dp/B01ISAMUA6/ref=sxin_0_ac_d_pm?ac_md=1-0-VW5kZXIgJDE1&hvadid=3483219442&hvbmt=be&hvdev=c&hvqmt=e&keywords=vom&pd_rd_i=B01ISAMUA6&pd_rd_r=38d74f5b-3634-4796-8e25-9e105617d550&pd_rd_w=AVlU9&pd_rd_wg=DSmBM&pf_rd_p=be5d8dec-444e-4770-91df-1e16a8c46da8&pf_rd_r=FKN3EGASSQBBEPG9X1VX&qid=1564583934&s=gateway

 

Note on the pix of the VOM. between the 4 and 5 o'clock position you will see a little Dot with curved lines radiating from it.. and another icon of an arrow pointing to a sideways T that's a diode symbol.. (sorry if you're an EE sometimes ya need to keep it simple) that's the continuity check position on that VOM

 

for VOMs that do not have a continuity position, ya put in on one of the mid range. kilohms positions... like, say, 20K .. then when you touch the pup leads you will see the DCR on the meter... usually should be somewhere between 5K and 10K ... but if you see zero.. the windings are broken internally and the pup must be rewound..

 

r

 

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This is one of the dumb threads I start. There's nothing there. I will just throw away the pickups.

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Wrap it in plastic, throw it in the trunk, drive upstate, bury it in the trees. DO NOT LIVESTREAM.

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Posted (edited)
This is one of the dumb threads I start. We know MBengs 1 don't most of yours come under that category .

 

 

Edited by jtr654

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This is one of the dumb threads I start. We know MBengs 1 don't most of yours come under that category .

 

 

id be willing to wager that every thread on these boards could be relegated to the “dumb thread” category, depending upon whom the reader might be...

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just another perspective... i mean, i doubt any of us were born with what precious little knowledge we have... it isnt innate... its usually caused by making stupid mistakes if memory serves?

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thankfully theres a little mbengs1 in all of us or we’d all be less than we are...

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reminds me of ,

"is there any girls in the audience with any Irish in them ,is there any of the girls who`d like a little bit more Irish in them" - quote by Irish man Phil Lynott.

whatever floats yer boat

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Posted (edited)

A pickup is just a long piece of wire wrapped around a magnet.

 

That's it, stupid simple design, that requires stupid simple methods of testing to fix the stupidly simple things done to them to mess them up.

 

How do you measure the continuity or a long piece of wire???

You connect a battery and meter to it in series. (and ohm meter)

 

If the current flows through the wire and makes it to the other end, The meter moves. If there is a break in the wire, The meter doesn't move. It doesn't even have to be a meter it could just as easily be a light bulb. If the bulb lights you have continuity. you simply have to use extremely low current and low wattage bulb like an LED so you don't overheat the micro thin pickup coil wire.

 

 

You can buy a cheap meter for $5 ~10. I advise all guitarists to have one for testing everything from guitar cords, to switches and stuff like this if you're into doing your own mods. I bought one that does everything from testing Caps, Transistors, and measuring frequencies for $12 recently. I have at least a half dozen others I've collected over the years because electronics is my trade but I didn't have one that measured cap values so I splurged and bought a cheapie for that. It works fine for that and has already paid for itself when I did some testing on an amp I suspected of having bad caps. I simply lifted on leg of the cap and tested the value and it had drifted off so much it was barely working. 10 minutes later I had it replaced and was back in action.

 

Most analog electronics require stupidly simple method for testing a stupidly simple problem. Its the understanding of the circuits once you get those readings that tell you whether its working right or not. That typically takes an education in the field once you get past the simple basics.

 

If the coil is open - Lets hope the problem is at the terminals where the leads solder to the bobbin.

If the coil windings are broken inside under the wraps some place, you might as well kiss it goodbye and buy another. Having them rewound is not cheap and unless its some vintage correct pickup you probably don't want to be bothered given how many great pickups are available at low cost.

 

If this is a Strat pickup that uses single magnet poles, I can pretty much guess what you did to screw them up.

 

When you shimmed the pickup from the bottom them screwed down on them, the lacquer that holds the magnetic poles in place cracked and a magnet shifted breaking a wire on the first layer of wire wrapped on the bobbin. The only way to get to that broken wire is to completely unwrap the entire bobbin which essentially disassembles the entire pickup.

 

Don't feel bad, this is one of the most common reasons vintage Strat pickups go bad. I have a set of TX Specials in a guitar. I accidentally bumped one of the poll pieces and it started humming like a SOB. I was able to move the pole back then glue it in place and it started working again. Touch the magnet it does hum a bit which means its in contact with a bare wire inside. I use that in a start that has switchable phasing and It works fine otherwise so I got lucky on that one. If it had broken the coil completely I would have been pissed. Those pickups aren't cheap.

Edited by WRGKMC

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thankfully theres a little mbengs1 in all of us or we’d all be less than we are...

 

Lookin for a management gig?

 

scurries for the trees...

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Lookin for a management gig?

 

scurries for the trees...

 

i already have a couple of those... thanks anyway...

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