Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
6down1togo

This semi-hollowbody pickup swap was a battle!

Recommended Posts

Posted (edited)

I have been catching up on guitar projects and selling a few un-played guitars that turned into unfinished projects. I bought this one from R.M. Olson Guitars as non-working guitar. The bridge pickup was not working and was either dead or miss-wired. The price was right and I bought it. The electronics were typical import style mini-pots and box switch and the pickups were MIC. When I pulled the electronics out, it turned out the pickup was dead and the wiring was wrong. I looked at it a while and put it away for the better part of 10 years. LOL. Do you see a pattern here?

I finally decided to set it right and grabbed the harness and Korean Washburn 621/623 pickup set I had pulled from a headstock damaged Washburn HB-35 and psyched myself up for the install. Tested the combo and then installed only to find just the bridge pickup working. I pulled the switch back out through the F Hole and everything worked fine. I put the switch back in place … no neck pickup output. I pulled the neck pots and switchout of the body to check connections and all looked good. I reinstalled and again, no neck pickup output. Pulled the switch out through the F Hole and both pickups worked again. Now I am pissed. I pull everything out and start over … same result. Both pickups work when the harness is outside the body. No neck pickup out when installed. I pulled the switch back out of the F Hole and both pickups work fine, reinstall the switch. neck pickup goes dark. At this point a light goes off  and I check the 4 pin connector (pickup outputs and output to jack) and bingo … intermittent. I cut out the connecter, shortened the lead (HB-35 had the switch on the upper body horn), soldered all connections and reinstalled. All is good now.

(Tip: Always use long enough ground wires from the bridge posts or tremolo bridge to the neck tone pot and between the neck and bridge tone pots to allow you to install (or pull to troubleshoot) the controls for one pickup at a time to make the install (or removal and reinstall) easier and less cluttered.

Pics:

 

IMG_2613.JPG

IMG_2615.JPG

IMG_2640.JPG

IMG_2634 (2).JPG

Edited by 6down1togo
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hollow-bodies are not easy guitars to work on. I love them. I seen a few youtube video on replacing picks.

Never had to do an work on the hollow-bodies I own, thank god.

 

Nice job. Enjoy your new guitar. should sound great

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, jtr654 said:

I use dental floss to pull the parts back into place.

I use fishing line or twine....but that surgical tubing is good too, and is re-usable, but costs a lot more ... I've had to do upper bout switches, and those are a real grunt if the p-ups are still in place...

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

This thing just won't give me a break since I decided to sell it. I put strings on it, did a setup, strummed a couple chords and found the first fret action sky high and all the "cowboy" chords going sharp over the first 3 frets. I didn't remember it playing that badly when I first got the guitar but really didn't spend any time playing it with the wiring and pickup fubar and put it aside (for about 10 years!).

I tapped out the plastic nut, cleaned up the slot and installed a pre-slotted bone nut, scribed and sanded to height . Holy crap! It out-plays my Gibson ES 335 now (which also has a high nut and needs the same attention). Plays and sounds just great and tuning stability is rock solid now. Just needs a buyer now.

Next!

Edited by 6down1togo
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Semi and hollowbody guitars are a PITB to work on. So much so that I'll usually just take them to someone else to deal with. :o 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm with you Phil. I have a deal with my tech where I take it as far as I can and he finishes up.

When I decided to put P-Rails with custom wiring - master blend with humbucker/p-90/SC switching on push-pulls - in my Hagstrom Viking he got the parts and my wiring diagram. He just about killed me when I came to pick it up, but it came out great. That stuff's akin to building ships in bottles.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice job! I've had a couple of those fishing expeditions as well. Good for you getting it done without smashing the whole thing.

I'm always amazed at how many guitars leave the factory with too tall nut slots and never get tweaked. When I do set ups for friends I normally take these closer to the limit, allowing for a smidge of wear. The results are almost always "Is this the same guitar? How did you make it so much easier to play?"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...