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Semi-hollowbody pickup/wiring upgrade almost broke me!


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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 I couldn't put it off any longer 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 checked and reflowed the  connections and put the switch back in place … no neck pickup output. I pulled the neck pickup pots and switch out 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 output when installed. I pulled the switch back out of the F Hole and both pickups work fine, reinstall the switch. neck pickup goes dark again. 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) butt-spliced, soldered all connections and reinstalled. All is good now.

(Tip: Always use  long enough ground wires from the bridge post or tremolo 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.






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I see you used teh 'surgical tube' method...I'm old skool, and use fishing line or twine...I would probably have removed the 4-pin connector and gone point to point[ who needs a chunk of plastic rattling around in a semi?], but at least you found the culprit! 😎

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