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Strange pickup death?

 
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Old Black



Joined: 18 Jan 2006
Posts: 1975
Location: Minneapolis

PostPosted: Mon Aug 17, 2015 12:53 pm    Post subject: Strange pickup death? Reply with quote

A friend of mine has a '73 ES-150 with two humbuckers. The neck pup will regularly quit for no apparent reason. It doesn't respond to shaking. Any ideas? Volume pot going? It seems to me that it must be shorting to ground somewhere. (Because it is an ES, I want to see if there is a simple explanation before I go pulling out the pots and switches.)
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Mr. Clevername



Joined: 08 Dec 2006
Posts: 2448
Location: San Francisco, CA

PostPosted: Mon Aug 17, 2015 7:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Maybe try spraying some "Technician-In-A-Can" liberally on the topside of the switch, let it run down and wiggle the switch a lot. I saw somebody do this recently - I had never tried this before, but I did, and it worked!

The fellow that did this does it on pots, too, and apparently that works for him too, at least sometimes . . .
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tangelolemon



Joined: 26 Jan 2009
Posts: 2691
Location: Brooklyn, NY

PostPosted: Mon Aug 17, 2015 9:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

yep, like Mr. Clevername says, I suspect dirty contacts on the pickup selector switch.

Someone spent a lot of time on the bridge pickup, possibly, and if the neck pickup contacts were held open for a period of months or years, especially in certain climates/environments, then it's extremely possible that the switch contacts corroded and aren't making good contact anymore. This can act a lot like a dead pickup. Sometimes it can happen faster than you'd think.

Squirt DeOxit or some other contact cleaner in liberally and exercise the switch a bunch; see if that doesn't help.
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Old Black



Joined: 18 Jan 2006
Posts: 1975
Location: Minneapolis

PostPosted: Tue Aug 18, 2015 8:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Awesome idea! Thanks.
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BluesmanDave



Joined: 17 Nov 2008
Posts: 2816
Location: Sacramento CA

PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2015 10:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yep, I'd put in a third vote for a dirty or bad switch, especially if there's no obvious crackle or issues operating the pots, and it's only one pickup. If you don't have a can of DeoxIT d5, treat yourself. It's by far and away the best contact cleaner I've ever used.
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blackone



Joined: 19 Aug 2009
Posts: 465
Location: Southern California

PostPosted: Wed Aug 26, 2015 10:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This happened to me on an vintage es 330 I once had, a 75 if remember correctly. The neck pickup had been removed replaced then put back in then removed again then put back in etc. What happened is that there was an area on the braided pickup wire that a few strands had broken and one of them was stabbing itself into the lead. You could shake the guitar and nothing, or it would sometimes magically make sound then stop. I found it by connecting the ohm meter then just moving/twisting the wire around. Obviously the pickup was out at this point, I then just cut the bad bits off and it was great after that. Worth a try at least although getting the pots and everything else out is a royal pita!!
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Old Black



Joined: 18 Jan 2006
Posts: 1975
Location: Minneapolis

PostPosted: Wed Aug 26, 2015 2:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Update: I bought a can of DeOxit and hit the selector switch through the f-hole. He's been playing it for a couple of days and hasn't had any problems.

Thanks for the suggestion!
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