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Tele neck stops working / wires too short

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  • Tele neck stops working / wires too short

    My AO 50s Tele started having a problem recently, where the neck pickup stopped working randomly. I opened up the control plate, de-soldered the pickup, checked it, seemed to be working fine, re-soldered back and the same problem happened again.

    I assumed it was the switch, so I went to the local shop and bought a 4 way switch (no 3 way switches were available) and fell in love with it.

    Tonight, it happened again. As soon as I opened the control plate the pickup started working normally again, leading me to believe it's the wires that are shorting out at some point within the control cavity. I realized I can cut the pickup wire, but then the wire would be too short to be soldered back on.

    Anyone faced the same issue, and if so, how did you resolve it?

  • #2
    It's a common problem in Tele's. The control cavity is tight. Both 4-conductor and braided pup wires have an exposed ground wire. If it touches one of the exposed "hot" terminals on the switch, or either pot, when you shove it all back in there . . . no sound. Heat shrink tubing on grounds, and/or possibly electrical tape around the perimeter of the 4-way switch might help. You just need to lay it all down in there VERY carefully.

    Edit: I've seen one more thing too. If the control cavity is lined with conductive paint, or shielding, the terminals of the 3/4-way can make contact, and ground out.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by ArtieToo View Post
      Edit: I've seen one more thing too. If the control cavity is lined with conductive paint, or shielding, the terminals of the 3/4-way can make contact, and ground out.
      I have seen this in a few guitars.

      Dave, Ambassador/Writer/Artist for Seymour Duncan

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Mincer View Post
        I have seen this in a few guitars.
        Yup. And it's a ballbuster if it's been awhile, and you aren't thinking about it.

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        • #5
          Thanks a lot for your suggestions. I insulated all the wires and hope this will hold and will see if I will need to take other steps to fix this.

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          • #6
            The other thing I had to do once (before I learned to put back some spare insulation on exposed leads before soldering) was after the switch was all soldered, put electrical tape over the lugs and connections of the switch so nothing in the cavity could touch the lugs, connections and jumper wire.

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            • #7
              ^^^ Ditto.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by ArtieToo View Post
                ^^^ Ditto.
                This is a nice idea, even if just as a preventative measure.
                Originally posted by crusty philtrum
                Anyone who *sings* at me through their teeth deserves to have a bus drive through their face
                http://www.youtube.com/alexiansounds

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by alex1fly View Post

                  This is a nice idea, even if just as a preventative measure.
                  I use Kapton. It's better in every way, and it's never "gummy." Unfortunately, it's expensive. But for guitar work, one roll will probably last a lifetime.

                  https://www.uline.com/Product/Detail...B&gclsrc=aw.ds

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