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Epi LP Custom Help Please! Almost NO sound out of guitar...

#1 User is offline   TheRvrndStrange 

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 09:54 AM

Hi all,

I've got an Epiphone LP Custom that had a broken toggle switch. I bought a replacement Epiphone switch and since I was planning on doing work anyway, decided to pull the hardware, clean up frets, adjust action, etc.

Here's the problem: I've installed the new switch, soldered and everything, put everything back on and now, I get almost no volume from my guitar.

If I crank my amp to 10 and all the control knobs on the guitar, I hear enough to know that the toggle works, the pups make noise when i press the strings to them, but the signal is weak.

I've checked the input, adjusted action, resoldered the switch, messed with pup height.....

I shouldn't have tried this myself. Anybody know what I might have done wrong? Please, any ideas would be welcome, thank you!

-Rev

#2 User is offline   TheRvrndStrange 

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 10:21 AM

View PostTheRvrndStrange, on 05 April 2012 - 09:54 AM, said:


If I crank my amp to 10 and all the control knobs on the guitar, I hear enough to know that the toggle works, the pups make noise when i press the strings to them, but the signal is weak.




I should add that I do hear more than just noise coming from the pickups, but when the amp and guitar and completely cranked, I can play the guitar and it sounds like it used to with the amp on 1 and the guitar on about 3.

#3 User is offline   brianh 

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 10:23 AM

Any way you can take a decent pic or two of the switch wiring and post? We can tell you exactly what is wrong if you can do that.

Here's the pic posting tutorial: http://forum.gibson....ated-questions/

And don't be discouraged, mistakes are the only way anyone really learns anything.
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#4 User is offline   Blueman335 

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 01:17 PM

View Postbrianh, on 05 April 2012 - 10:23 AM, said:

And don't be discouraged, mistakes are the only way anyone really learns anything.


+1. We all make mistakes. Sounds like a ground wire or excess solder is shorting out the toggle. Make sure your work is clean, not one strand of wire loose and no solder drips.

#5 User is offline   RaSTuS 

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 03:18 PM

Welcome to the forums TRS, as already alluded to, it sounds like a switch problem from your description, pics would help greatly.
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#6 User is offline   TheRvrndStrange 

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 05:15 PM

Posted Image


The image isn't showing up on my post, I dunno. Here's the link to the public photobucket site with the pic on it

http://s1150.photobu...heRvrndStrange/

Thanks for all the encouragement everyone!

I've never soldered anything before in my life, so I could have really screwed up here, I'm not sure.

Thanks again for all your help!

#7 User is offline   brianh 

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 05:30 PM

View PostTheRvrndStrange, on 05 April 2012 - 05:15 PM, said:

Posted Image

I've never soldered anything before in my life, so I could have really screwed up here, I'm not sure.

Hmm, something went wrong in your pic post...
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#8 User is offline   brianh 

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 06:06 PM

I can't tell from the pic, but is the braided shield soldered to anything? It should be soldered to the center lug.

If it is soldered to the center buss of the switch, I would reheat the solder points. You may have what's known as a cold solder joint, meaning that the tab or wire did not get hot enough to make good contact with the solder. What kind of soldering iron do you have and what wattage? It needs to be at least 25 watts and preferably 50 watts to get things hot enough.

Another thing you always have to check for is the switch itself. I've had Switchcraft switches that were defective right out of the box.
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#9 User is offline   TheRvrndStrange 

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 10:07 PM

View Postbrianh, on 05 April 2012 - 06:06 PM, said:

I can't tell from the pic, but is the braided shield soldered to anything? It should be soldered to the center lug.



Yep it is. Is there a way to tell if I just have a bad switch? Is there anything else that could be limiting the output of my guitar? Pickup height? Action? Bad wiring between the pups and the switch or the pups and the output? How would I tell?

Maybe I should just buy another switch and try it out...

#10 User is offline   Whitmore Willy 

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 10:27 PM

Is anything in this area contacting the center ground plate?

Posted Image

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#11 User is offline   stein 

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 10:59 PM

It LOOKS correct.

Dig...the center wire comes from the center of jack, and the other two go to the volume pots.

The ground actually does not connect anything here. There IS a 'ground' lug on the switch, but it doesn't touch anything or connect anything in the switch. SO...on an LP/Gibson style wiring, it is only used as a way to connect your ground together.

So..do as WILLY suggested and check to see that not of the 3 'hot' wires are touching ANY of the ground lug or metal of the ground lug. ALSO, check to be sure none of the sheild wire, or ground wire, is touching any other part of the switch EXCEPT the ground lug.

If you are sure things are not touching at the switch where they shouldn't (causing a short), you can then use something (a screwdriver?) to jump the center wire to one of the outside wires that go to the volumes there at the switch. If neither produce volume, it isn't the switch.

If it isn't the switch, in replacing it you could have missed or eliminated the ground from the jack. The ground from the jack must make a connection to the back of the pots. Sometimes (usually, but not always) the ground from the jack will be connected FIRST at the switch, and then from the switch to the back of the pots, or to a terminal that connects to the pots via a ground. It doesn't have to go to the switch, but suggesting you make sure it is connected.

#12 User is offline   Whitmore Willy 

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 04:50 AM

View PostTheRvrndStrange, on 05 April 2012 - 09:54 AM, said:

I shouldn't have tried this myself.

It's the only way to learn.

View Poststein, on 05 April 2012 - 10:59 PM, said:

If it isn't the switch, in replacing it you could have missed or eliminated the ground from the jack.

another very real possibility....or...

If you reused the same wires AND it has all the original wiring you may have tugged on the wires a bit without realizing it.
Have you looked inside the controll cavity? Especially at the plastic molex connector that I love so much. Doesn't take much to cause a loose connectiom.

Just a thought.

Willy

#13 User is offline   brianh 

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 05:37 AM

Isn't that pickup lug touching the shielding paint in the switch cavity? That would short it to ground.

Posted Image

Maybe try removing the switch from the cavity without desoldering and try it.
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#14 User is offline   Blueman335 

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 07:57 AM

View Postbrianh, on 06 April 2012 - 05:37 AM, said:

Isn't that pickup lug touching the shielding paint in the switch cavity? That would short it to ground.

Maybe try removing the switch from the cavity without desoldering and try it.


Excellent call. That's what I think happened too. When that happens to me, I put a piece of tape between the solder/lug and the shielding paint. Grounds can't touch the hot wires and lugs.

#15 User is offline   Whitmore Willy 

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 11:56 AM

I'm guessing that he removed the collar nut on the top of the toggle switch. He propped the soldering lug where the cover plate goes. That allowed him to give us a good pic of his solder job.

I'm also guessing that you guys were probably closer with your earlier assessments.

I hope you check back in Rev, and let us know what you find out. Ya gots me curiosity up now.

Willy

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