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Help with dark sounding strat!!!

Discussion in 'Tech-Talk' started by little_wing142, Jun 14, 2019.

  1. little_wing142

    little_wing142 Senior Stratmaster

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    Hi everyone, I need help trouble shooting my strat wiring. I used the standard wiring for a strat with one orange drop cap on the 1st tone pot but the strat still sounds super dark and muffled. I'm using 250K pots and have 3 regular GFS alnico single coils wired to a brand new 5 way switch. I've wired dozens of strats before, usually with the normal standard config but I've never had this problem. I would like to continue with 250k pots. Any ideas on why this particular instance caused all the high end frequencies to be dialed out? thanks in advance!
     
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  2. rafasounds

    rafasounds Senior Stratmaster

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    Have you used these pickups before? If everything is wired correctly, it could be some component.
     
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  3. vid1900

    vid1900 Senior Stratmaster

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    Check the pots with a meter.

    You won't believe how many are insanely off.
     
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  4. Ferpie

    Ferpie Strat-Talker

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    Start out by adjusting pickups height properly, if that is of no help, try changing the strings, you might have found a dead pack...
     
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  5. Believer7713

    Believer7713 Most Honored Senior Member Silver Member

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    What is the value of the Tone Cap?
     
  6. little_wing142

    little_wing142 Senior Stratmaster

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    thanks for the replies. So the wiring harness is from a MIM strat, the switch was cutting out so I changed it and rewired exactly how it was. I have used the pickups before and its a decent sounding, but average strat set with your normal quack and chime. It just sounds like a "jazz guitar." Like super mellow. The tone control still works though, so it goes from dark to darker!!! Is there a way that I wired it wrong that it would cut out the high frequencies? Or is there a way that the wires could be crossing?
     
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  7. Believer7713

    Believer7713 Most Honored Senior Member Silver Member

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    I would check the value of the cap with a DMM. See if it is burned in a spot that biases it to the side of Darth Sidious.
     
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  8. little_wing142

    little_wing142 Senior Stratmaster

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    ok cool so this is my game plan:

    1) check pot value with multimeter
    2) check/change out capacitor ( I have many to switch out)
    3) recheck wiring/freshen solder joints
    4) hope for the best
     
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  9. Ferpie

    Ferpie Strat-Talker

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    The strings really could be the problem also
     
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  10. little_wing142

    little_wing142 Senior Stratmaster

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    0.047 orange drop I think...
     
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  11. dirocyn

    dirocyn Senior Stratmaster

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    I think the standard cap for a Strat is a .022uf. .047 will be darker. Most guitars that use a .047uf use a 500k pot. That's probably the issue.

    Do you have the tone in-circuit for all 3 pickups? If not it's a real quick thing to check.
     
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  12. stratomatt

    stratomatt Strat-O-Master

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    Take the cap out of the equation and see how it sounds. Just de-solder one side. Also it might be a grounding issue. I've had the output jack wires twist around over time and cause a similar issue. Finally, are you sure the cap is attached to the correct lug and grounded properly?
     
  13. little_wing142

    little_wing142 Senior Stratmaster

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    Ok cool, I'll see if I can replace it with a 0.22. Also I left the bridge pick up wide open, the tone pots are only wired to the neck and middle. Is that what you mean by "tone in-circuit"?
     
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  14. little_wing142

    little_wing142 Senior Stratmaster

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    let me check again with the proper placement of the cap. What happens when you desolder one side of the cap? Will it still work?
     
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  15. Stephen James

    Stephen James Strat-Talk Member

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    It needs to be a 0.022uF cap, a .22uF cap would be even darker.. I would definitely check the pot resistance (look that process up here or on utube) as you could be dealing with a 150k pot labelled as 250k.. There's nothing wrong with 500k pots though..
     
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  16. dirocyn

    dirocyn Senior Stratmaster

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    Yes, exactly. If the bridge pickup is also dark, when it hasn't got a tone control attached--then you have some other problem.
     
  17. dirocyn

    dirocyn Senior Stratmaster

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    If you de-solder one side of the cap, the tone control won't work because none of the signal can flow through the cap to ground. If the tone circuit is the problem, the "darkness" issue will be resolved. But it may be too bright, and the tone control won't work.
     
  18. fezz parka

    fezz parka The Return of the Red Helmet Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Remove the tone pot from the circuit completely.
     
  19. drex123

    drex123 Strat-Talk Member

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    Have you A/B'd on same amp with other guitars? Just want to rule out the amp, cable, etc. as well.

    You could hardwire a single pickup to the output jack and then troubleshoot outward from there but slowly adding more components back into the mix.
     
  20. little_wing142

    little_wing142 Senior Stratmaster

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    Ok so the bridge is wide open but the bridge pickup is still dark sounding. The amp with another guitar sounds fine. Do you think the problem is with a pot? What is more likely volume or tone?
     
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