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2013 Standard American Strat Surprise

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by axejock, Mar 17, 2020.

  1. axejock

    axejock Senior Stratmaster

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    I was playing my near mint USA 2013 Standard Strat in Sienna Burst tonight and noticed for the first time that all of the original pickups were not responding to the[tone controls at all. The guitar is supposed to be totally stock, so I expected the bottom tone control to go with the bridge pickup and the center tone control to go with the middle and neck pickups, But NONE of the tone controls have any effect on any of the pickups! The volume control is fine, so I'm wondering if I've just got some bad tone pots or if the guitar has some sort of special wiring to purposely make it work this way. I'll have to pull the pickguard off to check it out, but does anyone have an idea if this is a part problem or if someone just didn't like tone controls and wired it that way. This would be a good project for while I am virus quarantined!
     
  2. Ebidis

    Ebidis Providing the world with flat bends since 1985 Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Pretty (very) unlikely that you have 2 bad pots. It is most likely bad (or modified) wiring.

    My guess is that a previous owner bypassed the tone pots.
     
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  3. Tone Guru

    Tone Guru Senior Stratmaster

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    Wiggle the switch side-to-side and see if the tones come and go.
     
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  4. axejock

    axejock Senior Stratmaster

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    Do people actually bypass the tone controls on these guitars sometimes? For what purpose? I'll try wiggling the switch too as I have no idea what I will find in there. The guitar was advertised as a mint, totally original guitar but you can't always believe what a seller :forgets to tell you. But actually, I wouldn't mind upgrading the controls and wiring on the thing.
     
  5. fenderkev

    fenderkev Most Honored Senior Member

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    More likely a capacitor problem which is a very easy and inexpensive fix. No need to upgrade the pots they're CTS and should last a life time as should the wiring, or as stated someones been messing with the wiring.
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2020
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  6. Skinny Nitro

    Skinny Nitro Senior Stratmaster Strat-Talk Supporter

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    ^^^
    In the standard wiring, one capacitor is shared between the tone pots. It could be a solder joint or broken cap.


    Strat_Prof_control_wiring.jpg
     
  7. axejock

    axejock Senior Stratmaster

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    Thanks for those tips. I didn't even think about the capacitor! I'll get it on the "bench" soon and see what's going on!
     
  8. axejock

    axejock Senior Stratmaster

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    Can anybody tell me what specific pickups were used on a 2013 Standard Strat and how they were wired at the factory? I'm trying to decide if any changes have been made inside this thing!
     
  9. Ebidis

    Ebidis Providing the world with flat bends since 1985 Strat-Talk Supporter

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    2013 American Standard should have Fat '50s pickups.

    They are wired like a vintage Strat, except that the Bridge pickup is wired to the bottom tone pot.

    So the neck pickup should have its own tone pot (middle knob) and the middle and bridge pickups should be sharing the bottom tone knob.
     
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  10. LRS!

    LRS! Strat-O-Master

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    That’s right. And a 5 way switch is used as well. So actually wired like a modern strat
    Cheers,
    Chris
     
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  11. Paul47

    Paul47 Strat-Talker

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    I bet it's something really simple to fix like a cold solder joint, or you'll see a wire flapping in the breeze!
    Hope you get it sorted, Sienna bursts are cool.
     
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  12. axejock

    axejock Senior Stratmaster

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    I hope it's something really simple too. But I just got to thinking....as long as I have this guitar opened up, would it be advisable to install one of the many new, prewired control kits (switch, pots, cap and all) in it just for "tune up" purposes, or is that just overkill? These kits with high quality parts are fairly cheap.
     
  13. fenderkev

    fenderkev Most Honored Senior Member

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    Overkill in my opinion. Fix your problem and your Strat should last a lifetime without another hitch. If it was me I'd have had it opened up last night and fixed by now. When I buy a new pup I have to install it right away. OCD I suppose. :) I'm certain it's something simple, cap' unsoldered, or someone's been messing with the wiring. Get that pickguard off, take pics, and let us all have a look!
     
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  14. axejock

    axejock Senior Stratmaster

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    You're right, unless something is broken or unfixable, it would be a shame to alter the total originality of the guitar. I'll try to get on it this afternoon!
     
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  15. Wrighty

    Wrighty Most Honored Senior Member

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    This is a new discovery but after how long? Has it ever worked in the way you expected? You don’t seem clear as to whether this is a fault or design feature nor if it’s always been there but you haven’t noticed.
     
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  16. axejock

    axejock Senior Stratmaster

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    I've honestly not noticed the problem before. Admittedly, I seldom use the tone controls on the guitar, relying more on the amp for that....I usually just leave the tone pots in about the middle position. I've only had this guitar for about 4 months now, and when I bought it, it was described as "mint, original" which I believe it is, including the Fender case which is totally unblemished. I was fiddling with the tone pots for some reason just the other night, where I would strum a fairly loud chord on each pickup while running the pots from end to end when I discovered that they really didn't have any effect. I have no idea if it was that way when I got it, if it was built that way, or if something is wrong inside. I'm working on it right now and will post photos shortly.
     
  17. axejock

    axejock Senior Stratmaster

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    OK, I got into this a little while ago and "opened the hood" on this beautiful, totally unblemished guitar. It actually worried me a little to work on it since it IS so cosmetically perfect, but I was extremely careful, removing the strings first and then very carefully loosening all pickguard screws. Of course the pickguard then came out easily, and I am convinced that this is the first time it has been removed since the guitar was built, well almost certainly convinced anyway (lol). Everything inside the equipment bay looks perfect with all tags, P/N's, and components in their correct places and all dates are right and descriptive wording correct for the guitar. I could absolutely find no loose wires, cold solder joints, mis-wiring, or evidence of tampering at all. The only very slight issue is that the lower tone control seems to "stick" when turned to the total clockwise position, and it takes a little harder twist to get it moving again....but it's motion is smooth. Everything in there looks like new to me, and I certainly see no glaring problems. I've attached a bunch of photos here so maybe one of you wiring gurus may be able to spot something that I am missing.

    CIMG1293.JPG CIMG1294.JPG CIMG1295.JPG CIMG1299.JPG CIMG1300.JPG CIMG1301.JPG CIMG1303.JPG CIMG1302.JPG
     
  18. fenderkev

    fenderkev Most Honored Senior Member

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    The sticking is the detent at 10 on the no load tone pot so that's normal. All I can think of is the capacitor is a dud something I've never come across in 43 years of playing Strats, but there's a first time for every thing.
     
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  19. axejock

    axejock Senior Stratmaster

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    It's good to know about that the "detent" on the no load pot....I've never noticed that before. Is there a way to test the capacitor that is in the circuit? It seems to be correctly wired, but I don't know if it can be tested. I did notice a very tiny wire "shred" on the selector switch that "MAY" have been connecting two lugs of the switch that were not supposed to be connected, but it just fell away when I touched it with a probe. Maybe a "short"? (a long shot). I've been looking at the connections and wiring with a jewelers loop to really get a close look inside the thing!!
     
  20. Lonn

    Lonn Mod Admin Staff Member Strat-Talk Supporter

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    The only thing I might check is that all your black wires (pickups grounds, jumper from tone pot, ground to output jack and ground to claw) are not soldered in one spot on the back of the Volume pot along with the first bent over lug like in this diagram.

    Screen Shot 2020-03-19 at 8.38.42 PM.png
     
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