5 Way Re-wire Issue (Squier Strat)

Discussion in 'Pickup Forum' started by Christoph Ber, Apr 30, 2017.

  1. Christoph Ber

    Christoph Ber New Member!

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    Hey Strat experts. I managed to get a hold of an old, used and abused Squier Strat with a DiMarzio Fast Track 1 in the middle position, and I thought it would make a great donor guitar for experimenting on and doing some body modifications. I was told when I bought the guitar that it had wiring issues, after taking off the pickguard, I was shocked to see a horrid rats nest of wires and massive mounds of solder on every component.

    Before attempting to clean it up I tried out the pickup in another guitar, but decided to keep it in the Squier with the Series wiring just how it was because it matched the output of the other pickups in it. I got as much excess solder off of the volume pot and 5 way as possible, and used a standard wiring diagram to try getting things in working order.

    The problem I ran into testing is the 5 way wont select the pickup positions properly. After troubleshooting to the extent of my experience, I was able to diagnose a few things that I hope can point to a solution. I came to the following results by tapping the poles with a screwdriver.

    Bridge Position: Bridge Pickup outputs fully, but the middle outputs a bit. The neck is silent.
    Bridge/Middle: Bridge Pickup outputs fully, but the middle outputs a bit. The neck is silent.
    Middle Position: Silent when grounded (when not properly grounded i can get a little crackling)
    Middle/Neck: All three pickups output a low amount
    Neck Position: All three pickups output a low amount

    I tested all three potentiometers with a meter and they work fine, I took apart the 5 way, it looked functional, and I even tried several wiring schemes in case I was making a simple wiring mistake, but I got the same result. If I bridge the middle position on the 5 way to the common with a jumper, the middle pickup outputs fully, but then of course it outputs on all settings.

    That's as much as I know so far and I'd be happy to answer any questions. I hope the information and images provided are enough to make some kind of a case. I've only ever wired pickups a few times so I am still very new to this, but because of my experience working with electronics I'm very interested in learning. I thank anyone in advance for any help or information that can be provided.

    P.S. If the pictures i took aren't revealing enough I can definitely try to get better angles, also I hope that my crappy 24AWG jumpers and ugly solders can be temporally overlooked. It was a lot prettier before all the different wiring schemes I tried while troubleshooting. (also, no solders are bridged, I made sure). Lastly I've included the wiring diagram I used here (the only differences are that the pots are 500k instead of 250k, and the middle pickup is the Fast Track)

    1 Squier Wiring.JPG 2 Five Way Switch.JPG 3 Full Pickguard.JPG 4 Wiring Diagram.jpg
     
  2. Christoph Ber

    Christoph Ber New Member!

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    Well! I figured out what was wrong. I took apart the 5 way a second time to try troubleshooting further, and when I tested the connections, the middle pickup's path on the pcb was broken. When i was cleaning off the globs of solder from whomever wired the switch the first time, i accidently nicked the connection. I just used more solder to re establish the connection and now the pickup selector works as intended! If anyone else has a similar issue, I can surely help.
     
  3. Groovey

    Groovey Dr. Stratster

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    Nice work! Keep an eye on those pots. Especially if they've been gunked up with solder they may have been overheated as well. These are inexpensive parts. Wouldn't take much to upgrade them next time you have it apart
     
  4. jvin248

    jvin248 Senior Stratmaster

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    .

    Glad you got it fixed!

    Having done what you've got there many times ... I'd buy new Bourns 250k pots, new caps (pick your brand), CRL or oakgrigsby 5-way, switchcraft output jack. $6 each for the pots, $1 for caps, $10 for switch, $4 for jack. You will have electronics that will last a long time plus they will feel like $2,000 guitar.

    I have done a lot of mods on Strats, and the Dan Armstrong Blender is the most useful I have found. I'd get your new components and wire this up. Get a few more blank pickugards you can build up for future mad scientist testing and leave this alone. Use a little plug system inside the control cavity so you can swap loaded pickguards. From experience, the first other loaded pickguards you should pursue are Tele set and P90s.

     
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