HSS Strat humbucker lower output than single coils?!

Discussion in 'Tech-Talk' started by spikypaddy, Feb 13, 2021.

  1. spikypaddy

    spikypaddy Senior Stratmaster

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    Just finished wiring up my Standard Strat using the below diagram, but the humbucker is lower in output than the stock single coils! It also sounds almost a bit "nasal" and when I engage the coil split, the output drops even more. Where have I potentially made a mistake? I used a 250k push pull for tone 2, the bridge pickup is giving a DC reading of 7.7k, dropping to about 4k with the coil split engaged.

    Thanks in advance!

    Wiring Diagram.jpg
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2021
  2. gjohnson441496

    gjohnson441496 Senior Stratmaster

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    I'm a novice at this but I switched humbuckers in a Strat and had the same problem which had to do with reverse polarity. I remember switching some wires around on the pickup and it resolved the issue. Hopefully someone else will chime in with a better explanation.
     
  3. spikypaddy

    spikypaddy Senior Stratmaster

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    Well, I've double checked the specs on this model of pickup and it is apparently supposed to be 8k output. But it doesn't explain why it sounds so nasal.
     
  4. StratUp

    StratUp Senior Stratmaster

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    Nasal sounds like out of phase... perhaps signal cancellation going on for the output issue.

    This is a four wire HB? Check that you have the coil to coil wiring correct.

    Any chance there's a solder shunt on the DPDT switch? Tone cap shorted?
     
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  5. Skinny Nitro

    Skinny Nitro Senior Stratmaster

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  6. spikypaddy

    spikypaddy Senior Stratmaster

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    Thanks for that. That's exactly how I've wired it, but I was wondering if a bad tone cap could cause the loss of bottom end I'm experiencing. It's really noticeable - if I go from the humbucker to the middle single coil, it's like someone's suddenly wound the bass and mids up from zero on a parametric EQ. The actual output measured on the humbucker is pretty much where it should be at nearly 8k.
     
  7. spikypaddy

    spikypaddy Senior Stratmaster

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    I've wired the pickup exactly as per the Fender supplied diagram and it all looks OK to me - but I will admit this is my first attempt at wiring up a guitar. I have, however, done plenty of soldering in the past.

    I can't see that the cap is shorted - and I've got shrink tube on the legs to prevent any unwanted contact with other components. The push pull function on the pot definitely seems to work, it just makes the pickup even more thin sounding, though. Could it be a bad cap or push pull pot, maybe?

    Having looked again at the pickup specs, the output is pretty much where it should be - around 8k, but the sound is just very, very thin - with 250k tone and volume pots, I'd have expected it to be muddy if anything.
     
  8. AngeloEvs

    AngeloEvs Strat-Talker

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    I would wire it as a conventional humbucker with the option to just have just one coil as shown in the switched diagram. I would leave the hot connected to Red and not shift the hot to the white connection. If you don’t like it then revert back to the ‘normal’ diagram.
     
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  9. gjohnson441496

    gjohnson441496 Senior Stratmaster

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    This ^^^
     
  10. StratUp

    StratUp Senior Stratmaster

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    Baseline test: What happens if you rewire without the switch in there i.e. standard humbucker and direct to the output jack? Does it sound OK?
     
  11. systolsys

    systolsys Strat-O-Master

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    Agree with everybody else. "Nasal" plus "low volume" = out of phase.

    Fortunately, this is pretty simple to check.

    - Grab your multimeter. Hook it to your output jack (I do this using a 1' patch cable and leads fitted with alligator clips). Set the meter to "DC Volts"
    - Get a screwdriver and place it on the pickup you a testing. Along the poles. Pull it away quickly. The meter will either deflect up or down. You may need to adjust the voltage range.
    - Now switch in the other pickup and repeat across its poles. If the meter deflects in the same direction, you have the right phase. If it moves in the other direction, they're out of phase.

    Effectively what you are doing is putting in one quarter of a string vibration by moving the screwdriver in the magnetic field of the pickup, and checking to see if they are aligned, or 180 apart.