Mysterious extra pickup inside strat

Discussion in 'Tech-Talk' started by judebox11, Mar 10, 2021.

  1. judebox11

    judebox11 New Member!

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    Hello, I recently found my brothers old Mexican Fender Stratocaster in the attic and started to play it. The neck pick up wasn't working on it when I found out so I took off the pickguard and discovered an extra black pickup below the pots. It is a functioning pickup. I couldn't see the problem with the switch either so my neck pickup still doesn't work but i am curious as to what that's doing there. As far as i know, he bought it new around 2005. the pickup is black as opposed to the white ones in it and says 048609. its also not filled with the magnetic rods that the other ones are.

    Here is some images:
    https://ibb.co/JtyjBd9
    https://ibb.co/H4jWsYS
    https://ibb.co/hFfxhkf
     
  2. nickmsmith

    nickmsmith Dr. Stratster

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    dummy coil to cancel the hum
     
  3. judebox11

    judebox11 New Member!

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    Thanks, i figured it would be something like that. Do all strats have this?
     
  4. dirocyn

    dirocyn Most Honored Senior Member

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    Functioning pickup, as in--it makes sounds? I highly doubt it, seeing as it hasn't got magnets.

    Like @nickmsmith says, it's a dummy coil to cancel hum.

    Those don't look like stock MIM pickups, you have a guitar that's been upgraded. Possibly with the neck pickup wired wrong, since it doesn't work.
     
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  5. Thrup'ny Bit

    Thrup'ny Bit Grand Master Curmudgeon

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    No, somebody has added it.
     
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  6. Ace38

    Ace38 Senior Stratmaster

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    Dummy coil, used to cancel hum. Pearloid pickguard and the bottom tone pot leads me to believe that's a Powerhouse Strat with a 12db midboost system like whats used on the Clapton Strat.

    If the guitar isn't working, I'd check the battery box in back, replace the battery. I bet there's a circuit board under that pickguard as well. That's your midboost electronics.
     
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  7. simoncroft

    simoncroft Still playing. Still learning! Silver Member

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  8. judebox11

    judebox11 New Member!

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    Thanks for the info guys. It does have a circuit board. I did replace the battery and unfortunately the neck pickup still does not work. occasionally the middle-neck switch position works but thats only occasionally.
     
  9. Thrup'ny Bit

    Thrup'ny Bit Grand Master Curmudgeon

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    Test the pickup itself. The switch or wiring is more likely to be faulty.
     
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  10. lbpesq

    lbpesq Strat-O-Master

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    Alembic uses a dummy coil on its Series I and II instruments. The non-Series Alembics use a stacked design with a dummy coil beneath the actual pickup, all encased as one.

    Bill, tgo
     
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  11. Ace38

    Ace38 Senior Stratmaster

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    Clean the switch with some contact cleaner and work it back and forth many times quickly. My FSR Powerhouse had an issue with the neck cutting out as well, but cleaning the switch fixed it. When I say many times and quickly, I mean MANY times and QUICKLY.
     
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  12. judebox11

    judebox11 New Member!

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    Thanks for the tip, I don't have any contact cleaner right now, is there anything i can do otherwise? It looked like the contact on the switch wasnt reaching the neck pickup slot
     
  13. train

    train Worlds largest private army Silver Member

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    The 80s elite strat had a dummy mounted between the lead and middle. With mid boost and tbx. Active.
     
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  14. Ace38

    Ace38 Senior Stratmaster

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    Maybe try working it back and forth many many times....but some cleaner will really help best.
     
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  15. simoncroft

    simoncroft Still playing. Still learning! Silver Member

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    One thing I'd advise against is using WD-40, or similar penetrating oils designed for automotive and general use. It's tempting to think "oh, this will probably do the trick" but it will do more harm than good. If the guitar has been sitting around a long time, it can probably sit around a while more until you have some proper switch cleaner. :)

    I'd definitely follow @Thrup'ny Bit 's advice and check the pickups themselves. You can do this without specialist equipment. If you've got a spare guitar jack plug and some wire lying around, make up a test cord you can plug into an amp. Carefully attach your 'tip' test wire to where one of the white wires from a pickup goes to the switch and the 'ring' test wire to Ground (back of a pot should do). Now, with your third* hand, gently tap the pickup you are testing with a small screwdriver. If you hear a clunk through the amp, it's working.

    *Joking apart, croc clips are very useful for this type of testing, but otherwise try gently wrapping the exposed test wires round the contact points on the guitar, so that they will continue to work even when you let go.

    EDIT: Sorry, I've just realised you're based in Ireland. When I say 'Ground', I mean 'Earth'. Similarly, I mean 'Cable' when I referred to 'Cord'. A lot of people on S-T are based in North America, so I tend to use terms they understand. Apologies.