Stuck on 11

Discussion in 'Tech-Talk' started by RXMoore, Jul 10, 2021.

  1. RXMoore

    RXMoore Strat-Talk Member

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    I recently finished upgrading my 2015 MIM Stratocaster, replacing the electronics with a completely new loaded pick guard sporting SD SSL-5s, wired by me, of course. I'd had done a couple trial runs, upgrading a Squier tele and a Strat, before I tackled the project to make sure that I half-way knew what I was doing, but this is the first time I'd worked on one of my more serious guitars

    The new pickups sound phenomenal, as you might imagine, but there's a fly in the ointment. Everything works just fine except the volume knob, which is permanently stuck on 11. Turning it has zero effect on the volume, although it does slightly but noticeably change the tone.

    I'm going to pull the pick guard and check my work when I restring it, but I was wondering if any of you might have some insights on what I might have done wrong and what I should check first, I followed the wiring instructions supplied by Seymour Duncan, but apparently not completely. My knowledge of electronics is rudimentary at best, so any advice from people more experienced than I would be sincerely appreciated.

    The guitar is question is below. We don't really need a photo for this discussion, but who doesn't love pictures of guitars?
    Strat.jpg
     
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  2. Guitarmageddon

    Guitarmageddon Dr. Stratster

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    You will have to show us photos of your actual wiring job. My guess is the 3rd lug on the volume pot is not connected to ground, and it needs to be in order to work properly.....

    If you can show us the wiring diagram you used, that would also be immensely helpful.
     
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  3. RXMoore

    RXMoore Strat-Talk Member

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    Diagram.jpg

    This one. Pretty standard SSS wiring, from what I understand[​IMG]
     
  4. Guitarmageddon

    Guitarmageddon Dr. Stratster

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    Thanks!! That shows that the 3rd lug of the volume pot is soldered to ground along with the pickup's ground wires and other grounds....etc.......I think you might have missed that connection, but I'll wait to see photos of your wiring....
     
  5. Angel S Bunny

    Angel S Bunny Strat-Talker

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    Think everyone is thinking there is no grounding on the volume
     
  6. Proliferant

    Proliferant Strat-Talk Member

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    Sounds like you might have shorted the volume pot somehow. Suggest you check every connection is made exactly per the diagram, one by one, but also watch for any extra connections, e.g. soldering lugs of pots together, having two separate solder joints touching, soldering connections to/from the wrong lug, that kind of thing.

    In my limited experience an ungrounded connection means you get hum/noise, not a non-functioning pot, though I haven't done this enough to say it's not possible!

    I guess the pot itself could be the issue. Try another if you can't find any wiring issues.
     
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  7. RXMoore

    RXMoore Strat-Talk Member

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    Thanks to everyone who's weighed in so far. Now I know where I'll start looking. Next time I restring it, I'm going to pull the pick guard off and get to work and I'll be certain to post photos of what I find as long as everyone promises to not make fun of my soldering skills.

    I think I may have mentioned this already but it bears repeating - those SSL-5 pickups sound amazing.
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2021
  8. StratUp

    StratUp Senior Stratmaster

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    I don't think a missing ground will go to 11. It's still a variable resistor in the line.

    I'd look for a short between pot lugs or wires at the pot.
     
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  9. Angel S Bunny

    Angel S Bunny Strat-Talker

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    If a short between output and input the. When on 1 it will be ground

    If short between input and ground then will be ground

    If no output , no sound
    If no input, no sound
    If no ground then just a resister blending with nothing so wont notice it
     
  10. onscenenow

    onscenenow Strat-Talk Member

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    You must have found your problem but you haven't let us know but here's my two cents. Check your volume pot and that diagram. If you accidentally dropped some solder between the center lug (input) and the lug to the left that goes to your switch that would lock your volume wide open. If the volume pot is broken or shorted that would also keep it on 11. You may have soldered the input wire to the lug on the left. That would disable the pot and keep the volume wide open. Put a multimeter on the center lug and the lug to the left and turn the knob to 0. The resistance should increase. I suspect it won't since its locked wide open. If it does then you've connected the input wire to the lug on the left and not the center one.
     
  11. PCollen

    PCollen Senior Stratmaster Silver Member

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    OP says: "I'm going to pull the pick guard and check my work when I restring it," and " Now I know where I'll start looking. Next time I restring it, I'm going to pull the pick guard off and get to work .."
     
  12. RXMoore

    RXMoore Strat-Talk Member

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    So, I know that many of your were anxiously anticipating the resolution of my wiring problem. I finally got around to restringing it this morning and when I pulled the pick guard and reviewed the wiring diagram it was immediately obvious what happened. The knucklehead who wired the pickups(me), in his haste to see how good that strat was going to sound with the SSL-5s, neglected to bend the ground lug on the volume pot back around and solder it down as indicated in the wiring diagram.

    Root Cause: operator error

    Frankly, I'm little surprised that it worked as well as it did. Guitarmageddon was absolutely correct in his diagnosis. No photo necessary, just follow the instructions.

    Thank you to everyone who chimed in on this.
     
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  13. fezz parka

    fezz parka fezz parka

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    Everyone screws up at least once.
     
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  14. RXMoore

    RXMoore Strat-Talk Member

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    What you say is absolutely true, and sometimes I think feeling really stupid for making a mistake like that just guarantees that you won't make that same mistake again.
     
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  15. fezz parka

    fezz parka fezz parka

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    Experience is the best teacher. :)