Weak neck humbucker after attempted polarity flip

Need to know how to setup your guitar? How do you lower your action? How do you get rid of the Milli Vanilli stickers? Look here first.
Post Reply
chaos_monger
newbie
Posts: 1
Joined: March 4th, 2017, 4:49 pm

Weak neck humbucker after attempted polarity flip

Post by chaos_monger » March 4th, 2017, 5:05 pm

Hey everyone!

I recently attempted to switch the polarity on my Gibson Explorer's neck pickup since I have a Brian May-modded Strat and wanted the closest thing to that reversed-polarity effect using humbuckers. Whether or not it would have worked is beyond the point. It seemed easy enough to just try...

After removing and opening the pickup, flipping the magnet and putting the pickup back together, the sound output is very thin. I tried opening it up again and flipping it back, but I still get a very thin output. Even the bridge pickup is warmer than the neck pickup now.

Could it be that I broke a wire? I triple-checked and nothing looks broken.
Could it be that the magnet isn't pressed tightly enough against the poles? Could I have messed the poles up somehow? Could I have "weakened" the magnet somehow?
I tried to bring the pickup closer to the strings to no avail.
I'm running out of ideas.

One thing I've noticed is that tapping on the problematic pickup's poles produces a much weaker response than tapping on the bridge pickup's poles.

The pickup is a Gibson 496R.

Thanks in advance for the help!

LessPaul
Junior Member
Posts: 69
Joined: January 14th, 2017, 7:23 am
Contact:

Re: Weak neck humbucker after attempted polarity flip

Post by LessPaul » March 20th, 2017, 7:55 am

These are out of order:
First thought was the magnets didn't get put the right height afterward. (closer to the string will give more volume). Second thought was I've never messed with the magnets on a humbucker. I always rewire it at the pot side when I'm putting something into/out of phase. So tbh idk really. Third, when you tap the pickup with a screw driver you get a significant volume difference between neck & bridge? That means something's broken. At that point, I would probably check for cold points and if they're all solid, then replace the pickup.

LessPaul
Junior Member
Posts: 69
Joined: January 14th, 2017, 7:23 am
Contact:

Re: Weak neck humbucker after attempted polarity flip

Post by LessPaul » March 20th, 2017, 8:12 am

I DO remember messing with pickups!! Gosh it's been a long time! The copper winding around each coil is TINY and FRAGILE! I bet you broke one of the coils. I mean FRAGILE. Even with the (usually black) plastic cap you can still pop a wire and ruin the coil. Still try the stuff in the first post because if you don't need to buy/install a pick up then don't bother, but that's what I think happened. IDK. Hope this helps!

Post Reply