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3 Pickup Guitar, Ry...
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3 Pickup Guitar, Rythm switch not working

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Joined: 7 years ago
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I recently bought my first electric guitar. I have played an acoustic fender dread for about a year and a half. I have no experience with the electronics of guitars but I am trying to learn. I want to fix this problem myself, and hence learn enough about my guitar to set it up/mod it/fix it properly myself but need some help doing so. I am a graduate student so cost is a factor (I’d like to do this all on the cheap)

I bought the guitar off craigslist for $150. I believe it is a 2007 Epiphone Les Paul Custom, Black Beauty Edition. I do not know if the electronics are stock but the prior owner said they were.

The guitar has 3 pickups. The rhythm switch of the 3 way switch does not have any output. I do not know which pickup is turned on from each position on the switch-whether the middle is wired to be all 3 pickups or the middle is incorporated in the up or down switch (I know the neck pickup is the rhythm switch on a traditional 2 pickup setup).

I want to fix this and am willing to buy new pickups but don’t want to invest that type of money if this is an easier fix. How do I diagnose whether this is an issue with the pickup, or wiring or 3-way-switch? Also any opinion as to upgrading the pickups?

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Trusted Member
Joined: 8 years ago
Posts: 93

plug your guitar into your amp. Turn the volume way low on the amp and all the way up on all the knobs on your guitar. then use something metal like a screw driver. Touch the screwdriver to the pickups to determine which one isn't making sound. you should hear a pop when the screw driver touches the pick up. Be gentle. Then disconnect the wires of the dead pickup from the switch and connect them directly to your instrument cable. IF that gives you sound, you've diagnosed the pick up to be working and the switch to have failed. Make sure you take pics before you disconnect anything so you know how to put it back up

~Yours Troubadorly,