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I took apart my guitar


(@takhara)
Eminent Member
Joined: 12 years ago
Posts: 23
Topic starter  

To see if I could figure out what could be causing the buzzing problem I've been having, seen here:
http://forums.guitarnoise.com/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=47823

I just took it apart a few minutes ago, since the other day I decided to hook it up to my amp and try to tune it, and no sound was going to the amp at all. Like, if I strummed a string it wouldn't transfer, but if I tapped the strings or put my hand on them, it'd break the subtle humming the amp does. So...it was getting some sort of signal, but it wasn't actually getting any notes.

I don't know how to describe it, I'm not very good with guitars right yet.

Anyways, I looked over the wires inside, and they're all attached, and I don't personally see a problem. Though, the place where the amp cord goes into the guitar, on the inside there is a black wire, and a white wire that goes farther into the guitar. The black one is attached to something, but the white one is just hanging around. Is it supposed to be like this?

If someone can possibly help me figure this out, I have a camera I could take pictures of the different parts of the guitar.

Thanks for any feedback.


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(@unimogbert)
Estimable Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 174
 

The black one is attached to something, but the white one is just hanging around. Is it supposed to be like this?

If you mean that the end of the white wire isn't attached to anything it sounds like you found your problem.

Wires usually attach to stuff.

There might be the remains of the wire end with a metal blob of solder showing someplace around the plug. If so, this means the wire broke and now there's not a complete connection from the guitar to the amp (or amp cord).

Find somebody to re-solder the wire where it belongs and you're fixed. (10 minute job to do the fix)

Unimogbert
(indeterminate, er, intermediate fingerstyle acoustic)


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(@takhara)
Eminent Member
Joined: 12 years ago
Posts: 23
Topic starter  

I think this is where the wire was attached to.
(Sorry for the bad quality >>)

This picture is better: http://tinypic.com/view.php?pic=121zbyp&s=6

Its the volume knob. Would probably explain why my sound cut out, at least. In the middle of the picture the little piece on the edge of the volume thing, it used to have something attached.

So, I can't get a hold of a solder anytime soon, is there anything I could do to fix it at home?


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(@takhara)
Eminent Member
Joined: 12 years ago
Posts: 23
Topic starter  

I just took these two pictures of the inside part of my input jack.

http://tinypic.com/view.php?pic=nown74&s=6

http://tinypic.com/view.php?pic=t5oql3&s=6

The white wire I mentioned was wrapped around the washer there on the golden colored input jack, when I first saw it.

Thats why I asked if its supposed to be that way or not.


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(@takhara)
Eminent Member
Joined: 12 years ago
Posts: 23
Topic starter  

Yep..


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(@blue-jay)
Noble Member
Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 1638
 

Yep..

Ohhhh.... did you still want to know what's wrong with your guitar/Strat?

I wondered when we would get to you - I did a post with pics of my own work again, all the wires and solders, and details but I figured: what the hey this is overdoing it and I might look like a dork instead of a tech; except it was another build from the plastic guard on up, piece by piece. "Someone else can tell you how to fix it."

It wasn't about me, it was to show you if you planned on soldering yourself and perhaps I overdid the illustration, maybe.

So, how would you solder yourself? That would hurt, no just kidding. There are 2 things wrong with your guitar and one is killing it; the other is just going to be a big exacerbation or nuisance in time. First look at your "volume knob". Okay.

So, that is your volume pot, or a potentiometer. Turn it over so that the knurled split shaft, or spline is downward. Now you have 3 lugs from left to right to look at, with the pot "up". Your lead wire from the input jack is off of the the input lug, which is dead centre, referred to as number 2. Solder the lead wire on there and you are now back in business. 8)

The first lug to the left is okay, and a volume swept signal goes from there to your pickup selector switch via intact wire.

Lug number 3 has been correctly bent back and soldered directly to the body of the pot, as a ground. It doesn't need wire.

The other problem which could create an issue is at the input jack. It looks as if this guitar has been messed with earlier. Anyway, I'd say it's a no-no to approach a terminal there with any wire that crosses the path of the 1/4" pin from your cord. Bring the wires to the soldering lugs, from the outside in, twist and bend them, then solder them leaving the sleeve and the path for the cord free and clear. Positive or black goes to the clamp, which is the tip, and the lug is on the left. And negative or white wire goes from the outside, through the hole, curl it and tack it to the sleeve at right. You're good. :P

Like a bird on the wire,
like a drunk in a midnight choir
I have tried in my way to be free.


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(@blue-jay)
Noble Member
Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 1638
 

Hold on there, I went back to your pics of the jack, not too clear, but you may have the normal black to sleeve, and white to power/tip which is common and most always correct, but it's kind of a mess, to be honest. Earlier photo: I couldn't understand why it was a black approaching your power-in lug at the volume pot. Instructions were good, till I brought up colours in the last paragraph with the jack. It would normally be black for grounds, and white to power in a factory Strat.

Now, back with a pic! So I tried to find the simplest image, but there is a lot of stuff to ignore here - the push/pull, tiny fine wires, capacitors, etc. I like this one for you, because you will not often see a jack in its cup too, and the rest of the pickguard assembly together. Don't get fooled here by black shadows underneath some wires, making the routes appear double. There's an important and identifiable short yellow wire leaving the vol pot to the switch. Disregard red that powers up the p/p which is doubling as a tone and a blender. Also, the pot-to-pot grounds are a bit unusual, but I never went to school to do this, so I make up my own stuff. I don't get ground loops, hardly know what they are. I used some vintage cloth-covered wire there for pot-to-pot grounds, stripped the slightest amount in line, kept it continuous and smooth, IMO for the flow of electrons, and just barely tacked it to the side of the centre pot, joining all together.

When you solder, especially with fragile mini pots, you can not get components too hot, or they come apart and fail. :|

And yes the wires have to be taken off the jack, shortened and fed through a body channel, then resoldered to put it in.

So, I like it hot and chose red (from a 1979 Dodge Diplomat???) for my main leads, both thick and thin. That is the speaker wire from the car, coming from the jack - it hits the jack from the outside as I said, curls in, tucked out of the way, and soldered pretty flat. The red goes straight to the middle of the volume pot, dead centre, as simple as that. The black can be grounded several places, but I chose to bring all of the pickup grounds, and this jack ground, all together in one cluster, trapped in the pincer made by bending back the volume's last lug on the right, and securing it all with a little mountain of solder. Ummm... sorry that I used Alpha mini pots, but I lubed 'em, they're small diameter inside, and I wanted less resistance, both for mechanical turning with the fingers, and in terms of their internal elements, as I see it?

Like a bird on the wire,
like a drunk in a midnight choir
I have tried in my way to be free.


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(@takhara)
Eminent Member
Joined: 12 years ago
Posts: 23
Topic starter  

I...think my head is going to explode. :?

I don't have a solder of my own, but I may be able to get one from an acquaintance's dad.

If it would help you, I could take pictures of my entire guitar. Its a fender strat squire, if that would help.

Sorry for not understanding, I appreciate the extensive answers though. I'll read them over a few more times and see if I can get it a little better.


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(@unimogbert)
Estimable Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 174
 

I'm not going to try to work with the pictures since I don't even own an electric guitar.
(I'm an Electrical Engineer who has soldered together many kits and repaired many electrical things.)

Soldering is very simple but isn't something you learn effectively by reading on the internet.
It's about like brushing your teeth. Easier done than described.

Take it to an electronics geek friend (an old ham radio guy could be a real help) or a guitar store that can do a little wiring.
Maybe the guy you want to borrow the soldering iron from will just do it for you and show you at the same time.

Unimogbert
(indeterminate, er, intermediate fingerstyle acoustic)


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(@ricochet)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 7850
 

It does get better with practice, but if you just Google "soldering," you'll find a bunch of well written and illustrated how-to guides as well as YouTube videos on how to solder. Got to start somewhere.

"A cheerful heart is good medicine."


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