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Pickup(s) cutting out twice now ('02 Gibson SG)


(@corbind)
Noble Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 1744
Topic starter  

I noticed it at the last practice my pickup (or pickups) cut out during a song. I did not remember if the sound totally dropped from amp or just one pickup worked so sounded weird. It also happened, too, at the gig in Wooddale 12-17-10 briefly during cut out maybe 5-10 seconds during two songs…but it's annoying.

About 4 years ago, when changing strings and cleaning the guitar, I noticed the bridge pickup has the electrical tape worn away from where I rest my pinky when palm muting. My pinky wore a hole right through the tape and I had been putting it directly on the million wire winds!

The picture is of the bottom part of my bridge pickup when my guitar is upside down. That black "flap" is a piece of electrical tape I put over it a couple of years ago when I first noticed that my pinky wore a damn hole through the cloth wrap around the pickup. You can see the exposed copper wire winds on the left hump of the pickup. It's where I rest my pinky when I palm mute.

So I put some electrical tape on there, two strips, and have not messed with it since...I'm wondering if that has something to do with my pickups cutting out? Here are my guesses:

-- Bridge pickup messing up because of the "hole" I wore in the pickup tape
-- Pickup selector switch is going (dunno, but could be)

For troubleshooting purposes, fortunately I don't adjust dials on my guitar. Each volume knob is always on 7 and while each tone controls on 10/max (bright) all the time. And when it cut out I was not flipping my tone pickup lever up or down (was in my usual middle position). But when it occurred I did flip it to neck only then to bridge only on instinct

Okay people, anyone wanna take a crack at what may be causing the cutting out on my guitar? It has happened very infrequently. I do know both times it happened above we were playing at hign volume, but we do that a lot anyway. I'm open to suggestions…..

"Nothing...can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts."


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(@kent_eh)
Noble Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 1885
 

With the pickup switch in the middle,a single pickup cutting out shouldn't cause you to loose all output. The other pickup should stay working.

Some experiments:
Connect everything normally, then touch the bare spot with a finger. Any noise? (you're looking for the same humming/buzzing sound as when you grab the open end of the cable with the amp turned on)

You say you don't mess with your volume knobs while playing? Try it.
Any noise? especially while you pass thru your "normal" setting?

Using the same cable you were using when the sound cut out, wiggle the cable around. A lot. Especially the first few inches to a foot of cable nearest the connector. Try both ends of the cable.

I wrapped a newspaper ’round my head
So I looked like I was deep


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(@corbind)
Noble Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 1744
Topic starter  

It's too late right now to try touching the bare wires while playing. My neighbors would revolt. But One night when one or both pickups cut out I was wired. Another night I was using my very expensive wireless system so that at least eliminates the cables as the problem.

"Nothing...can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts."


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(@kent_eh)
Noble Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 1885
 

It's too late right now to try touching the bare wires while playing. My neighbors would revolt. But One night when one or both pickups cut out I was wired. Another night I was using my very expensive wireless system so that at least eliminates the cables as the problem.
Ok, then how about the jack on the guitar?

The wires you see in the pickup are not actually bare (unless you wore thru the insulation).
They are insulated with a varnish or shellac coating. The tape is to mechanically protect the wires, but is not for insulating.

You *may* have worn thru the varnish, or you may have mechanically damaged one of the windings.
Or it could be something else entirely.

Intermittent problems are always a bear to try and find. Once the darn thing breaks properly, the source of the problem becomes pretty easy to find.

I wrapped a newspaper ’round my head
So I looked like I was deep


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