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Okay, so i followed the wiring diagrams on guitar electronics.com to a T, and I double checked everything. Its a les paul with independent volume controls. 2 HB, 2 Vol, 2tone, 3 way switch, mighty mite buckers in'nere

I still need to ground my 3way selector swtich. an oopsy I overlooked.

The control cavity is sheilded with that foil shielding tape, it comes in contact with the pots via a little tab on the top of the pot facing the underside of the maple top. it isnt grounded specifically, there's no wire running from any of the shielding to the ground point (the back of the tone pot for the bridge humbucker) so im thinking alot of the insane hum is coming from the non sheilded.....sheilding......and the non-grounded switch.

also, I have what i beleive are ground loops...........a wire from back of the volume for the neck pickup jumps to the tone for the neck, and is wrapped into the ground for the jack, and then those are wrapped up with the wire jumping from the bridge pickup volume wire i soldered on as a ground, and ten wrapped with the ground from bridge, all wrapped to one, and then soldered to the back of the tone pot for the bridge pickup.

i basically have 3 or four wires coming from pots/etc to get all wrapped up and grounded......but i used little hookup wire to connect bridge volume pot to its tone, and the same was done for the neck pickup.........

also, the hotwire from the neck pickup hits the center ear on its volume pot, and the selector switch wire hits the ear above it, to the left, let's say.....for example.

on the other pickup the selector swtich wire hits on the right ear.....should they be hitting the same ear on each of their respective volume pots? i didnt think it mattered......

so basically i have a huge humming noise and next to no output on either pickup.....very very low volume...almost inaudible.

if someone needs a picture, i'll get them one, but if anyone could shed some light on any error somewhere, lemme know please, sorry if i wasnt clear enough....

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My guess:

Your "cavity" ground isn't making it to the real ground at the jack. When I shielded my last guitar, the same thing happened to me.

I had everything grounded to star, or so I thought. Then I scratched my head and looked again. "Well heck," I finally noticed, "My cavity is now one continuous circuit, but there's nothing sending it to ground!"

Since my pots were as convenient a spot as any, I took a single piece of wire, soldered one end to the shell of a pot (pick a pot, any pot), and the other to star (which then leads to ground).

Hum gone. :D

A quick way to test this is to take a spare length of wire and just manually hold it in the right spot without soldering. If the hum disappears, solder it in place.

What's happening right now, if I'm a guessing man, is that you are either littered with ground loops, or have one continuous circuit in your cavities (which is good! You're almost there!) which doesn't make it to ground (which is bad-- very bad).


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No sound = hot shorted to ground <OR> hot disconnected

Hum = ????? (any number of possibilities)

Not enough info - we need a drawing or pictures of what you've done. This is not a word problem, so we're only guessing until we can see what you've done. Bite the bullet, and do what you need to do.

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I'm actually considering rewiring most of it to match this picture:


and you're right lovekraft, i apologize for this hasty 'plea' for help, i suppose after all things considered my post was rather hasty and not very.....practical.

i do appreciate the replies that are here, and i do apologize for not giving all the information needed at the time of the post.

again,thanks and sorry for posting such a shot in the dark.

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No need for an apology, and no harm done - I'm a lot more concerned with getting your problem sorted than how practical your posting style is. :D It's just almost impossible to even make a good guess without more info than your post contained.

To start with, try removing one of the hot leads from the selector switch and temporarily connect it directly to the jack - if that works, you know your problem is with the switch wiring, and if it doesn't, it's your volume/tone wiring. As shown in your drawing, I can't find any reason for your problem(s), other than the fact that you've got one of the volume pots wired in reverse. The only reason to ground the switch is to shield it, which is a good idea, but won't keep it from working correctly if you don't. See if this diagram is any help to you:


My first instinct is that you've got the selector switch miswired, but I've been wrong before, so check it out.

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If your cavity is shielded with foil, then according to the diagram you are littered with ground loops. As long as you have ONE wire going from either a pot or the foil itself to ground, that's all you need. Those ground wires connecting the pots are ALL ground loops. :D

On the vol pots where you have the tab bent back to its own pot casing and soldered in place, even those are mini ground-loops.

If LK hasn't done the deed by the time I get back around to this tonight or tomorrow, I'll throw a pic into the mix for you.


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Alright, I'm going to throw my guitar out of the window.....I really think I am. So instead of re-wiring ten times, I'm going to work on a nice big post.....yay, heh heh

okay, changed some things around, still I have no output to anything from the pickups, none, no sound whatsoever......I'm going to LINK to the picture from mighty mite.com on their humbucker wire color codes.....

Mighty Mite's TINY AS CRAP picture for wire diagrams.....dolts.

That is how I have had the pickups wired since the get-go.

While searching their forums of grand technical prowess (total sarcasm) I get about eight different combinations of wires and colors and whats hot and whats a ground. So....being near the end of my rope, I tried THIS combination:


Red & Bare= GROUND

Balck & White = Solder 2gether. (sorry for the number, I'm sleepy :D )

I'm assuming, since my blue is still hot on both wire combinations....I should be getting SOMETHING in the way of a sound......

I'm thinking at the very worst, something is broken, is it possible to 'fry' a vlume or tone pot while heating it up to solder? Could mighty mite's pickups just be total horse crap alltogether? I'm thinking even the shoddy-est pickups would produce sound, albeit fuzzy or hissy......hell, I'd love hissy or fuzzy, as opposed to silence :D

Here's what my wires looks like...........


so hopefully someone can tell me something. If not, that's ok. I appreciate anyone's help from here on out, and greatly appreciate those whove taken the time to reply already.

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Follow these steps precisely - if it stops working at any time, make a note of how far you got, and post back with your results:

  1. Disconnect everything from the switch and output jack
  2. Disconnect the bridge pickup from everything else
  3. Wire the bridge pickup as instructed - blk to ground, red to white, and then wire blue directly to the hot side of the jack
  4. If you have sound, repeat the process with the neck pickup
  5. If this also works, wire the bridge pickup's blue lead to the volume pot's wiper, and the outside terminals to the jack and ground. if the volume pot works backwards, reverse the outside terminals.
  6. If it still works, repeat with the neck pickup.
  7. If that's still working, refer to the diagram I posted earlier to wire the toggle switch.
  8. If the toggle switch works now, hook up the tone pots.
  9. If everything is still working, you're done!!!
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[edit: cross-posted with LK! His advice stands, this is just detailed and shows an alternate method of wiring, considering that you've already shielded]

OK, dude, here's a bit of help. I'll post the diagram first, and then an explanation of what's going on:


1. EVERY part of the foil-covered part of the cavity must be electrically continuous with itself. I should be able to send a current from one end of the foil to the other. If you need to test this, you could get yourself a cheap multimeter. Otherwise you can just trust yourself or do some tom-foolery with a battery and a small bulb.

2. For the following diagram to work, the pots' shells MUST touch the foil shielding. This "adds" them to the continuous shielded circuit. What's more, the 'bare' wire from the pickups isn't actually a true conducting ground, it's just more 'shielding', so you can solder it directly to the foil and thereby "add" it to the foil shielding. So in theory, I should be able to touch the back of one pot with one multimeter probe, and the braided wire of either pickup with the other, and get a circuit.

3. The switch isn't really all that important in terms of grounding, but if its shell is touching the foil, you're set. If it's made so that it's NOT grounded directly to the foil, and there's a special "lug" for the ground, then just solder one end of a short wire to the lug and the other end to any handy space on the foil.

4. No matter what diagram you look at, the fact is that all grounds will end up at one place-- ground. Any fancy ground wiring like from pot-to-pot or whatever is just a way of getting them all to ground. Done wrong, though, it can create ground loops. So instead of wiring a bunch of wires to the pots, you will treat each ground as a separate "path". Even the lugs on your volume knobs that are bent back to touch the pots, DE-solder them and bend them away from the pot. They will eventually have wires on them, too.

5. In the diagram, all grounds are indicated by that funny arrow. True ground and the "cavity ground" are not the same thing. Assume that the cavity foil + the pot shells + the switch are just one giant "object", and they too must be grounded. That's the wire coming off the Bridge Volume pot. It's the only solitary wire that comes "out" of the cavity shielding, and it also has to go to ground. This is the step I forgot when I did it. Adding this wire in cleared everything up.

6. So, the bottom left "ground" arrow symbol represents all the grounds coming off the 4 pots' lugs, the 1 pot's shell, and the 2 pickups. I then show all 7 wires attaching to a central spot-- this can be a washer or an O-terminal or a copper penny or whatever you want. Then the final wire attaches to the output jack's ground lug. The one and only true ground point.

7. That O-ring or washer is called the "star" for obvious reasons. ALL of your grounds go here! Once you've soldered them all in place, wrap some electrical tape around the star and make sure no bare wires are touching the foil shielding. Why? Then you have ground loops all over again! :D

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Oh, I should mention--

If it's more convenient to solder the braid (bare) wire to the back of a pot, that's fine, too. Remember that the pots are now considered just another part of the foil. I mainly said "to foil" because that's how it was more conveniently done for both of the guitars I shielded.


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Although I'm going to get some sleep. I feel I must say this.

GregP and Lovekraft.

I love you two.

You know, in a completely heterosexual, online discussion forum kind of way.

All joking aside, thanks the world over. I duely appreciate it.

I'll get some time set aside here in the next couple days to post back on any progress......progress, mmmmm such a nice sounding word.

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Okay, well, I choseto disconnect everything from everything else, so that I could wire the pickups directly to the jack and whatnot.

Then I realized, the only thing I have in my house to measure anything, is a multi-meter, an instrument cable, and a Korg electronic tuner......

After getting out the multimeter, I found that apparently the red wire, assuming blue is still hot, then red is ground. I found on the multimeter that my bridge pickup reads at 8.0-8.1K touching the red and blue wires on the respective tips of the multimeter. The neck pickups reads in around 4.0-4.2K. This leads me to beleive that perhaps these pickups are far more quiet than they should be? generally speaking?

Before moving forward, I want to know if I am going to need to actually be ble to hook the guitar up to an amp, and pluck the strings, or does the use of a tuner (still plucking the strings, which I realize now needs to be done if I'm going to measure if any 'sound' is coming from the pickups) stand in place of an amplifier?

coupled with the fact my pots are 250K, does this mean that these seemingly quiet pickups are going to be barely audible?

Also, after tearing (gently tearing, heh) everything out, I decided to unshield the cavity.......sorry GregP :D . I'm still going to use your 'star' method of grounding, so your advice and help was no wehre near in vain :D

thanks to anyone who can offer advice.

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Those ratings are pretty much in-line. The neck is a bit lower-output than what I'd expect, actually-- you sure you didn't just measure one coil (that's about the resistance of a single-coil pickup). I'd have expected 6-7 from the neck, but 4 doesn't necessarily mean a non-functioning pickup. Au contraire, the fact that you're getting a reading at all shows that it should be working.

If you've unshielded the cavity (I don't recommend it, but there ya go!), the only difference you need to make to my diagram is that each of your pots should have its own wire running from the pot casing (shell) to the star ground, in addition to one from the switch. Then, the braided wires can also go to star instead of to the foil.

4k resistance isn't totally wacked out, though. It'll just be a very clear and bell-like pickup if indeed it really IS both coils.


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Thanks for posting Greg, I'm currently in the process of using the extra wire i cut from the length of the pickup wires to 'extend' what I had in the cavity......a tedious process that could have been avoided had I not tried to keep everything neat and tight within the realm of wire length.......oh well, that's what I get for jumping the gun.

I'll post back when all is hooked up and wired in.

thanks again.

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Thanks for posting Greg, I'm currently in the process of using the extra wire i cut from the length of the pickup wires to 'extend' what I had in the cavity......a tedious process that could have been avoided had I not tried to keep everything neat and tight within the realm of wire length.......oh well, that's what I get for jumping the gun.

I'll post back when all is hooked up and wired in.

thanks again.

Blakeish, I had the same problem a while back. Turns out I had the pos and ground crossed at the output jack. :D It could just be that simple. Just a thought. :D

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Well, it's wired up.......and.....


:craps pants: :D

No more shielding in the cavity, as far as foil goes.....and soldering about 13 or so ground paths to one penny and then adding electrical tape was......interesting, to say the least. But at least re-wiring everything according to GrepP's and Lovekraft's advice was a nice and smooth ordeal.

As for the selector switch? Yeah, I'm so un-attentive to detail it makes me sick....2 lugs for hot wires and one for ground? No, blake, retard.....lo and behold, I wandered into stewmac's page (where i got the switch from) and what do i find? a WIRING diagram showing me those 'two' lugs are actually four seperate soldering ears......so that was embarassing/humbling. Lovekraft was right from the get-go, lol.

The sound is nice, coming through my firend's fender (although i loathe fenders with a passion, too warm and muddy and just not.....to my liking) and since i can blend the pickups when the selector is in the middle position, i can get some neat sounds. the tone pots arent as articulate as most guitars ive played, but their changes they apply are apparent enough for me, I tend to have them adjusted to the brightest setting regardless, anyways.....

So things sound good, and the cavities are covered, hopefully to seldom be opened again.......so glad to have the wiring of the guitar behind me.

So thank you to all who posted, particularly GregP and Lovekraft, your patience with my questioning, and your diagrams and added advice/direction was priceless.

Now it's on to final set up...intonation is....well it's a new post all it's own in the other forum. But thanks again!

Rock, the eff, On.

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Intonation is a cinch compared to rewiring a guitar. :D

I'm surprised you ended up ripping out the shielding, though-- the only reason I rewired my guitars at ALL (ie. made star grounds, etc) was because I had already pulled it apart with the main intention of shielding them.


Glad it works!

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