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First Wiring Attmept


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Yesterday a friend and I tried to wire my first guitar build. It's a two humbucker guitar with a three-way switch, two volume pots, and one tone pot. We went by this diagram.


When we connected it up, no sound. I don't have pictures, but I'll try to describe what we did.

We started with the pickup selector. We soldered the two center lugs to a shielded coax wire and ran that to the right lug of the tone pot. The top lug of the switch we ran to the center lug of one of the volume pots, the bottom lug to the center lug of the other volume pot.

Then we installed the pickups. First the neck pickup. Red and white we soldered together and put a little ball of hot glue around the solder joint for a little insurance. Green and bare we soldered to the casing of the tone pot. Black we ran to the right lug of a volume pot. Same procedure for the bridge pickup then, except black running to the other volume pot.

Then we grounded both volume pots. Left lug of the pots to the tone pot casing again.

Next we soldered the capacitor to the center lug of the tone pot and the tone pot casing.

Input jack was next. The long lug we soldered to the right lug of the tone pot, the short one to the tone pot casing.

Lastly we ran a wire from the bridge post to the tone pot casing.

What are some possible reasons for getting no sound out of the guitar at all? We both have some experience with soldering, and I've checked all the joints. All seem solid.

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You've connected the ground lugs of each volume pot to their respective casings but there is no mention of bridging the volume pot casings to your central ground point, the tone pot casing. Your volume pots are not connected to the grounding system until you do that. Solder a ground wire between the two volume pot casings and then solder another wire between one of the volume pot casings (doesn't matter which one) and tone pot casing to complete the grounding system.

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are your pickups seymour duncans? cos if not that might be the problem. different pickup manufacturers use different colour coding.

if they are not seymour duncans then there a few places around on the net that have colour charts for most of the big names

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I always double check my connections with a multimeter. Plug a cord into the socket and check for continuity between the cord ground and other grounds further into the system. I do the same with the hot tip on the cord as well. Just follow the connections further in and sooner or later you will find where the signal stops. This also allows you to check pot and switch operation.

On one guitar I had no signal coming from one of my pickups. Checked it all with the meter (set at ohms X 1K ) and found all my connections and components were good except that one pickup. Took the pickup apart and found busted windings, go figure. :D

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Sounds like a stereo jack with the wires connected to the wrong tabs. Multimeter will be your friend to make sure you're using the right lugs. Don't go by a diagram, but by its physical appearance as your first hint, combined with a multimeter for testing.


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Well the jack is enclosed, so there's nothing touching on the inside of the guitar. It's this jack from Carvin:


I'll hopefully try checking today if I have wires connected to the wrong lugs.

GregP got it right. The lugs were reversed. Switched them and everythings working great. :D Now I can't wait 'til I can get a band practice together and open it up on my big amp!

Edited by ThePlague
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