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Before building my own guitars I thought I would get a saga kit for practice. So I got the LP version, painted it, and started wiring it. The instructions were horrible, but I tried my best. I thought I had done a good job and finished putting it together. But when I plugged it into my amp....nothing happened. Turned my amp up loud, but no sound came out at all. :D Does anybody have any suggestions as to why this happened? I'm pretty sure all the connections were ok, so I don't know where to look to fix the problem. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

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I thought the wiring in the kits was colour coded...

When I finished mine I spent ages trying to figure out why I wasnt getting any sound and couldnt work it out.

Turns out that the volume pot was on 0. Just didnt occur to me :D

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It was color coded. I finished all the wiring, but there is still no sound. And yes, I did check to see if the volume wasn't on 0. :D I still don't know what I did wrong.... :D

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does the middle pup have differnt colored wires (different from the other two)? Like say black and white of bridge and neck pups and green and yellow or something on the middle pup? If so perhaps the wires were reversed? I did this with a set of G&L legacy pups and got nothing 'til my stooopid self caught it and switched them...

R-

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In electro-mechanical/robotics/automation industry we have a technique called half stepping. In essence, you cut the circuit in half with each experiment (or test). So, disconnect the output jack, and disconnect one of the PUs. Wire the PU to the output jack and plug it in to your amp. If you get sound, you know its not that PU or the output jack. You can do this for each PU if you like, or you can go straight to the next step which would be wire the PU straight to the volume pot and wire the output of the volume pot to the output jack. Plug it in and see if you get sound and volume control. You are now left with the wiring to the switches. Verify that you fully understand the wire colors of each PU (they may all be different if they are different manufacturers). Go to the manufaturers website for each PU and download the PU wiring diagrams and also whatever other system (guitar) wiring diagrams they have that you want to use. Worse case...use these diagrams and start over from scratch armed with all the correct information...Rog

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Not grounding the bridge seems to be a pretty common wiring mistake.

:D hmmm....maybe this could be the problem? The poor instructions said to take this one wire and wrap it around the tailpiece bushing and then push it into its place. But the hole wasn't big enough to do this so i just put the wire under the bushing. Does that ground it too, or does that keep everything from working? I'm pretty sure I did the wiring correctly, so do you think this would be the problem? How would I fix this....if it is indeed the problem? Thanks for all the help by the way.
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I don't believe not grounding the bridge properly would cause this problem (but I will always admit that I could be wrong). It would make your guitar noisey but not have no output. You do, however, want to make sure your guitar (including the bridge) is properly grounded. This can easily be checked with a multimeter or other continuity checker...Rog

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I don't believe not grounding the bridge properly would cause this problem (but I will always admit that I could be wrong). It would make your guitar noisey but not have no output.

Ditto. Thats what I thought too.

I'd guess a multimeter would be the easiest way to narrow down the problem. Maybe one of the pots is faulty or something? The volume pot in my saga guitar didnt last too long before I had to replace it.

Good luck!

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Ditto what badsnap said.

When I finished mine I spent ages trying to figure out why I wasnt getting any sound and couldnt work it out.

Turns out that the volume pot was on 0. Just didnt occur to me blush.gif

Funny story.

Once right before a show our guitarist tried to play his guitar but no sound came out. We thought it was a dead battery in one of the pedals. We spent the next ten minutes changing batteries, re-wiring crap, etc.

Only a few minutes before we got things rolling this one dude was like "is the volume on the guitar up?"

And our guitarist was like "Yeah it is, I'm not that stupid" So he gets up and checks it. Turns out the volume was turned all the way down :D

Which wasn't really that funny except we spent 15 minutes pulling our hair out trying to fix that thing. :D

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Darn....thought grounding it might be the problem, but if that's not it then maybe it is a bad potentiometer or something. Later in the week I'll try talking to a friend to see if he has a multimeter I can use. Until then I will continue to sit here upset. :D

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You'll still get a signal if the bridge isn't grounded. However, the entire "circuit" has to be completed. If you're not grounded properly in general (ie. connected to the wrong lug of an output jack) it won't work. I had a similar problem both times I re-wired my guitars, and all it took was one ground of a pickup on making it to "output ground" (for lack of a technical term). One little connection wasn't properly connected and the whole thing fell apart. :D

Greg

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Darn....thought grounding it might be the problem, but if that's not it then maybe it is a bad potentiometer or something. Later in the week I'll try talking to a friend to see if he has a multimeter I can use. Until then I will continue to sit here upset. :D

Well, if it's a bad pot, you should still be able to connect the pickups directly to the jack --if you don't get any sound then, that'll give you a pretty good indication of the source of the problem. It's a simple test, doesn't require a multimeter or waiting for a whole week to get your baby up and running.

You don't really need all that stuff in between the pickups and the jack, you know. It's just there to make the guitar look a little less naked.

When I'm wiring up a guitar, I keep it plugged into my amp (usually a mini-amp running on batteries, since you never know!). That way you know that things work before you screw everything down. I do this because I'm really sloppy about wiring, etc.

My guess though is that a tiny piece of wire from the leads is touching a ground...that'll cut out your sound. I speaketh from experience.

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My guess though is that a tiny piece of wire from the leads is touching a ground...that'll cut out your sound. I speaketh from experience.

Sorry, but these terms are a little vague to me. What exactly do you mean by the leads touching the ground? Sorry if I sound ignorant, but I have no experience with wiring and uh....I guess I am ignorant. :D But this might be the actual problem, so thanks for the help.

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My guess though is that a tiny piece of wire from the leads is touching a ground...that'll cut out your sound. I speaketh from experience.

Sorry, but these terms are a little vague to me. What exactly do you mean by the leads touching the ground? Sorry if I sound ignorant, but I have no experience with wiring and uh....I guess I am ignorant. :D But this might be the actual problem, so thanks for the help.

I have a thought . I made my first guitar with a Gibson style three way switch. It came with no instructions as to how to wire it. On the switch there are three prongs that extend out, the top are double prongs. I did not know that I had to split the two double prongs on top, connect the two inside prongs together and to wire the outside prongs to the individual pickups. If you did not do this, you will get no sound as I did

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If one of your signal wires (+) has a stray strand hanging somewhere (usually at a switch or pot connection) and it is touching a ground connection (earth to the Brits...or -) then the signal will be "grounded out" which means you will have no signal out...Rog

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My guess though is that a tiny piece of wire from the leads is touching a ground...that'll cut out your sound. I speaketh from experience.

Sorry, but these terms are a little vague to me. What exactly do you mean by the leads touching the ground? Sorry if I sound ignorant, but I have no experience with wiring and uh....I guess I am ignorant. :D But this might be the actual problem, so thanks for the help.

By lead, I mean the hot wire--carrying the signal from the pickup. Ground is the...ground. Usually it's the black wire. The hot wire is often white, but not always.

Well, what has happened to me in the past, especially when I first started monkeying around with my guitars, is that I wasn't all that careful about what was touching what --and since the wires used for a lot of guitar wiring are actually bundles of thin wires, what has happened it that, when soldering, say a pickup to a lug on a pot , one of the thin wires in the bundle came loose --and ended up touching the pot or even the ground wire itself. Which is enough to short things out. So you should inspect everything carefully, just make sure things are neat.

And if there's still no sound, you should detach the hot wire on one of the pickups and connect it directly to the jack (you don't need to move the ground for this test). Make sure you can get sound of it. Then do the same thing with the other pickups.

Once you've confirmed that both pickups work, you can go through your wiring again.

Oh yeah, make sure the guitar cable works too. Hey, you never know!

If you're set up for it, how about scanning in the instructions or diagram you have, and posting a jpg? You can also trying posting photos of the actual wiring. Maybe someone will see what's going wrong. Use Photobucket or similar to upload your photos.

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Back again......still no word of that multimeter from my friend, but I took a closer look inside of the guitar and I might have found the problem. Right at one of the potentiometers there is a wire soldered to it and there are some loose strands of the wire that are sticking out. It doesn't look like they are touching the ground though, could this be the problem? Sorry I don't have any pics. And thanks for all the help, especially Mickguard. :D

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Sorry for the double post. I tried to take picture of what I meant about the wire. Here is a link to the picture- wires.I know it is a horrible picture, but you can kind of see where the wire is coming apart. Would this keep it from having any sound? Should I solder it together better? Any comments would be appreciated.

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Wiring1.jpg

ah, there's the pic...hi there, dr sustainer, psw here!

It is a bit tricky to see with the focus here but are those loose strands from the shielding (braided outer casing) that is soldered to the back of the pot, or the internal "hot wire?

Also, it looks as if there is not only a ground connected to the back of the pot but also a black wire to the edge...is that the hot wire? or is it just a shadow of the pot edge? there seems to be a solder connection just above your arrow there.

If either are correct, then you will have shorted out the connection and there will be no sound! The earth or ground wires must not come in contact with the hot wires...even a little bit. Sometimes if you get the shielded wire or hot wire too hot you can melt through and they will touch...cut a little off and try again if you think that might have happened!

On a tone or volume the ground will connect to the back of the pot like that (nicely soldered by the way) and the hot will connect ot one of the tags on the pot. The hot will then continue from another tag eventually to the pointy end connection of the output jack and on to the amp. If there is any connection between the ground and the hot wires this will short out the wiring and there will be no sound.

Possibly those frayed wires are from the grounded braided shielding and if these touch the pot casing like this, it is not really a problem. If the internal wire is connected though or there is any cut that will allow the internal wire to contact the internal wire then, there is your problem right there!!

Anyway...hope that helps... pete!

Edited by psw
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Sorry for the double post. I tried to take picture of what I meant about the wire. Here is a link to the picture- wires.I know it is a horrible picture, but you can kind of see where the wire is coming apart. Would this keep it from having any sound? Should I solder it together better? Any comments would be appreciated.

I'm with psw on this one (he's much better at this sort of thing than I am anyway).That fat black wire contains the hot lead and a braided ground, right?

If so, then I betcha that either the plastic coating for the hot wire got slit and is touching the ground (probably on top of the pot) or one of the wires from the grounding braid got soldered into the end of the hot wire at the tab.

Like PSW says, take the wire off, and inspect the wires -- if there is a slit in the hot wire casing, you can wrap that in insulating tape.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Update: I finally got to borrow that multimeter, so hopefully tomorrow I can pinpoint what is wrong with the wiring and then proceed to fix it. :D

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Update: I tried using the multimeter to find what the problem was, but I guess I don't really know how to use it. I gave up and tried messing with that one frayed wire since I assumed that was the problem. I cut the wire and screwed things up even more. :D Maybe I should just take it to a guitar shop and pay someone to fix it.

...I was hoping to actually get the guitar to work before I posted pics of it. But since I'm having so much trouble with the electronics, should I put pics in the Finished section now? (Not that it's anything exciting anyway :D )

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  • 3 months later...

I have a Saga kit. I did try wiring up the "snap together" wiring per instructions, and it sounded terrible (pickups were out of phase, noisy, and pots were scratchy). I ended up replacing ALL the electronics and doing my own wiring job, after shielding the cavities. Now the guitar sounds AMAZING. Seriously, do a real wiring job with shielding, its good practice for building your own guitar, and it will make the SAGA SOO much more worth it.

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