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Ghost Pickup


ihocky2
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I just finished my first project guitar. Well almost. I am waiting for the neck pickup to arrive. But I was too excited to wait and since it's easy to install later I went ahead and put everything together. I am using a 3-way toggle switch and when I flip it to the neck position I still get sound. It is very faint, but I can still hear it coming through the amp. The only thing I can think is that when I was looking at the switch it looked like the leafs where not seperating very much and it might be close enough for a little of the electricity to transfer but not enough for a full signal. Any ideas what else might be going on?

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If its a LP switchcraft style 3 way toggle (not neccessarily switchcraft brand), those do bleed through a bit. In some cases it can be good as it adds a bit of bottom end when your are on the bridge pickup. If you use a box style 3 way toggle those do not bleed.

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i have a box style 3 way and mine still does it.

I guess some of those do bleed then, we have tested some that do not.

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It is an LP style, so that solves that problem. Any idea why that happens though and why they don't try to fix it?

That is an excellent question we have pondered ourselves.

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Can only be two things really. Measure the open switch with a meter.

1) A reading less than infinity: dirt and crud that has built up and become conductive. Clean with contact cleaner.

2) A reading of infinity: capacitive coupling.

A cap is two conductors separated by an insulator. Each side of those leaf switches have two conductors, some of which run parallel and real close to each other for some distance, and some have "leafs" of relatively large area. Area and distance determines the capacitance value.

This can also happen running parallel unshielded wires close to each other over a distance.

A pickup with a broken winding roughly in the center of the coil can sometimes still produce sound for the same reason.

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