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Stumped With Mysterious Strat Noise/power


Keegan
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So I rewired my strat the other day, because my first wiring job was messy. This time everything is neat and tidy with zip ties and heat shrink tubing, the works. The only things physically different with the circuit are that I switched which coil is tapped on the bridge humbucker in pos 2, I didn't ground to the strings, and it has a killswitch now.

Anyways, the problem is that the middle pickup hums when touched, but neither of the other pickups do this. I thought I must have accidentally cold-soldered it, so I redid the solder joint and checked it with the multimeter....but the hum is still there. All ground connections check out too. Everything is wired perfectly. Is this just because I didn't ground to the strings? If so, how would you suggest I ground to them on a Strat with the trem blocked? I've removed the claw, so there's not really anything to solder to back there.

Secondly, now the guitar has insane power from the bridge humbucker, seemingly out of nowhere. This isn't a problem, I just thought it was odd. I didn't move it any closer to the strings, but now it's overdriving everything. It pushes even this cheap solid state Fender amp I have into clipping with the volume on 2, and the same with my Blackheart. It's even overdriving my distortion pedal(if i play with lots of attack, it goes silent at the peak). I didn't know that a 12k humbucker could do that.

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You do need to ground the strings...attach the ground wire to something like the bridge post...even wedged between the bridge and the body is probably fine as long as there is good contact made.

As for the increased power from an HB. 12k is a reasonably strong HB...it could be that it was wired in parallel before and is now in series...but it also sounds like you may have a switching system that is adding another into series with the HB adding 3 or more coils to it potentially from the other pickups. Tap the other pickups to see if they are connected at all when the HB alone selection is selected.

If changing the coil split, you may have affected the noise canceling qualities of combination settings...something to consider.

With the middle hum...it sounds like the poles are grounded but you have reverse wired it...this makes the poles hot...so when you touch it, it will be as it you touched the hot of the jack...instant buzz. A multimeter can check the middle pickups grounding connections by testing between the pole (or whatever you are touching that buzzes) and the connecting wire/s. A tele neck pickup is particularly susceptible to this because of the metal cover...often this ground needs to be taken as a separate wire to reverse them. It is possible that the pickup has been damaged if it is a traditional fender construction...but it is very unlikely, so don't panic.

Hope that helps

pete

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You do need to ground the strings...attach the ground wire to something like the bridge post...even wedged between the bridge and the body is probably fine as long as there is good contact made.

As for the increased power from an HB. 12k is a reasonably strong HB...it could be that it was wired in parallel before and is now in series...but it also sounds like you may have a switching system that is adding another into series with the HB adding 3 or more coils to it potentially from the other pickups. Tap the other pickups to see if they are connected at all when the HB alone selection is selected.

If changing the coil split, you may have affected the noise canceling qualities of combination settings...something to consider.

With the middle hum...it sounds like the poles are grounded but you have reverse wired it...this makes the poles hot...so when you touch it, it will be as it you touched the hot of the jack...instant buzz. A multimeter can check the middle pickups grounding connections by testing between the pole (or whatever you are touching that buzzes) and the connecting wire/s. A tele neck pickup is particularly susceptible to this because of the metal cover...often this ground needs to be taken as a separate wire to reverse them. It is possible that the pickup has been damaged if it is a traditional fender construction...but it is very unlikely, so don't panic.

Hope that helps

pete

I wired according to this http://www.seymourduncan.com/support/wirin..._2s_1v_1t_5w_as, except that the tone is a little different because it's a Fender Greasebucket circuit.

The bridge is the only pickup active in pos 1, so it's not any different than before except that the current is going through it the opposite way that it was before(I had wired to the duncan diagram, but didn't see the note about fender pickups, so I had out-of-phase in pos 2, now that is corrected).

There's no way the middle is reverse wired, because black is going to ground, and that's what the Fender wiring diagram for the pickups I'm using says also http://www.fender.com/support/diagrams/pdf...1160_62APg2.pdf

I have an aluminum pickguard, but it's anodized black, so it isn't conducting except where it's scratched(around the pots and the screws for the pickup height adjustment), that's actually how most of my grounding is done, all grounds go to the back of the volume pot, which is grounded to the pickguard, so all of the controls are grounded there too. There aren't any ground loops that i know of, since any metal parts are already going to ground, so I didn't connect any ground wires to them, and double-checked with the multimeter.

Perhaps it just needs the extra grounding to the strings and it'll be fine. It probably buzzed before and I just didn't notice because I was grounding it out by touching the strings.

Maybe I'll just leave it like this, opening up a strat is too much trouble, even with locking tuners.

Edited by Keegan
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