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Pickup Phase Problems

j. pierce

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Okay - I'm probably missing something simple, but this is throwing me for a loop -

Have an old junky strat I was going t ofix up to donate to a local youth music program at the Boys and Girls club. Pickups where out of the guitar, put them back in, and wired it up. Positions 2 and 4 are out of phase. I have the Stew Mac polarity tester - the middle pickup tests north up, and the bridge and neck show south up. Okay, so the pickups are magnetically the right way, so I switch the two wires for the middle pickup.

Positions 2 and 4 are still out of phase.

So what am I missing here?

I'll tear it apart again and go over the wiring closer, but am I not grasping something?

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Hmmm...your not confuisng strat quack #2 & #4 "out of phase" to actually electrically out of phase?

A strat sounds kind of hollowed and out of phase because of the position of the middle pickup and the way it cancels out the centre frequencies but in fact are in phase electrically...you can sometimes get the opposite effect when they are wired out of phase.

The reverse magnet thing can be confusing, but the coil is also reversed hence...rwrp (reverse wound, reverse polarity) and are usually wired to reflect that...so if the black is ground it is the same for all pickups.

One way to test them is that when wired correctly, with single coils will be humbucking when combined so...see if it is rejecting hum. Another way is with an analogue multimeter...tap the poles with a screwdriver and see which way the needle jumps.

Really though...single coils have only two ways in which they can be wired...in or out of phase...so one way or the other will work and the middle pickup is the likely suspect if it happens in both positions #2 and #4.

Otherwise, cheap low quality single coil pickups often give off that kind of out of phase quality regardless sometimes...but othertimes they have more quack that higher powered pickups...

good luck


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