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Does This Make Sense?

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I had a guitar come in for routine maintanance, and while it was here the client said the bridge pickup occasionally cut out on him. I only heard it do it once, and I thought it could be a short somewhwere. Of course, I couldnt find anything like that,but what I did see, was that the INSULATED hot lead from the pickup was sitting against the metal part of the three way switch. I moved it out of the way, and everything seems to work fine. I just didnt think something like that was possible, and Im worried that the problem may not actually be solved, but just isnt showing up now. Anyone ever had this happen?

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If it is a gibson like leaf spring switch...it certainly can!


In my tele above I have such a selector, a bunch of wiring and a battery in a tight cavity...(it's been neatened up a lot since this mid wiring pic)!

I need to be careful when closing up the cavity after a battery change about wires as the open leaf selector switch can foul preventing the leaf spring making contact. One of those frustrating faults that "fixes" itself when you 'open her up' of course because the wire has moved...It isn't a short, because the whole guitar would go dead, not just one pickup :D

Still...at least it is not a strat...in such a guitar you'd have to take the strings off to get to the wiring only to find that by doing so the problem was "fixed".

Similar problems can happen in such guitars and tight cavities when they are shielded...it is easy to have a superswitch replacement for instance just touch the back of a strat cavity and if it is shielded short out just the position on which it is touching the shield...again, 'open her up' and it's fixed! A worthwhile precaution for this posibility with shielded cavities and tight wiring and open switches is to tape of the wiring of things like mini switches with PVC tape...or with selectors that are open, tape over the cavity shield or any bare ground wires under where the switch could potentially touch.

Another option that I use rarely, but is good for say an active circuit that has exposed tracks...coat them with nail varnish...it drys fast and hard and leaves a non-conductive coating. This technique should only be used with a circuit that will not require modifications...and avoid the "metal sparkle" kinds (there is a risk of shorting a track)...colours to clears are options of your choice...or if you have one, your wife or girlfriend...or if you are so inclined, your own!


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