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Low Output Pickup Help Needed!


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I have a curious problem with my Hofner 176 Galaxy (just like this one )and hope someone can through some light on what is going on.

The guitar has three humbuckers each with their own on/off switch and tone pot, a single volume pot and a 'rhythm/solo' switch. All pickups were working fine but I noticed that the neck and bridge pickups were wired incorrectly i.e. the bridge pickup was connected to the neck switch/tone pot and vice versa. Also the pickups were the wrong way round in comparison to various pics on the internet i.e. the poles were towards the bridge whereas in every pic I've seen the poles were towards the neck. So I opened the guitar up, wired the pickups to the correct switches and put the pickups back the right way round. Now all pickups and switches work correctly but the bridge pickup is much much quieter than the other two.

I tried swapping the bridge and neck pickups to figure out whether I had mashed the bridge pickup somehow but when it was wired to the neck switches etc the volume was fine. I then wired the original neck pickup to the bridge switches and the volume was again very low. This would indicate that the pickups are fine and that the problem lies elsewhere but does anyone have any ideas where I should start looking?

I'm trying to figure out a schematic for the electronics and will post it if it might help.

I guess I could take the guitar to a pro to look at but that would be no fun, would it? :D



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First thing to check is the pup height.

In such an old guitar it's very possible all three pickups are identical, ie not calibrated to their positions (bridge pickups are usually wound hotter to account for smaller string movement) if thats the case, the pups height differences would need to be greater than usual to get equal output.

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The guitar has three humbuckers

Just a bit that ned to be clarified, althou I don't think the problem is here: Those pickups looks like Hofner 500 OR 510. These pickups are similr from the outside but the inside differe quite a bit. One of those IIRC (might have messed the model numbers up...) are true HBs but the other model have one single coil! I have read about a Hofner three pickup guitar that had two tru HBs and one sc-in-a-HB-case. Check the resistance between the three pickups to check if this is the case.

However from your description I suspec a faulty switch as you say that the bridge pickup to the neck switch is working fine but the neck pickup to the bridge switch have a low output.

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Thanks for the replies!

The pickups are all at the same distance from the strings so I don't think that's the problem.

I'll have a look at the pickups and see whether they are different though I'm fairly certain they are the same... Would a faulty switch cause this problem? How would I check? How about the tone pot? I guess I need to swap various bits around to isolate the problem and also learn a bit more about electronics :D

Thanks again!

Edited by edwinm
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