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Top String Not Picking Up On Bridge Pickup - Why?


tomassi
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Hi guys,

I've muddled through fitting pickups in the past and always got away with it. But this time I'm really stumped and need some help. I hope someone can come to my rescue.

A few months I fitted a cheap (£30) 'hot rail' bridge humbucker to my '72 Custom Tele.

But a few weeks or so later I noticed that the high E string wasn't coming through the bridge pickup properly. The string wasn't choking, and it was coming fine through the neck pickup.

I thought it must be the cheap bridge pickup, so I forked out for a DiMarzio and have now just fitted that. I also replaced the volume pot.

But exactly the same thing is happening -- 5/6 strings come through fine, but the high E is really muted.

If it's not the pickup, it's not the string, and it's not the volume pot, what does this leave? The tone pot I guess.

Or is there something else at play that I don't know about?

I'm tearing my hair out on this, please help!

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is there any reason to believe that the high E string is a different composition than the other stirngs? I mean, I could see this happening if high E were say.... a bronze or phospor acoustic string. Have you tried new strings? Sorry, just stepping through the little things first.

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Hi, yes fair point. I've changed the string now though and it's made no difference. There's just not much volume from the top end of the pickup - if you tap a couple of nails together above it then the same things happen - they're way quieter there than further down the pickup.

What now then - replace the tone pot?

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The tone pot and all the other electronics affect the entire signal, there's no way they can affect just one string. a narrow frequency range, yes, but of course the high e's frequency's are found on other strings...

swap the high e and the low e over and see what happens.

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Ok thanks, I'll try that tonight.

...Could I have blown something?

The way pickups are made, you can't blow a single segment. Either the whole thing works, or it doesn't, unless there is a bad pole piece.

I was going to suggest rotating the pickup 180 degrees so the top is at the bottom and the bottom is at the top. If the top "e" still gives the same problem, then you can rule the pickup out of the equation. Then I would look at the bridge saddle for problems.

If, however, the low "E" gives the problem this time, then I would suggest the pole piece has become demagnetised, although that is highly unlikely as you have had this problem on more than one pickup.

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If, however, the low "E" gives the problem this time, then I would suggest the pole piece has become demagnetised

My thought also until I realized it is a rail pickup :D

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If, however, the low "E" gives the problem this time, then I would suggest the pole piece has become demagnetised

My thought also until I realized it is a rail pickup B)

Ah yes :D Okay, let's pretend I didn't mention that then :D

I would still go for rotating the pickup though B)

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I'd swap the E's around first - much easier that rotating the pup :D

If, however, the low "E" gives the problem this time, then I would suggest the pole piece has become demagnetised

My thought also until I realized it is a rail pickup :D

The OP doesn't specify if the replacement dimarzio is a rail pup like the pup it replaced was B)

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I would just take the old loose pick up and tape the wires to the guitar chord and physically hold the pickup over the strings. move it about and see if it works, and see if you can repeat the loss of signal on the high e string.

If you get the correct sound out of the pickup, you have a problem inside the guitar. Such as the tone pot, or pickup selector, or maybe even an off chance the jack. This would lead me to get a wiring diagram of a tele and basically do the whole thing over.

I would agree that for it to work or not work is usually what happens inside of a guitar. But at the same time I have never had 1 string cause me an issues and I have seriously F'd with about 15-20 guitars now. I have had bad grounds with buzz... but never half a pickup.

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The OP doesn't specify if the replacement dimarzio is a rail pup like the pup it replaced was :D

Yeah, you're right. So, is the second pickup alo a rail pickup or is it a traditional SC? If it's in the traditional vein Menders suggestion is indeed a good one.

This is what happens when you try to be a smart a$$ :D

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