Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafemuddy

Post to this Thread - Sort Descending - Printer Friendly - Home


Tech: why is my guitar pickup not working?

matt milton 09 May 12 - 07:48 AM
Richard Bridge 09 May 12 - 09:02 AM
Backwoodsman 09 May 12 - 09:03 AM
GUEST,999 09 May 12 - 09:46 AM
matt milton 09 May 12 - 10:03 AM
GUEST,Stim 09 May 12 - 12:08 PM
Bernard 09 May 12 - 12:35 PM
Big Al Whittle 09 May 12 - 01:49 PM
banjoman 10 May 12 - 06:57 AM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:





Subject: Tech: why is my guitar pickup not working?
From: matt milton
Date: 09 May 12 - 07:48 AM

I play a guitar fitted with a Big Tone (bridge) pickup.

At almost all my gigs, it is fine. In fact many sound engineers comment on how loud it sounds (as did the luthier who fitted it).

However, at some gigs - about 1 in 10 - I plug in the 1/4inch jack lead and literally no signal comes out. Not a jot.

You can wiggle the lead around to no avail. Absolutely nothing whatsoever. Yet everybody else using that lead (eg at an open mic gig) has no problem at all. I plug the guitar into my amp, with my own lead, when I get home and it plays fine. Next gig, it's fine.

I took it to a luthier. He plugged it in. It worked.

I find this really inexplicable. If there was a wire loose, wouldn't the problem be more intermittent - wouldn't I be able to notice a difference by finding a "sweet spot" or somthing? I'm wondering if some 1/4 inch leads simply don't quite push in far enough somehow, or whether some leads are a fraction of a hair too slim or something... I can't understand it.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: why is my guitar pickup not working?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 09 May 12 - 09:02 AM

It probably is length. Some jack leads have fatter shoulders than others or a chunkier base plate and don't go all the way in.

I imagine that your guitar has an endpin jack socket. Check that the end of the threaded bit of the socket itself does reach all the way through the cover plate and make sure the cover plate is well screwed down. You may need to adjust the socket a bit. They usually have a threaded length that fits through the tailblock.

Remove the coverplate (the bit the strap goes on). You will see the securing nut and a washer - and the threaded shaft usually with a cross-hole so you can stop it going round. Put an allen key through the cross hole to loosen the nut. Do not remove the nut yet.

Remove the allen key and then remove the loose nut and washer with your fingers TAKING GREAT CARE NOT TO DROP THE THREADED SHAFT INTO THE GUITAR.

Now take a jack lead with a slim jack plug and unscrew the cover of the plug and slide it back out of the way. Carefully holding the threaded shaft plug the jack plug in.

Now using the jack plug poke the threaded shaft in through the tail block and with a bit of wiggling you will be able to juggle it out of the soundhole - wire attached going to the undersaddle pickup and wire attached to the jackplug. Back the nut on the shaft off a bit so the threaded shaft will go a bit further through the tailblock.

Now hold the guitar upright over your head and by dangling the wire from the pickup and drawing on the jack lead you should be able to get the threaded shaft back through the tailblock. ALL WITHOUT TAKING THE STRINGS OFF!

Replace the washer nut and cover!

In the meantime take your own jack lead with you to open mics!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: why is my guitar pickup not working?
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 09 May 12 - 09:03 AM

How does the jack socket look - is the 'inner' piece, the end of the socket's 'shaft' that the strap-button screws on to kinda 'recessed'? If so, that could be the problem. Take the strap-button off, loosen the nut that's then exposed, turn the nut that's inside the guitar anti-clockwise a turn or so (to allow more of the shaft to go through the end-block hole), then tighten everything back up and put the strap-button back on. If the end of the shaft is just proud of the strap-button, that's good.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: why is my guitar pickup not working?
From: GUEST,999
Date: 09 May 12 - 09:46 AM

I think Richard and Backwoodsman have nailed it. If I may make one more suggestion, don't do any of that stuff after a few beers, shots or tokes.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: why is my guitar pickup not working?
From: matt milton
Date: 09 May 12 - 10:03 AM

I'm not sure I really want to do any of that stuff at all!

But I'm at work right now anyway, I'll try when I get home... I might just test all the various jack leads I have, see if any don't work with it, and demote them to non-gigging duties.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: why is my guitar pickup not working?
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 09 May 12 - 12:08 PM

Don't let these people persuade you to tear the pieces out of your guitar!

Most likely, occasionally, you come across a cheap jack lead. Less expensive jack leads are made with less expensive components, the shaft on the jack, for instance, may be slightly shorter than spec, the phenolic insulator may be a bit thin, and the tip may be small(often, the cheaper ones are rounded rather than pointed), so that it doesn't make proper contact when it is plugged in to a professional spec plug (which your luthier undoubtably used when installing your bridge pickup).

What you need to do is to take your that jack lead that works at home and carry it with you. One of the things to remember is, you're only as good as the equipment you're using--that's why professionals cart so much stuff around.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: why is my guitar pickup not working?
From: Bernard
Date: 09 May 12 - 12:35 PM

Okay, perhaps this is a long shot, but worth checking...

Maybe the jack socket doubles up as the off-switch for the active components?

If your pickup uses a battery, the jack socket could be a 'stereo' (Tip Ring Sleeve) type, and it needs the ring and sleeve connections to be shorted to 'switch' the pickup on. Some jacks may not be doing this properly simply because of the profile of the connector.

The advice to sort through your leads for ones that work and carry a couple with you is probably wisest. Maybe carry a tuner-pedal, too - then you plug their lead into your tuner-pedal...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: why is my guitar pickup not working?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 09 May 12 - 01:49 PM

sounds very mysterious......


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: why is my guitar pickup not working?
From: banjoman
Date: 10 May 12 - 06:57 AM

Had a very similar problem with the pickup on my wifes recorder - at home it was fine and ok with our own PA but nothing when plugged into a stage set up at festivals. Problem turned out to be exactly as described above about the length of the jack plug and several PA guys said it was lack of signal through a cheap lead. Bought a more expensive lead and tested it in the shop. Its now all ok.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 14 August 10:03 AM EDT

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.