Hey gents - 

I'm closing in on my first build and threw some strings on her last night. Man, this has rekindled my love for guitar. While my slide technique is sloppy, it was so great to hear sound coming out of her for the first time.

Surprisingly, without even plugging her in, she threw some good sound. She needs some tweaking to get the intonation and action right, but that's minor.

Tonight, I plugged her in for the first time but have no sound coming from the electronics. I'm running a simple setup (pickup, volume and input jack), thought I had it right but I've made a mistake somewhere along the line.

I checked wiring diagrams online but can't see what I"m doing wrong.

Here's what I can tell you:

1) The pickup came from China but has the same 'S' that Seymour Duncan has... not sure if this is a true SD pickup...

2) The wiring looks like this: black wire, a red/green soldered together and a white wire.

I'll post a photo of how I have it soldered but here's what I did:

1) Looking at the volume pot from the back (3 tangs), I have the far right lead soldered to the back of the pot as a ground.

2) THe middle the hot wire (I think) and goes to the input jack 'hot'

3) The left-most volume pot tang I have hooked up to the pickup 'white' (hot?) wire.

4) Black ground wire runs from the input jack ground to the back of the volume pot. I've also soldered the black wire from the pickup to this location.

5) The red and green wires coming off the pickup were soldered together. I just put some heat-shrink on these and left them

If I tap the pickup with my finger, I can hear some 'percussion' through the amp, but the strings don't resonate at all.

I'm completely green w/ electronics and appreciate any help.

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Thanks Tim!

The pickup's Green and Red wires are soldered together to make the pickup a series wired humbucker and should be left alone and taped off unless you want to do wiring mods like a coil split or Parallel switching.

White is hot and Black ground. Your wiring looks right. I think the pot is bad, may have been overheated when soldering the grounds. It's a good idea to scuff the area of the pot to be soldered because they usually have a protective coating. I usually try to solder to the side of the pot instead of the back to limit heat exposure to the pot's innards.

Great tips, Paul. I'll try soldering to the side of the pot on my next build. Sounds like I may have cooked the first pot as my wiring seems to have been correct. Cheers!

Mike, 1 way to reduce heat to your pots is to solder a short piece of wire to the pot, then join all your grounds to that wire, and you can even just solder them to a washer on the shaft, but with the short thread on the mini pots, that can be a problem making sure it is contacting properly

That's a good idea Darryl.

Some pots have a tab on the side or top edge to keep the pot from spinning around, but they hardly get used these days. That makes a great place to solder grounds to as well if your not using the tab as intended.

that's how I do mine, solder 1 wire to the back and 1 to each lug, same for the jack 1 wire to each lug, then all the junctions/connections/re-work gets done at the free end of wires so I don't cook anything, and it makes it easier to snip and redo when I find a goof-up.

soldering tip: hold the cold solder on top of the spot to solder, then place the iron on top of the solder, melting it into the connection, holding the tip in the liquid solder only long enough to see it flow nicely onto/into the contact point.  let the hot liquid solder heat the joint and spread in, use the iron to heat the solder bubble not the components.

For future reference; try not to solder too long on back of pots, excessive heat can ruin or make a pot fail, glad you figured it out, BTW ted crocker has an album of cbg pickup wiring somewhere on here,definitely worth looking at, cheers!

Thanks Brian - even with a bit of practice my soldering time improved ;). I'll keep that in mind and may try the side of the pot as Paul suggests above.

Hey guys, quick question.... can a typical volume pot be used as a tone control as well? If so, how would this be wired to the mix (say, in the same setup I'm using here)?

http://handmademusicclubhouse.com/photo/albums/wiring-diagrams-sche...,  vol pots can be used as tone pots, but they have a reduced effect, there is a lot of theory re whole subject of linear taper vs logarithmic taper pots, but generally it is thought that an "A" pot is better for vol, and "B" for tone, i've added Ted Crockers link to his wiring diagrams above, and a Fender forum article re pots below, hope it helps--- http://www.strat-talk.com/threads/a-or-b-pots-and-why.9613/

Great resource - thanks Darryl!

volume pots are A, that is Audio taper or logarithmic because the way we hear. in a generalised rough way to be perceived as twice as loud you need to output 4 times the power.

tone pots are B or linear which means from minimum to maximum value is a straight line. you need this to get an even response all along the turn of the pot. if you used a A pot instead you would get very little variation as you first turn the pot . then increasing faster as you get to the max of the pot.not explaining this well. but you could turn the pot 1/4 of a turn at the beginning and not notice much change in tone but at the other end a slight tweak of the pot would make a big difference in tone. possibly making it almost impossible to adjust. 


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