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Troubleshooting A Standard Stratocaster Guitar


First, if you got here via a link from anywhere other than the troubleshooting menu please go
there first for information you will need to apply these instructions safely and effectively!
This troubleshooting guide will take you step-by-step through troubleshooting a Stratocaster guitar that is
set up for "standard" five-way switching. That is, the guitar has a single volume control, 0 to 2 tone controls,
and a five way switch that, from rearmost to frontmost selects the bridge pickup, the bridge and middle
pickups in parallel, the middle pickup, the middle and neck pickups in parallel, and the neck pickup.
There are two troubleshooting tables, one using no special equipment and one requiring an inexpensive
ohmmeter. There is a lot of overlap between the tables, i.e. both tables will detect and identify most
conditions. There are a few conditions which may not show up with a meter (such as microphonic pickups).
However, the meter tests in the second table will often isolate symptoms to a specific component where the
"no equipment" test can only narrow the causes down any of several components. In short, both tables are
useful and even if you have a meter you shouldn't necessarily ignore the first table. Likewise, if you don't
have a meter and the first table only isolates the problem to one of several components it may be worth your
while to purchase an inexpensive meter.
The second table also works as a fairly comprehensive sanity check that is, after working on a guitar you
can run through those tests after reinstalling the pickguard but before restringing the guitar to confirm that you
got all of the pickup wires on the right switch terminals, didn't reverse the output jack wires, and so on. I do
these checks routinely and it's saved me having to waste time stringing and unstringing a guitar on a couple of
occasions.
All of the tests can be run without removing the pickguard. The tests in this first table can be run without any
test equipment, using only your guitar and an amplifier. Often one problem may have several symptoms, so
run through the entire test and note the possible causes mentioned for each bad result you observe. If you
have two or three different symptoms, and all share one possible cause, that is most likely the problem.

Table I No-Equipment Tests


Not using a Ground Fault Circuit For this test plug your guitar into your amplifier and turn the gain on your amplifier up fairly high (about as
Interruptor when working inside high as you would normally play if you didn't have to worry about getting kicked out of your apartment). Turn
"live" line-powered equipment is
off all effects including reverb and noise gates. Sit facing the amp and approximately four to six feet away
like playing with a grenade with
the pin pulled even if you survive from it. Work your way from top to bottom down the table, setting the controls and taking the actions
you've illustrated your lack of specified, then observing the results and matching them with the results column. Read the possible causes
wisdom! for abnormal results from the possible causes column in the same row as the observed result. Be prepared
to quickly turn down the volume if you encounter feedback squeal.
Conditions
Tone Tone
Volume Switch Action Result Likely Causes
1 2
Fully Fully Fully Bridge Do not touch Pretty quiet, but not Normal if guitar is well shielded or has
Even an inexpensive meter can
save you a lot of frustration. If you On Up Up any metal parts "dead." humbucking pickups.
plan to work on amps you should (CW) (CW) (CW) on the guitar. Loud hum, but no Fairly normal, for an unshielded guitar
have one at least as good as this squeal. (Assuming with single coil pickups. Consider
one. Note that this is the most
inexpensive meter I've seen that
you have determined shielding using the "Quieting the
measures capacitance. that the hum is Beast" instructions.
Measuring capacitance isn't caused by the guitar,
critical, but it is nice to have. and not by some
other problem.)
Completely dead. Try lightly flicking a string, if there is
still no sound then the pickup, switch,
volume pot, jack, or any of the
interconnecting wiring may be bad. If
the remaining steps in this table reveal
that other switch positions are okay
then the problem must be the bridge
These less expensive meters are
all you really need if you plan on pickup, the switch, or the wiring
working only on guitars and associated with the bridge pickup.
troubleshooting connection Feedback squeal. Lightly mute the strings, then carefully
problems and such. The analog
meter is actually better for some remove your hand without disturbing
things, like looking for scratchy the strings. If the squeal remains or
pots, intermittent poor returns then the bridge pickup is badly
connections, and for "seeing" a microphonic, check mounting springs,
capacitor in a circuit. The digital
pot the pickup or replace it if
meter is more precise and will

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load the circuit less if you intend


to work on stomp boxes that may necessary.
be important. Lightly touch Noise gets quieter. Normal.
the strings with Noise gets louder. The strings may not be grounded, in
your bare hand. the case of a stock guitar this means
there is probably a broken or missing
ground wire to the tremelo claw. On a
guitar with an isolation capacitor the
capacitor may be of too small a
capacitance or the capacitor may be
open.
Another possible cause is that the
signal and ground wires to the jack
have been reversed.

While lightly Clicking sound in Normal.


damping all amp.
strings with
your hand, Loud clunking or Bridge pickup is microphonic, check
gently tap the clicking sound that mounting springs, pot the pickup or
bridge pickup transitions to a replace it if necessary.
with a pencil or feedback squeal.
pick.
Gently wiggle No Noise. Normal.
the pickup
switch from side
to side and Clicking, popping, or Switch is dirty, worn, or of poor quality
even fore and scratching sounds. and may require replacement soon.
aft (but not
enough to move
it out of the
bridge detent).
Only if you have No Noise. Normal.
TBX (bridge)
tone control.
Rotate the Clicking, popping, or Tone pot is dirty, worn, or of poor
mid/bridge tone scratching sounds. quality and may require replacement
control slowly soon.
back and forth
from stop to
stop, leave it in
the fully up
position.
Only if you have Tone changes. Normal.
TBX (bridge)
tone control.
Play a chord, Tone does not TBX portion of tone control is defective
then rotate the change. or has been disabled (a lot of people
mid/bridge tone don't like the TBX tone controls).
control back
and forth from
stop to stop,
leave it in the
fully up position.
Fully Fully Fully Middle Do not touch Pretty quiet, but not Normal if guitar is well shielded or has
On Up Up any metal parts "dead." humbucking pickups.
(CW) (CW) (CW) on the guitar. Loud hum, but no Fairly normal, for an unshielded guitar
squeal. (Assuming with single coil pickups. Consider
you have determined shielding using the "Quieting the
that the hum is Beast" instructions.
caused by the guitar,
and not by some
other problem.)
Completely dead. Try lightly flicking a string, if there is
still no sound then the pickup, switch,
volume pot, jack, or any of the
interconnecting wiring may be bad. If
the remaining steps in this table reveal
that other switch positions are okay
then the problem must be the middle
pickup, the switch, or the wiring
associated with the middle pickup.

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Feedback squeal. Lightly mute the strings, then carefully


remove your hand without disturbing
the strings. If the squeal remains or
returns then the middle pickup is badly
microphonic, check mounting springs,
pot the pickup or replace it if
necessary.
While lightly Clicking sound in Normal.
damping all amp.
strings with
your hand, Loud clunking or Middle pickup is microphonic, check
gently tap the clicking sound that mounting springs, pot the pickup or
middle pickup transitions to a replace it if necessary.
with a pencil or feedback squeal.
pick.
Gently wiggle No Noise. Normal.
the pickup
switch from side
to side and Clicking, popping, or Switch is dirty, worn, or of poor quality
even fore and scratching sounds. and may require replacement soon.
aft (but not
enough to move
it out of the
middle detent).
Rotate the No Noise. Normal.
middle tone
control slowly Clicking, popping, or Tone pot is dirty, worn, or of poor
back and forth scratching sounds. quality and may require replacement
from stop to soon.
stop, leave it in
the fully up
position.
Play a chord, Tone changes, Normal.
then rotate the volume only changes
middle tone slightly or not at all.
control back Tone does not Bad tone pot, tone capacitor, pickup
and forth from change. selector switch, or associated wiring
stop to stop, (or a previous owner may have moved
leave it in the the middle tone control to the bridge).
fully up position. Note that on an unmodified Strat if
both tone controls are inoperative the
most likely cause is the tone capacitor
or the connections from the tone
capacitor to the pots and ground
(because both tone pots share one
tone capacitor).
Volume decreases Shorted tone capacitor or tone
substantially as tone capacitor far too large.
is turned down, tone
may or may not
change.
Fully Fully Fully Neck Do not touch Pretty quiet, but not Normal if guitar is well shielded or has
On Up Up any metal parts "dead." humbucking pickups.
(CW) (CW) (CW) on the guitar. Loud hum, but no Fairly normal, for an unshielded guitar
squeal. (Assuming with single coil pickups. Consider
you have determined shielding using the "Quieting the
that the hum is Beast" instructions.
caused by the guitar,
and not by some
other problem.)
Completely dead. Try lightly flicking a string, if there is
still no sound then the pickup, switch,
volume pot, jack, or any of the
interconnecting wiring may be bad. If
the remaining steps in this table reveal
that other switch positions are okay
then the problem must be the neck
pickup, the switch, or the wiring
associated with the neck pickup.
Feedback squeal. Lightly mute the strings, then carefully
remove your hand without disturbing
the strings. If the squeal remains or

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returns then the neck pickup is badly


microphonic, check mounting springs,
pot the pickup or replace it if
necessary.
While lightly Clicking sound in Normal.
damping all amp.
strings with
your hand, Loud clunking or The neck pickup is microphonic, check
gently tap the clicking sound that mounting springs, pot the pickup or
neck pickup transitions to a replace it if necessary.
with a pencil or feedback squeal.
pick.
Gently wiggle No Noise. Normal.
the pickup
switch from side
to side and Clicking, popping, or Switch is dirty, worn, or of poor quality
even fore and scratching sounds. and may require replacement soon.
aft (but not
enough to move
it out of the
neck detent).
Rotate the neck No Noise. Normal.
tone control
slowly back and Clicking, popping, or Tone pot is dirty, worn, or of poor
forth from stop scratching sounds. quality and may require replacement
to stop, leave it soon.
in the fully up
position.
Play a chord, Tone changes, Normal.
then rotate the volume only changes
neck tone slightly or not at all.
control back Tone does not Bad tone pot, tone capacitor, pickup
and forth from change. selector switch, or associated wiring.
stop to stop, Note that on an unmodified Strat if
leave it in the both tone controls are inoperative the
fully up position. most likely cause is the tone capacitor
or the connections from the tone
capacitor to the pots and ground
(because both tone pots share one
tone capacitor).
Volume decreases Shorted tone capacitor or tone
substantially as tone capacitor far too large.
is turned down, tone
may or may not
change.
Fully Fully Fully Any Lightly mute the No noise. Normal.
On Up Up strings with
(CW) (CW) (CW) your hand. Scratching, popping, The volume pot is worn, dirty, or of
Rotate the or crackling noises. poor quality and will probably need to
volume pot be replaced soon.
slowly back and
forth from stop
to stop.
Play and Volume goes Normal.
sustain a smoothly and
chord. Rotate gradually from full
the volume pot volume to complete
from full on to abscence of signal
full off. (most hum - if any -
may also disappear
but there may still be
some ambient noise
from the cabling and
such). There is little
or no change in the
tone.
Volume drops The pot is damaged or there may be a
raggedly, in steps. piece of solder, wire, etc. loose inside
the pot.
Volume seems to do The pot may be damaged but it is
little or nothing more likely that someone has replaced
through most of its it with a linear, instead of audio taper,

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travel then the pot. If the control also works


volume changes very backwards it is likely that someone
suddenly. has used the correct audio taper pot
but reversed the wires on the + and -
terminals of the pot. The tests in the
next table can be used to determine
which of these is causing the problem.
Volume never goes This may be a defective pot (some
completely to cheap ones don't go to full electrical
zero-signal. limits). It may also mean that the
ground wire on the pot is not
connected or, if an isolation capacitor
has been installed, that the volume pot
ground and jack ground are on
opposite leads of the isolation
capacitor (i.e. the capacitor was not
installed properly). The tests in the
next table can be used to determine
which of these is causing the problem.
Tone gets dull as Usually this means you are feeding
soon as the volume too low an impedance. This can be
pot is backed a little caused by a long (greater than 10'
off from full on. cheap or greater than 25' quality)
guitar cord or by feeding a low
impedance gain stage (such as by
trying to run to a low-z input on a
mixer or to some effects, especially
vintage Wah and fuzz pedals). This
can sometimes be fixed by putting a
.001uf capacitor across the plus and
wiper terminals of the volume pot.
However, it is better to eliminate the
true cause by replacing the cord with a
shorter, higher quality one, using an
eq or gain boost effect with a high-z
input as your first gain stage, and so
on.
Play and Tone changes with Normal.
sustain a each position relative
chord. Move to adjacent positions.
the pickup There are no "dead
selector slowly spots," loud pops or
back and forth crackles, etc.
through it's In both of the mixed Normal. (Note, on early guitars and
entire range. positions (neck/mid true reissues of them, the middle
and mid/bridge) most pickup was not humcancelling with the
of the hum (if any) other pickups on such guitars the
goes away. tone will be as expected but the hum
will not decrease in these positions.)
In both of the mixed The middle pickup is wired out of
positions (neck/mid phase with the others.
and mid/bridge) the
signal gets very weak
or "thin" and the hum
may or may not get
louder.
In only the neck/mid The neck pickup is wired out of phase
position the signal with the middle.
gets very weak or
"thin" and the hum
may or may not get
louder.
In only the mid/bridge The bridge pickup is wired out of
position the signal phase with the middle.
gets very weak or
"thin" and the hum
may or may not get
louder.
Tone and volume are Assuming all pickups are single coils,
normal in all positions the neck and middle pickups should
but only the be swapped so both mixed positions
neck/middle will be hum cancelling. If the bridge

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combination is hum pickup is a humbucker, this behaviour


cancelling the is normal.
middle/bridge is not
hum cancelling.
Tone in one or both of If all of the pickups passed their
the mixed positions individual tests above, this almost has
(neck/mid or to be a defective switch. Keep in mind
mid/bridge) does not that this applies only to stock guitars
change at all from with Standard switches. If someone
one of the adjacent has replaced the switch with a "Super
positions. There may switch", "Mega switch," or other
or may not be a custom wiring there may indeed be
"dead spot" between dead spots and, depending on how
the positions. the mod was wired, adjacent positions
may not differ that much tonally. The
tests in the next table may help
determine which of these is causing
the problem.
Crackling, scratching The switch is probably dirty, of poor
noises as the switch quality, or worn. Plan to replace it
is moved. soon.
Popping sounds. This usually won't happen with a stock
guitar with a standard switch. If it
does happen the switch may be bad,
or someone may have altered the
wiring in some manner. With custom
switches and especially with onboard
preamps and active tone controls a
soft pop isn't unusual. Such a pop can
usually be eliminated or greatly
reduced but it takes a bit of
experimentation to find and eliminate
the cause of the pop without altering
the tone too drastically.

The next series of tests requires an ohmmeter or multimeter. You needn't have an expensive meter in fact I
strongly recommend an inexpensive analog meter similar to the one below for these tests. That is because
you can "see" capacitance and glitchy pots on such a meter better than on a digital meter.

Notice that this table also contains an extra set of "result" and "cause" columns. One set is for a stock
unmodified standard Strat and the second column is for a Strat that has been modified using the "Quieting the
Beast" modification (see the modifications in the wiring section). Where the second pair of columns is
empty the expected results and causes are identical to those for a stock unmodified Strat.
Also notice the abscence of the first three columns, for the volume and tone controls. The initial condition
for all of the tests in this table are that the volume and tone controls are fully "up" (CW).

Table II Ohmmeter Tests


For this test unplug your guitar from the amplifier. If you have spare 1/4" mono plug laying around, remove
the back shell and put the plug in the output jack of the guitar. If you don't have a spare unused plug, but do
have a cord with removable shells on the plugs (i.e. not heatshrunk) then loosen the shell from one plug and
put that plug in the guitar. If all you have is a cord with heatshrink over the plugs then plug one end of the
cord into the guitar and use the free end to connect the meter leads when necessary. The goal of all of
this is to be able to put meter leads on the hot and ground terminals of the output jack without
touching any metal parts (because your body will alter the resistance reading substantially).

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If you are going to be doing much of this then alligator clips are very handy. Even better is a short test cable
with a 1/4" mono plug on one end and banana (or pin, depending on your meter) plugs on the other.
Work your way from top to bottom down the table, setting the controls and taking the actions specified, then
observing the results and matching them with the results column. Read the possible causes for abnormal
results from the possible causes column in the same row as the observed result.
Initial conditions for all tests are volume, tone 1, and tone 2 all fully "up" (CW), and the meter set to
read 0 to 20k (20,000) ohms. Remember to return the controls to this position at the completion of
each step.
If you are using a meter that has a "zero" adjustment for the ohms function, adjust the meter to read zero
while the probes are shorted together. Note that most digital meters don't have a zero adjustment and they
will often read an ohm or two with the leads shorted together
Some, but very few, pickups have built in inline capacitors that invalidate these tests. If a pickup
reads "open" on the meter but you are getting normal sound from it, you probably have such a
pickup. Also, note that these tests don't apply if you have active pickups, a preamp, or active tone
controls.

Unmodified Shielded & Isolated


Switch Action Result Likely Causes Result Likely Causes
Bridge Measure Between approximately Normal.
between the 4k and 18k ohms
two (typically about 5k-7k
terminals of for most single coils ditto ditto
the output and 9k-15k for most
(DC humbuckers). Write the
resistance value here ________.
of the bridge Very close to zero. Shorted pickup,
pickup). shorted volume
ditto ditto
pot, shorted jack
wiring.
Very high, but not open Open pickup coil,
(approximately 250k to bad switch,
500k). broken wiring ditto ditto
between pickup
and switch.
Open (greater than 2 Bad wiring
Meg). between volume
ditto ditto
pot and jack, or
bad volume pot.
Meter reads very The ground side of
high the pickup is
(approximately attached to shield
250k to 500k) ground, instead of
(note, this is most signal ground (i.e.
easily seen on a the wrong side of the
cheap analog isolation capacitor).
meter).
Reversing the
meter leads
causes the meter
needle to dip then
climb again.

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Meter starts low, The isolation


then climbs to capacitor is in series
open (greater with the signal, most
than 2 Meg). likely between the
(note, this is most negative terminal of
easily seen on a the volume pot and
cheap analog the negative terminal
meter). of the jack.
Reversing the
meter leads
causes the meter
needle to dip and
then climb again.
Middle Measure Between approximately Normal.
between the 4k and 18k ohms
two (typically about 5k-7k
terminals of for most single coils ditto ditto
the output and 9k-15k for most
(DC humbuckers). Write the
resistance value here ________.
of the Very close to zero. Shorted pickup,
middle shorted volume
pickup). ditto ditto
pot, shorted jack
wiring.
Very high, but not open Open pickup coil,
(approximately 250k to bad switch,
500k). broken wiring ditto ditto
between pickup
and switch.
Open (greater than 2 Bad wiring
Meg). between volume
ditto ditto
pot and jack, or
bad volume pot.
Meter reads very The ground side of
high the pickup is
(approximately attached to shield
250k to 500k) ground, instead of
(note, this is most signal ground (i.e.
easily seen on a the wrong side of the
cheap analog isolation capacitor).
meter).
Reversing the
meter leads
causes the meter
needle to dip then
climb again.
Meter starts low, The isolation
then climbs to capacitor is in series
open (greater with the signal, most
than 2 Meg). likely between the
(note, this is most negative terminal of
easily seen on a the volume pot and
cheap analog the negative terminal
meter). of the jack.
Reversing the
meter leads
causes the meter
needle to dip and
then climb again.
Neck Measure Between approximately Normal.
between the 4k and 18k ohms
two (typically about 5k-7k
terminals of for most single coils ditto ditto
the output and 9k-15k for most
(DC humbuckers). Write the
resistance value here ________.
of the neck Very close to zero. Shorted pickup,
pickup). shorted volume
ditto ditto
pot, shorted jack
wiring.

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Very high, but not open Open pickup coil,


(approximately 250k to bad switch,
500k). broken wiring ditto ditto
between pickup
and switch.
Open (greater than 2 Bad wiring
Meg). between volume
ditto ditto
pot and jack, or
bad volume pot.
Meter reads very The ground side of
high the pickup is
(approximately attached to shield
250k to 500k) ground, instead of
(note, this is most signal ground (i.e.
easily seen on a the wrong side of the
cheap analog isolation capacitor).
meter).
Reversing the
meter leads
causes the meter
needle to dip then
climb again.
Meter starts low, The isolation
then climbs to capacitor is in series
open (greater with the signal, most
than 2 Meg). likely between the
(note, this is most negative terminal of
easily seen on a the volume pot and
cheap analog the negative terminal
meter). of the jack.
Reversing the
meter leads
causes the meter
needle to dip and
then climb again.
Neck & Measure Approximately equal to Normal.
Middle between the (neck_resistance X
two middle_resistance)
ditto ditto
terminals of divided by
the output (neck_resistance +
(parallel DC middle_resistance).
resistance Approximately the If the middle
of the neck resistance of the neck pickup passed its
and middle pickup. solo test above,
pickups). this can only be a ditto ditto
defective or
non-standard
switch.
Approximately the If the neck pickup
resistance of the middle passed its solo
pickup. test above, this
can only be a ditto ditto
defective or
non-standard
switch.
Very high, but not open This would have
(approximately 250k to to be a bad switch
500k). or else both
pickups or wiring
from both pickups
to switch would
have to be bad. If
ditto ditto
both pickups
passed their solo
tests above then
this can only be a
bad or
nonstandard
switch.
Open (greater than 2 Bad wiring
Meg). between volume ditto ditto
pot and jack, or

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bad volume pot.


Meter reads very The ground side of
high both pickups are
(approximately attached to shield
250k to 500k) ground, instead of
(note, this is most signal ground (i.e.
easily seen on a the wrong side of the
cheap analog isolation capacitor).
meter).
Reversing the
meter leads
causes the meter
needle to dip then
climb again.
Meter starts low, The isolation
then climbs to capacitor is in series
open (greater with the signal, most
than 2 Meg). likely between the
(note, this is most negative terminal of
easily seen on a the volume pot and
cheap analog the negative terminal
meter). of the jack.
Reversing the
meter leads
causes the meter
needle to dip and
then climb again.
Bridge & Measure Approximately equal to Normal.
Middle between the (bridge_resistance X
two middle_resistance)
ditto ditto
terminals of divided by
the output (bridge_resistance +
(parallel DC middle_resistance).
resistance Approximately the If the middle
of the bridge resistance of the bridge pickup passed its
and middle pickup. solo test above,
pickups). this can only be a ditto ditto
defective or
non-standard
switch.
Approximately the If the bridge
resistance of the middle pickup passed its
pickup. solo test above,
this can only be a ditto ditto
defective or
non-standard
switch.
Very high, but not open This would have
(approximately 250k to to be a bad switch
500k). or else both
pickups or wiring
from both pickups
to switch would
have to be bad. If
ditto ditto
both pickups
passed their solo
tests above then
this can only be a
bad or
nonstandard
switch.
Open (greater than 2 Bad wiring
Meg). between volume
ditto ditto
pot and jack, or
bad volume pot.
Meter reads very The ground side of
high both pickups are
(approximately attached to shield
250k to 500k) ground, instead of
(note, this is most signal ground (i.e.
easily seen on a the wrong side of the
cheap analog isolation capacitor).

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meter).
Reversing the
meter leads
causes the meter
needle to dip then
climb again.
Meter starts low, The isolation
then climbs to capacitor is in series
open (greater with the signal, most
than 2 Meg). likely between the
(note, this is most negative terminal of
easily seen on a the volume pot and
cheap analog the negative terminal
meter). of the jack.
Reversing the
meter leads
causes the meter
needle to dip and
then climb again.
If all of the above tests gave normal results you know that your pickups, switch, jack, and internconnecting
wiring are basically sound. (The switch may be "scratchy" but it really takes a listening test (see Table I) to
determine that.)
Any Measure Resistance climbs very Normal.
position between the rapidly at first then
that two more slowly, until
checked terminals of approximately half the
"normal." the output value of the volume pot
while slowly is reached (usually at
ditto ditto
turning about 125k for a
down the standard Strat with
volume. single coil pickups).
Then, resistance
gradually decreases all
the way to zero.
Resistance increases Someone has
then decreases, but installed a linear
very evenly (i.e. the pot in the volume
amount of change for a control, replace
ditto ditto
given amount of pot with an audio pot.
rotation is
approximately the
same at all points
Resistance increases Someone has
very slowly at first, then reversed the wires
very rapidly. on the outside
terminals of the
volume pot. If the
volume control is ditto ditto
still working in the
correct direction
then someone
installed a reverse
taper pot.
The needle on the The pot is dirty,
meter jumps around a worn, or of poor
lot (this will only show quality. (Note, in
on a very sensitive the listening test
ditto ditto
meter). in Table I this
would have been
heard as a
scratching sound.)
Resistance doesn't go The pot is worn,
all the way to zero (or damaged, or of
very, very near zero). poor quality (it is
ditto ditto
not travelling fully
to the electrical
end).
Neck Measure No change in reading. Normal. (Note, if
between the during the
two listening test in ditto ditto
terminals of Table I the tone
the output control caused the

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while slowly volume to


turning decrease
down the substantially, this
neck tone result here being
control. "normal" indicates
that the tone
capacitor is of too
large a value, as
opposed to being
shorted or wired
incorrectly.)
Resistance decreases. The tone
capacitor is
shorted or the ditto ditto
tone pot is wired
incorrectly.
Middle Measure No change in reading. Normal. (Note, if
between the during the
two listening test in
terminals of Table I the tone
the output control caused the
while slowly volume to
turning decrease
down the substantially, this
ditto ditto
middle tone result here being
control. "normal" indicates
that the tone
capacitor is of too
large a value, as
opposed to being
shorted or wired
incorrectly.)
Resistance decreases. The tone
capacitor is
shorted or the ditto ditto
tone pot is wired
incorrectly.
Any Set the Zero resistance (short). Normal. The isolation
position meter to its capacitor is bad or
that highest ditto the signal return
checked resistance point is grounding
normal. scale and against the shielding.
measure Max resistance (open). The bridge ground Reverse the meter
between the wire is broken, leads. Each time
negative disconnected, or you do so you should
terminal of missing; or the see the resistance
the output wires to the output dip then return to an
and a metal jack are reversed. open - this is normal
part of the and indicates that
bridge. the isolation
capacitor is properly
wired. Note, some
very inexpensive
meters may not be
sensitive enough to
ditto
see the dip. If the
guitar passed the
listening test (that is,
hum got quieter
instead of louder
when you touched
the strings) then you
can assume that the
isolation capacitor is
okay. If it failed that
test the isolation
capacitor is open or
not wired correctly.
Any Set the The same resistance Normal. The isolation
position meter to its as when measuring capacitor is bad
that highest between the two output ditto (shorted) or the
checked resistance terminals. signal return point is
normal. scale and grounding against

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measure the shielding, or the


between the isolation capacitor is
positive not wired properly.
terminal of Zero resistance (short). The wires to the The wires to the
the output output jack are output jack are
and a metal reversed. reversed and the
part of the isolation capacitor is
bridge. bad (shorted), the
ditto signal return lead is
shorting against the
shielding, or the
isolation capacitor is
not properly
installed.

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