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So, I have had an issue for awhile. I have a Strat style Silvertone guitar that sounds and feels great except I have static type noise on toggle switch positions 1, 3, and 5. So I figured I’d email an expert at Guitar World, but it has been a few days and I’m impatient. Why is this a problem? You may well ask. I tend to use the bridge pickup for most everything and yep, that’s position 1. I thought about simply switching the positions of the middle and bridge pickup, but then I would have to remember when it came time to use the toggle. Now I was partially inspired by interviews I recently read with Eddie Van Halen and Yngwie Malmsteen talking about how much work they did on their own early guitars. I was also excited because I haven’t done anything like this since high school when I put a Seymour Duncan Screamin’ Demon in my old Avila V. I got the idea in my head that all I have to do is rewire my pickups and switch them and my problem should be solved.

Step One:

remove strings

Strings off

Strings off

Step Two:

remove pickguard

pickguard off

pickguard off

Step Three:

I just read an article in which they cut the wires in the middle and soldered them so as not to mess with the connections on the pots. This sounded like a great approach and that is what you see in the pictures below.

dsc052541

wires cut and stripped

dsc052551

wires twisted together

dsc052571

wires soldered

Step Four:

Undo steps two and one and then plug her in to see what happens.

End result: Fail

Yep, I did something wrong because now both the bridge and middle pickups no longer work at all. Not sure if I touched the wires while soldering and fried them or if the wiring on one pickup is not compatible with the other. Either way I am done with it for today and will look into possible fixes for my fix tomorrow.

Now, the surprise ending. I’m not entirely disappointed in the end result. I now have a kill switch on my guitar. This means that I can have some fun tremolo old school sonic fun. So if I can not find an immediate and free fix I will just use the one pickup and sold(i)er on.

Bonus: The new soldering iron I got also doubles as a wood burner. I envision me destroying my guitar in new and exciting ways.

Update (4/2/09): Problem fixed. It was such a bonehead thing I’m not gonna share because it’s that embarrassing. Let’s just say I wasn’t as careful with the wiring as I should have been. So, I did everything the way I planned and it turns out there is something wrong with the wiring from the potentiometer to the bridge no matter what pickup I connected. Good news is I did, somehow, reduce the amount of noise. No clue how that happened. So things are a little better and I am good with that.

Next project might be a pedal board. I have some fun ideas for that and I may even make it to a thrift store! Stay tuned

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