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Author Topic: 2 Super Distortions wired like a Les Paul. Sounds rubbish!!! Help!  (Read 1606 times)

Rich78

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Hi. Please help me... :?

Im rewiring a guitar for a mate. Its a Westbury from the early seventies. It has 2 Dimarzio Super Distortions in. I think they were original cos the soldering looked fine. Then again...

I took out all the old wire and pots etc and replaced them with brand new everything from WDMusic.

Ive been wiring guitars for years and wired up this thing like Ive done a million times Les Paul style.

BUT... For some weird reason, the Super Ds sound weak and bright. The bridge is loud enough but the neck sounds like its a mile away from the strings but its at the correct distance.


Now, I looked on the Dimarzio website and the wiring diagrams etc and it said the black and white wires are to be soldered together, the green and bare go to ground and the red to hot.

Fair enough, but these pickups have just a black and white wire plus a bare wire.

Ive tried both white to hot and black to hot and they sound terrible.

Ive tried totally rewiring it and its still the same.

One thing to consider is that the neck pickup is upside down. I cant get them out cos the screws have rusted and my mate doesnt want me to crack the surrounds...

Will the upside down neck have somthing to do with it? Phasing problems? Surly not...

Please help. Im at my wits end with it and Im probably gonna throw it out the window...  Oh ok I wont..  8)

Cheers. Rich.
« Last Edit: January 29, 2011, 12:13:38 PM by Rich78 »

PhilKing

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Re: 2 Super Distortions wired like a Les Paul sound rubbish!!!
« Reply #1 on: January 28, 2011, 02:05:21 PM »
You need to wire white to hot and then black and screen to ground. if you have phase issues when both pickups are on, swap the white & black for one of the pickups.
So many pickups, so little time

darkbluemurder

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Re: 2 Super Distortions wired like a Les Paul sound rubbish!!!
« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2011, 06:03:04 PM »
Have you played the guitar before you rewired it? And if so, was the problem existent then as well? If so, the rewiring is not at fault.

Have you measured the DC resistance of both pickups? They should be between 13k and 14k each.

If they measure correctly, take a screwdriver and slightly tap the top of the pickup. Is the magnetic pull the same?

Have you measured the pots, and if so are they within 10% of specified value?

I hope that helps a bit to narrow it down.

Cheers Stephan

darkbluemurder

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Re: 2 Super Distortions wired like a Les Paul sound rubbish!!!
« Reply #3 on: January 28, 2011, 06:08:26 PM »

One thing to consider is that the neck pickup is upside down. I cant get them out cos the screws have rusted and my mate doesnt want me to crack the surrounds...

Will the upside down neck have somthing to do with it? Phasing problems? Surly not...


PS: What do you mean by "upside down" - is it reversed by 180 degrees, i.e. the coil usually facing the fretboard faces the bridge? That could make a difference but not as much as you described.

I have two SDs. These are dark, loud pickups with a lot of sizzle on top. If the neck pickup is healthy it should be really loud and bass heavy. BTW: do the volume and tone controls work correctly? I have encountered a defective pickup (with an almost shorted coil) which caused a lot of hum when the volume control was turned down.

Frank

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Re: 2 Super Distortions wired like a Les Paul sound rubbish!!!
« Reply #4 on: January 29, 2011, 04:58:52 AM »
I remember Westbury guitars! I thought they were all wiped out by an asteroid strike and climate change though.

Now when you say you've replaced "everything" I hear a distant alarm bell. It's very easy to miss off a ground wire or maybe get a bad solder joint and sometimes when you just can't trace the fault it's better to go right back to basics. As the neck pickup is the main problem I'd start by desoldering it and checking it with a meter, just to make sure it's not damaged. If you don't have a meter then you can the coils are intact then try connecting hot and ground directly onto the jack socket and plugging the guitar into an amp. Tap the pole pieces with a screwdriver, make sure the screw poles and slug poles both make a good clunk through the amp.

Next thing I'd do is connect the hot wires to the switch then the switch direct to the jack socket, repeat the clunk test or put some old strings on the guitar and make sure the pickups work as expected.

Then add the pots one at a time- make sure you sandpaper the backs before applying solder, sometimes the laquer coating stops you getting a good ground connection here. Again, use the meter to make sure you've got a good connection. And don't forget the string ground!

Rich78

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Re: 2 Super Distortions wired like a Les Paul sound rubbish!!!
« Reply #5 on: January 29, 2011, 12:11:27 PM »
Cheers for the replys.  "Ive been wiring guitars for years and wired up this thing like Ive done a million times Les Paul style."

PhilKing- Done and done.

darkbluemurder- I didnt play it before cos the strings turned to dust when I touched them...

                Ive tried measuring the DC but nothing comes up on the meter... Ive had that before on a Maverick X1 but they worked perfectly.
               
                The mag pull is the same, yes.

                The pots are all brand new and fine.

                Yes, 180 degrees around. The legs werent poking up at me  :lol:

                Nope, they're not dark or loud with sizzle.  The bridge is louder than the neck but it sounds like my Strat.

Frank-          Done, done and all done. Went back to basics twice.


Cheers everyone. Im just gonna give it back to him cos Ive had enough.

darkbluemurder

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Re: 2 Super Distortions wired like a Les Paul. Sounds rubbish!!! Help!
« Reply #6 on: January 31, 2011, 09:23:38 AM »
This sounds like a difficult one.

I would desolder all pickups first. I would then plug in a guitar cable, set the toggle switch to the bridge pickup setting and turn the pots for the bridge pickup all the way up. Then measure from the volume pot input to the tip of the guitar cable. It should read 0 ohms. I would then measure from the volume pot input to the shaft of the guitar cable. It should read about 500k ohms (the value of the guitar pot). Then measure from the volume pot input to the back of each pot. That should give you also about 500k ohms.

Repeat everything for the neck pickup with the neck pickup volume pot turned up full.

If everything so far is OK then the wiring is correct.

That would then pinpoint to the pickups as the possible culprit. Do you have any other pickup that you could temporarily wire in?

Cheers Stephan

Rich78

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Re: 2 Super Distortions wired like a Les Paul. Sounds rubbish!!! Help!
« Reply #7 on: January 31, 2011, 12:20:48 PM »
Cheers Stephan. Yeah this is a good one.

To make this even more spectacularly awkward is that the guitar belongs to the town vicer!

Of all the times I want this to go right... I despair.

Anyway, yeah Ive done more or less what you suggest. He is on his way soon and I think we just gonna buy some new pickups for it.

Ive got a feeling that the pickups in at the mo are not Dimarzios at all just some cheap copy.

Im gonna crack open the surrounds and get them out to get a look at the back plates.

I would have done this ages ago but the screws have rusted solid.

Ill let you know what happens mate.

Cheers again for all your advise. Rich.

Ps. Yeah Ill have a go with another pickup...