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Proper wiring for a HH 1v, 1t

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  • Proper wiring for a HH 1v, 1t

    Hi, was hoping for some insight regarding a wiring situation. Guitar Im working on has 2 humbuckers, Gibson style braided wire, one volume knob and one tone knob. Ive got a .021 orange drop on there as well. My main problem is it sounds really “muddy”, and Ive found a lot of very different ways to wire for this setup online that Im wondering if thats the issue(pickup “out of phase” comes up regarding incorrect wiring).
    Theres also a cutout when I jiggle the switch and have it set to bridge, but I assume thats an issue with the switch itself so going to replace it.
    Ill post the electronics cavity, my toddler scribbles on the wiring, the lindy fralin wiring styles page that i drew upon, and the one from CRL that sells the switch(this one is insanely different than all ive seen.
    Thank you for any help/insight.

    EDIT: pictures with a bit more lighting:
    Last edited by Cs_gibs; 02-10-2020, 04:11 PM.

  • #2
    Just from looking at the docs you have provided, it seems to be OK (please note that just looking is often not enough).
    Can you describe how it sounds in each pickup selector position, with the tone control all the way up, and all the way down? That description can give us clues if the sound of your guitar deviates markedly from what others here expect you to hear.

    Humbuckers by nature are 'muddy' compared to single coils. What other guitars are you familiar with?
    The construction of the guitar can also affect the resonance of the notes as they 'speak'. Is this a standard model? (again, for technical comparison)
    If it still won't get loud enough, it's probably broken. - Steve Conner
    If the thing works, stop fixing it. - Enzo
    We need more chaos in music, in art... I'm here to make it. - Justin Thomas
    MANY things in human experience can be easily differentiated, yet *impossible* to express as a measurement. - Juan Fahey


    • #3
      Main one Im comparing it too is an explorer. This is a Jackson, same in terms of mahogany body, rosewood fretboard. The neck on the explorer is different, mahogany vs the maple on the jackson. Normally Id just attribute it to better quality wood on the Explorer, but the Jackson has surprisingly good wood, feels sturdy, nice looking grain, a nice flame top finish, and probably one of the best neck tapers, it just looks like they took care on it.

      Output is right about the same, 14k on the Jackson and 14.3k on the explorer. Id say the Jackson just doesnt have the “highs” the explorer does, which normally id be saying is an obvious statement, but it seems that sort of low “treble(?)” tone is excessive, even if were talking a mid range priced Jackson(and the explorer was right at that similar $900 price range honestly) rolling the tone down is absurdly muffled and “bass-y”, like its at the bottom of the ocean. Sorry if im not great at describing tone at applicable terminology.

      Also you said it was ok, does moving around maybe the capacitor affect the high to low Tone? Or is it just the same wherever the cap is in the circuit.

      I really appreciate the help by the way

      Edit: neck pickup is at 7.5k. Its also affected by the tone knob killing the highs down to a distressingly low rumble. It just seems the tone knob doesnt really lower the tone in a normal range, more like it muffles it to an absurd level
      Last edited by Cs_gibs; 02-10-2020, 05:30 PM.


      • #4
        Have you made sure the copper foil is not touching anything it shouldn't?
        - Own Opinions Only -


        • #5
          I honestly didnt consider that as something that can interfere, just saw so many people do the same without issue. Ill give it a closer look now, make sure the hot wire isnt hitting any ground. Hopefully that saves me from buying a new switch


          • #6
            CRL switches are very reliable. Make sure you don't have a solder bead jammed in there somewhere or a bent contact.

            The only real difference in tone pot location with this setup is whether it's connected to the hot pickup lead to the volume pot, or to the wiper. With the volume up full there's no difference. My first test would be to disconnect the wire to the tone control and see if that brightens the sound. If it does, check for shorts as stated, but also check the pot resistance and see how it behaves when rotated. With humbuckers I sometimes need to drop to .015uf or even .010uf for the tone cap, depending on customer requirements. Some players just only use the tone pot sweep between (say) 8 and 10 and this can be a little too knife-edge to get the sweet spot. Reducing the cap distributes the useful range over a wider pot rotation.


            • #7
              That is definitely interesting to consider. I think the cutout issue is a bent contact. It has a sunken cavity for the switch so Im sure I hamfisted-ly bent something. The contact points in it seem really delicate and precise, so Im probably gonna get a new one instead of trying to bend anything back, its probably better long term. The hot wires and the ground seem adequately separated at every possible contact point, but ill probably use this test with the switch and trying new cap values as a chance to make sure the pot lugs have a bit more wiggle room. And Ill give that tone disconnect a shot, that seems like an interesting way to test it. For now with that switch shoddy Ill wait til i get a new one of those for a more consistent/accurate test.

              I appreciate everything you guys said, really helps with understanding how this stuff works. Ive been rather obsessive since this is a guitar for my cousin, who tends to make bad decisions when he gets restless. Having an excellent guitar to pick up is something I hope helps with that. Thanks again


              • #8
                One other thought - is the guitar cable good? The reason I ask Is I've worked on muddy guitars and pedalboards where the fault was with the cabling. The carbon-loaded screening that covers the insulation over the centre conductor wasn't stripped back and was touching the hot wire, and presented something like 10K Ohm to ground. Not all cables have this extra layer of screening (usually conductive plastic but with some Belden cables carbon impregnated fibre), but I always measure from tip to sleeve on one end of a disconnected cable to be certain it isn't a complication in loss of treble.

                As well as looking at the wiring you may also want to check the resistances with your DMM at various points. My thought is you have a lower than acceptable resistance between signal and ground somewhere.


                • #9
                  The extent of my knowledge on things i know how to measure from a multimeter is rather limited, mainly testing pots to make sure within a 10% variance for 500k’s(currently around 467k volume, 473k tone), reading cap values(orange drop at .021mf), Testing the output from braiding to hot wire leading to switch, measuring a test cable for output from jack(pretty consistent at 14k), and how to do continuity tests for grounding(all seem responsive for everything from output jack to pots to copper cavity to bridge, as well as humbucker rings that are metal). In turns of the cable, ive done continuity test from sleeve to sleeve and end to end, but thats the extent of how ive checked, or at least know what to check. Its a red dragon cable purchased fairly recently plugged to a TS808 OD(wired 9v rather than battery, I tend to unplug everything when not in use) to a Vox AC15C1. Its the setup I use for all my guitars currently. Is there anything outside of what ive measured that I should try? Im sure there are other measurable parts of the wiring that can show valuable readings, unfortunately all I know with DMM’s is what I said above. Also you mentioned using tip to sleeve on one end of disconnected cable, but not sure what to measure for and what is the ideal reading to see. These definitely sound like good things to know for troubleshooting, and I appreciate the insight


                  • #10
                    When checking a cable you should get a very low reading from tip to tip and ground to ground. Tip to ground should read open and any resistance reading indicates a fault.

                    A quick check of signal faults to ground is to turn the controls right up, keep one meter probe on a ground point and then check every signal cable solder joint to see if there's an unusually low resistance. In this case you should either read the resistance of a pickup (if deselected) or a pickup in parallel with the volume pot, I don't get too hooked up on actual numbers and visualise them as good/bad or high/low when I'm checking through. So with 500k pots I'm thinking either close to 500k (good) or close to 0 (bad) with the selected pickup.

                    Sometimes I get guitars in where the easiest thing to do is to establish a baseline and isolate sections. Firstly, that the pickups have output, then disconnect the controls and use a clip lead to connect the output socket directly to the switch. I can then see if it's a switching or control issue. Sometimes I'll use a separate socket on the end of a couple of clip leads and disconnect the guitar's output wiring. I can then connect this socket to my bench amp and clip onto wherever I want to establish the signal is good.

                    The main thing is to break down the problem, identify the faulty section, then isolate the fault within that section. Despite the relative simplicity of a circuit, in some ways that makes it more difficult because we have in our minds assumptions - "That looks OK" and them move on without actually testing what we see. When looking for faults always remind yourself of Enzo's quote "never think of a reason not to check something".