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Restoring 70s STRAT low pickup volume

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  • #16
    It looks like from the pictures that this guitar had the cavity shielded. I don’t think that scheme is stock.

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    • #17
      thought i'd make a video to ilustrate the problems, also, pickup height is as high as it can get without pulling down the strings

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      • #18
        In vintage strats the tone control does not work on the bridge PU.
        I am pretty sure your middle and neck PUs have broken coils. That's why they read open on the meter. You still geat some thin sound because of the capacitive coupling between the disrupted winding parts. Had the same problem with my '68 strat.
        - Own Opinions Only -

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        • #19
          I think the verdict is in: open coils on mid & neck. You can choose to have them rewound. Or buy new - or used. 78-79 isn't in the time span where folks practically worship the pickups. If it was my guitar, I'd select a new set from a reputable builder. Maybe one of the guys here on MEF. Or Seymour Duncan, Lindy Fralin, etc. The pickups Fender has to offer should not be neglected. Overall, plenty of good choices. You could throw a dart, hit any of 'em, and come up with good pickups. Choose to rewind? Once again there's an excellent choice of MEFsters right here that could do it, or you could send 'em off to Lindy who has an excellent reputation. Might opt to send all 3 so he can create a balanced set.

          What I recommend to my customers, when it comes to buying pickups, speakers too, is listen to live bands. If you hear something that grabs your ears in the right place, find out what it is & get that. These days when live shows are all on hold, either you have to use your memory, or hope you can get some idea from recordings as to what you'd like. Personally, I've always been a fan of Robin Trower. He uses a mixed kit of Fender pickups, one's a Texas Special, I don't know the others offhand. But there's a YT video interview where he explains it all. There may be some Strat player whose sound you like & can find out thru YT or other means just what they've got in theirs.
          Enjoy. Every. Sandwich.

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          • #20
            Bummer so the neck an middle are shot :\ i don't want to be messing with the original parts so i'll have to sleep on it and come up with an idea. Probably will go with winding the pickups if it comes to that.

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            • #21
              Could you please update your profile for your location?
              When it comes to parts and having things worked on, it makes it easier for us all to help you, if we know where you are?
              Thanks,
              T
              Last edited by big_teee; 04-30-2020, 08:06 AM.


              "If Wishes Were Horses, Beggars Would Ride!" Scottish Proverb 1600s
              Terry

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              • #22
                Thanks for the location update.
                If you were US stateside I would offer to rewind.
                You need to find someone in EU, or attempt to rewird them yourself.
                The reason for the low output, is probably this.
                The coil start lead is against the magnet, moisture corrosion will eat the wire up at the start lead, making it non grounded.
                The output is connected to the finish lead, and the signal goes around the whole coil without terminating to ground.
                You get some sound and signal, but without the ground, no full signal!
                That is a pretty common thing with old fender single coil pickups.
                T


                "If Wishes Were Horses, Beggars Would Ride!" Scottish Proverb 1600s
                Terry

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                • #23
                  Yeah i see the problem now, i'll have to wait until the corona virus lockdown ends before going anywhere with this.

                  Still, i might just try to inspect the pickups up close and heat up the solder joints at the lugs like this guy did:



                  It was going to be done anyway to get them rewound

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                  • #24
                    With the pickup out on the table, inspect the eyelets.
                    The start lead should have the black wire soldered to it.
                    The finish lead should have the white or yellow wire soldered to it.
                    The start wire will go from the eyelet under the coil, to the magnets.
                    If the finish lead is broke, it is on top, and you can reterminate it.
                    If the start lead is broke, and resoldering doesn't fix it, then a rewind is in order.
                    GL,
                    T


                    "If Wishes Were Horses, Beggars Would Ride!" Scottish Proverb 1600s
                    Terry

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                    • #25
                      Before going near the pickups with a solder iron, I'd first check the pickup DCR right at the pickup wires to eliminate the possibility of a bad selector switch.
                      "Yeah, well, you know, that's just, like, your opinion, man."

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                      • #26
                        thank you guys for all the good tips, i'm giving it a look tomorrow !

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by The Dude View Post
                          Before going near the pickups with a solder iron, I'd first check the pickup DCR right at the pickup wires to eliminate the possibility of a bad selector switch.
                          I thought the same thing. But then after reading Helmholtz post (LOVE that guy) I realized the presence of any signal at all probably means the switch is working and the pickups are faulted.
                          "Take two placebos, works twice as well." Enzo

                          "Now get off my lawn with your silicooties and boom-chucka speakers and computers masquerading as amplifiers" Justin Thomas

                          "Being born on third base and thinking that you must have hit a triple is pure delusion!" Steve A

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                          • #28
                            Not necessarily. Switch contacts can become corroded and have some resistance rather than being a dead short. This will also lower the output level. It could be a few different things. It's certainly worth the couple of minutes spent checking pickup resistance right at the pickup wires to be sure.
                            "Yeah, well, you know, that's just, like, your opinion, man."

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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by The Dude View Post
                              It's certainly worth the couple of minutes spent checking pickup resistance right at the pickup wires to be sure.
                              +1
                              "Take two placebos, works twice as well." Enzo

                              "Now get off my lawn with your silicooties and boom-chucka speakers and computers masquerading as amplifiers" Justin Thomas

                              "Being born on third base and thinking that you must have hit a triple is pure delusion!" Steve A

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                              • #30
                                Two pickups open would be unusual. Given the Strat wiring scheme I would be first looking elsewhere. An easy check before condemning both pickups is to desolder each hot pickup wire and connect the pickup directly to an amp and see if there's an improvement.

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