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Where does this wire go? American Strat has no sound

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Where does this wire go? American Strat has no sound

Postby DC-Choppah » Sun Sep 29, 2019 1:02 am

I replaced the scratch gaurd on my 1979 American Fender Strat. But when I reassembled and plugged it in, no sound.

Taking it back apart I see a white wire has fallen off. It is connected to a tone pot.

This wire is live - meaning that when I touch it the amp buzzes.

Can anyone help me determine where this white wire goes so I can get this instrument back to playing.

Thank you kindly.


https://drive.google.com/open?id=10AeLf ... 5Ni64V8zZu

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1tWNfH ... iACvM9l5Rl

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1FyZcT ... UXcAallkf8

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1GEBI0 ... kcqJ1fJ3qc

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1X0iQr ... eP1OPY7Fmf
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Re: Where does this wire go? American Strat has no sound

Postby MOF » Sun Sep 29, 2019 1:26 am

I can’t tell where it came from, is there an obvious stump of wire protruding from some solder within the radius of the wire?
Keep the volume low and put the wire where it’s likely to go and then tap the pickups which are slightly microphonic in my experience, then you’ve found the place to re-solder to.
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Re: Where does this wire go? American Strat has no sound

Postby DC-Choppah » Sun Sep 29, 2019 2:01 am

It can reach any of the contacts of the 5-way switch.
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Re: Where does this wire go? American Strat has no sound

Postby DC-Choppah » Sun Sep 29, 2019 2:07 am

From the Fender site, for 1970s strats

https://support.fender.com/hc/en-us/art ... e-Diagrams


This diagram seems to show the connection (page 2).

https://p4.zdassets.com/hc/theme_assets ... A_SISD.pdf


It appears to go to the inner top post of the switch - the post that has the jumper wire.

Connecting it there, and the pickups do become active when tapping on them. Perhaps that's it?!?
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Re: Where does this wire go? American Strat has no sound

Postby DC-Choppah » Sun Sep 29, 2019 2:35 am

That was it!

Works now
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Re: Where does this wire go? American Strat has no sound

Postby blinddrew » Sun Sep 29, 2019 11:52 am

Excellent, happy to help! ;)
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Re: Where does this wire go? American Strat has no sound

Postby Wonks » Sun Sep 29, 2019 12:14 pm

It looked like the volume pot with an unconnected input wire, not a tone pot. An unconnected tone pot wire might make things sound a lot brighter, but is unlikely to kill all the sound.

But it's all fixed.

Some if those pot ground connections look a bit dry to me. Some don't flow out all over the surface but have 'blobbed' and probably only make a connection in a couple of places. The result of not getting the joint hot enough. The next time you change strings, I'd have a go at re-doing those joints.
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Re: Where does this wire go? American Strat has no sound

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Sun Sep 29, 2019 12:32 pm

I was going to say it came from the blade switch... only place it could be... but working out which terminal can be time-consuming unless there's an obvious fracture in the solder somewhere.

Some pretty dodgy looking wire stripping and soldering in amongst all that, though... :-(
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Re: Where does this wire go? American Strat has no sound

Postby DC-Choppah » Sun Sep 29, 2019 3:58 pm

Hmmm
I really need to have this instrument not flake out on me. There are a bunch of old connections in there and all the wires feel sort of old and brittle. Many old taped joints. Thanks for taking a look you guys.

I just finished fixing the neck joint and having a refret too.

I think I am going to order the wiring kit and switches and pots and replace all this old wiring. I want to keep the pickups - Keep the same Stratty sound!
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Re: Where does this wire go? American Strat has no sound

Postby DC-Choppah » Sun Sep 29, 2019 4:12 pm

Wonks wrote:It looked like the volume pot with an unconnected input wire, not a tone pot.

Thanks Wonks. I realize now that I had the knobs in the wrong place if you look at my picture. I had a tone knob on the volume. Ooops.


These guys have wiring kits and they are local to me so I prefer to use them and their parts are always very good. I won't go to Amazon for this stuff.

https://www.angela.com/wiringkits.aspx


There are many different Strat wiring kits here. I wonder which one will sound the same as what is on the guitar now as I am very happy with the sound and controls as they are. Just trying to make it robust for real world playing.
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Re: Where does this wire go? American Strat has no sound

Postby Folderol » Sun Sep 29, 2019 4:38 pm

I would say there's an element of "if it ain't broke, don't fix it". Bad soldering and taped joints need to be sorted, but if the pots and the switch and socket are OK, I'd leave them and just replace the dodgy wiring. Do one at a time and you won't have to work out where they go :)

I'd also be inclined to untwist them all as well. I know this goes against 'popular' opinion but it's much easier to work out where they go, and you then just fit miniature cable ties to make it all tidy. It also means you just snip the ties if you want to late make changes.
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Re: Where does this wire go? American Strat has no sound

Postby Sam Spoons » Sun Sep 29, 2019 4:42 pm

Yup, I'd say just replace the wires one at a time too (as long as the switches and pots are working ok). That way you know you won't be changing the sound by inadvertently replacing other components with different values.
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Re: Where does this wire go? American Strat has no sound

Postby DC-Choppah » Sun Sep 29, 2019 4:52 pm

Excellent guys! Thanks for that.

Just redo the old wiring then.

Yes the switch and pots all are working fine.
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Re: Where does this wire go? American Strat has no sound

Postby Wonks » Sun Sep 29, 2019 5:35 pm

For that approx. model year, the switch should be a 3-way one. If not, and it's a 5-way, then it's almost certainly been replaced at some time. So if you do start getting a dodgy pot and/or switch, then for authenticity, the kit with the 3-way switch is the one to go for, though the 5-way switch one below it in the list will be more versatile, whilst still giving you the same basic sounds in positions 1, 3 and 5.

Of course those position 2 and 4 sounds can be obtained by putting the 3-way switch in those in-between positions and hoping the switch stays there.
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Re: Where does this wire go? American Strat has no sound

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Sun Sep 29, 2019 5:38 pm

I certainly agree with the 'no twist' policy. It would be different if you were dealing with balanced signals, but you're not, so twisting wires doesn't help with anything and just makes the routing confusing...

But while I can see the sense in replacing one wire at a time, my own preference is to strip it all out and start from a clean page... That way you're not hampered by the previous wiring layout compromises... But that's just me. I'd draw out the existing wiring connections first (and take lots of pictures just in case), and then with the schematic you can work out how to rationalise the grounding and avoid loops, which is a common problem in standard guitar wiring arrangements.

In the ideal world, there would be only one star earth point, and that would be at the output socket sleeve connection. However, that's not always practical to do, so it might be better to make the star earth point at the master volume pot. Just watch out for multiple ground paths creating loops -- especially if the recess is copper-lined (which will usually ground the pot metal bodies, in which case they won't need separate ground wires as well!)

H
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Re: Where does this wire go? American Strat has no sound

Postby Sam Spoons » Sun Sep 29, 2019 5:49 pm

Hugh Robjohns wrote:But while I can see the sense in replacing one wire at a time, my own preference is to strip it all out and start from a clean page... That way you're not hampered by the previous wiring layout compromises... But that's just me. I'd draw out the existing wiring connections first (and take lots of pictures just in case), and then with the schematic you can work out how to rationalise the grounding and avoid loops, which is a common problem in standard guitar wiring arrangements.

Me to but the OP was asking the question, implying he isn't confident with guitar wiring (forgive me if I'm doing you an injustice DC) so I and, I suspect Foldy, were suggesting a relatively foolproof method of retaining the original wiring and sound.
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Re: Where does this wire go? American Strat has no sound

Postby Wonks » Sun Sep 29, 2019 6:08 pm

Twisting the wires is still supposed to give a small measure of benefit by the ground wire being 'in front' of the signal wire for some of its path in relation to a source radiating noise, and so reducing the level of any noise picked up.

I don't know by how much, or if it works at all, but even if it's just a bit, then it's worth doing and it costs nothing to do.

You get wires twisted together in guitar amps to help reduce noise pickup, no balanced signals there, so it's pretty standard practice.
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Re: Where does this wire go? American Strat has no sound

Postby Folderol » Sun Sep 29, 2019 7:02 pm

Wonks wrote:You get wires twisted together in guitar amps to help reduce noise pickup, no balanced signals there, so it's pretty standard practice.

With one exception, I've only ever seen that for heater wiring. This makes sense as they are generating a 50Hz field, and twisting them very tightly together will dramatically reduce this. If EF37A has seen otherwise, I bow to his experience.

The exception being the pickup leads themselves. Until they reach the rest of the circuit then to all practical purposes they are balanced and are only twisted as a pair, not with anything else, and if one lead is already designated as ground and connected to a shield or ground point, they are no longer balanced so shouldn't be twisted. Instead (if you want belt and braces) the grounded one should be a braid wrapping the 'live' one. Once they hit the rest (including other pickup leads), all bets are off.
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Re: Where does this wire go? American Strat has no sound

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Sun Sep 29, 2019 7:17 pm

Wonks wrote:Twisting the wires is still supposed to give a small measure of benefit by the ground wire being 'in front' of the signal wire for some of its path in relation to a source radiating noise, and so reducing the level of any noise picked up.

I think I'd label that under 'myths'... :-) If you're worried about interference, used screened wire..

You get wires twisted together in guitar amps to help reduce noise pickup, no balanced signals there, so it's pretty standard practice.

More myth methinks. I can see the convenience and neatness benefits... But the science just doesn't support the reduced noise pickup argument for unbalanced and unscreened connections. However, it could prove beneficial if the twisted wires are carrying a balanced signal and feeding a differential input -- which may indeed be the case in some parts of the power stage circuitry in some valve guitar amps.
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Re: Where does this wire go? American Strat has no sound

Postby zenguitar » Sun Sep 29, 2019 10:38 pm

I’m from the Edwyn Collins/Orange Juice school of guitar wiring.

Rip it out and start again ;)

Andy :beamup:
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