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I recently fitted and wired both a lipstick pickup at the neck and a strat pickup at the bridge of my cbg build, and fitted a DPDT 3 way switch. I then tapped the pole pieces in the 3 different positions, and it seemed OK.
I have attached the wiring diagram I worked to .
But after I strung the guitar up, I found that when it was plugged in, it was fine for a short time sound wise, but then the audio gradually dropped down, then off and then kept going through this same cycle. Gradually down, then off and gradually back on.
Nothing like a make and break connection problem.
This is by the way my very first complete wiring job but it seemed to go ok.
The volume and tone pots are 500k and as you will see the cap is on the tone.
If one of the pickups was working against the other, I could understand it, but it happens just the same in the bridge and neck positions, so I am baffled.
I hope someone can help.
Thanks In Advance

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Hi Phil,

Weird problem.  Did you use a heat sink when soldering the cap?  If not, you could have slightly fried the cap and it could be overheating and shutting down, grounding the signal from the pickup.  My guess is the cap is bad.  Also, I noticed that you wired the tone pot different than I do.  I solder the lead from the volume pot to the lug you soldered the cap to, and I solder the cap & ground to the center lug. This is not a diagram of your circuit, but you can see how I wire the cap.  I prefer using a Les Paul style 3 way switch and a volume/tone control for each pickup.

Good luck!

Thanks for your response, I will have to check this out. The cap was part of a pre wired harness that I bought from an online shop, so I didn't actually solder it on, so if I don't find another problem I will have to look at that, and in that regard, what value would be best, and pardon my lack of knowledge but what is a heat sink and how would I use it. This is my very first wiring job.
Thanks again.
What cap do you have on the tone pot? You might try 250k pots instead of 500. On your volume pot, do you have the short chunk of wire from the back of the pot to the third lug?

Phil,a heat sink in that scene,is just something to direct the heat away from whatever it is you are soldering,sort of an easier path for the heat to release rather than inside the cap,a light weight alligator clip will sometimes do

Hi yes there is, what's that about. Thanks for your response.

Lapsteel washboard said:
What cap do you have on the tone pot? You might try 250k pots instead of 500. On your volume pot, do you have the short chunk of wire from the back of the pot to the third lug?

Sounds like amp problem

20% of solder joints are fails., It may be in there somewere

It turns out that the lipstick pickup is the cheap plastic bodied type, except it wasn't cheap.
I've ordered a metal telecaster type so will see how that works out.
Thanks For Your Response

Phil, I don't like the way you did your wiring. Electrically, your setup is markedly different from the typical arrangement shown by Ted Crocker. I get that you want to share one set of pots with two pickups. Here are some things I don't like.

First, you've set up your pickups to be electrically open when not switched in, where in the typical arrangement the pickups are never separated from their respective pots.

Second, you've set up your potentiometers as rheostats. I haven't done an electrical analysis, but it seems to me that is a root of a problem in your wiring.

To be absolutely sure, you would make the setup with each pickup having its own set of pots. Minimally, you should set up the pot wiring as per the second diagram, and hopefully leaving an open pickup won't lead to audio problems when switching. That's why I put that "R7" in there, which would be a very large resistor (1M or bigger) if you put it in there. My guess is that you will get audible pops when you switch with an open pickup, but that's just a guess.


A note of clarification. In the first diagram, the top circuit follows the Ted Crocker diagram, the bottom circuit is the way Phil wired his pickups. The second diagram is a suggestion of how to wire Phil's setup; I'd try it without the R7 first.



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