Weird pickup behavior -- new Custom Shop Pearly Gates neck

David Garner

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Y'all, I have a doozy here. I've already started the process to return it to the Custom Shop for repairing or rewinding, but I'm baffled.

So I install the pickup, get it working great, everything's good. Come back and it's dead. Check the status at the pot and it reads infinity. Pull the pickup, same. Pickup is dead. Cover has never been off, nothing funny like that, so if the coil is nicked, it wasn't me.

But then the craziest thing happens. Come back after a while and it reads normal again.

Is it possible there is a nick on the coil that shorts out after the coil heats up from use? Or from temp changes? I've had dead pickups and I've had live pickups, but I've never had a zombie pickup before. Any thoughts are appreciated.
 

ARandall

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Maybe a mechanical short. And putting it in a different spot/alignment moved things enough that it no longer was doing it.
 

David Garner

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That’s what I’m thinking too. Dennis at the Custom Shop was baffled too. It’s on the way back right now. I’m curious to see what they find.
 

cooljuk

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It's not actually as uncommon as you probably think. I see stuff like that regularly.

The most likely cause, IME, is the finish of the slug coil, which is connected the hot center of the hookup lead and tapped off, is pressed against the inside cover, the sharp solder is piercing the tape a little, and the connection is shorting out to the cover. ....maybe only when you hold it a certain way or mount it, maybe only when it's warm or cold. Maybe when you look at it too closely or from the wrong angle. Just enough to be intermittent.

...but there are at least a half-dozen other possibilities for that behavior, as well.
 

David Garner

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Thanks @cooljuk . Good to know it’s relatively normal. I was thinking this might be in my future:

 

AcVox

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It's great to hear how well you were looked after by Seymour Duncan, I love their pickups, and have been using them in builds including my own guitars for many yrs.

If you guys don't mind I'd like to ask if the tech people at S Duncan would be prepared to look at a set of PAF Antiquities I bought used, with an unusual feature in the bridge humbucker ?
As I say they are used, so I may be out of luck. What do you all think?
 

David Garner

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I wouldn't hesitate to reach out. Mincer over at the SD forum (and at TGP) is a really good resource -- I don't know if he works there or used to or whatever but he is a fount of information about their processes.
 

JeffH66

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AcVox.....(and David Garner), Mincer (Dave is his name) does not work for Duncan, but he is an Admin at their User Group Forum and is very knowledgeable. I know for a fact that Duncan will look at your used Antiquity. Depending on what the issue is, there might be a charge from nominal to who knows what.....it all comes down to how severe the problem is. I’ve been a member of the forum over there since 1999, and I’ve seen them fix used pickups for free more times than I can count....or rewind or otherwise repair one for $10 or something just for goodwill. I’ve been to the factory twice and they are the nicest bunch of people you’d ever want to meet.

Send them an email or call the repair department and I’d be shocked if they didn’t take excellent care of you. If it turns out you need help reaching someone at Duncan, let me know. I’ll send MJ an email for you and let her know what your problem is. Sometimes it takes her a while to get back to emails depending on what she has going on, but she always does.
 

rich85

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Fender have been having problems with the solder on the pickup for around a year. Not sure if your was the same problem but its usually a 2 second fix you just flow some new solder onto it.

My mate runs a guitar shop and has had many Fenders and pickup sets come back that he has quickly fixed up.
 


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