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FDP Forum / Guitar Mods, Repairs, and Projects / Bad NEW Switchcraft Jack, - Who woulda thunk

stratman727

USA/Michigan

Sep 14th, 2017 07:46 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I recently purchased a used Squire Affinity tele. The big thing for me is the feel of the neck, and this one felt good.

I got it home and played it, and decided that the stock ceramic pickups just weren't doing it for me. No problem, as I know that the electronics on these are the week spot.

I had a control plate, CTS pots, CRL 3 way Switch, and knobs on hand.

I ordered a set of 63 Tele Vintage Wound Professional Series Pickups from GFS. I also order orange drop caps, an eletrosocket, pushback cloth wire and a switchraft jack from Stew Mac. I also ordered another switchcraft jack off of ebay (I actually did that first and was concerned that it would not arrive in time for the rest of the build).

I prepopulated the control plate with the pots and switch, and once the rest of the components came in I did the wiring and added the caps to the control plate.

Come Saturday afternoon, I had time to do the pickup and electronics swap. When I was done, the guitar had a nasty 60 cycle hum, but I was working under a florescent light, so I turned it off and most of it went away.

Strange though, the signal wouldn't register on my tuner pedal. Swapped cords, no change. So I changed guitars to make sure the tuner didn't take a dump. No, it worked fine.

I started tracking my work, realized that one leg of the tone cap wasn't soldered, so I fixed that. Still the same issue.

I reflowed all of my joints, and still that buzz kept haunting me.

I keep a black plastic output jack with test leads in my tool kit, so I started at the individual pickups, no buzz, and a good signal. Went to the connections on the switch, same thing, good signal. I went down the line and everything was good, until I got to the switchcraft jack, buzzzzzzzzz.

I thought it may be some sort of grounding issue with the electrosoket, but no. I removed the electrosocket from the jack and it still buzzed.

Luckily I had the extra jack I ordered from eBay, that showed up that morning. I used that one and everything was good.

The moral of the story, just because it has a brand name on the component, doesn't mean that it's perfect.

I contacted Stew Mac, and explained the situation, and they sent out a replacement without any issue.

(This message was last edited by stratman727 at 10:09 AM, Sep 14th, 2017)

Pinetree
Moderator Emeritus
(with many stars)

NW Pennsylvania

Sep 14th, 2017 08:36 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

"Just because it's new doesn't mean it's any good."


That's long been my mantra.



stratman727

USA/Michigan

Sep 14th, 2017 08:57 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

So other than connecting the jack to some sort of load (pickup, signal generator etc.) how would you test it to see if it's bad before you install it?

009
Contributing Member
*****

USA

Sep 14th, 2017 09:07 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

"I ordered a set of 63 Tele Vintage Wound Professional Series Pickups from GFS."

What do you think of these? "Authentic" sounding?

stratman727

USA/Michigan

Sep 14th, 2017 09:28 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I can't say anything about "Authentic" sounding. They do sound good to my ears, as the originals had a very brittle ice pick tone.

I've had love/hate relationships with the Tele's I've had in the past, but had been jonesing for one, and this was a cost effective way of getting rid of the GAS.

Te 52

Laws of Physics

strictly enforced
Sep 14th, 2017 03:12 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I can't see a properly wired jack creating a buzz. I suspect you had the hot and ground leads to the jack swapped.

In any case, glad you got it fixed.

Peegoo
Contributing Member
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Creed

Clearwaterrrrr Revival
Sep 14th, 2017 03:48 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

The way to test a jack is with a meter or continuity tester.

The idea is to confirm continuity across the tip contact and its solder tab. Do the same across the barrel (where the nut screws down) and its solder tab.

I agree with Te52; you brobably had the leads flipped the wrong way round on the solder tabs.

Hammond101
Contributing Member
**********

So. Cal. USA

Sep 14th, 2017 03:53 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

"I can't see a properly wired jack creating a buzz. I suspect you had the hot and ground leads to the jack swapped."

This is what I was thinking. Unless the jack was shorted (no sound) how would it be bad unless it was dirty and not making a good connection hence noise, crackle, ect.

Now I have had Switchcraft shorting jack for use as inputs on guitar amps not short correctly causing noise.

When I install a new jack in a guitar I always clean it with alcohol and check tension of the tip connector prior.

BTW I believe that Switchcraft jacks are no longer an American product. Still the best out there but....the factory has moved.


stratman727

USA/Michigan

Sep 15th, 2017 07:59 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I can confirm that the leads were not flipped when I soldered them, and I soldered them in the same configuration on the new jack which worked flawlessly.

I didn't meter the old jack, but will do so.

ejm

usa

Sep 15th, 2017 08:59 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Peegoo's test is 99.9999999% correct.

For that extra miniscule insignificant it will never happen and if it does it's a sign you should buy a lottery ticket factor, I always check between terminals that should NOT be connected as well. In this case that would be between hot and ground.

Like I said, it will probably never happen. But somewhere along the line I got into this habit of doing so.

And I'm with the others. A wiring short would give no sound. A buzz? I'm not sure how a jack could cause that.


stratman727

USA/Michigan

Sep 15th, 2017 10:51 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I'm not sure how a jack would cause a buzz either, but that's what happened.

I checked every component through the circuit before and after each solder joint, and all was quiet until I tested it at the solder lugs on the jack, and that's where the buzz was introduced. I desoldered the jack, check the wires from the control cavity, and it was silent. Connected the jack, reflowed the solder joints and there it was again. Put a new jack in the circuit and all was quiet.

Peegoo
Contributing Member
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Creed

Clearwaterrrrr Revival
Sep 15th, 2017 03:03 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Strange indeed!

Does the jack cavity have shielding paint in it?

Cal-Woody

USA/California

Why do I keep fixing things that work?
Sep 15th, 2017 09:44 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Good question! It can short out if the jack had touched the shielding paint and have caused a weak or distorted sounding hum. Your 60 cycle type of buzz. Very good point!

Peegoo
Contributing Member
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Creed

Clearwaterrrrr Revival
Sep 16th, 2017 05:52 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Yeah, because a jack either works or it doesn't. An open ground can also cause that symptom.

stratman727

USA/Michigan

Sep 18th, 2017 11:36 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

No shielding in the cavity.

It is strange. This is the first time I have experienced this, and I've been playing with electronics since the early 80's.

Bubbalou

USA

THE LOW END OF UPPER TEJAS
Sep 18th, 2017 09:14 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

That is very weird. Defective insulator maybe???


stratman727

USA/Michigan

Sep 19th, 2017 06:35 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I finally got around to metering the jack, connectivity between the solder lugs....

The only thing I can figure is what Bubbalou mentioned, a defective insulator causing just enough of a short so that a slight signal was passing through the circuit.

Peegoo
Contributing Member
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Deus

ex Machina
Sep 19th, 2017 07:04 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

If there were a short between the conductors, it would've been quiet. Even a resistive short will do that.

You can demonstrate this by plugging a guitar cable into an amp and touching the exposed plug's tip with a finger. BUZZZZZZZ.

Next, pinch the tip and sleeve at the same time between finger and thumb (resistive short). Quiet.

Bubbalou

USA

THE LOW END OF UPPER TEJAS
Sep 20th, 2017 07:46 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Te 52 I think You are on Target and Peego you are correct about resistance in insulator causing no signal. My old memory is bad. I had this reverse leads at output Jack causing buzz years ago. Gary exits to corner 😉

FDP Forum / Guitar Mods, Repairs, and Projects / Bad NEW Switchcraft Jack, - Who woulda thunk




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