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Old October 24th, 2018, 02:01 PM   #1 (permalink)
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EPI SG Low Bridge Pickup Volume

While replacing the input jack on my buddy's Epi SG, I noticed that the bridge pickup volume is half of the neck PU. With the switch in the middle I get a muddy sound until I turn the bridge PU volume to about 5 where I get a good sound from both PUs. Checked out an old post here with the similar issue and cleaned the pots and switch with no luck. The previous post did not mention what the final solution was as he took it to a luthier. The neck PU is reading 6.9K and the bridge PU is 10.6K. All of the pots read right around 500K. Rechecked all of the wiring and nothing looks out of place. Could it be the switch? Any ideas?
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Old October 24th, 2018, 02:37 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I attached the pickups, one at a time, directly to the output jack and the bridge PU is still about half the volume of the neck PU. That should rule out any issues with the pots, switch and wiring. Even though I am getting 10.6K on the bridge PU, could it be a bad pickup?
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Old October 25th, 2018, 02:17 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I'm assuming the pickup is correctly adjusted? Check the DC reading you're getting is what it should be - 10.6k is great if it should be 10.6k. It's not good if it should be 8 or 12 etc.

Could be the magnet needs recharging.
Takes seconds to do, if you've got the gear. Take the guitar/ pickup to a guitar repairer with a Gauss meter, to check the reading - if he's got a meter, it's likely he'll have the recharging equipment. Shouldn't cost much - a 'like for like' replacement pickup would be less than £30.
If it's a ceramic magnet, it's unlikely to be discharged and not possible to recharge, but new magnets aren't expensive ~£10.
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Old October 25th, 2018, 10:11 AM   #4 (permalink)
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The bridge pickup is in the least advantageous position to benefit from the amplitude of string vibration. Most SG players find that the height closest to the strings without engagement is optimal.
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Old October 25th, 2018, 03:09 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I believe these are ALNICO magnets. Will look for a replacement bridge PU. Thanks for the feedback.
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Old October 26th, 2018, 12:23 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Yer welcome.
When you set your pickups up, use Gibson's settings as a guide.
If you have them too close, they'll sound like s**t and you'll kill the systain.

EDIT: In a quiet five minutes this morning, I did a bit of 'research'. From what I can gather, the bridge pickup on the Epi SG, assuming they're the 57CH (sticker on the baseplate)pickups, should be around 14k.
Considering the trouble, it would suggest a short in the coil windings = probable rewind required... cheaper to replace the pickup.

Last edited by somebodyelseuk; October 26th, 2018 at 07:11 AM.
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Old October 26th, 2018, 02:54 PM   #7 (permalink)
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The pickups are actually mini-humbuckers. The guitar came stock with them and I don't know what year this guitar was made. My buddy ordered a Seymour Antiquity II bridge mini-humbucker that I will install when it comes in.
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Old October 26th, 2018, 04:47 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I'm pretty confident that you will like the SD Antiquity II. I have not played one of their mini-humbuckers, but they have a great reputation.
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Old November 2nd, 2018, 06:22 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Here is an update. Installed the new bridge PU and still had issues with low volume. Replaced the switch and volume pot with no luck. Disconnected the bridge tone pot and the PU is now working properly. Replaced the tone pot and cap and all is well. Go figure! I previously checked all pots and caps with my multi meter and the all read good. Learned an expensive lesson but my buddy is happy with the results.
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Old November 2nd, 2018, 06:37 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Interesting, so that tone pot was the culprit. It must have been draining off all that delicious volume. Well, they say that all's well that ends well.
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