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Pinnacle to the Pit
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485 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Almost two weeks ago, I grabbed a set of EMG's that I haven't used in a few months (85/60)
and the EMG solderless harness that they were originally wired up with.

I've tried a several different things, so I'm going to try to be as concise as possible, to avoid
typing a novel.

When I hook everything up (1Vol, 1Tone, 3-way blade) I can't turn the volume down and they sound like crap.

I thought maybe something on the solderless harness went bad, so I hardwired everything
with brand new pots, wires and jack. --- Problem persists.

Swapped the battery --- Problem persists.

I connected the wiring completely outside of the guitar, just to make sure it wasn't
anything to do with the guitar, itself. --- Problem persists.

(A short clip of the issue:
)

I've followed the wiring diagrams exactly, and double and triple checked time and time again.

I've been going back and forth with techs at EMG, but all they want me to do is send them in to inspect and replace (which I don't have the money for).

I grabbed my LTD that came factory with EMG's (2Vol, 1Tone, 3 way toggle) and the individual
volumes work fine. So, I took the pickups that came in the LTD and hooked them up to both harnesses, and the volume still doesn't work. --- Ruling out the pickups being the problem.

I swapped the 3-way blade out with a 3-way toggle. --- Problem persists.

Anyone ever have this issue? I can't be the only one. The hell am I doing wrong??

I've attached the schematics that I used.

Appreciate it, fellers! :wub:
 

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Turd Furguson
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1,847 Posts
Your probably not doing anything wrong. You probably have a bad buss or something. Spend the $10 and send it in and let them figure it out.
 

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Pinnacle to the Pit
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485 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Bus? The one that comes with the solderless harness?

I've done solderless and hardwired.
 

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Mod Britannia
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7,233 Posts
So you've replaced every component and it still has the same problem? Have you tried replacing one component at a time?
 

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Mr. Negative Pants, ,
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14,796 Posts
If the volume doesn't work, regardless of the pickups, and you've swapped pots and switches, then i would investigate the wiring downstream from the wiring harness… check your grounds and your output jack. Volume controls work by essentially shunting some of the signal to ground… a pot is essentially a variable resistor. If your ground is not connected properly, then the volume control won't work.

You ARE using a stereo output jack, right?
 

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Safe Spaces Advocate
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3,125 Posts
This is going to sound stupid and simplistic, but could you make sure that the connectors under the pickups themselves are right side up?
 

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Pinnacle to the Pit
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485 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
If the volume doesn't work, regardless of the pickups, and you've swapped pots and switches, then i would investigate the wiring downstream from the wiring harness… check your grounds and your output jack. Volume controls work by essentially shunting some of the signal to ground… a pot is essentially a variable resistor. If your ground is not connected properly, then the volume control won't work.

You ARE using a stereo output jack, right?
Yes, all the parts are the correct parts. The solderless harness came direct from EMG and I've used it before with these exact pickups. Everything I'm trying to put back into the guitar is what I had in the guitar for a couple years before removing it a few months ago for passives. Now that I'm trying to go back to active, I'm getting this issue.

The harness that I soldered in, the parts and wires came from the EMG packaging. They were never used. Never even left the box. I checked all connections with a multi-meter and everything was good.

Even though the bridge ground is not pictured in the diagrams I posted, I even tried soldering it in because it is pictured in a few other ones. But that didn't work either.
 

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Mr. Negative Pants, ,
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14,796 Posts
Do the 81/60 work in the wiring harness for your LTD? That seems to be the only combination you haven't tried.

It sounds to me like you might have a short in the output jack on that particular guitar. That's the only thing that can explain the volume control not working, regardless of the pickups, pots, or switch installed. Use your meter and check for continuity of your ground circuit, and then to make sure the ground isn't crossed with either the power or the signal at the jack.
 

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Pinnacle to the Pit
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485 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Do the 81/60 work in the wiring harness for your LTD? That seems to be the only combination you haven't tried.
Do you mean the 81 that came factory with the LTD and the 60 I'm trying to re-install in the other guitar (Schecter)?
If so, I have tried that (forgot to mention in initial post). I installed the 60 and the 85 one-by-one in the bridge position of the LTD before installing them both at the same time. Both worked fine with the 81 and both worked fine together.

It sounds to me like you might have a short in the output jack on that particular guitar. That's the only thing that can explain the volume control not working, regardless of the pickups, pots, or switch installed. Use your meter and check for continuity of your ground circuit, and then to make sure the ground isn't crossed with either the power or the signal at the jack.
But I've used two different output jacks. One with the solderless harness and one with the harness I soldered. What are the odds of them both being messed up?

The jacks are wired the right way. I know this because the tech at EMG asked me to try swapping them and I put them back afterwards.

Side note:
I don't know if this will make any difference at all, but considering that the LTD is 2vol 1tone, I'm going to try adding another volume knob in with solderless harness. I'll post my results.
 

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Mr. Negative Pants, ,
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14,796 Posts
So, we know:
  1. Both pickups work, individually and separately.
  2. A second set of pickups verifies that the issue is somewhere in the re-installed harness(es).
  3. Two sets of controls, including pots, switches and jacks have been swapped out.
  4. The problem exists whether using quick-connects or soldered connections.

There has to be a wiring fault somewhere. Have you done continuity checks on your signal and ground circuits?
 

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Pinnacle to the Pit
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485 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
So, we know:
  1. Both pickups work, individually and separately.
  2. A second set of pickups verifies that the issue is somewhere in the re-installed harness(es).
  3. Two sets of controls, including pots, switches and jacks have been swapped out.
  4. The problem exists whether using quick-connects or soldered connections.

There has to be a wiring fault somewhere. Have you done continuity checks on your signal and ground circuits?
Right. However, both the soldered harness and solderless are quick-connects to the pickups, themselves.

I just added a *second volume knob via this wiring diagram (attached) and the volumes work fine.

Edit:
Yes, I've done continuity checks several times.
 

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Pinnacle to the Pit
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485 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
Uh, so I just rewired it back to 1vol 1tone, and just for shits and giggles, I took that second volume pot that I just added in the mix and used it as the 1 volume instead of the one I was originally using. And it appears to be working correctly. (I won't say for sure that it's resolved until I install it all back in the guitar and it's working)

Which would point to the original solderless pot AND the pot I soldered in being bad, right? What the hell are the odds of that happening???

Before I install it back in the guitar, I'm going to swap the pot that I soldered in the other harness and see if they work in there, too.

Edit:
Wait, can the original solderless pot even have been bad if it was working with the 2Vol configuration?
Am I losing my mind? I'll answer that: Abso-fucking-lutely.
 

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Pinnacle to the Pit
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485 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Well, I don't know for sure what the problem was, but they're working as they should now, and it's all installed back in the guitar.
I'm not 100% going to blame it on the volume pot(s), but after swapping the one out on the solderless harness, everything started working. :shrug:
I'll just blame it on a poltergeist.

I didn't have time to get the soldering iron out and swap the pot on the other harness, but I'm about to be swapping some Blackouts from a friend's guitar and I'll try those on it and see what happens.

Thanks for the help guys! Sorry if I wasted your time! :wub:
 

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Registered
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184 Posts
I think we've all played the "why won't this work" pickup game - so frustrating! Glad you got it sorted :)

I went round in circles for a day not too long ago, turned out to be a dead EMG60. Really low output on it. Actually sounded good for clean though lol

Steve.
Fireland
 

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Premium Member
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549 Posts
If the volume doesn't work, regardless of the pickups, and you've swapped pots and switches, then i would investigate the wiring downstream from the wiring harness… check your grounds and your output jack. Volume controls work by essentially shunting some of the signal to ground… a pot is essentially a variable resistor. If your ground is not connected properly, then the volume control won't work.

You ARE using a stereo output jack, right?
I was just about to ask if he was running a stereo output jack.
 
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