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Alembic Club » Owning an Alembic » Troubleshooting » Archive through November 30, 2011 » The magic touch, has killed my electronics! « Previous Next »

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Advanced Member
Username: jbybj

Post Number: 306
Registered: 6-2006
Posted on Wednesday, July 28, 2010 - 9:52 pm:   Edit Post

So I received my used Elan pickups and electronics (Vol, blend, filter, and Q switch) in the mail. Made an easy repair to one of the pickup connectors, (resoldered the wires to the gold leads), and tested them. I connected a battery, tapped lightly on the pups, checked all the pots and the filter. Everything appeared to be in perfect order. There was a good S/N, plenty of gain, and the filter was doing what it's sposed to do.

This was followed by gentle handling as I tested the fit in the new control cavity, and the mounting in the pickguard that was made for this application.

Finally install the pups and the electronics, power them up, and there is very low output, the volume pot is making about 10 times more noise than when I first turned it, and after about 15 seconds of power, it starts to output this lovely, fuzzy, fluffy, white noise. Still low output from the pup under the noise, but a random, variable poofing over everything.

swapped pups, cleaned and exercised all the pins on the circuit board, and output jack. Installed another brand new battery.

The low output/white noise symptoms repeated another 3 or 4 times, with nice consistency. White noise remained when pups were disconnected.

So, it seems to me that I need to send this stuff into Alembic and hope for a simple solution/repair. But before I did that, I wanted to see if this scenario rings any bells in the collective cornucopia of wisdom, that is the Alembic forum. I've tried to cover all the bases, but......................

Thanks, JBY

Oh yeah, my magic touch, Within a few days of this unfortunate circumstance, I had removed a fully functional Bartolini pickup from one bass, and installed it in another. First test in the new bass revealed that there was no output for the D string. E, A, and G were there, a bit distorted, but nothing from the D. The magic touch........

(Message edited by jbybj on July 28, 2010)
Username: davehouck

Post Number: 9505
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Thursday, July 29, 2010 - 7:15 am:   Edit Post

Did you exercise the pots? Check the battery leads, especially at the clip for the battery?

Does the pickguard have shielding on the underside to which all the components are snugged up for proper grounding?
Senior Member
Username: terryc

Post Number: 1299
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Thursday, July 29, 2010 - 8:07 am:   Edit Post

In addition to dave's comments and I know this may sound over the top but did you 'ground' yourself to a metal object(as you do when handling PC components)
some people generate more static than others.
A long shot I know but it has happened.
Advanced Member
Username: jbybj

Post Number: 307
Registered: 6-2006
Posted on Thursday, July 29, 2010 - 8:44 am:   Edit Post

Not much static electricity in my house this time of year, and I don't remember sparking the board, but anything's possible. What would be the implications and fix for a static attack?

Dave, there is a shield that all the pots were grounded to, by contact. But, I haven't opened up the batter clip. You are suggesting that a short in the power connections might cause my symptoms? I'll check that out tonight when I get home, thanks.....

Even though I thought I had considered everything, I knew it was worth asking here......

Senior Member
Username: terryc

Post Number: 1302
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Friday, July 30, 2010 - 6:53 am:   Edit Post

High static can fuse some chips but I don't think the pre amp chips are as sensitive as computer chips BUT I may be wrong.

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