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Thread: HBII Wiring Issues?

  1. #1
    Senior Member LJD's Avatar
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    HBII Wiring Issues?

    Not sure my guitar is quite right. Back story:

    Last summer/fall I ordered my HBII artist package with 53/10 pickups, but it came with 57/08's. The dealer offered to have the 53/10's shipped out and installed by his tech in the store. He assured me the tech knew what he was doing, but in fact he did not. They gave me the guitar back and the electronics were a disaster. Some positions out of phase, louder, quieter than others, the piezo was blasting. I was not happy. Then the dealer arranged for me to go with the local PRS sales rep to visit the PRS west coast A&R rep (local to Los Angeles) and he would wire the guitar for me. He seemed to get it right and I was happy, but some time has passed and I'm not sure everything's right.

    I have another guitar with humbuckers that have lower output than the 53/10's (7.2k vs the 8.4k on the 53/10 neck). When I plug in each guitar the 53/10's are noticeably quieter, and a bit "anemic" sounding in comparison, weaker. This doesn't make sense to me. Could there be a wiring problem? My 53/10's do have the extra wire for coil splitting, and they aren't hooked up but they are"taped off". Could something have been damaged by my dealer's tech? Is there signal loss with the piezo system (similar to signal loss when using too many true bypass pedals)? BTW I have tried adjusting the pickup height and that is not the issue.
    Thoughts? Suggestions?

    Thanks!

    EDIT: wanted to add that the piezo is a bit stonger/louder than the magnetics
    Last edited by LJD; 05-26-2013 at 07:14 PM.

  2. #2
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    I think the spare wire should go somewhere even if its just to ground.
    I am not a luthier but i am in my own workshop.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member LJD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carpincowboy View Post
    I think the spare wire should go somewhere even if its just to ground.
    The white wires are for the splitting. Hard to see here but they're wrapped up in their own sheath of tape, and the sheath is taped to the bundle. Looks clean to me, but I don't know much about wiring, willing to learn:

  4. #4
    Plank Spanker justmund's Avatar
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    Tap wire should be taped up, unless it's being used for coil tap in which case it would go to a switch (e.g. a push/pull pot) which when activated, shorts the tap wire to ground.

    Very difficult to diagnose without hearing or seeing, I think your best bet is to contact PRS Customer Service directly (via email) and see what they think. In my opinion your dealer is responsible for making good on this one, and they should have sent your guitar back to the factory in the first instance.

  5. #5
    I was severely impressed Herr Squid's Avatar
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    I put 53/10s in my Singlecut Hollowbody a while back. I made darn good and sure that the white wires were taped up and isolated from anything conductive so my humbuckers would stay humbucking . Hard to say what's going on with the white wires in your picture 'cause they disappear into that tape bundle.

  6. #6
    Senior Member garrett's Avatar
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    Resistance is not a good indicator of output unless you're comparing two identical designs. The fairest comparison would be a side-by-side playing test with another HBII with 53/10's. Even then, you'd want to match string brand/gauge and make sure pickup heights are identical. It's plausible that the other pickups you mentioned have a higher inductance, which would account for the extra output. After all that, some guitars just sound different anyway.

    I don't have experience with the piezo, but remember that you're going from a passive magnetic signal to an active piezo signal. I wouldn't be surprised if there's a difference between the outputs, but one of the piezo owners around here can advise you for sure on that.
    --Garrett--

  7. #7
    Senior Member LJD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by garrett View Post
    It's plausible that the other pickups you mentioned have a higher inductance, which would account for the extra output.
    Is inductance a function of the pickup itself or the overall wiring? I know they're very different guitars but I've compared it to a ME4 and got the same results.

  8. #8
    Senior Member garrett's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LJD View Post
    Is inductance a function of the pickup itself or the overall wiring? I know they're very different guitars but I've compared it to a ME4 and got the same results.
    Pickup. It's possible that something isn't right in the wiring, though; a loose connection maybe. Take it to someone who is really good with wiring and have them look it over.
    --Garrett--

  9. #9
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    Email customer service, Matt will point you in the right direction (possible sending the guitar to the factory).

  10. #10
    Senior Member LJD's Avatar
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    What's this firm wire that goes through the block under the bridge?


  11. #11
    Senior Member garrett's Avatar
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    Bridge ground wire.

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