The Elusive Firefly

Discussion in 'Guitars' started by OMB, May 9, 2018.

  1. chicago231

    chicago231 New Member

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    That must mean my neck pickup isn't putting anything out, whether that is wiring or knob or pickup. My knobs are also zero-ed out to 2 different settings that don't correlate to volume/tone. Looks like I have my excuse to replace everything.
     
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  2. chicago231

    chicago231 New Member

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    Ok I'm all in. Assume my luthier knowledge all came from this thread. Here's my process:

    1. Read How to Make Your Electric Guitar Play Great
    2. Test truss rod just to make sure it moves
    -String stuff
    3. Cut strings off
    4. Polish frets
    5. Oil fretboard
    6. Replace tuners
    7. Replace bridge
    -Electric stuff
    8. Remove pickups and inspect for obvious reasons why one pickup isn't working
    9. Remove knobs and inspect same
    10. Replace pickup
    11. Adjust knob zeroing
    -String stuff 2
    12. Restring
    13. Adjust action for frets 15+
    14. Adjust truss rod for remaining frets
    15. Adjust pickup height

    Material to buy:
    -Roller Saddle bridge
    -Wilkinson E-Z-Lock 3x3
    -String action ruler gauge tool (?)
    -Music Nomad F-ONE (?)
    -D'Addario coated electric guitar strings 10-46 (?)
    -Fingerboard guards for frets so I don't have to tape them
    -#0000 steel wool
    -Blizzard of 59 covered or Tonerider Alnico 2
    Hopefully no knobs or other electronics
     
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  3. Mickey

    Mickey Gandalf the Intonationer

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    The way cheap guitars are usually wired:
    If you turn either volume control ALL the way down it kills BOTH pickups output.
    If you don't know that you can easily believe the wiring is totally SNAFU !!!
     
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  4. jtcnj

    jtcnj Well-Known Member

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    It is normal with a 2 vol 2 tone with the switch in the middle, though, yes?
    All my guitars ARE cheap, but only react as I described.
    It is handy as a kill switch if only playing on one pickup or the other when you dont have to switch between them.
     
  5. chicago231

    chicago231 New Member

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    That is the description of my problem. I couldn't figure out what was going on and didn't even think about looking into that condition.

    I guess I'm not replacing my pickups unless I talk myself into it again.
     
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  6. Mickey

    Mickey Gandalf the Intonationer

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    That is the way Lester Polfus liked his guitars wired so it became S.O.P. for Gibson thus for all Gibson clones.
    I hate it myself. I've never picked up a Gretsch wired like that which is one reason I prefer Gretsch. :)
    On The Gretsch guitars that I have played with two volume knobs the volume controls are completely independent of one another.
     
  7. ID10T

    ID10T Well-Known Member

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    Well @chicago231 , seems like you're having a pretty good day here. Have you tried tightening the screws on you tuners? Again, not torquing (which is different from twerking). Don't forget to lube your nut (now and in the future).
     
  8. chicago231

    chicago231 New Member

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    No. I didn't know that was a thing. I'll give it a shot tonight. I already ordered the replacement tuners so I imagine I'll swap them regardless of the result.

    Lube the nut. Got it.

    Yeah I got myself worked up today and probably just set myself up for failure. There is no way I can successfully do what I want to do. Maybe a tech can fix me up in the end.
     
  9. MichaelR

    MichaelR Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    I would not attempt to change the pickups on a semi hollow such as the FF338 without some degree of research on the subject due to the fact that you have to pull everything trough the f holes as there is no backplate. Its much easier to swap out the magnets because you can do that while they are still on the guitar. I like many others here like the pups as they are and so I will go the magnet swap route IF I ever mess with them at all. I presently have 4 semi hollows and I decided to install new pots on two of them. They have both been sitting for quite a while now because I lost my motivation due to the fact that this is a time consuming operation. However I have my soldering iron out and should receive my new 1/4 inch jacks in the mail today, parts which I lost during this period of procrastination. Adjusting the truss rod is very easy as long as you remember to go 1/4 turn at a time before letting the guitar rest for a few minutes. Righty tighty lefty loosey is the rule, IE turn it to the right when looking down from the headstock if you want less relief or to the left of you want more. You must keep your guitar tuned to pitch while doing this because its the string tension that will pull the neck into a slight upward bow giving you the relief you want. YouTube has lots of videos on the subject take your pick.
    Filing your frets if needed requires a few special tools. I use a rocker to find the high ones and a rat tail file. Then you need a crowning tool to make em round again. Then you polish them. Youtube and advice from members here has been my resource for information on everything I know about it.
     
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  10. ID10T

    ID10T Well-Known Member

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    All perspective, I don't think you set yourself to fail, I think you set yourself up to succeed. Be fearless, everything (for all intents and purposes) can be repaired or replaced but the fun and knowledge will help now and in the future. More gets done with " I can" than "I can't."
     
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  11. voodoorat

    voodoorat Well-Known Member

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    you got this, man.

    you don't have to do a perfect job either, especially if it's stuff that you can always undo (basically anything this side of drilling or sanding), you can mess up a little and go a little too far you can roll it back a little. not the end of the world, especially on an affordable guitar like this one. my telecaster will always have the obvious tool marks i put on it the first time i tried to address the fret sprout and that's okay--maybe someone will laugh at me someday but whatever, i fixed the problem and learned how not to do it at the same time. lol
     
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  12. Chocol8

    Chocol8 Well-Known Member

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    There are a bunch of tricks to pulling things through F holes. My two favorites are:

    1) Clear tubing on the pot shaft
    2) if you don’t/can’t pull strings through when you de-wire, use two strings with little rare earth magnets glued to the ends. Drop them in the two holes and tip the body and they WILL find each other, usually very quickly.

    Once you have strings or tubing pulled through, it is pretty easy to pull wires and pots into place.
     
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  13. OMB

    OMB Well-Known Member Supporting Member+

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    Surprised no one picked up on the Title's play on words...with a twist of course.
     
  14. Razzle

    Razzle Well-Known Member

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    That's because nobody's ever heard of that guy!! (although admittedly I DO kinda sorta kinda recognize the tune)
     
  15. nomadh

    nomadh Well-Known Member

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    Tap the pickups with a screwdriver. If its live you'll know it. Do that with all different switch settings and pot positions. Maybe all the pots set to middle position in case 1 is wired backwards. Then tap different pickups with different switch settings. You'll figure what's what or if something is dead or miswired.
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2019
  16. chicago231

    chicago231 New Member

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    Man this is causing me too much anxiety. I can't do all or any of this stuff. I don't know what I even want other than to create a totem to focus on and use to create stuff.

    I read some nutty sounding self published pdf about how to set up a guitar where 2/3 of the thing was this guy going on a rant about something about guitars. I don't know it was all very unsettling. After my manic research period this thing made me really depressed for 24 hours and I felt terrible about my guitars, especially the firefly. I think it was a short mania so it was a short crash.

    I bought a bunch of parts and I'm having a tech do it. I have quotes from 3 local shops to replace tuners and bridge (i provide hardware), playability and intonation setup, whatever else is in general setup, and pickup swap (i provide hardware). It is more than I want to pay but I literally cannot go on with my life until this is over. I'm seriously not sleeping and just researching shit all day. I'm too worked up and need this over.

    I thought about it a lot, and what I really want is a cheap guitar that is set up great and plays like a low-medium level guitar. I also want something unique even if it is only in my head. I'm sure a matched Seth Lover pair wound from his machine sounds great and I'm really into that idea. But in the end I'm not looking for top quality, just something unique and mine. With that in mind, I cheaped out with GuitarMadness 59ers uncovered just to show it's visually different. Maybe I'll get a different sound out of it, maybe I won't. There is a high likelihood that these pickups suck worse than what's in there and that I'm just wasting money. But it will look and feel different to me and I'll be able to move on.

    Anyways, I didn't want to just get manic about posting then never update. The update is that I psyched myself out. I just want to play guitar. I 75% like this guitar and I want to trick myself into liking it 95% so I'm going to pay for someone to set it up and do meaningless mods so I feel better.
     
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  17. ID10T

    ID10T Well-Known Member

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    Oh wow. Well that's it then. We all have our bears to cross, I won't validate or villainize you. It's your path. If it were me I would put on some Grateful Dead and try to remember to eat the elephant one bite at a time, you don't have to do everything right now. But I also believe in supporting the economy and rewarding craft, so if somebody will make rent this month because they can do guitar setup, there you go.
    Sound a bit like paralysis by analysis, and I have been there too. I hope you stick around and that you enjoy your guitar.
     
  18. fullonshred

    fullonshred Well-Known Member

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    exonerv got a good un. That's all Ima say....
     
  19. nomadh

    nomadh Well-Known Member

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    Why the freakout? Melloooooowww. It's all cool. And its nothing too expensive. It's alright if you dont want to do it. We were just being encouraging. :)
    Just enjoy it. This is supposed to be fun.
    Later a good way to learn can be start with a well setup guitar like yours will be and mess with it a bit. Change small thinks and see if you like it better or worse.
    Or maybe modding isnt for you. That's ok too.
     
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  20. DonM

    DonM Well-Known Member Supporting Member+ Supporting Member

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    Good luck with that. :sunglasses:
     
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