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  1. #1
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    Default What have I gotten myself into?????

    Guys, I'll admit it - I'm not very good with my hands. I can dream up stuff, but I can rarely implement anything - by myself anyway. So when I first re-wired pickups, well, it was functional, but the wiring was a sight to behold - if you like outrageously messy wiring that is just about impossible to follow, solder joints that are textbook "how not to do it" examples....put it this way, you do NOT want me working on your guitars!

    So when I emailed Dave Gries - an unbelievably polite gentleman, I should stress - wondering if the tone lift knob that he calls Gain (the one that goes from blackface to tweed) could be made less aggressive, he responded with a couple of caveats that I can live with (mainly, no push-pull bright capability with a 250K pot, which I couldn't care less about). Very shortly thereafter, he sent me a replacement pot (for free, as well as free shipping!), he included directions on how to replace the pot, saying, its very easy - you can do it if you're just a little careful. You know he he wouldn't be saying that if he had seen the insides of my guitars!

    So just a little while back, I pulled the chassis, and his directions made perfect sense, and it actually looks like a piece of cake - for somebody who is good! But now, as I look at the unbelievably gorgeous wiring job inside, I am struck with terror. Just three solder joints.....can I do it????

    I've set tomorrow (Sunday aside) to do the deed. Why can't I just be satisfied with what I have??????

    Well...wish me luck, guys!!

    Srini

  2. #2
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    Default

    I hear you brother....sometimes you just can leave well enough alone for the sake of tone and experimentation. Best of luck,,,,take your time and you'll be fine! Let that iron get hot and don't over-do. You can do it. Need any help just ask. You're one of us and we're here to help!

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    Srini (04-26-2015)

  4. #3
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    Default

    If you're a solder rookie, here's a couple of pointers. Like Jag said, let the iron get hot. The major principle is too let the get the joint hot and let it melt the solder, don't melt solder and expect it to flow well into a "cold" joint. Practice on junk parts! Tin the wire ends first, that helps a lot. You can do this!
    Some contend that rock 'n roll is bad for the body & bad for the soul
    Bad for the heart, bad for the mind, bad for the deaf & bad for the blind.
    It makes some men crazy and they talk like fools.
    Makes some men crazy and they start to drool.

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    Srini (04-26-2015)

  6. #4
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    Default

    Srini, What kind of soldering iron do you have and does it have a (wet) sponge so you can keep the tip clean? Do you also have a solder-sucker to remove the old joints?
    I'm a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma.

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    Srini (04-26-2015)

  8. #5
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    Default

    Thanks so much for the support guys, today's the day! Capt, I have a cheapo Radio Shack iron - not one of those the pro irons you see in amp repair shops. I do use a wet sponge to keep the tip clean. Also I don't have a solder sucker; in the past, I've usually just heated up the old solder and slowly pulled the wires away. Is that bad?

    Srini
    Last edited by Srini; 04-26-2015 at 07:09 AM.

  9. #6
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    Default

    No that'll work. I use some of brass wicking tape and I also have a 40 watt Radio Shack Iron that I've used to build a few pedals and install pups etc. so you'll be fine. I like the wicking tape(I'm not sure what they call it) because it draws up the old solder and keeps it from flowing into other things. I usually warm up the iron for about a half hour before I get started. Good Luck! Let us know how it turns out or if you need help.

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    Srini (04-26-2015)

  11. #7
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    Default

    At times I have used some paper towels when I didn't have the sponge. That way you have something to wipe the tip. Good luck!
    I'm not sayin' that, I'm just sayin'......

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    Srini (04-26-2015)

  13. #8
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    Okay, you need an iron with a pointed tip, a wet sponge and a solder sucker. Forget about wicking tape.

    When de-soldering joints:

    1. Allow to heat up, then clean the iron with the wet sponge and heat a small amount of solder on the iron - touch the terminal joint with the "wet" iron to melt the old solder and use the solder sucker to remove the mass of solder.
    2. If the wire doesn't come away first time, then clean the iron and use another dab of solder on the iron and reheat the wire and pull it away.
    3. Repeat the process at 1 if the terminal still has a mass of solder attached (i.e if the ring is full).

    When soldering new joints:

    1. Clean the iron and dab a small amount of solder on the iron.
    2. Touch the 'wet' iron on the bared twisted clean wires to allow the heat to build up and then apply the solder onto the wire so it melts.
    3. Do the same to the terminals if not coated with solder (but do not fill the ring).
    4. Place the "tinned" wire onto the terminal (through the ring) hold in place with a "wet" iron tip and then apply solder to the terminal so it flows over and fills the whole joint.
    Last edited by Captain Bb; 04-26-2015 at 11:39 AM.
    I'm a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma.

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    Srini (04-26-2015)

  15. #9
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    Default

    Gentlemen, I am happy to report success!!

    First of all, your moral support was outstanding, without which this would never have happened. And Capt., I read through your last post a few times and attempted to follow as closely as possible, bearing in mind I don't have a solder sucker. I may not have been as neat as I would have been had I followed the method meticulously, and I certainly was not as neat as the rest of the amp, but I did manage to pull out the wires from the old pot very carefully after heating the terminals. Very surprisingly, the new joints went on pretty easily, although I had to be extremely careful about positioning myself, since there was almost no slack in any of the wires. Dave's lead dressing is pretty outstanding, and I was trying to make sure I didn't move anything.

    Anyway, chassis back on, tubes back in and I plugged in and tested it - worked like a charm! And I must say, for my own tastes, this is a far better tone lift knob that the previous one. Whereas before, a Gain setting of 4 would just about take the tone stack out completely, because you don't hear much difference after that, except for more fuzz; also, the jump from 1 to 4, especially between 3 and 4 used to be pretty significant. Now, I don't get to that point until 7, and there's a very gradual increase from 1 to 6 - more usable tones for my style of playing, I think. Of course, I've lost the pull bright feature, because its a regular pot, but here I'm trying to cut the brightness at every turn! So, this is perfect for me.

    Thank you all so much, guys! I'd never have worked up the courage to do this without y'all!

    Srini

  16. #10
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    Default

    Glad to hear it worked out Man!

    What you need to remeber is the soldering iron is just the source of heat and the best way to apply that heat is with a "wet" iron.

    Never use the iron it as a 'paint brush' to apply the solder. You only apply the solder to the joint itself once the "wet" iron has heated it up enough.
    I'm a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma.

 

 

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