PRS 513 - Neck PU signal disappeared

Discussion in 'Electric Instruments' started by BillyJoe, Sep 22, 2018.

  1. BillyJoe

    BillyJoe New Member

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    Hi,

    I have a 2013 PRS 513, that I just got back from setup from my local shop. The work included change of volume pot, which require removing the PCB and possible other disassembly in the cavity. I suspect something must have happened to a connection during this work.

    Now the neck pickup is "dead". I don't fully understand the PU config on the 513, it is somewhat special, but I suspect the connection to the one pickup closest to the neck is broken. The sound "almost" disappear with the selector in position 5 (neck), and the 3-way selector in position 1 (full humbucking) or position 3 (single coil). Only very low and distorted sound remains.
    With the 3-way selector in middle position (ligth or clear humbucking), the position 5 on the selector works fine. I assume this may be because the ligth humbucking setting does not make use of the PU closest to the neck, but I don't know this. 5-1 and 5-3 is dead, 5-2 is ok. All other combinations are ok.

    The neck connector on the PCB looks fine, so I suspect the problem is between the PCB and the 5-way selector, issue with wire or one of the solder points.

    Any suggestions on how I can troubleshoot and fix this?
    The wiring diagram is not available on the PRS site, hope someone here have a copy or link to share:)

    I know the obvious solution is hand it back to the shop and have them fix it, but because of location, handling time, and the expected easy fix (wire/solder point) I'm tempted to fix it myself. But the 5-way/3-way selector combo is somewhat intimidating even if I had documentation, so will appreciate if someone can provide some insigth:)

    B
     
  2. Rider1260

    Rider1260 New Member

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    I would look for a short first, possibly some stray solder other wise I would send it to PTC
     
  3. garrett

    garrett knows just enough to be dangerous

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    Take it back to the shop that screwed it up and make them fix it. PRS customer service should be able to send the wiring diagram.
     
    sergiodeblanc likes this.
  4. sergiodeblanc

    sergiodeblanc Get in, loser, we’re going shopping.

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    Did you check the pickups? Sometimes those suckers can bend a bit too much and break the circuit boards from adjusting the height in a weird way.
     
    Maertl513 and Jazzedout like this.
  5. Jazzedout

    Jazzedout More Guitars than Time...

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    I would start with this. Did he try adjusting the neck pickup height?
     
  6. elvis

    elvis Hamfisted String Banger

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    I keep hearing neck pickup sounds from my amp.

    interdimensional crossover?
     
    bodia likes this.
  7. elvis

    elvis Hamfisted String Banger

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    This happened to me recently. It was a short caused buy a stray piece of metal picked up somewhere in the build process.

    A broken connection would make the middle position sound the same as bridge. A short to ground would weaken or kill the middle position.
     
  8. BillyJoe

    BillyJoe New Member

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    Thanks for the advise:)
    I didn't have time to look at it until tonight, and started in the wrong end unfortunately. Measured my way all through the cavity, the PCB and selectors and found nothing wrong. Couple of hours wasted, had beer, so no major loss:)

    I didn't understand from Sergio's and jazzdout's posts that there is also PCB board attached to the bottom of the pickups themselves. The PCB in the cavity was ok. Anyway, by just twisting/pushing the neck pickups it became apparent that there is a connection issue with the pickup and the PCB attached to the bottom of the pickup. I took it out to investigate, and everything looked ok except a few small bits of conductive paint that have come loose, too small to be an issue.
    After reassembly I worked the 4 pickup height adjustment screws until achieving clear sound: Most of the positions/combinations of the heigth adjustment screws were fragile in the sense that minor movement of the PU would cause the connection to fail. By adjusting the PU height almost as low as possible, it now seems it is ok, and I can no longer twist it so that connection fails. Hope this is permanent:)

    Still, there is something wrong since height adjustment with corresponding minor bending of the PCB causes connection issues. Is the PCB below the PU serviceable? Replaceable? Would it be possible to remove the PCB and re-solder all connections? Or is the only remedy to replace the pickup including PCB if problem continues?

    Again, thanks for your assistance, really helpful, and appreciated:)

    B
     
  9. elvis

    elvis Hamfisted String Banger

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    I would think you'd have to remount the bobbins potentially. Might check with PRS
     
  10. Maertl513

    Maertl513 Sherlock 513

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    elvis and Glide-bpm like this.
  11. BillyJoe

    BillyJoe New Member

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    @Maertl513 , I had many hours of searching before posting, this forum and other sources. There are thousands of threads in this forum alone, and the search engine does not accept f.ex "513" as a search criteria. Your link points to page 7 of a long thread from last year, which by the way does not address my question.
    The documentation I did find related to the wiring of the 513 all pointed to a page at the PRS site that is no longer available.

    I do appreciate the advise I received, I was able to fix the problem. But there is obviously a weakness in the design if minor twisting of the PU-frame caused by the adjustment screws causes the PU to fail. A faulty connection somewhere on the PCB, or a short, is the likely cause, and should be easy to fix by resoldering or isolation. Although I agree that leaving it to a PRS technician is the safe route, for me it means shipping out of the country, hence my question regarding service of the PUs.
     
  12. Maertl513

    Maertl513 Sherlock 513

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    It's with everybody living not in Maryland or the USA to take a guitar for maintenance to the PTC.
    Especially with those complex 513. Those Pickups and the PCB (being ripped-off 2014 to be exchanged by point-to-point soldering) request skilled treatment
    In Europe we have PRS Europe.

    With the hyperlink depicted I wanted to point out, that the PCB inter the SC pairs wasn't a secret and aswell the hint of sensitive unscrewing.

    At Facebook there is a 513 owners group as a remark for fourthcoming questions, currently more than 200 owners being gathered.
     

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