Issues with Tiger tribute guitar, Kustom '36 Coupe amp (36w)

Re: Issues with Tiger tribute guitar, Kustom '36 Coupe amp (

Postby jenkins » Mon Nov 26, 2012 8:10 pm

Who made this tiger tribute?
Seems strange that it came with so many issues and, according to Waldo, it isn't really wired like tiger either.

How is the rest of the guitar? Is it made well? How would you consider the workmanship?
I'm sure there's a lot of luthiers out there who are great at the woodworking but really don't know much about the wiring aspect. How much did you pay? It might be worth sending it out to brawer, if he'll do it, or someone else who is an expert on Jerry's wiring scheme.

That being said, I would go through the basics again to start troubleshooting. I know you said that it's all plugged in properly but I would start there; make sure the proper cables are plugged into the right spots properly.
If it worked at the guitar shop then it should work at your house unless you dropped it really hard on the way home.
To me it sounds like the problem is something stupid like that as opposed to being major. You saying to me that it sounds super quiet makes it sound like something just isn't plugged in right. To me that sounds like how it sounds when you plug a stereo TRS cable into a regular amp jack that's not stereo, or like a cable not plugged quite all the way in. I had what sounds like a similar problem with an amp once, fender Princeton, where the volume was just super quiet, impossible to GD any sort of real volume. It turned out that upon close inspection I realized the cable wasn't going all the way into the jack, there was like an 1/16-1/8" gap between the cable tip and the jack, it just wasn't plugged all the way in. For some reason that particular jack was really hard to plug into for some reason. I thought the amp was fucked but I just wasn't plugging in all the way. I don't think that's your problem but I have a feeling it's somethig stupid like that.

Have you gone through all of your connections again making sure the right cable is in the right spot and plugged in all the way? It may seem stupid but that's the first step to trouble shooting, starting with the most basic of basic and moving on to more complex things. If the guitar worked right at the shop then it should work the exact same at home unless it was dropped and something came loose. If a regular axe works right through the amp then it's def not the amp. If the axe worked right at the shop then it shouldn't be the axe either, that leaves how it is connected as what's probably the problem. How else can it work there but not at home?
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Re: Issues with Tiger tribute guitar, Kustom '36 Coupe amp (

Postby TI4-1009 » Tue Nov 27, 2012 7:21 am

Agree that the wiring looks "funky?" (technical term). One thing I noticed, most likely not the main issue, there's a thin black wire going from the right (in photo) pot (would be the bridge+neck tone on a Jerry-wired guitar). Since it's soldered to the back of the pot it should be a ground, but the other end looks like it goes up on to the base for the cavity cover where the screw threads in. I don't think there would be an electrical connection there, so it wouldn't be doing any grounding. Could it have pulled out from somewhere else? On a JG guitar it would go to the heavy bare ground buss wire, but I don't see one of those on this wiring job.

OK, so tell us who made it- we all want to know.....
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Re: Issues with Tiger tribute guitar, Kustom '36 Coupe amp (

Postby seamones » Tue Nov 27, 2012 7:41 am

Would like to see some pics of the whole rig too.....
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Re: Issues with Tiger tribute guitar, Kustom '36 Coupe amp (

Postby TI4-1009 » Tue Nov 27, 2012 12:20 pm

Waldo already mentioned some of this, but just to be sure (this assumes "normal" Tiger wiring and controls):


The second problem I’m experiencing lies in the OBEL itself, which does not appear to be working. With my effects pedals turned on, I adjust the tone knobs on the guitar, but the depth of the effects does not change. At least, not noticeably. However, I may simply be unable to tell due to the aforementioned inadequate volume output.

The tone knobs should have no effect on the depth of the effects. The tone knobs should only change the tone (bass/treble).

3) The third problem I’m experiencing also involves the on-board effects loop. My guitar, as with Tiger, contains three micro-switches below the knobs. The third of these switches, at the bridge end of the guitar, turns the OBEL on and off. The point of the OBEL is to be able to increase or decrease the depth of your effects using the tone controls on the guitar. Therefore, it follows that, were the OBEL to be turned off, the tone controls on the guitar must act normally, as would any other tone controls on any other guitar. Yet, on my Tiger, when you flip this switch to the “off” position, the output cuts off altogether; that is to say, you can’t hear anything coming out of the amp.

The point of the OBEL is NOT to to be able to increase or decrease the depth of the effects. It should have no effect. The point of the OBEL is to send the full signal from the pickup to the effect pedal, so that changes in volume (now after the OBEL in the signal path) do not increase or decrease the signal that the pedal sees. The tone controls should act the same with OBEL on or off (bass/treble changes only).

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. I know that the cause of these problems is not improper configuration, as I'm sure that I’ve been plugging all the jacks into the right places (OBEL = top jack / tip = send / ring = receive / amp = bottom jack).

On my Tiger the top jack is guitar out to amp, the bottom is the OBEL. But you could have it the other way depending upon how it's wired, no problem there.


Personally, I believe that my amp is at the heart of the problem, because the guitar appeared to be working just fine at the local shop.

Do you have a normal guitar you can plug in and try in order to eliminate that possibility?


He also plugged in an effects pedal, and the OBEL worked as it should. When the OBEL was on, the tone knobs on the guitar adjusted the depth of the effect he was using. And when he flipped the OBEL micro-switch to the “off” position, the tone knobs resumed their normal functions, but the overall volume did not cut out one bit.

That's an indication that "we're not in Kansas anymore." If that did happen then we're not talking about normal Tiger/OBEL wiring. Waldo said he saw three dual pots- is that correct? Tiger wiring only has one dual pot (for the bridge/neck pickup tone- 250/500). If you do have three dual pots then we'll have to have even better photos or better yet a wiring diagram to try and see what's really going on. I'm no expert, but I think the only way you can change the depth of the effect is by changing the settings on the pedal itself- not remotely by using the guitar controls via the OBEL. Turning a knob on the guitar will only increase or decrease the voltage going into the effects input jack, it won't do anything to how the signal gets processed in the pedal.

Now if it's wired with a "blend pot" then I can see where you might be able to alter the "wet and dry" ratio in order to get more or less of the OBEL effects-routed signal in relation to the straight signal by turning a knob on your guitar? That would sort of do what you're talking about, but that's not normal Tiger wiring and not the purpose of an OBEL. It wouldn't exactly be changing the "depth" of the effect, you would just be hearing more or less of it in relation to the "un-effected" signal. I think there's a thread somewhere on the board talking about that- and the results were not that great if I remember.
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Re: Issues with Tiger tribute guitar, Kustom '36 Coupe amp (

Postby toddsnider » Tue Nov 27, 2012 3:02 pm

Thanks everybody for your help. I will try to respond to as many of your points/questions as I can:

Who built the guitar? I know you all are curious, but I'd rather not share that information. I don't want to cause any undue damage to my luthier's business, as he really has been a pleasure to work with and the guitar itself is a true work of art and everything I had hoped for. The luthier himself did not wire the guitar, he contracted someone to do it, but due to this debacle, he no longer employes this tech.

Are there stacked pots, or am I seeing things? Yes, I have three stacked pots as opposed to two tone knobs and a volume, the only fundamental wiring difference between my Tiger and Jerry's. I did ask for everything else to be wired exactly the same, though, including the OBEL and the Unity Gain Buffer.

The OBEL is not meant to be able to adjust the depth of the tones; it is there to establish a constant input level in the effects despite changes in volume. Thanks for the clarification! That eliminates one of my problems (which, obviously, was never an actual problem to begin with). That being said, I should still be able to hear the effects when they are on, and I can't. So there's some sort of issue going on in the OBEL.

There's an erroneous black wire that appears to be going into a screw hole for the control cavity cover. Yes, I noticed this as well when I took the photos. I don't particularly know why it's there, but I think it may be from something that the original electrician had screwed up. The techs at my local shop may then have cut it during the rewiring process and simply left it there because it was soldered at the other end.

You should just send it to Gary Brawer. Well, he's in San Francisco, and I'm in LA, so that isn't that farfetched. That being said, I'd like to avoid having to package and ship the guitar again unless it's a last resort. Maybe I should contact Gary, or Mike Wald, and get a detailed, clear schematic to take to another music shop for a complete rewiring?

On my Tiger, the OBEL input is on the bottom and the amp input is on the top. Yeah, this seems to be the common way of doing things, but I'm sure it isn't the case with mine. I know that the way I've been configuring the wires has been correct, because it's the only way I can get any noise out of the amp, even if it is highly diminished and unimpressive. To me (and this is completely speculative here, as I don't know much about wiring), it feels like all the systems are working except one little hiccup at the end of the process (likely in the OBEL, due to the fact that I can't hear effects whatsoever when they're on), which for some reason is also blocking a clear signal from making it through to the amp. I say this because it sounds muffled and poorly amplified, but it sounds as if, with the proper adjustments, I could once again unleash the roaring monster that I heard when I first got it.

This looks nothing like the wiring on a Jerry guitar. Once again, I'm not very knowledgable when it comes to wiring, so I guess I'll have to take everybody's word for it. However, the electrician who my luthier contracted to do this job, bad though he may have been, was supposedly in contact with Mike Wald (not sure if that happens to be the "waldo" who has been answering on here) for occasional advice during the process. Or at least, that's what he claimed. So if it really looks nothing like a Jerry schematic, then I'm amazed.

Thanks again everybody!
Last edited by toddsnider on Tue Nov 27, 2012 3:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Issues with Tiger tribute guitar, Kustom '36 Coupe amp (

Postby guitarcats » Tue Nov 27, 2012 3:08 pm

Fine don't tell us who built it but how about posting some pictures of this work of art. :-)
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Re: Issues with Tiger tribute guitar, Kustom '36 Coupe amp (

Postby toddsnider » Tue Nov 27, 2012 3:12 pm

guitarcats wrote:Fine don't tell us who built it but how about posting some pictures of this work of art. :-)


http://imgur.com/LyMRV
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Re: Issues with Tiger tribute guitar, Kustom '36 Coupe amp (

Postby SpaceYrface43 » Tue Nov 27, 2012 3:20 pm

you know he can't post pictures, someone if not many would be able to tell who built it in a second. Good luck these guys know a lot keep at it.
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Re: Issues with Tiger tribute guitar, Kustom '36 Coupe amp (

Postby waldo041 » Tue Nov 27, 2012 4:06 pm

if you asked for a jerry wired guitar, you did not receive it. what appears to be happening is that you have a volume control for each pickup AND a tone control for each. that is why the concentric pots are being used. both the volume and tone controls are wired before the buffer and OBEL.

definately not wired like any of Jerry's guitars. that said, this wiring should work. the stray black grounded wire could possibly be for grounding to the cavity plate for shielding, but that is only a guess. you probably just need to figure out which is the tone and which is the volume knob and turn them all the way up, and see what happens from there. i don't see a battery, where is that tucked away at?



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Re: Issues with Tiger tribute guitar, Kustom '36 Coupe amp (

Postby playingdead » Tue Nov 27, 2012 4:24 pm

Waldo, how can the wiring work if the pickup volumes are before the buffer and the loop? The effects would not always see the full signal from the pickups, which defeats the primary purpose of the loop. Unless there's a master volume in there, as well, which does not work well, as it causes a pretty significant output drop having two volume pots in series. We tried that in a Scott Walker guitar and it needed a booster to push the output back up, which increased the noise.
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Re: Issues with Tiger tribute guitar, Kustom '36 Coupe amp (

Postby TI4-1009 » Tue Nov 27, 2012 5:46 pm

Maybe another try at a fresh battery? If it's not wired so that the battery is disconnected when you unplug (as it should be- but....) you could have had an OK battery at the shop and a dying battery when you tried to use it at home.

Looks very nice! Just a little wiring glitch to wrap up.... :shock: (we do remote guitar nervous system transplants around here)

(Also- for your reference, the correct Tiger signal path is pickup>selector switch>buffer>OBEL out to effects>OBEL back in from effects>master volume> output jack to amp. The two tone pots (one for middle pickup, the other ganged for neck and bridge) tap off the selector switch and work all the time- they just bleed off treble to ground. One mini-switch for each humbucker's coil tap, and one mini-switch to bypass the OBEL. On an Irwin/Brawer Garcia guitar there is also one big bare copper ground buss wire running from the master volume to the output jack. All the grounds in the cavity solder onto this buss wire.)

Waldo's Tiger page here- with schematic:

http://www.wald-electronics.com/tiger.html

Looking at your cavity photo, it looks like the pickups' hot wires go to their volume pots first, then through the white cloth wires to the pickup selector, then out of the selector through the white vinyl to blue wire input to the buffer. Out of the buffer through the yellow wire to the OBEL mini switch, then- tough to follow. The red wire from the buffer should go to the battery terminal, the black wire from the terminal should go to the output jack (so it disconnects the battery when you pull the plug out of the jack). That's about the most I can make out of the photos.
Last edited by TI4-1009 on Tue Nov 27, 2012 8:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Issues with Tiger tribute guitar, Kustom '36 Coupe amp (

Postby myoung6923 » Tue Nov 27, 2012 8:04 pm

It's a nice looking guitar.

If I was in your shoes, and wanted this wired up in true tiger style - I would start looking maybe locally for somebody that that rewire the whole thing. With Waldo's schematic most decent guitar techs should be able to do it without a problem.
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Re: Issues with Tiger tribute guitar, Kustom '36 Coupe amp (

Postby toddsnider » Tue Nov 27, 2012 8:54 pm

Thanks everybody! You have no idea how much I appreciate the help and advice.
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Re: Issues with Tiger tribute guitar, Kustom '36 Coupe amp (

Postby cripeowner » Wed Nov 28, 2012 4:32 am

If you're in LA try this guy. http://www.ericsguitarshop.com/
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Re: Issues with Tiger tribute guitar, Kustom '36 Coupe amp (

Postby hippieguy1954 » Wed Nov 28, 2012 6:07 am

It is actually very easy to wire any electric guitar. For the Jerry wiring, all you have to do is study the wiring diagram on Waldo's site and follow it exactly. Nice color code and everything. Take your time. It is a simple circuit and if you can solder, it is easy to do the Jerry wiring. Just some encouragement!
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