Something wrong with my ears? Nightswan Pickup Configuration

Discussion about guitar setup, repair, and other technical issues
charisarvanitis
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Something wrong with my ears? Nightswan Pickup Configuration

Post by charisarvanitis » Sat Dec 09, 2023 4:08 pm

So here’s the issue: I recently acquired a G-plate Nightswan. Late 89’/90’. I don’t know if there is something wrong with my ears but…there is NO sonic difference when I flip the little 3-way switch from the lowest position to the middle position. It is as if the bridge pickup (full shred) and the middle pickup (JB) have no sonic difference at all, not even in output or tone. For example, you can strum an open E chord with high distortion and start moving the 3-way toggle switch from bridge position to middle position and back (while the chord still rings) and you will hear no difference or change in volume whatsoever. Then the moment you move the switch to the highest position of the 3 (the neck position - although obviously there is no neck pickup), then yes the sound changes drastically, the volume drops a bit, the sound becomes much thinner (not in a good way..) and “metallic”, I guess due to the lack of a pickup on that part of the guitar.

That cannot be normal..What is the way that the 3-way toggle is supposed to function when there are only 2 pickups? I would imagine is either:

A. Bridge / middle / dead silent (when on neck position)
Or
B. Bridge - middle - both bridge and middle together (when on neck position)

However mine sounds like

C. Same / same / tiny thin sound
And by “same”, I don’t know if I am hearing the Full Shred or the JB - because both positions sound EXACTLY THE SAME

Please help shrug

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sixstring
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Re: Something wrong with my ears? Nightswan Pickup Configuration

Post by sixstring » Sat Dec 09, 2023 4:23 pm

Is the switch hooked up? Are both pups wired to the switch?
Possibly a bad switch.
But let's face it, someone buys a Kramer b/c it has a Floyd.

charisarvanitis
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Re: Something wrong with my ears? Nightswan Pickup Configuration

Post by charisarvanitis » Sat Dec 09, 2023 4:33 pm

Both wired yes, and I would swear that the 1st day I picked it up and did a very quick test-drive all 3 positions sounded normal.. then suddenly few days later I plug in and I notice the issue described.

Which reminds of the following: I have a cheap Swan reissue (Gibson). I took it to the local tech to install a Full Shred in the bridge. I take it back and I find out that bridge and middle position sound the same and neck position is dead silent. I take it back, he says “something must have gone wrong with the switch, although I promise I tested it and it was working before you picked it up”. Anyway he fixed it and then all good. What are the chances the same thing happened again though, i.e. a faulty switch, in both reissue and original vintage nightswan? Both toggle switches are the little ones, not the Les Paul style bigger switch that some NightSwans used to have

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SWANTECH
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Re: Something wrong with my ears? Nightswan Pickup Configuration

Post by SWANTECH » Sat Dec 09, 2023 11:08 pm

Duncan wiring is Red/White soldered together. Green/Bare soldered to ground. The black goes to the switch.
The DPDT switch is wired like this. Accept middle goes to volume pot.
Image

If the pickups are correctly height adjusted you should NOT hear a difference in volume.
There should be a difference in tone between the pickups. This can be subtle when they are both on. This is also subtle if using a lot of gain/overdrive/distortion.

JMO. The reissue model has a stock linear tapper pot and treble bleed and these need to be junked. A 500k Audio taper with no treble bleed is better.
Joe in Detroit
85 Striker 100ST Blk (1st Guitar)
88 Nightswan Sparkle Blue
88 Nightswan Holoflash
88 Nigthswan Bolt/Duckling
19 Nightswan Polka Dot
88 Stagemaster T Blue
86 Classic III Tele Cream
90 Classic II Tele Cream
90 ProAxe Std CR
89 Sustainer Holo
89 Sustainer Blk
86 Focus 1000 Blk (FS)
90's Spector SSD Blackhawk
89 Glide C2 Blk
86 Focus Classic Snbst
87 Monsters of Rock Baretta 2
87 Pacer Cst 1 Relic
89 Pacer Cst 2 Blk
91 Baretta 3 Blk Cherry
88 EE Pro 1 White/Rainbow
89 Grace C1 blue
01 Music Yo Explorer
89 Baretta 2 FF red

charisarvanitis
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Re: Something wrong with my ears? Nightswan Pickup Configuration

Post by charisarvanitis » Sun Dec 10, 2023 3:44 am

BINGO!!! This is exactly what I was looking for! :jump
Unfortunately electronics is the only thing I cannot do myself so it will go to a tech.


@Swantech - you said “when they are both on” - that would mean then when the switch is down you have only the FullShred, when is in the midde you have BOTH, and when is up you have only the JB (so essentially the switch acts in a way as if the JB was a neck pickup, but instead is located in the middle). That’s my understanding at least, correct?

Were original Swans wired like that from the factory back in the day? And were they using Audio taper 500k CTS? My pot has “4G1 A500k” on it but it does not sound anything like an audio taper pot.. it rolls off more in linear way and the sound does not clean up nicely as it does in guitars I have with PAFs when I roll down the volume knob.. does your NightSwan volume/pot do that?

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SWANTECH
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Re: Something wrong with my ears? Nightswan Pickup Configuration

Post by SWANTECH » Sun Dec 10, 2023 12:12 pm

Answers.

Yes. The Swan's were wired like any other 2 hum pickup guitar. Bridge/Both/Neck.

Yes. The original Swan's all had Audio Taper pot's. Technically, All the early Vintage CTS pots were Audio Taper. Now days they also make linear taper pots.

I don't know what pot you have. An A500k should be Audio Taper. CTS pots usually have a CTS stamp on them. I use these a lot. I have also used Bourns. I hate Dimarzio pot's, and cheap Chinese pots.
The treble bleed cap can make an Audio Taper pot sound almost like a Linear Taper pot. That is why I remove all Treble Bleed caps from my guitars. With exception of my Sustainer's. I think the Sustainers circuit needs them.
Joe in Detroit
85 Striker 100ST Blk (1st Guitar)
88 Nightswan Sparkle Blue
88 Nightswan Holoflash
88 Nigthswan Bolt/Duckling
19 Nightswan Polka Dot
88 Stagemaster T Blue
86 Classic III Tele Cream
90 Classic II Tele Cream
90 ProAxe Std CR
89 Sustainer Holo
89 Sustainer Blk
86 Focus 1000 Blk (FS)
90's Spector SSD Blackhawk
89 Glide C2 Blk
86 Focus Classic Snbst
87 Monsters of Rock Baretta 2
87 Pacer Cst 1 Relic
89 Pacer Cst 2 Blk
91 Baretta 3 Blk Cherry
88 EE Pro 1 White/Rainbow
89 Grace C1 blue
01 Music Yo Explorer
89 Baretta 2 FF red

charisarvanitis
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Re: Something wrong with my ears? Nightswan Pickup Configuration

Post by charisarvanitis » Sun Dec 10, 2023 12:37 pm

Excellent, thank you sir appreciated.

Do original Swans have treble bleed caps from the factory? I don’t see anything else in the cavity besides the pot and the toggle switch (unless I dont know what I am looking at.. not good with that part of guitar set up).

I have ordered now a CTS 500k Audio taper pot and a new 3-way mini switch (identical with the one my Swan has on currently). I will take it to a tech with the wiring diagram you very kindly provided and ask him to wire the switch like that -> full shred (down), both (middle), JB (up)

charisarvanitis
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Re: Something wrong with my ears? Nightswan Pickup Configuration

Post by charisarvanitis » Sun Dec 10, 2023 1:20 pm

I stand corrected, there is a tiny treble bleed cap riiight next to the pot

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SWANTECH
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Re: Something wrong with my ears? Nightswan Pickup Configuration

Post by SWANTECH » Sun Dec 10, 2023 4:35 pm

I don't think many original Kramer guitars had a treble bleed cap.
I know the Sustainer model did, and possibly the Ripley. Sustainer models probably need it due to the high harmonic frequencies being sustained. It isn't something I have seen a lot in vintage Kramer guitars. I don't remember ever seeing the cap on an original Swan.
This was a really popular modification that some people like. I never did.

JMO. I always used my Audio taper Volume like a Volume/Tone knob. I learned how to use it to make my tone get cleaner and less treble sounding. There is a lot of dynamics you can get.

I was never a big fan of having more than one master volume on a guitar. Even when I went through my Les Paul phase. Usually every thing was dimed at 10 accept the main volume pot. Maybe one day I will build a single cut Swan with one Volume pot. LOL. Great all I need is another guitar project.
Joe in Detroit
85 Striker 100ST Blk (1st Guitar)
88 Nightswan Sparkle Blue
88 Nightswan Holoflash
88 Nigthswan Bolt/Duckling
19 Nightswan Polka Dot
88 Stagemaster T Blue
86 Classic III Tele Cream
90 Classic II Tele Cream
90 ProAxe Std CR
89 Sustainer Holo
89 Sustainer Blk
86 Focus 1000 Blk (FS)
90's Spector SSD Blackhawk
89 Glide C2 Blk
86 Focus Classic Snbst
87 Monsters of Rock Baretta 2
87 Pacer Cst 1 Relic
89 Pacer Cst 2 Blk
91 Baretta 3 Blk Cherry
88 EE Pro 1 White/Rainbow
89 Grace C1 blue
01 Music Yo Explorer
89 Baretta 2 FF red

charisarvanitis
Kramer Maniac
Posts: 27
Joined: Thu Aug 24, 2023 6:56 am

Re: Something wrong with my ears? Nightswan Pickup Configuration

Post by charisarvanitis » Mon Dec 11, 2023 8:24 am

@ Swantech, I found on the vintagekramer website the following wiring diagram for Nightswans, what do you think about that? It even has a drawing of a treble bleed attached on the pot? again, excuse my ignorance, maybe not too different from the one you posted, but thought of sharing just in case anyone interested

http://www.vintagekramer.com/Electric/wiring-swan.jpg

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