Gibson Flying V neck pickup dead - any diagnosis suggestions?

Hey all,

I was just wondering if anyone out there with a Flying V has had a problem with a dead neck pickup, or even an LP (I guess the configuration is similar apart from the separate tone controls).

I opened it up and the wiring looks fine, I buzzed it all out with a multimeter.

Are there some simple tests I can do to diagnose the problem please?
Can I check the resistance or something ?
It seems to me like it’s completey caput, but how that happened I don’t know, it’s been in it’s case for years doing nothing.

Thanks in advance.

Sometimes it’s the toggle switch and not the pick-up. Try first hitting all the soldering joints with a soldering iron and see if it comes back…next switch the leads on the toggle switch and see if the pick-up comes back.


OK, I will try it thanks @Thegent

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I’d go one further and say it’s much more likely to be the switch (or even a cold solder joint gone bad) than the pickup. And while I’ve never had a pickup go completely dead, I’ve had guitars sound “crackly” due to dirty contact inside a switch. For stuff you can reach, isopropyl alcohol on a q-tip does a good job. You can also get purpose-made electical contact cleaner in a spray can. Supposedly WD-40 works, but I haven’t tried it on guitar parts. (and be careful with any solvent around your guitar, due to the risk of potentially damaging or discoloring your finish, though I think modern polyurethane and polyester finishes are pretty resilient).

And if you get no love, yeah, I’d try to measure the DC resistance of the pickup. Could also use a screwdriver to check that the magnets haven’t been severely degaussed somehow.

cool, tomorrow I will take it apart again and do some close investigation of the toggle switch.
The first day I got the guitar I took it to a gig (15 years ago) and came home without the toggle switch cap, never replaced it, maybe I should just buy a whole new switch and cap, we’ll see.

Test it directly at the pickup as well to rule out a coil being damaged (possible if it’s old enough and sweat / grime getting into it I think).

Thanks what sort of resistance should I expect from the pickup, or is it a case of any resistance is OK and if it’s dead it will be open circuit ?

Any resistance should be ok (assuming it’s a 2 conductor pickup).

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