Got my 72% reduced Shine SIL 510 TB today

RomanMRomanM Posts: 474Member
edited September 2016 in Technical or Theoretical Questions
Got my 72% reduced Shine SIL 510 TB today. There's no free lunch.

At first I thought the top pos of the switch was OFF. But then the bottom and the middle positions sounded the same. Finally when I cranked the 100W amp all the way up I managed to hear the neck pickup. Barely. It was quite low physically in relation to the strings compared to the bridge pickup. I raised it to the same and even higher position as the bridge pickup - it got a bit louder but it is still like 10 times lower that the bridge pup. Faulty wiring? Faulty pickup? Pot?

Emailed ChaseDirect will see what they say.

There's a slight problem with the finish. The edge of the f-cutaway is not covered with their finish - parts of it are, parts are not. There's some gap in finishing which protrudes from the edge of the cutaway to the top surface for 2-3 millimetres and forms a kind of deep scar on the top surface. I am not a perfectionist but combined with the pickup problem this is... upsetting. 

Otherwise - the guitar is really nice! Fine finishing and ornament. Low, easy, action. Nice finish on hardware and the body (except that thing). It was even properly tuned out of the box!

Just sharing the frustration but also want to adjust my attitude in case it is slightly off. After all, it was a 72% discounted guitar. I feel confident I can completely rewire it and get rid of the problem with the pickup (following Graham's guide) which might involve replacing the neck pup, i.e. expense. I will see what Chase Direct say and let you know. I'd appreciate comments and opinions.

After I raised the neck pup. It was MUCH lower. Lower than the bridge pup:

  UPDATE 03 Nov 2013 Ordered another shine earlier in October. Chase offered to collect the damaged shine and refund. I am keeping both shines for now - the original where the volume of the neck pickup is non-existent and the replacement which is perfect. They are both great! The cause of the issue with the switch on the first one is a missing/loose protective ring around the switch. The cardboard against the switch has a deep imprint/dent/tear against the switch handle. The switch was banging against the box while in transit. Solder points seem fine on the inside, so the damage is just a three-way switch, easy to replace, not even the pickup. Cosmetic issue is just me being fussy. The second shine is spotless. Both need some fret levelling. 


  • Richards GuitarsRichards Guitars Posts: 589Member, Administrator

    Well for the money you paid I think you are still in a good deal with that!


    The f holes just need a bit of black marker pen.  (Did I say that?)

  • RomanMRomanM Posts: 474Member

    Yeah. But the pickup/wiring?.. 

  • RomanMRomanM Posts: 474Member

    Richard, any advice on blogs? (I cant create a new one in Builders Diaries!)

  • MegiMegi Posts: 7,191Member

    Hi Roman. I'm sorry you're having the trouble with the guitar and the electronics - possibly the pickup is wrong as you suggest. If it is the pickup that needs changing, then I have several spare pickups for this guitar (because I changed the pickups in my Shines) and would be very happy to post you a replacement pickup if you PM'd me your address, - no charge! image


    As to the finishing around the sides of the f-hole, I guess you will have to decide if that is a big issue for you. I think if it was my guitar, I would probably go for Richards proposed touch-in with a black permanent marker I must admit. The inside of the f-holes on both my Shine guitars is a little roughly done, although the roughness does not reach to the top surface of the guitar body like on yours, and it doesn't show, or bother me.


    So apologies, I feel like the forum, including me, has recommended this guitar, and it hasn't quite turned out as we all hoped or expected. As you say, the general quality of these guitars is pretty high, so maybe if you are able to fix the issues, then you will still have got yourself a bargain. Or perhaps Chase will have a better replacement they can send, but I guess then there is the hassle of having to send this guitar back etc. Anyway, please do let me know if I can help with sending you a pickup, or anything to do with the electronics.

  • JockoJocko Posts: 7,106Member, Moderator

    Pick up is a bit of a bummer.  Just unfortunate you got a bad one.  Someone always does.
    The finish in the f-hole is nothing.  I posted the same with mine.

    For a sub £100 guitar that is nothing.  You get worse on Gibsons for 10 times the price.
    Hope you get the pickup issue sorted out.  Give us a chance to see what ChaseDirect's after sales service is like.  Think you are the exception that proves the rule.

  • RomanMRomanM Posts: 474Member

    Wow, I am touched with your support Graham, John!


    In general, I am very happy with the guitar and the price I paid! The f finish - is such a small thing! The pickup - as Richard said, I am taking it as a challenge, as another little project. Graham's post on rewiring his Shine will most def be very helpful. Thanks for the offer to send me the pup, Graham! I might as well accept it. But first I will wait and see what Chase will say, and let you know.


    Technically, what can this be? Definitely bad pickup? Can this be pots? capacitors? Unlikely it is the wires or the switch - these things either work or not.

  • MegiMegi Posts: 7,191Member

    The fact that you can get some sound from the neck pickup, but that this is very quiet, makes me think it could well be something with the pickup. However, I don't like to say that it definitely is that - I'm not really expert enough to know what other things could cause the same symptoms. I do know if I had this issue, I would end up just re-doing all the wiring myself - that way I can be sure everything is done right, and exactly how I want it. Actually I would do this even if the guitar was working fine  - that's just how I am! But I do understand that it's annoying when something new has a fault like this.

  • MegiMegi Posts: 7,191Member

    Thinking a bit more, I doubt it could be the pots, because the guitar has a master volume and tone control - so if they work for the bridge pickup, there can't be a reason why they wouldn't work for the neck pickup. You're probably right about the switch - but it seems to me there might just be some kind of issue with that - perhaps some kind of poor connection to the neck pickup in there?

  • RomanMRomanM Posts: 474Member

    The tone and volume controls work ok for the bridge pickup. I niticed the "hum" when I turn the volume a bit down from the maximum, as I turn it further to zero it disappears. No hum on max.


    I am redoing its wiring, period!



  • MegiMegi Posts: 7,191Member

    Or I guess it could be just a "dry joint" somewhere - i.e. bad soldered connection - perhaps that can give this sort of issue. That would be easy to fix if you knew which connection it was - but again, I know I would end up just starting again from with the whole thing, and do it all again myself. I can say that I have never regretted learning about guitar electronics, and how to do these things - it's so great to be able to fix anything, and also to be able to customise the setup and switching to suit my needs. I find experimenting with different replacement pickups is quite an addictive hobby too, although I have made some really great-sounding discoveries from doing this, so it has not just been for fun.

  • MegiMegi Posts: 7,191Member

    Just to add, out of interest (or not!   ) but I'm modifying my own trans-black Shine guitar again. I was not happy with how the bridge pickup was performing (too quiet compared to the neck pickup), and although humbucker-sized P90 neck pickup I'd put in was good, I just wanted something a bit edgier and more vintage-sounding. Plus I didn't like the black plastic pickup surrounds I'd used - the guitar just didn't seem "happy" lol. So I have put the satin-chrome pickup surrounds back, and it is now being set up with a Guitar Fetish Surf 90 pickup in the neck position, and a Warman G-Rails in the bridge. So that should be a pretty "different" kind of setup! A pic of work in progress:


    I will have switching via 2 push-pull pots, so that for the bridge pickup, I can have:

    1) Strat coil on it's own

    2) Rails pickup on it's own

    3) Strat coil with Rails pickup wired in parallel

    4) Strat coil plus Rails pickup wired in series (will have a massive output!   )


    So combined with the neck pickup, that should give a wide range of tones - 9 different pickup combinations in total, in fact.

  • RomanMRomanM Posts: 474Member
    I know a very good therapist, Megi. I think you need one. Your are a pickup junky with acute symptoms of Pickup OCD. Lol!
  • MegiMegi Posts: 7,191Member

    I know, I know - I'm a hopeless case, what can you do? lol

  • RomanMRomanM Posts: 474Member

    Any tips on the type of wire and where to buy? Anything good that Maplins sell? I want to use shielded wire and maybe will shield the controls cavity too with the copper sticky foil.


    I have an old Squier Tele Custom II P90 with two P90s. I like what they sound but the frets on that tele are badly worn (a fret leveling or refreting project). I might try one of those in the neck position on this shine.

  • RomanMRomanM Posts: 474Member
  • MegiMegi Posts: 7,191Member

    I think the stock pickups on the shine have shielded wire anyway, which is fine. For other wiring inside the control cavity, as long as I have shielded that anyway, I never bother about using shielded wire - there's no point, and it just makes the job trickier. So for wiring in the cavity, I just use the narrowest type of ordinary single-core wire that Maplins sell - this is quite tough enough, does the job, easy to use, and comes in several colours. The signal from pickups is such a small current, that there is no sonic advantage to using any particular kind of wire - even very narrow wire will work fine, although I would tend to avoid this, as such wire tends to be a bit fragile. If you are going to try one of your P90s for the neck pickup, if the existing wire is shielded, I'm sure that will be fine, and once you have fed the wire through into the control cavity, there is no need to worry anyway if that's shielded too.

  • MegiMegi Posts: 7,191Member
    Originally Posted by RomanM:

    1-2013-10-22 11.18.54

    2-2013-10-22 11.20.19

    Looking at those pickups, they would be too wide to fit in the pickup slots in the Shine. You would need a humbucker-sized P90 for that (actually I have a spare one lol...). I'd say you would be better to keep those pickups in your tele. Those frets do have a fair bit of wear, but it looks to me like it would still be possible to level and re-dress them, and have enough fret height left for the guitar to be nicely playable.

  • RomanMRomanM Posts: 474Member

    You are right on P90 pickups. Stupid me. Forgot they are different sizes.


    Of course I am going to try leveling them first. Even if I was convinced they are too worn I would still do it - just to be able to tell myself "you can do it, Roman!".


    I think I need a crowning file. I know you suggest to use the sanding paper but this one would require quite a lot of sanding - so it is a good excuse to treat myself to a proper tool.

  • MegiMegi Posts: 7,191Member

    I don't blame you at all regarding the crowning file idea, although I also like what the Crimson Guitars guy does for a fret job in this video:


    ...and he just prefers to use a small flat file (which he has modified a bit) for the re-crowning. If you are using my method of sticking sandpaper to the flat side of a box level, then given the amount of fret wear you have, and the depth of the hollows on the frets, I think you would probably find that you needed to replace the stuck-on sandpaper at least once, as this tends to wear out after a bit of fret-plane-ing work. Also, I can't emphasize enough how important it is to get the neck adjusted absolutely straight before you start levelling the frets - especially true if you are going to have to take off quite a bit of fret height to get rid of the dips, as you want to just remove as much material as you have to, and no more.

  • martinsmith99martinsmith99 Posts: 375Member
    Gosh, this went off topic a little image

    This is the 1st Shine I've heard of with a problem, which is pretty good when you consider the price. 

    I still think this model is ugly, but what do I know? I own an explorer! image
  • Just TelJust Tel Posts: 514Member

    If you purchased the guitar on tinterweb from Chase then I think that the distance selling rules come into play and you have a few days in which to reject the guitar. I'm sure that Chase would be aware of this and should offer to supply a replacement.Surely this option would be better that you messing about with changing pups or wiring.

  • RomanMRomanM Posts: 474Member

    Thinking of replacement pickups for this guitar and for possible future projects I was reading a lot on pickups in general. Also, not being a native english speaker and rather new to electric guitar world I am still a bit struggling with vocabulary: crunchy, punchy, twangy, snappy, byte, throatier, growling, thin, thick, hot, etc. 


    I know what I like when I hear the sound. I know of course a lot depends on the amp, guitar itself, the style of playing, but I still think that I prefer the sound of P90s to strat single coils and to humbuckers. So I was choosing a P90, listening to some sample clips. Axesrus site is quite helpful when it comes to clips. If I may ask the forum to listen to the two pickups here and describe to me in Guitarese language what their difference is please?





    And two:




  • RomanMRomanM Posts: 474Member

    I have a suspicion that pickup "ONE" "90 Alinco 2 bridge lead" which says "clean" is actually slightly distorter or at least "over-amplified". It is 7.6k whereas Alinco-5 "TWO" is 8k i.e. hotter, and a stronger magnet (right?) which all means more output but nevertheless in the two clips it sounds "cleaner" than ONE.

  • MegiMegi Posts: 7,191Member

    OK - I had a listen backwards and forwards between the two types. I would say the A5 does kind of sound cleaner - but to me it's just that it is a bit brighter and snappier sounding, which gives that impression. The A2 is just a shade softer-sounding (which we could expect from the different magnet type), and a bit more complexity to the tone (sounds like I'm doing a pretentious wine description...   ). I actually prefer the A2 just from those samples, but both very nice, and the differences are subtle it has to be said.


    I've just fitted a GFS Surf 90 pickup to the neck position of my Shine btw - it cost me about £30 delivered from the states, and having just tried it out, I think it's superb. See here if interested - just another option for you there! image

  • RomanMRomanM Posts: 474Member

    That's it! Describing the sound of different pups and different guitars for that matter reminds me describing wines: "ummm... I am getting plum and strawberries and a hint of burning bark of a 300-year-old oak in a wet forest... in the morning..." image


    In these two clips I like the "ONE" too. Actually, I have already ordered one of these. I like the "attack" of the sound, that little crunchy "wah".


    Update on CHASE aftersales:


    -- they said their technician checked the guitar before they shipped it and suggested to collect and check it at their workshop.


    -- I offered just to replace the pickup. I would send it to them they would send me a new one. They said if I start messing with the guitar it will invalidate the warranty. Quite rightly.


    -- I agreed for them to collect the guitar and asked for a refund thinking I would order another one today and not wait for them to check this one and send it back. This is also to tackle the little finish problem. Will order one now, they seem to still be available. Will bring the first one back to work tomorrow and make it available for collection (all courier operations are easier done at work).


    I know I am a troublemaker and have a bit of OCD and perfectionalism when it comes to "brand new" stuff. If I had a customer-facing business I would not like to have a client like myself.


    As for why: The guitar came wrapped in one layer of bubble wrap inside a A-shaped cardboard box padded with flat thin strips of polystyrene on the inside. I'd say there was plenty of room inside the box for it to bump from one wall of the box to the other. This could have knocked the 3-pos switch off and damaged the soldering or the switch itself. On the outside of the box there were significantly more layers of bubble wrap, the box was undamaged.

  • RomanMRomanM Posts: 474Member
    Originally Posted by Megi:

    See here if interested - just another option for you there!


    I was listening to many different samples of different pickups on guitarfetish after you gave this link in your Shine Mod topic. And I was on the brink of throwing my headphones away. I thought I could never play a guitar because I am deaf. I thought I need an appointment to check my hearing and started looking on a proper hearing aid websites. All samples sounded the same to me! I can't hear a slightest difference! image


    But then... I downloaded two samples to my PC and run a command to compare the two files byte by byte. There was no difference! The file names are different, the content is the same to a last byte! How can they still be in business!?


    On this screenshot they suggest to compare bridge and neck and these two files are what I compared. But the pickup samples in the other pickups, maybe even in your Surfs, Megi, sounded exactly the same!



  • MegiMegi Posts: 7,191Member

    That's funny! I can hear the two Memphis pickup demos are exactly the same clip. But then I listened to some of the clips for the Liverpool pickups, and I can hear differences there. And then the clips for the Surf 90s are different again. I suspect maybe an error with the clips for the Memphis pickup - sounds to me like they have used the bridge pickup sample twice. Not that I'm worried anyway though - the pickup I got from them sounds good, and is well-made. I did listen to a few people using this pickup on YouTube also before ordering it, but I do think the whole business of trying to assess the sound of pickups from clips of other people playing is all a bit hilarious really - the amp, settings, how things were recorded, how good the player is, and their own way of playing - it all makes such a huge difference to the results... And of course, anyone selling stuff is always going to tell you it's brilliant, no matter what the truth is! Hope Chase can find you a good replacement guitar though, and also that you like the new pickup. image

  • RomanMRomanM Posts: 474Member

    They don't know it is a replacement guitar. It is a new order. Well, if they after all refuse to refund the first one, I will end up with two! What a nice excuse to treat myself!


    I will agree on uselessness of clips. Maybe that's why they used one at least twice - why bother!

  • martinsmith99martinsmith99 Posts: 375Member
    My suggestion is not to buy another online.  You get what you pay for, so if you're fussy, go to a shop and check it over 1st.
  • The23rdmanThe23rdman Posts: 1,560Member
    Originally Posted by martinsmith99:
    My suggestion is not to buy another online.  You get what you pay for, so if you're fussy, go to a shop and check it over 1st.

    I'm sorry, but this is plainly not true when it comes to this guitar as attested to by all the other owners on this forum. 

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