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Zmode switch

Zmode logo

FAQ - Touch Testing

The Audere preamp uses a DC connection to the pickups. This design lowers the distortion level compared to other common preamps and is different than the typical connections most Luthiers and Repair shops are familiar with. So it is important to follow the instructions and get the connections to the pickup correct.

The Pickup Common should Not be connected to ground
If it is then you may experience one or more of these symptoms:
1) The Z-Mode Switch POPs really LOUD when you change modes.
2) Increasing the bass control can actually reduce the signal level.
3) The treble control might not work well.
4) One pickup or both could have a very low volume.
5) The LED light might go though a Fast Flash sequence like you have a bad battery.

This FAQ is design to explain how to use your fingers as the test signal to verify the preamp is working correctly...
But the problems with the pickup connections will have to be fixed in the end.
For now, we will just test the preamp.

The test procedure is simple but please follow each step:

1) Remove the battery.
Unsolder the Blue/White, Black/White and Green/White from the pickup connections.
Re-install the battery.
Set the balance control (if used) and any volume controls to the max levels.
Set any active tone controls in the center detent.
Set the passive tone control (if used) to the max level (flat).
Plug in the cable to the jack.
The battery test LED should now follow the normal battery test sequence.
Turn on the Bass amp.

The White wire set should be totally disconnected

2) Toggle the Z-Mode switch - note it does not pop

The switching will not pop

3) Touch a pickup input wire (Blue/White or Black/White) with your finger

Touch a wire Blue/White or Black/White to inject test noise

You will be able to hear the hum generated when you touch the leads of the Blue/White or Black/White wire.
Both wires will have roughly the same volume of signal level.

4) Toggle the Z-Mode switch but with a non-conductive object - it does not pop.

Toggle Z-Mode switch with insulated object

Do not touch any grounded metal objects while you move the switch.

5) Remove you finger connection, adjust any tone control, retouch the connection - you can hear the tone controls working.

6) Repeat step #5 for each tone control installed.

We now know the preamp is working. If we hook up the pickups and experience a symptom, we know it is a pickup wiring problem...

If you have a meter then please see our Metering FAQ page - this is the easiest and fastest way to find the problem with the pickup wiring.

If you do not have a meter then try the following:

It is often helpful to test ONLY the Neck Pickup and then ONLY the Bridge Pickup.
For some reason, the Bridge Pickups seem to have more wiring problems so you might start there.
If only 1 pickup has a problem then you have divided your problem in half and the wiring error will be much easier to find.
If both pickups have a problem then they both probably have the exact same problem.

Look at the pickup wires - is there a 2nd wire (a shield connection) connected to any of the coil wires like in the problem wiring example below:
This photo shows the end of a pickup wire as supplied by the pickup vendor.The shield (bare) is connected to the Green wire; this needs to be separated.

The Green must be disconnected from the bare ground

1) The only time you should see 2 wires connected together is if they are coil connections to create a series or parallel hum bucking coil connection. Any others should be disconnected.
2) Leave the shield wire (bare wire) unconnected to anything.
3) Retest.
4) If the pickup goes dead then the current wire is not connected to the coil and is probably the shield wire so try the other wire as the coil connection.
5) Next hook the shield wire to ground.
6) Retest.

This will fix the problem about 90% of the time.

Of the remaining problems, it is usually something related to the wiring on the bottom of the pickups - you can pull up the pickups and look for connections from the coil windings to shielding or other paths to ground.

If you still can not located the wiring problem then you need to find some one with a meter or you can purchase an inexpensive one...