Jolana Tornado pickup problem

Pickups, wiring schemes, switch techniques and onboard active electronics for guitars

Jolana Tornado pickup problem

Postby Rolbista » 31 May 2011, 21:11

So I have this old Jolana guitar, it's probably 40 years old or something. I used info from this site: http://www.galepp.com/gitarre/gitarre-e.htm The neck pickup didn't work at all so i swapped it with middle one, and disconected the middle PU switch and pots. The things is, bridge PU seems to have lost some volume, may that be because of long cable inside? the Middle PU (now in neck position) sometimes crackles when I hit the strings hard, but built in high pass filter seems to get rid of this. Turning filter on takes away some volume and harms tone a bit though. Can crackling be solved in a simple way like a cap to ground or a pulldown resistor like for depopping in a stompbox? Or maybe I should wax the pickup or even just replace it? i would really like to keep it , since apart from crackling, it sounds very nice. PUs are single coils and measure around 4,4 kOhm each.
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Re: Jolana Tornado pickup problem

Postby GuitarlCarl » 01 Jun 2011, 05:02

In my experience with guitars I've found that crackling is usually do to loose wiring or a floating ground intermittently making a connection. That guitar is a nice retro axe even though that switching system is probably the crackling culprit. Do all 3 pups beep out at 4.4k each? if so its definitely the switches (too complicated to be reliable)... personally I'd totally cut a new pickguard for new pickups... say p90 or strat, in the neck and humbucker at the bridge, simple wiring with single vol and tone pots and a 3 way switch. I'd also put the original pickguard and pickups away for the future. Just in case you go to sell it you still have all the original equipment as well as a nice updated setup. Or you could use the original pups with a simplified switching system, strat style, on a new pickguard. There are so many ways to wire a strat, you can find a setup that fits your style...
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Re: Jolana Tornado pickup problem

Postby Rolbista » 01 Jun 2011, 20:46

pickup that was originally in the neck position (it's not original, looks like something from USSR) doesn't work at all, so i disconnected it. do you think wiring pickups directly to pots, with no switches in the way, might solve the problem? Also, there is a small cap beetween lugs of pots, what do they do, can i just remove them? Cheers
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Re: Jolana Tornado pickup problem

Postby CHEEZOR » 01 Jun 2011, 21:59

Rolbista wrote:pickup that was originally in the neck position (it's not original, looks like something from USSR) doesn't work at all, so i disconnected it.

How do you know that the neck position pickup doesn't work? Did you test it with a multimeter? The only reason I mention it is because if it didn't work while it was installed then that doesn't mean that the pickup is dead. It could have been a bad/wrong connection elsewhere that caused the problem.
Rolbista wrote:do you think wiring pickups directly to pots, with no switches in the way, might solve the problem?

You could try that, but you lose the ability to switch between pickups. Your choice though. That would eliminate any issues related to the switch.
Rolbista wrote:Also, there is a small cap beetween lugs of pots, what do they do, can i just remove them? Cheers

My guess is that it the cap is a "treble bleed" cap so when you roll down the volume you do not lose your highs like you would in a traditional wiring setup. You can remove them. Again, personal preference.
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Re: Jolana Tornado pickup problem

Postby Rolbista » 10 Jun 2011, 09:09

would an ordinary dpdt wired like this do? or do i have to buy a switch specifically for guitar?
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Re: Jolana Tornado pickup problem

Postby CHEEZOR » 10 Jun 2011, 17:43

Rolbista wrote:would an ordinary dpdt wired like this do? or do i have to buy a switch specifically for guitar?


All you would need is a spdt switch for the way you are showing because the grounds should always be connected. The difference between this and using a switch that is sptt (On-On-On) is that you are losing the ability to select both pickups at the same time. Any 3 position guitar switch should give you that option. If you do not like/use both pickups at the same time then your wiring (minus the ground part) would work fine. I tend to not use more than one pickup at a time, but I always like the option of having it. Therefore, if it was my guitar I would get a switch that would allow for that possibility.
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Re: Jolana Tornado pickup problem

Postby RnFR » 10 Jun 2011, 20:28

I'd keep the original pickups if at all possible. then just simplify the switching system to normal Gibson style specs- unless you have the patience to duplicate the original scheme. sometimes those funky features are the coolest part of these weird old guitars.
the pickups- be advised that potting them may reduce microphonics, but also can affect the tone a bit. Iwould avoid it, and just use some replacements if it was that bad. make sure to keep the old ones as stated above. I had an old Kingston that I potted the pickup in, and it fixed the feedback, but just made it sound lifeless. I ended up replacing it with a lipstick style, but now it's no longer an all original 150$ 1960s Japanese guitar. :block: but, those covers on yours are worth keeping it stock alone. are they glitter?
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Re: Jolana Tornado pickup problem

Postby Rolbista » 11 Jun 2011, 16:38

no, they're black, one looks like it comes from Belarussian Formanta. I think those funny low and high pass filters get in the way of the signal and rocker switches stay somewhere beetween on and off introducing cracks cause the guitar just can't decide where to let the signal through :D And I'm trying to avoid any irreversible changes, so i think I will remove middle pu switch, mount some plastic in the cavity and install a gibson style switch on that added plastic since i don't want to drill the pickguard.
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Re: Jolana Tornado pickup problem

Postby Rolbista » 29 Jan 2012, 17:07

Getting back to my Jolana! Well, the ground has been ripped from original place which was inside the body, screwed to the tail piece from the inside. I have no way of accessing that spot without cutting the guitar, so I led a wire through the f-hole, and wrapped it around a string. As you can imagine, it's not a perfect mounting method ^^ so I wonder if any of you has some patents for wiring the ground when the original spot has been damaged. I've been thinking about soldering the ground to one of the strings while replacing them each time but that would be a pain in the ass and the string would probably snap right away. I'm on my way to the tube amp so I want to avoid any grounding problems.
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Re: Jolana Tornado pickup problem

Postby GuitarlCarl » 29 Jan 2012, 23:04

rather than grounding the strings... Do the posts the bridge sets on, thread out, like a Gibson? You may be able to sneak a wire under the edge of your pickguard and wrap it around the bridgepost... If they back out some, I'd raise it a quarter turn, then wrap the ground wire around it and then screw the post back in a quarter turn to pinch the ground wire good. No need to solder, if its in tight. Many Gibson style guitars bring the ground wire in to the holes the posts will be in, before the studs they screw into, are pressed in, then they press in the studs and the wire is pinched into place. Screw in the posts and when the bridge sets in place, ground is made through it all to the strings, and to you...
I want it to sound like bees buzzing around in a 55 gallon drum...
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