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Lyric Sending Intermittent DC Voltage

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  • Lyric Sending Intermittent DC Voltage

    I have a Bourgeois Generation OM that came with a Lyric installed. I've been using a Kemper Stage for 80+ gigs with this combo so far. Last September, the signal became distorted and gated out of nowhere in the middle of a show. If I played very hard, the signal would come through but sound terrible. Playing at normal volume would result in no signal at all to the Kemper. The day after the gig I plugged everything in and it all worked perfectly fine. I was never able to replicate the issue.

    Then at a gig 2 weeks ago, the same thing happened. This time, the issue persisted. If I turn the volume wheel about halfway down, the Kemper will start to allow signal through and it sounds just fine (but a little quiet obviously). If I plug the guitar into any other device (guitar amp, mixer, computer interface, etc.) it sounds perfectly fine. Additionally, if I have a tuner pedal (or any other stomp pedal) between the guitar and Kemper, there is no issue. No distortion, no gating. I took this to the Kemper message boards and someone suggested I measure the DC voltage coming from the guitar, which I did. That seems to be the issue. The Kemper is apparently sensitive to "high" voltages coming into it whereas most other devices - at least the ones I own - don't seem to have that issue.

    The problem has been coming and going now for the past several days. Sometimes I plug it in and it's great, other times, it doesn't work. I have repeatedly tested the voltage and I'm getting readings everywhere from 0.09 to 1.75 so far. If I plug the cable into the Kemper, unplug it, then test it again, sometimes the voltage will then change. The same thing goes for plugging/unplugging any other device. So making those connections seems to be forcing the Lyric to change the level of voltage it's pushing through the cable. From what I understand, there shouldn't actually be any voltage at all coming from the Lyric.

    On another thread, I saw someone mention a similar issue with another device. They reported that the issue ended up being a faulty "electrolyt cap at the output". I'm not sure if that's the issue here as I don't know what that means or how to test it. I don't actually have the proper tools to take the Lyric out or take it apart, nor do I trust myself to get in there without damaging the guitar. It sounds like if my issue is the same, I will have to take it to someone to have the pickup replaced (after looking into any warrantee benefits there may be, of course).

    Additional details:
    • I've swapped in different 9-volt batteries from multiple manufacturers multiple times
    • I always get a 0.00 reading when the volume wheel is all the way down. The readings above are the max volume voltages. Changing the volume wheel position DOES affect the voltage reading.
    • Playing the guitar does NOT have an effect on the voltage reading.
    • I've tried moving around, shaking the guitar, and putting my hand inside the soundhole to move the wiring around. That has not had any effect on the voltage readings or signal quality.
    • I've tried multiple cables (all mono cables)
    • Disconnecting and reconnecting the cable to the guitar does not seem to have an effect on the voltage reading or signal quality so I don't believe it's a contact issue.
    Any advice would be appreciated.


  • #2
    It definitely sounds like there is something that is partially shorting voltage into the signal. If you roll the volume up and down when that is happening, do you get any kind of scratching noise? That would be a pretty clear indicator, given the other symptoms.

    If you want to email me at [email protected], I will do what I can to help.


    • #3
      Thanks, Caleb. There is a little bit of scratching noise when adjusting the volume, but it's very, very faint. It just sounds like the scratching you get from the volume or tone pot on an electric guitar that needs a squirt of contact spray. I'll shoot you an email.