I have an Epihpone (Les Paul 100, fairly standard) electric guitar, which over the years have gotten to suffer from a non-functioning bridge pickup. I verified this using an ohm-meter, the result being that only the neck pickup gave a signal (also apparent from plugging it into my amplifier and playing) at 20K. In order to repair it or replace it, I am attempting to disconnect it from where it is soldered on; at its volume-meter (see pictures at the bottom).
I did attempt to remove the solder by heating it and the surrounding area, and use a solder sucker, but the solder would not melt - even after prolonged exposure to the heat from the soldering iron (30W, fairly standard). My question is, would I be better off using a solder gun? Clearly it gives off more temperature, hence making it easier to melt the solder, but I am somewhat concerned of also harming the nearby wiring (which mostly are not long enough to cut and re-solder on).
I made sure to let the iron reach peak temperature and to tip it with some solder beforehand, but the solder barely melted. I guess an alternative would be to cut the wire rather than melt the solder, but I would at any rate have to re-solder a new one on at some point.
Any suggestions on the optimal way of getting rid of this piece of solder would be appreciated.
I did the following:
- Used a 175W solder gun to melt away enough solder to get a better hold of the wire.
- Cut the black (hot) wire as close to the solder joint as I could.
- Used the 30W solder iron (pointy tip) to melt away more around the remaining two black wires (bottom of picture 1).
- Cut as close as possible to the joint for these two as well.
- Melted the smaller solder joints for the white wire and red wires, allowing them to be pulled away.
In total I lost only 4-5 millimeters of wire from the pickup, and slightly toasted a few nearby wires, but not so badly that they took any substantial damage. Also, I tested the pickup (directly on the wires of the detached unit with 20K ohm) which showed that in fact the pickup is functional, giving ground to assume some fault with some other wire, part, or joint. At any rate, replacing the volume-meters and tone-meters is not costly, and re-soldering them should yield better connections.