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Thread: 1995 Silo Special HSS Silent Circuit

  1. #1
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    1995 Silo Special HSS Silent Circuit

    Hello, first post here.

    I recently bought a used Silo Special HSS that is from 1995 and has the Grover tuners, Wilkinson bridge. It is in need of some TLC which I am happy to do to it.

    The guitar is purple with rosewood fretboard, which I have not seen a lot of? I gave the serial number to EB email support and they came back saying it was an SSS Silo (non special) so I'm waiting to see if maybe they entered my serial number (typo) when searching.

    The prior owner (or owners, not sure of the history) replaced all 3 pickups so it has a JB humbucker in bridge and two SSL-2 Duncan single coils in middle and neck.

    The "silent circuit" is in there but it looks nothing at all like what I see in google image search. The stuff that comes up in Google image are all round canister things with the adjustment. The one in this guitar is more like a rectangular piece, black in color with an ernie ball sticker on it and solder lugs on the top of it.

    I will take pictures and upload when I can. I'm just curious if this is like the very first revision of the silent circuit? The guitar is from 1995 after all and according to my limited research this is the very first year of the Silo Special?

    THANKS. I'm looking forward to getting this guitar into great playing shape.

  2. #2
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    Hi again! I have been googling and still cannot find any info about the silent circuit that is in my guitar since it is not round and does not have a trim pot on it. Mine is black, flat, rectangular, has Ernie ball logo on it. Pic is worth 1,000 words so I will add a pic when I am able and maybe someone can help me ID what it is. Early prototype perhaps.

    Two questions in meantime. Is that bridge JB humbucker getting a tonal garfunkle by having a 250k vol pot?
    How can I tell if the middle single coils (they are both Duncan SSL-2) is RWRP?

    Thanks EB MM Forum!

  3. #3
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    Welcome to the forum! Forum rule/tradition: your guitar doesn't exist without pictures!

    I presume the guitar says "Silhouette Special" on the headstock and has 22 frets? in which case, there may be database issue or a mis-entered number somewhere.
    An Irishman in Paris...
    2005 LE Buttercream Silhouette Special

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  4. #4
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    Congrats and welcome! As Doc said.....PICS!!!!

    You can also contact customer service directly via phone or email with questions. A link to their contact info is in docs signature above.
    SBMM JV60 S/N SG34682 w/flame roasted maple neck/DuBaldo's split HB polished frets; DiMarzio PAF 36th Bridge pup neck; DiMarzio AT-1 bridge; Graphtec saddles; Schaller locking tuners
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  5. #5
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    Ha!! Yes, of course. Pics will be added just as soon as I am able. The serial is 96xxx (I cannot remember the last three) and support says it's from October 6 1995 and is an SSS Silhouette with a maple fretboard? Mine is a Special in HSS with a rosewood wank plank, so either the previous owner(s) not only swapped out the PG but the neck too(!) or perhaps a better explanation is I made a typo when I gave the SN to support or support made a typo when punching it into their system.

    She needs some TLC for sure, but I could tell after about 30 minutes of playing it (even with elec issues and bad setup) that there is something special about this guitar!

    It does indeed say Silhouette Special on the headstock, it has 22 frets, HSS config and was at some point altered with a JB/SSL-2/SSL-2. It has a 5 way mega switch, the weird rectangular thing I have mentioned that is some form of SC and the battery compartment in the back. Grover tuners, old wilkinson bridge and pearloid PG.

    PICS SOON! I'd like to solve the mystery, make sure it is wired correctly and dial her in with a nice setup.
    Last edited by thenizzle; 03-16-2017 at 01:17 PM.

  6. #6
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    OK!! Hello again! So the serial number is 96431 and I am having support triple check it for me.

    Now, onto the SC. Mine is in fact rectangular AND support found a schematic for it!! WOOO WOOO WOOO!!! So, the rectangular SC does in fact really exist.

    Here is a picture of my guts:

    1995 Silo Special HSS Silent Circuit-imag2772-jpg

    Question #1. Unrelated to this specific guitar, but how can I tell if the middle Duncan SSL-2 is RWRP? Can I test it with a meter?

    Question #2. On the diagram that EB support sent me, their neck pickup is 4 conductor, mine of course is only two conductor. Where the Ernie diagram has white wire from the neck pickup going to the lug that joins the yellow from SC, I have no wire. My neck black wire goes to where the black neck wire is on the diagram but the WHITE wire of neck goes to where the RED wire of the Ernie pickup goes. My MIDDLE pickup black wire matches the diagram and the white goes to where the RED wire of diagram goes.

    Ernie Diagram:

    1995 Silo Special HSS Silent Circuit-silh_spc_hss_old_cwd-2-jpg

    So what it's doing now is:

    Bridge - normal JB tone, hum-cancel as expected.
    Position 2 nice n quiet tweener tones
    Position 3 gnarly single coil hum
    Position 4 nice n quiet tweener tones
    Position 5 nasty single coil hum.
    Brand new battery put in, btw.

    Oh and here is the axe!! It's being operated on so this is just with the PG on there temporarily. There is something special about this axe.

    1995 Silo Special HSS Silent Circuit-imag2776-jpg
    I also just wanted to add that Ernie email support is THE BEST I have ever seen, EVER. I am blown away by it. KUDOS to whoever runs Ernie support. Seriously, ridiculously good.
    Last edited by thenizzle; 03-16-2017 at 09:12 PM.

  7. #7
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    OK I found a trick to test RWRP.

    I had a Dimarzio laying around. When I push that pickup on top of the neck pickup there is no resistance and I can easily go up down up down against the neck pickup.

    When I put the pickup on top the middle pickup is SUCKS TO IT and has resistance when I pull it off. So i get no attraction or magnetism at neck but the middle pickup sucks my pickup right to it.

    Which one is RWRP?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by thenizzle View Post
    OK I found a trick to test RWRP.

    I had a Dimarzio laying around. When I push that pickup on top of the neck pickup there is no resistance and I can easily go up down up down against the neck pickup.

    When I put the pickup on top the middle pickup is SUCKS TO IT and has resistance when I pull it off. So i get no attraction or magnetism at neck but the middle pickup sucks my pickup right to it.

    Which one is RWRP?
    You'll know when you wire it up - If the RWRP pickup goes into the neck position by mistake, position 2 [middle with HB south (screw) coil] will not be hum-cancelling but will actually be worse than single coil on it's own (with no silent circuit). If all is correctly wired, with RWRP in the middle position, position 2 will be hum-cancelling. That seems to be the case for you, so middle pickup must be RWRP. Now grab a sharpie and mark the bottom of that pickup for future reference!

    Quote Originally Posted by thenizzle View Post
    I also just wanted to add that Ernie email support is THE BEST I have ever seen, EVER. I am blown away by it. KUDOS to whoever runs Ernie support. Seriously, ridiculously good.
    They do have one of the best reputations in the business!
    An Irishman in Paris...
    2005 LE Buttercream Silhouette Special

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  9. #9
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    You can use a multimeter to test pickup phase. If you bring something ferrous near the pickups, you'll see the resistance of t he pickup slightly increase or decrease, depending on its phase. Once you know what your bridge pickup does, you can see if the neck and middle have the same or opposite phase as it.

    Saves you some work, if you want a quick way to test.

  10. #10
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    OK. I will mark that as RWRP.

    So now my main question is, is the SC working? It would appear that it is not because in position 5 it is noise city on that true single coil. I notice the Ernie diagram has their neck as a 4 conductor whereas mine is a true single coil. Additionally, in another diagram they sent me (the one with the round SC vs. rectangular) that the neck was a 2 conductor.

  11. #11
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    I don't know what that 4 conductor single coil was. Standard singles are of course two coil, as wired in versions B and C of the schematic. Which version of the diagram did they send you?

    Note that rev A and rev B have a switch layout that is non logical and not the same as rev C. If you have not taken that into account you may have mis-wired something. Do you have a link to the switch you are using?
    An Irishman in Paris...
    2005 LE Buttercream Silhouette Special

    Forum Rules and Useful MM Guitar Info
    Required reading - Forum Decorum

    Ernie Ball Customer Service
    Music Man Customer Service

    I do not work for EBMM. I'm just a moderator.

  12. #12
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    DrKev - I have no idea what the original was either, I'm only goign off of the schematic from Ernie. The switch and the rectangular SC in the guitar are the original Ernie's and the bridge humbucker as well as the SC itself is wired exactly like the diagram. The main differences are how the middle and neck pups are done.

    The previous dude(s) wired this axe up, I have not touched any of it yet. From my limited understanding of the SC it should kill hum when in position 5. Mine is not doing that and I think it's because the pup is wired like I explained above.

    I also have an email into the amazing Ernie support to see if they have a diagram for an actual single coil in the neck.

    Here is my theory. The rectangular SC I have is old as heck, first revision. I think that rectangular design was sold with guitars using 4 conductor neck pickups hence the diagram I pasted above. Later when they switched to the circular SC they used 2 conductor SC's in the neck.

    Possible that the rectangular SC was only intended to work with 4 conductor pickups? Which seems really odd though because a 4 conductor pickup in series would not need any type of noise cancelling.

    Color me confused. Waiting to hear back from support.
    Last edited by thenizzle; 03-17-2017 at 09:39 AM.

  13. #13
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    An Irishman in Paris...
    2005 LE Buttercream Silhouette Special

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    I do not work for EBMM. I'm just a moderator.

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