Need some help with a "New-to-me" DCE-5

awerking

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Just picked up a 1999 DCE-5 off of Reverb - bought it as a 16th birthday present for my daughter. Guitar is a great shape, action is great, and it sounds great. However, I can't get the Fishman electronics to work. I put a fresh battery in, but when I plug into the amp there's no sound.

I've never had an acoustic-electric, so not sure if there's something basic that I'm missing. Before I contact the seller I wanted to check here for some advice on common things to try. Any help or guidance would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
 
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Guildedagain

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Did they say it worked in the listing?

Is there anything wrong with your cord?

Is there corrosion on the 9V terminals inside the cavity?

I'm actually not a huge fan of the Fishman, or any undersaddle system, I don't really care for the the tone. If the Fishman really is dead, you could do better with quite a few options that are out there, K&K, Baggs. I'm personally leaning towards a Fishman soundhole pickup with attached mike to get to amplify an acoustic.
 

awerking

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Thanks, Guildedagain. To answer your questions:

1) The ad said "Just cosmetic issues with the guitar", which referred to some finish checking. The shop answered all of my additional questions, including sending extensive photos of action, string height, and saddle measurements. The shop stated that the electronics were in working order. Overall the guitar is great - the neck is straight, the action is good, and there's room left in the saddle. Just the electronics issue...

2) I'm using the same cord that my daughter uses for her electric - it works great on that guitar so I have no reason to believe it wouldn't work with this one.

3) The terminals appear to be pretty clean, although I'm no expert. There's no visible rust, corrosion, or discoloration.

Anyone have any other ideas?
 

Stuball48

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I had one acoustic/electric and couldn't get it to work and it turned out to be the 1/4" plug on the guitar. I wrapped the chord male jack in 1200 grit emory cloth and cleaned guitar plug. Do not force it. You might just plug and unplug chord 30--40 times in a row.
 

adorshki

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Just picked up a 1999 DCE-5 off of Reverb - bought it as a 16th birthday present for my daughter. Guitar is a great shape, action is great, and it sounds great. However, I can't get the Fishman electronics to work. I put a fresh battery in, but when I plug into the amp there's no sound.

I've never had an acoustic-electric, so not sure if there's something basic that I'm missing. Before I contact the seller I wanted to check here for some advice on common things to try. Any help or guidance would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
Your pre-amp's "barn door" should say "ProBlend" on it. Does the red LED light up? Then it's getting power.
I don't recall hearing of many problems with those re the components themselves so I'm thinking broken connection either at the output jack and/or from the mic and UST to the preamp.

Have you deciphered the control panel to see that there's a slider to adjust balance between mic and UST? Do you get any output at either end of its range, to try to determine if it's a bad transducer?

Can you get a look at the underside of the bridge to ensure the pickup wires from the UST are still intact?

That's all I can think of.
 

awerking

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Thanks, adorshki.
If by "barn door" you mean the cover where the switches are, it says Guild at the top and Fishman Transducers at the bottom. The red LED does not light up.

I tried all of the sliders throughout their full range and could get no output of any kind.

Will take a look at the underside of the bridge when I get a chance.
 

SFIV1967

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Does the red LED light up? Then it's getting power.
That red LED is a "Battery Low" LED. When plugging into the endpin jack, the "Low Battery" light will flash momentarily, indicating that the power is on. When the "Low Battery" light stays on, it is time to change the battery. So it would only shortly flash when inserting the instrument cable.

In any case I would use a mirror and a light and check all cables in the guitar and maybe remove the whole unit to see if the battery is correctly connected. Also check the "switch part" on the output connector, as the system is powered up when a guitar cable is plugged in.

Ralf
 
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adorshki

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That red LED is a "Battery Low" LED. When plugging into the endpin jack, the "Low Battery" light will flash momentarily, indicating that the power is on. When the "Low Battery" light stays on, it is time to change the battery. So it would only shortly flash when inserting the instrument cable.
Yeah I was lazy, call it verbal shorthand, but if he doesn't get a light at all, there's a problem in the pre-amp (or the output jack) before even checking the connections.
In any case I would use a mirror and a light and check all cables in the guitar and maybe remove the whole unit to see if the battery is correctly connected. Also check the switch part on the output connector, as the system is powered up when a guitar cable is plugged in.
Ralf
I don't think there's a "switch" on the jack, rather that when a plug is inserted, it gives the pre-amp a ground a that allows the battery to power the preamp.

Also, it's possible to wire the Blender system to give stereo output, but then only a stereo cable will activate the pre-amp.

I don't think Guild actually built any that way for regular production, although I seem to recall Hans mentioning it was possible to order it that way.
 
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Nuuska

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Long shot here - the output jack is stereo jack - the battery negative connects to ground, when plug is in.

Could it be, that you inserted the cable only partially in - because there you have the second click - but it needs to be all the way in.
 
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adorshki

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Thanks, adorshki.
If by "barn door" you mean the cover where the switches are, it says Guild at the top and Fishman Transducers at the bottom. The red LED does not light up.

I tried all of the sliders throughout their full range and could get no output of any kind.

Will take a look at the underside of the bridge when I get a chance.
Does it say "Pro Blend" and is there a slider with "mic" on one end and "UST" on the other? If not, then the pre-amp itself is probably a replacement. The DCE-5's had the higher-end "ProBlend" system since '97, according to the catalogs.

Which brings up the question, how did the shop date it to '99? The only person I know of who can date a Guild from later than '96 accurately is Hans Moust and sometimes SFIV1967, when he's got other known s/n's to compare with.

What is the s/n, btw?
Does it show up here?: https://guildguitars.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/history_of_your_guild.pdf
 

SFIV1967

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I don't think there's a "switch" on the jack, rather that when a plug is inserted, it gives the pre-amp a ground a that allows the battery to power the preamp.
Long shot here - the output jack is stereo jack - the battery negative connects to ground, when plus is in.
You are both 100% right, I somehow was not able to say it correctly, when I sad "the switch part" I was meaning the stereo portion of the output jack. Thanks for pointing that out and correcting me.

1611135479123.png


Ralf
 
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SFIV1967

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it says Guild at the top and Fishman Transducers at the bottom.
Does it say "Pro Blend" and is there a slider with "mic" on one end and "UST" on the other?
This was a 1996 DCE-5 ad picture from Guild which matches the description of awerking:

1611132872598.png


The manual PDF link I posted above also looks different from that picture and from the guitar awerking has.

So this one might be maybe the right one:
http://www.fishmanjp.com/support/install_guides/acoustic_matrix_professional_installation_guide.pdf

The later models used yet different versions as the Guild Gallery 1999 shows:

1611133491406.png


So yes, I also have a feeling awerkings DCE-5 is not from 1999 but slightly older. If the serial number is between FC050597 and 0964 it should be a 1996 for instance. 0965 to 1258 should be 1997.

Ralf
 
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awerking

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Wow - thanks, everyone, for all of the information! As usual, LTG does not disappoint!

Nuuska - The cable is fully inserted. Just tried again for good measure. No joy.

Interestingly, if I pull the plug out slightly the red light lights up and stays on. With the cable in this position I get a crackling sound when I move the volume slider from left to right. So far that's the only sound I've been able to get out of this thing. When the plug is fully inserted the thing is completely dead.

Adorshki - I dated the guitar to 1999 by reading the date stamped on the interior on the neck block. I had trouble deciphering the last digit as it was partially blurred. I took another look, the date reads Nov 5, 1996. The SN is 17050932. The last 6 digits fall within the range of the 1996 DC5 SNs in the list you posted, however the "17" prefix on my SN is a departure from the "AD" prefix in your referenced list. Regardless of the SN discrepancy, the date stamped on the neck block definitively dates the guitar to 1996.

SFIV1967 - the top photo you posted is the exact model installed on my DCE-5. Based on your commentary, this appears to be the correct OEM electronics for a 1996 DCE-5.

At this point, I think I'm out of troubleshooting options. Going to follow up with the seller shop to see what they're willing to do to remedy.
image0.jpeg
image1.jpeg
 

Guildedagain

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Wonder if somehow a bump in transit caused this?

Any way your battery could be faulty? Try another just in case.

Not to despair, these are really fine guitars.

Worst case scenario the something died that you can probably easily replace with a working original part - which seller should cover the cost of - or upgrade to a better pickup system.

Does anyone troubleshoot and repair the original Fishman components?
 

Nuuska

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When you push the plug all the way in and sound gets muted - does the red light still stay on?

If yes - then do you have the strap nut on - like in Ralfs picture on post # 13 ?

Without that strap nut the plug can indeed go too deep and short the output ( no harm done to electronics - no fear ) - but the power should still be ON.

Scrathcy sliders often indicate lack of use - so give them all plenty of wiggling back and forth - they do not wear out unless you repeat that about 100 000 times . . . Same with switches.

Can we have a picture of the output jack?
 

awerking

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Update - I took the DCE-5 into my local shop to have the tech take a look. It worked fine at the shop - go figure... Best I can tell the issue was with my cable. Even though the cable works fine with my daughter's electric, it apparently does not work with the DCE-5. I tried an alternate cable and everything works just fine.

Thanks, everyone, for the help!
 
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