Troubleshoot this electric guitar

So, I used to play guitar, quite a lot, and lost interest about 15 years ago. I still had the guitars in the closet, and pulled one out today. It took some false starts, but I finally realized that the bridge humbucker seems to be dead. The fretboard pickup and single-coil seem fine.

The guitar is an 80s Electra Phoenix strat ripoff (I think its this model). Its unusual in that the three “pots” all have a switch in them. You pull up on the pots, and you get various combinations of the 3 pickups, in addition to the pickup selector switch control (yeah, I’m still trying to remember exactly what those switches did, but they seem to activate the center single-coil sometimes).

So: the silent pickup could be a) the pickup, b) the wiring (looks intact on inspection) or c) the pot or pot switch is busted. The bridge pickup control was loose, but the wires look good, I just tightened the nut that holds it on.

So: what’s a good way to troubleshoot this, short of unsoldering the whole thing and dismantling down to wood? If its the pot, how hard is it to find one with a switch on it (the switch seems to be double-poled, e.g. four solder posts, vs the 3 other posts for the pot resistor).

oops: d) its the pickup switch. Missed that one in the description.

Well, the push-pull pots are probably either coil splits or coil taps. Although you only have two humbuckers, right? So I dunno what the other push-pull would be. Basically, make sure everything is pushed in, switch over to the bridge-pup only position, and make sure you’re not getting any signal.

It could be a lot of things. Could be the pup, the wiring, or the pots, like you said. Some push-pull pots are notoriously delicate, so I’d consider checking them out, right after you pull the backplate on the guitar and make sure that everything at least appears to be soldered/connected solidly.

Short of “short of unsoldering the whole thing and dismantling down to wood”–you could disconnect the suspected bad pickup and use alligator clips to connect it directly to an amp. If no sound, it’s the pickup (broken wire in the coil). Toss and replace. If there is sound, it’s one of your switch/pots. Take to a tech for replacement.

You could, alternatively, (once you have the pickup disconnected) check with a VOM (volt meter). If this interests you, ask for more detail.

I think I figured it out – it is option d) the 3-way pickup switch. I just switched it back and forth for several minutes, perhaps 100 or more times, and now I get sound from the bridge humbucarro that had been dead.