Learn how to use a multimeter to check the DC Resistance of a 4-conductor humbucker, Strat single coil, Tele single coil, potentiometer, and resistor! 🎸🛠 Pickups are measured by their DC Resistance (DCR). The DC Resistance essentially tells you what the resistance is for the length of magnet wire being used on that particular pickup. If you suspect that the coil of a pickup may be bad, broken, or shorted out, the first thing to check (other than a visual inspection) is the DC Resistance.
All you need to check the DC Resistance is a digital or analog multimeter, and these simple techniques!
1) For pickups, set the multimeter to the 20k ohms setting. This will read a pickup's resistance that is under 20k.
2) DC Resistances will vary slightly from meter to meter and can vary A LOT depending on the temperature. If the pickup has been sitting in the sun or has just been wax potted, for example, it will have a higher resistance.
3) If the DCR is reading anywhere close to what it should be for the particular pickup model you are measuring, then you can be sure that the pickup coil is functioning properly and is not broken or shorted out.
4) If the reading shows nothing at all or "infinity" or "open," then you know that the pickup magnet wire is broken somewhere.
5) If the reading is sporadic or reads "0.00-0.01," then you know that the pickup's hot lead is shorting out to ground somewhere.