Need help, tele neck pickup is microphonic,

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by kurt1981, Jul 16, 2011.

  1. kurt1981

    kurt1981 Supporting Member

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    Hey guys, I've had this tele for a few months, and haven't gotten a chance to play it too much, but I'm noticing, there's a loud plinking sound if the pick hits the neck pickup, like a metallic clink, and it'll start to whistle if I'm in front of my amp, even at low levels, under not too much gain at all. Wondering if there's a fix for this, or if I need to find a new pickup?
    Thanks,
    Kurt
     
  2. gillman royce

    gillman royce Supporting Member

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    Not knowing the make & model of either your Tele or the pick up I can only give you general answers. A pick up is a microphone so yeah, it will broadcast the sound of the pick hitting it. As a single coil design it will be noisier than a humbucker. If your amp is in a room with a computer, stereo, tv etc, the amp will amplify that noise. Most tele players change the nose pup for a variety of reasons, starting with tone. There are dozens of great sounding pups out there so it really boils down to personal taste.
     
  3. Sweetfinger

    Sweetfinger Member

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    I'll clarify a bit. Single coils aren't any more prone to microphonics than humbuckers, they just pick up more hum and electrical noise.
    To cure the microphonics you will want to have the pickup dipped in wax, or if you're dissatisfied with the tone or want a hum canceling pickup, replace it.
     
  4. doublee

    doublee Member

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    Microphonic is not necessarily a bad thing, I am told some old guys prefer that, ie very lively.
     
  5. DANOCASTER

    DANOCASTER Gold Supporting Member

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    you can tap your pick on a potted humbucker and you'll still hear it - a metallic "chink"

    but if your pick is hitting your neck pickup , it's probably too high - lower your pickup
     
  6. kurt1981

    kurt1981 Supporting Member

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    Hey guys it's a microphonic thing for sure, it rings bad through an amp, clean or overdriven, no other guitar I have does this, and it's only the neck pickup. I did try putting foam underneath it, someone suggested that, but it doesn't help. How would I do the wax dip, or is it worth trying, maybe I should just look for a new neck pickup?
    Thanks,
     
  7. Space Hammer

    Space Hammer Member

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    I had the bridge pickup in my Tele Custom go bad about a year ago, anything more than my 59' Bassman RI on 2 with a light boost would be met with screeching feedback (not usable/musical feedback think more the 'ouch-my-ears' type feedback). I've also heard with a badly microphonic pickup that you actually talk into it and you can hear it thorough your amp.

    I ended up replacing mine with a Fralin Blues special and been fine since, if you're really attached to the pickup (or if it's old/valuable) i'd send it to one of the pickup winders out there that also do repairs (eg. Curtis Novak, Lindy Fralin), or looking for a new replacement.
     
  8. Boris Bubbanov

    Boris Bubbanov Member

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    Did the foam make the issue better, no change or worse?

    How do you have the pup mounted? Body or pickguard?

    Sometimes the pickup is torqued or twisted, internally and the mounting can torque or twist it even more. Creating small voids where the wire and parts should be all together and now they're not.

    The potting can fill the voids but anything you can do to resolve these stresses within the pup can go back to the root of the problem.

    Putting something under the pup, then kinda "wrapping" the pup around the new filler under there, is likely to just make it worse. Could be the damage is done but I would first try remounting the pup, then try potting, before I gave up.

    I've had the best success body mounting these, but placing the height spacers only directly around the 2 mount points. Nowhere else.
     
  9. kurt1981

    kurt1981 Supporting Member

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    Foam didn't seem to help or hurt much, I do have it mounted to the body, with rubber mounts. I may end up just looking for a new neck pickup, I think this one may be beyond repair. What do you guys recommend for a good 50's tele neck sound?
     
  10. picknpluck

    picknpluck Member

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    I had the same problem with my 52 RI earlier this year. I had the pickup wax potted fairly cheaply and it's been fine since.
     
  11. johnh

    johnh Supporting Member

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    If it's feeding back even when clean, I woudl replace it - unless it's a very valuable pickup. After all, and excuse to buy a new pickup - sounds great!
     
  12. sabby

    sabby Member

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    I've had this. Don Mare fixed it by removing the cover and adding some potting wax between the cover and pickup.

    If it's a potted pickup I've hear that you may be able fix this problem my heating the cover with a solder iron while the pup is cover side down/bottom up. I never tried this, though, so I cannot attest to its effectiveness. Nonetheless it's free to try.
     
  13. Polynitro

    Polynitro Member

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    maybe its just the cover is not grounded, are there 3 wires?...add a wire to the cover and run it to a nail. If you have it wired in-series and the cover is not grounded you will hear everytime the string hits the pickup.

    I doubt that its not potted, nobody makes pickups without potting them unless requested.


    For a good 50s Tele pup? I use a Rumpelstiltkin Black Rope 1950 set, the neck is very clear and articulate-ask for a nickel-silver cover instead of brass..and the bridge is 1950 Broadcaster spec, almost 13K. Tele with hairy balls.
     
  14. studiodunn

    studiodunn Supporting Member

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    lucky you ;)
     

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