G String Warble Problem (Strat)

Discussion in 'Luthier's Guitar & Bass Technical Discussion' started by Ben F., Mar 4, 2015.

  1. Ben F.

    Ben F. Member

    Messages:
    5
    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2014
    Hello! This is my first post at TGP. I have a very odd issue with the g string on my MIM Fender Strat. When using overdrive or distortion, I get this weird warble or tremolo type sound. It happens on every pickup all the way up the neck, but it is more notable above the 9th fret. It seems to go away when I bend the note which I thought was strange. I made a recording of the sound and put it on YouTube:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hw-6W_uxltk

    If anyone has experienced and/or fixed this issue I would love to hear from you.

    Thanks!
     
  2. jonnytexas

    jonnytexas Supporting Member

    Messages:
    3,276
    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2014
    Location:
    Houston
    Pickups might be too high.
     
  3. Ben F.

    Ben F. Member

    Messages:
    5
    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2014
    Thanks! I will lower them to see if it goes away and report back.
     
  4. walterw

    walterw Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    33,409
    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2006
    yep, and it's mostly the neck pickup that needs to be backed down.

    (oh, and welcome to TGP :))
     
  5. Ben F.

    Ben F. Member

    Messages:
    5
    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2014
    Thank you walterw!

    So I took all the pickups down to just above level with the pickgaurd but the warble remained, though it was quieter. I am using fender cs69's and the g string pole is very high so I am wondering if that has anything to do with it, though I am using a Seymour Duncan P-rail in the bridge which is flat.

    I'm stumped.
     
  6. ELmiguel

    ELmiguel Member

    Messages:
    3,563
    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2013
    Location:
    East Coast of USA
    Sounds like an intonation problem. Is the neck straight? Have you checked the intonation? How high are the strings off of the fretboard?
    Also, I'd try a different G-string to see if that's the problem. Sometimes light gauge strings cause problems as well.
     
  7. walterw

    walterw Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    33,409
    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2006
    maybe (i'm astounded that so many pickup makers still use the magnet stagger pattern initially designed for the wound-G string sets that nobody uses anymore).

    i've had good luck tapping fender pickup G poles down to re-calibrate them for plain G string sets, but it technically is a risk to the pickup coil wires. break one and the whole pickup is toast.

    either way, if the pickups really are now far away from the strings and you're still getting the warble, you may just have a bad string.
     
  8. halcyon

    halcyon Supporting Member

    Messages:
    2,248
    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2008
    Location:
    Bay Area, CA
    Old strings sometimes cause that. And yes, high (close to the strings), powerful single coil pickups will often cause that as well -- especially on the G string. It's even more pronounced, as you've noticed, with vintage staggered pickups. In that case, the G string magnet is often the closest to the string, owing to the fact that most players used a wound G string back in the early days of the Stratocaster.

    In short, it's probably the pickup, its output, its stagger pattern and its proximity to the string.
     
  9. Shiny_Beast

    Shiny_Beast Member

    Messages:
    7,926
    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2009
    Location:
    Ottawa Canada
    Stratitis, it's terminal.

    My MIM 62 RI had it bad on the G and low E. Lowering PU height helped but not enough and sounded like ass. I ended up replacing neck and bridge PU and demagnetizing middle as best I could.
     
  10. Ben F.

    Ben F. Member

    Messages:
    5
    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2014
    Thank all of you for your insight!

    I think I'll try changing the strings first and report back. I had the intonation set about a month ago when I had a Callaham vintage tremolo put in and it's still pretty solid. I will check the string height as well. From how it's playing, it seems like the strings were higher before the Callaham was put in so that might be a factor.

    Edit: I measured the height of the strings( as per Fender's instructions) and came up with this...

    6(Low E):3/64
    5: 3/64
    4: 3/64
    3: 2.5/64
    2: 2/64
    1: 2/64
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2015
  11. Shiny_Beast

    Shiny_Beast Member

    Messages:
    7,926
    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2009
    Location:
    Ottawa Canada
    It's been a while since I looked at numbers, but that certainly seems kind of tight.
     

Share This Page