Microphonic

sugarlou

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
4,383
I have a recurring issue with pickups "going" microphonic and squealing. I buy em. Install and not long after they start.
I admit I use a lot of gain but nothing crazy.

I've never potted a pickup. It doesn't look easy or fun but I cant keep replacing pickups
 

EADGBE

Member
Messages
12,337
What brand of pickups are you using? Also are you playing a hollow body guitar?
 

sugarlou

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
4,383
The most recent is my Tele. I bought the Chopper T humbucker for bridge. Was great for a month or two. It's a DIMarzio product.

The other one is a Duncan JB in a LP. Now that guitar is chambered so I can kind of get it in that case but I'd still like to get it working
 

EADGBE

Member
Messages
12,337
I thought both of those pickups were potted? Are you playing real close to your amp(s)? Also are you playing tube amps?
 

sugarlou

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
4,383
Yes tube amps and yes fairly close but the pick ups start out fine. Then become a problem after a while of use.
 

Mincer

Senior Member
Messages
4,596
A JB is potted, unless it was ordered unpotted. I don't know if adding more wax would solve the problem. Maybe it is the chambering in the LP, loud volume/high gain/close proximity to the amp? Is it only the JB that is squealing? What neck pickup is in it?
 

sugarlou

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
4,383
Jazz. No issue

The LP could be the cover I have on the pickup.

What about the Tele?
 
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Tony Bones

Member
Messages
1,212
What are the symptoms? A microphonic pickup will squeal, usually at one specific frequency. Other kinds of feedback usually have more to do with the guitar than the pickup itself.
 

sugarlou

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
4,383
High pitch microphonic squeal. Not feedback per se.
Can't run the volume full up. Using a gate as well.
 

Tony Bones

Member
Messages
1,212
High pitch microphonic squeal. Not feedback per se.
Can't run the volume full up. Using a gate as well.

That does sound like a pickup problem, but it's weird that you break em after only a month or so. I've never heard of that before.

How do you stop the squeal when it happens?
 

SouthpawGuy

Member
Messages
2,858
What do you wear on your picking hand wrist ? Seriously. A watch or maybe a magnetic bracelet ?

I'm left handed but wear my watch on my left wrist, my strumming hand. I can hear the watch ticking coming through the amp, and it's worse with higher output pickups and gain, and also with tele bridge pickups. No problem at all with neck pickups obviously.

Just a thought.
 

low_fidelity210

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
534
The LP could be the cover I have on the pickup.

Did the pickup come with a cover or did you install a cover yourself? If you installed the cover yourself, did you solder it on properly (hold cover on with clamp so it's tight, and then solder it on)? If you put it on yourself, and didn't pot it with the cover in place after wards, did you at least put a dab of silicone glue/caulk between the slug coil and the cover before installing it?
Not potting it after installing the cover, and not using silicone glue/caulk, or not soldering the cover on tightly, will cause microphonics.

On the tele, it's could be the bridge itself that's causing the microphonics. Especially with vintage tele bridges and high gain. Try a little wax on the bottom of the bridge (between the bridge on the body), right around where it screws to the body, then screw it down tight. Also try using surgical tubing instead of springs for the height adjustment screws on the pickup (could do that on the LP too).
 

rummy

Member
Messages
8,572
I've wax potted Seth Lover pickups at home. It's easy and fun. Maybe learn how to do it, and it'll help you isolate your problem, too.
 

stratter

Member
Messages
1,421
Tube amps amplify the lesser microphonics that SS amps don't that's why they sound 'better'.

If you play really close (facing the amp especially), they will feed back. Potting isn't that hard, but make sure the cover for the pickup is attached to the top of the pickup instead of just soldered at the sides. Assuming it's a covered pickup, incorrectly covered pickups are SUPER prone to feedback, so cut the solder on the side, and tape some double sided tape to the top of the pickup, and then resolder the sides.
 

sugarlou

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
4,383
I'm more concerned with the Tele right now. It's getting more action. I believe I just pushed the covers on the Les Paul Duncan's. That's probably the culprit but I tried the correct method of applying tape and soldering the sides and I'll never do that again. It was impossible to get the solder to flow onto the cover and baseplate. It wouldn't "span" the gap between the two. I ended up cursing and throwing sh#t. I'll take the covers off before I attempted that process again.

Should I cover the Tele bridge plate bottom with masking tape?
 

low_fidelity210

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
534
No need to cover the whole bottom with masking tape. The area you mostly need to worry about is right where the screws pass through the bridge to attach to the body. Just a bit of wax behind where the screws pass through is all ya need. Not much at all.

You could test it out with masking tape, if you don't like the idea of putting wax on the bridge for some reason. A single layer should be enough to give you an idea if it helps or not.

You wanna make sure it's the rear edge, mostly because if it's directly under the screws, or across the entire bottom, the bridge will sit slightly off the face of the guitar. Which might make the microphonics worse (more area to vibrate freely).
Where as if it's on the rear edge, it will give the bridge a very slight forward angle keeping the front edge on the body, and maintaining contact across the length of the bridge.
 

dreadheadhaha

Member
Messages
255
I don't have any suggestions to add. I just wanted to thank all of you for your rediculously awesome knowledge. You guys blow me away. OP, I hope you figure out the problem(s). That doesn't sound fun.
 




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