OK, Sorry, Another Telecaster Noise Thread

saltbird

Member
Messages
2,540
So I have a MIJ Telecaster I bought used and I definitely know it's been opened up and taken apart at one time because the pickguard is routed for a strat single coil but the original Tele pickup (I'm assuming original) was put back in.

I realize 60 cycle hum is natural for single coil guitars and proper shielding will minimize it but that's not what the issue is. I've also isolated the problem to this specific Telecaster.

The problem I'm having is after it's been on for a few minutes it'll have electrical noise rise and fall in volume between notes. Sometimes the noise floor rises far above normal or acceptable. Sometimes it will go away briefly. Also whenever I touch the neck pickup with my finger the buzzing gets 2-3 times louder. If I touch the bridge and the volume pot at the same time with one hand the buzzing drops a little bit in volume.

So I've read many of the other threads and articles out there on causes of telecaster noise and I believe one of the problems I'm having is an ungrounded neck pickup cover, but before I open everything up I was just seeing if maybe there are more issues I should keep an eye out for.
 

tikabear

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
659
Could be an ungrounded cover but I'd say that it's surely some sort of grounding problem. Could be an improper bridge plate ground or that wire is entirely missing. Something could have come loose inside the cavity, a pot or jack could be the cause. Hard to say without seeing it. The tele circuit is simple and if you can follow a diagram and solder, you should be able to fix it. Google "tele wiring" and you'll find the diagram you need. If you don't feel comfortable soldering then take it to a tech. Anything over $35-$40 for this would be robbery. However, it may need to be set up again if the bridge has to come off.
 

rstites

Member
Messages
1,687
From your description, I suspect you have a loose ground. It could be in the electronics cavity, but I also wonder if the bridge is just screwed down to the ground, rather than soldiered on. That's the kind of thing that causes sound issues that fluctuate.

Does it happen with both pickups? Does it go up and down with the volume control? Does it go away when you touch the strings for a palm mute?
 

saltbird

Member
Messages
2,540
I figured I will post the result in case somebody else comes across this problem. My prediction was right. The neck pickup cover was not grounded. I soldered a wire onto one of the bottom tabs on the pickup cover to the tone pot. I also checked under the bridge plate to make sure it was properly grounded and it was.

Grounding the neck pickup cover pretty much solved all the excessive noise issues. Whenever my hand would even get close to the pickup, the noise level would rise. Obviously when I'm playing it my hand is going to get close to the neck pickup, guaranteed so it was a constant neussance to the point where I would stop playing it after several minutes.

I also replaced one of the pickup wires which was slightly damaged at one point and had some of the braided wire exposed.

Not only is the excessive noise gone but the natural 60 cycle hum that occurs went down in volume as well.

If you have a telecaster with abnormal noise issues I recommend taking it apart and fixing any shoddy connections. Telecaster are easy to work on given their design.
 

rstites

Member
Messages
1,687
Great news. Glad it was an easy fix.

I don't know that I've ever played a Telecaster with that cover on the neck pickup. I don't know why, but that just struck me! :)
 

Old Chomper

Member
Messages
662
I figured I will post the result in case somebody else comes across this problem. My prediction was right. The neck pickup cover was not grounded. I soldered a wire onto one of the bottom tabs on the pickup cover to the tone pot. I also checked under the bridge plate to make sure it was properly grounded and it was.

Grounding the neck pickup cover pretty much solved all the excessive noise issues. Whenever my hand would even get close to the pickup, the noise level would rise. Obviously when I'm playing it my hand is going to get close to the neck pickup, guaranteed so it was a constant neussance to the point where I would stop playing it after several minutes.

I also replaced one of the pickup wires which was slightly damaged at one point and had some of the braided wire exposed.

Not only is the excessive noise gone but the natural 60 cycle hum that occurs went down in volume as well.

If you have a telecaster with abnormal noise issues I recommend taking it apart and fixing any shoddy connections. Telecaster are easy to work on given their design.

Dude, you just killed the world's first Tele-theremin.
 




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