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USA PRS EG noise problem and stumped


Silver Supporting Member
I posted this in the Guitar Tech forum, but I would like to get maximum exposure to this problem, so I post it here too:

I've got a noise/microphonic problem with my 1991 PRS EG (the small neck heel model) pickguard . If I touch the pickup screws with my fingertip, I hear a "tick" from the amp. Touch the screws by tapping on it repeatedly with my fingertip and its tick-tick-tick-tick-tick. Furthermore, if I take my fingertip and rub it across the pickguard, it would produce a scratching sound coming out of the amp. This is most prominent if the amp is on overdrive mode or OD pedal on. The screws on the top part of the pickups does not seem to be a problem.

See picture below: it's the circled area between the pickups and pickup selector, including the bottom screws of the pickups. If you were to take your fingertip and rub across that white area, it would sound like a rap DJ scratching coming out of the amp. Not my style of music.

It's most problematic if I am playing and my right-hand would touch the pickup screws alot when strumming. Aside from hearing the music, I hear the tick-tick-tick. Obviously, it just ruins the music. Note: there is NO SHOCK whatsoever from touching the screws, just the tick noise.

Does anyone else have this problem? Anyone have any insights as to how this can be alleviated? Will I need to place copper shielding tape on the bottom side of the pickguard? What's the solution I can suggest to my guitar tech before I take it to him?

Otherwise, this is such a great guitar--- intonation, feel, playability, tone. But it's in danger of losing its mojo from that noise, and I don't want to have to sell it to a rap DJ.


Hi, I currently have the Same guitar although my singlecoils are black to match the humbucker (did you change your hum or singles?) does your black finish has blue glitter in it aswell? I have no problems with grounding with mine allthough this is the only guitar I own that when not playing and still on the OD channel I get a low "whooshing" cycle kind of sound, none of my other guitars do this and its not a grounding problem with the amp as we use earth wires to all our electrical outlets here in the uk.

So do you only have a problem with this guitar? have you tried plugging the amp into a different outlet? Is only one piece of electrical equipment plugged into that outlet? and lastly is the grounding wires still intact under the guard? I've yet to take my guard off to look at the wires underneath but If it doesn't sell (as its currently on uk ebay) I will be doing as I have some lace sensor's to drop in to try and get a more strat like sound out of it.


Silver Supporting Member
The problem has been for years. I've just finally gotten sick of it to start acting on it. The problem was there before and after I've changed pickups. It has DiMarzios in it now.

The problem was in the apartment and still there when I moved into a house. I've changed amps and the problem is still there.

I will have my guitar tech look at it and reassess the entire electronics, grounding and wiring. I just needed to know if there are people here that might have more insights into it.

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