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Buzzing when I adjust tone

Discussion in 'Tele-Technical' started by 6guns, Mar 12, 2013.

  1. 6guns

    6guns TDPRI Member

    49
    Mar 12, 2013
    NW Indiana
    Okay, a real newbie here, so please be gentle. I'm pretty new to guitars and brand new to a used Tele I picked up recently. I've noticed a buzzing noise while adjusting the tone control. Is this just a matter of a loose wire or should the controls be replaced? Overall the guitar appears to be in good physical condition and not abused. It's a 2001 American model. Thanks for any suggestions.
     
  2. KokoTele

    KokoTele <img src="http://www.tdpri.com/gifs/vendor.png" /> Vendor Member

    Age:
    41
    Mar 17, 2003
    albany, ny [not chicago]
    What do yo mean by when you adjust it? Is it just while you're touching the knob, when it's on any setting besides full clockwise, or what?
     
  3. 6guns

    6guns TDPRI Member

    49
    Mar 12, 2013
    NW Indiana
    It buzzes when I touch it or while I'm turning it.
     
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  5. LarsOS

    LarsOS Tele-Holic

    633
    Oct 24, 2011
    Norway
    Sounds like the potmeter is worn out. The "best" solution would be to replace it, the cheapest one to clean it.
     
  6. KokoTele

    KokoTele <img src="http://www.tdpri.com/gifs/vendor.png" /> Vendor Member

    Age:
    41
    Mar 17, 2003
    albany, ny [not chicago]
    Does it also buzz when you touch the volume knob? Or other metal on the guitar?
     
  7. 6guns

    6guns TDPRI Member

    49
    Mar 12, 2013
    NW Indiana
    I think it's only the tone control, but since I'm not at home, I can't check the volume control. If it doesn't cost a huge amount, maybe it would be worth replacing both so I know what I have? Is this difficult. I have done a bit of soldering here and there. Thanks for the replies!
     
  8. waparker4

    waparker4 Doctor of Teleocity

    Nov 9, 2011
    Philadelphia, PA
    I think what KokoTele might be getting at is, if the buzz presents itself when you touch ANY metal part of the guitar (strings, bridge, neck pickup cover, control plate) then the leads on your output jack may be reversed.
     
  9. 6guns

    6guns TDPRI Member

    49
    Mar 12, 2013
    NW Indiana
    I see. Well, no not when I touch any metal part, only the tone as I recall. I hate to sound so indecisive, but it's been a couple of weeks since I last picked it up.
     
  10. LarsOS

    LarsOS Tele-Holic

    633
    Oct 24, 2011
    Norway
    If you know how to solder, replacing one or both pots won't be a challenge.

    I believe a soldering station with a flat-tipped iron, or a flat-tipped soldering iron with 40W (or at least 30W) would be the best tool for the job. You need some wattage in order to sufficiently heat up the pot casing for the ground wire(s).
     
  11. KokoTele

    KokoTele <img src="http://www.tdpri.com/gifs/vendor.png" /> Vendor Member

    Age:
    41
    Mar 17, 2003
    albany, ny [not chicago]
    That's what I'm getting at! You need to do a little diagnosis to figure out what to fix. Either it buzzes when you touch the knob or other metal parts (not uncommon), or it only buzzes when you turn it (pretty rare).
     
  12. 6guns

    6guns TDPRI Member

    49
    Mar 12, 2013
    NW Indiana
    Thanks, KokoTele. I'll give it a more thorough check and report back. I appreciate your help.
     
  13. 6guns

    6guns TDPRI Member

    49
    Mar 12, 2013
    NW Indiana
    Well, it took a while, but I confirmed that the buzzing only takes place while adjusting or even touching the tone control....no other metal parts. Loose wire? Bad control? Thanks for any suggestions.
     
  14. Lazer

    Lazer Tele-Meister

    280
    Mar 21, 2012
    Stockholm, Sweden
    Bad/dirty pot...

    Cheers
    L-zr
     
  15. andrewsclues

    andrewsclues TDPRI Member

    23
    Mar 1, 2013
    Bucks County, PA
    Try turning the pot in its full range 20 times or so. If it's dirty this may clean the inside of the pot and fix your problem. If this doesn't work, replace it.
     
  16. 6guns

    6guns TDPRI Member

    49
    Mar 12, 2013
    NW Indiana
    Well, that didn't work. Still lots of buzzing/static sound when touching/turning tone control. So...what's the next step in replacing the pot? Should I replace volume pot as well? All electronics? Any recommendations on exactly what and where to buy? Thanks again.
     
  17. Peter Rabbit

    Peter Rabbit Tele-Holic

    Age:
    65
    863
    Sep 17, 2009
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    Maybe a ground problem on the tone pot?
     
  18. KokoTele

    KokoTele <img src="http://www.tdpri.com/gifs/vendor.png" /> Vendor Member

    Age:
    41
    Mar 17, 2003
    albany, ny [not chicago]
    It only happens when you touch the tone control? It does sound like the pot probably isn't grounded. Take a look and see if there's a wire soldered from the back of the tone pot anywhere.
     
  19. roland30x

    roland30x TDPRI Member

    I would not think its a ground problem if the guitar is working ok apart from the buzzing when touching the tone pot.

    The volume pot would have to be grounded to work and both pots are then fixed onto a metal plate. both pots would therefore have the same ground potential.

    I would reiterate the advice already given and replace the pot.
     
  20. 6guns

    6guns TDPRI Member

    49
    Mar 12, 2013
    NW Indiana
    I checked to see if all the solder connections were good on the pots and all appears fine. For what it's worth, the tone control feels very loose when turning it and has play in it from side to side. When I just wiggle the knob is when I hear the most static/buzzing, but still some while actually turning it.
     
  21. KokoTele

    KokoTele <img src="http://www.tdpri.com/gifs/vendor.png" /> Vendor Member

    Age:
    41
    Mar 17, 2003
    albany, ny [not chicago]
    Sounds like the pot is about to fall apart. Time for a new one.
     
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