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I've already ruined my new tele.. it's started crackling!

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by repave, Aug 10, 2017.

  1. repave

    repave TDPRI Member

    Age:
    19
    14
    Aug 10, 2017
    Scotland
    Hi guys. I got my first tele today, off ebay. it is a small brand hand-crafted beauty (see picture). for the first 20 minutes of playing it, it was perfect, good quality for the price and sounded amazing.

    then, being the stupid amateur I am, I noticed the screw nearest to me that was holding the neck pickup in place, looked a bit loose. so I used a screwdriver to tighten it a bit. I didn't even stop to think that was going to move the pickup out of place.

    (this is where I mention that I haven't the faintest clue about guitar electronics, I have never opened up a guitar as I am terrified of doing that :p)

    after I did that, I started hearing crackling especially if I played chords or plucked loudly. I fiddled about with the knobs and 3-way switch, but the crackling seems to be present in all switch positions..

    I researched this on the internet but didn't find any definitive guidance.

    any help/thoughts would be massively appreciated. please!

    upload_2017-8-11_1-36-36.png
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2017
    Telefunked, DonM, chemobrain and 4 others like this.

  2. Dr Improbable

    Dr Improbable Tele-Meister

    143
    Aug 14, 2015
    Wisconsin
    What you did should not cause that. It should only raise/lower the pickup height. That sounds like faulty wiring from the seller.
     

  3. Vespa_One

    Vespa_One Tele-Meister

    210
    Feb 14, 2017
    United States
    If you raised the pickup try lowering it back down and see if its better
     
    Piggy Stu and repave like this.

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  5. Old Tele man

    Old Tele man Tele-Holic

    867
    May 10, 2017
    Tucson, AZ
    Sounds like the "ground" wire lost contact somewhere, unless it's the only sound, which points toward one of the pickup leads breaking.
     
    Piggy Stu and repave like this.

  6. repave

    repave TDPRI Member

    Age:
    19
    14
    Aug 10, 2017
    Scotland
    thanks for the suggestions guys. if it is faulty wiring/ground issue, I imagine there's nothing I can do about it other than take it to a professional and get them to fix it?
    and yes I have tried raising and lowering the pickup again but tbh I don't even remember where it started off! no position I've tried seems to remove the crackling anyhow.
     
    Veltek likes this.

  7. tap4154

    tap4154 Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

    Apr 14, 2009
    Southern California
    Have you tried another guitar cable? You sure it's not the input jack? Or your amp? I seriously doubt it has anything to do with you turning that pickup adjustment screw. Cool looking Tele though!
     

  8. repave

    repave TDPRI Member

    Age:
    19
    14
    Aug 10, 2017
    Scotland
    Yep, I have tried another guitar cable. I only have a few and they have always been fine with other guitars.
    I only have one amp so I couldn't try another one, but I have never had issues with my amp before either!
    It's good to know that I probably didn't cause the problem though. thanks for the reassurance!
     

  9. Ira7

    Ira7 Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    60
    Jan 8, 2008
    Coral Springs, FL
    It sounds like the nut fell off that screw, and is magnetically stuck to the pup. Which means the spring is loose too.

    This pickup might be mounted with two screws going through the pickguard, the 2 holes in the pup, a spring, and then a nut. The screws don't necessarily thread INTO the pup. The tension of the spring holds the nut in place and lowers and raises the pup.

    Plus, you said it seemed loose to start with, which sounds like the nut did slip off in shipping.

    You gotta remove your pickguard and take a look at what's going on in there.
     

  10. Steve 78

    Steve 78 Tele-Afflicted Ad Free Member

    Age:
    39
    Oct 27, 2015
    Melbourne, Austraila
    Do you have any friends that are handy with a soldering iron? It should be an easy fix. If not, and you've eliminated other sources for the problem, and you're not willing to dive in yourself then it's time to take it to a pro.

    Great looking guitar btw, I love the pickguard and hardware designs!
     
    repave likes this.

  11. bendercaster

    bendercaster Tele-Holic

    656
    Sep 20, 2011
    Sacramento
    It may not have anything to do with the pickup screw.

    Are you standing or sitting while playing? If sitting, especially on a couch, you could be putting stress on the cable where it meets the output jack and that can cause crackling.

    Alternatively, if you have a fabric softener sheet, try rubbing that on the pickguard and see if the crackling goes away.
     
    randysmojo, kidmo and repave like this.

  12. rich815

    rich815 Tele-Holic Ad Free Member

    That is a beautiful tele my friend!
     
    Archtop Bill and repave like this.

  13. repave

    repave TDPRI Member

    Age:
    19
    14
    Aug 10, 2017
    Scotland
    Okay I'll have a look, thanks for the information. I am just terrified of removing the pickguard in case I mess something up in there too!
    So I googled it and say it looks like this when I remove the pickguard:
    upload_2017-8-11_2-54-4.png
    Would I simply need to remove the neck pickup, look under it, and reattach the nut if necessary? Not sure I'd be confident enough to put the pickup back and get it to a correct height lol
     
    shupe13 likes this.

  14. repave

    repave TDPRI Member

    Age:
    19
    14
    Aug 10, 2017
    Scotland
    Thanks guys! the headstock is also pretty cool! once I get the sound issue fixed I will totally be in love <3
    [​IMG]
     
    shupe13, radiocaster and Steve 78 like this.

  15. papaschtroumpf

    papaschtroumpf Tele-Meister

    444
    Nov 24, 2015
    Colorado
    It's very unlikely to look like this picture, chances are the is only a small holes for the pickup and possibly a slot for the wiring:

    [​IMG]

    Either way you should be able to look for loose parts in that cavity
     
    shupe13 and repave like this.

  16. adamgdog

    adamgdog Tele-Meister

    Age:
    16
    120
    Apr 5, 2017
    Louisville
    Yes. Don't worry about the PU height that much. Once you get the problem fixed, just adjust till it sounds good. As long as you're careful, then you shouldn't mess anything up. Also (just in case you didn't know), you don't have to take off your strings. You can just loosen them. Saves a whole lot of time and trouble.

    P.S. Beautiful Tele! Love the Pickguard tan line!
     
    shupe13 and repave like this.

  17. jimbo735

    jimbo735 Tele-Meister

    430
    Sep 19, 2011
    michigan
    I would name it Cracklin Rosie!
     
    brogh, Crobbins and repave like this.

  18. papaschtroumpf

    papaschtroumpf Tele-Meister

    444
    Nov 24, 2015
    Colorado
    Did you try contacting the seller/builder and ask for advice? If they're a small shop and want good feedback it's in their interest to try and help out.

    Funny, I'm using that same bridge and control plate on a build I'm working on.
     
    repave likes this.

  19. kubiakl

    kubiakl Tele-Meister

    306
    May 9, 2012
    Austin, TX
    Nice looking guitar!

    There's not a whole lot you can mess up by taking off the pickguard, just be gentle. There are wires connected to the output jack and you don't want to pull those loose. If the problem isn't a loose nut (and I'm not sure it is, none of my pickups have nuts on the pickup screws but maybe some do) or the spring sitting on some magnets then it's probably a loose wire. I had a problem like that, the ground wire on my neck pickup came loose and caused crackling and dead sound.

    The good news is that it's an easy fix for someone with a soldering iron, but unless you have a guitar savvy friend who's done something like that before you might want to take it to a tech. Should take a few minutes to fix.

    And don't worry about setting the pickup height again, it's pretty easy - just screw it tighter to raise the pickup until it sounds good. If it's too loud compared to the bridge pickup, loosen the screws a little to lower it.

    Good luck with it!

    Edit - just read your post more carefully and noticed you said it's happening in all switch positions. Including the bridge only? That may be a different problem. Like someone above said, a dryer sheet will eliminate static electricity as a cause.

    Still could be a wiring issue, and it would still be an easy fix for a tech. I rewired a Strat earlier today and I'm just a dude who can solder a little. A pro can probably have it going again in no time flat.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2017
    repave likes this.

  20. tap4154

    tap4154 Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

    Apr 14, 2009
    Southern California
    But he has a pickguard-mounted neck pickup. He will have to remove the strings, or capo the neck and remove that. Given his admission of no tech skills, probably not an option.

    BTW, the one with the tan line isn't his.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2017

  21. repave

    repave TDPRI Member

    Age:
    19
    14
    Aug 10, 2017
    Scotland
    Yes I did contact the seller, they suggested static or problems with my amp but I don't think it's my amp and I don't have fabric softener sheets to get rid of static if that is the problem!
     

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