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Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups Warmoth.com
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups Warmoth.com

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

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

  1. adamgdog

    adamgdog Tele-Meister

    Age:
    16
    242
    Apr 5, 2017
    Louisville
    I'm not sure I understand what you're saying. My Neck PU is pickguard mounted as well. Just loosen the strings, then take out the neck PU screws, then take out the pickguard screws. Maybe I'm just confused.
     

  2. repave

    repave TDPRI Member

    Age:
    19
    14
    Aug 10, 2017
    Scotland
    Thank you for your super detailed answer!
    Maybe I'm going mad, but when the cracking first started, I could swear it was worst in the neck only position and least noticeable in the bridge only position. Now, however, it seems to be about the same with all positions, just bridge pickup is a little louder.
    If it turns out to be a static issue, is there anything else I could use other than a dryer sheet? or would I just need to buy some? :S

    I'll definitely take it to a pro if I do still think it's a wiring issue. I imagine it can't be that expensive to fix!
     

  3. tap4154

    tap4154 Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    Apr 14, 2009
    Southern California

    How do you remount the neck pup and get the springs in place with the strings on?
     

  4. adamgdog

    adamgdog Tele-Meister

    Age:
    16
    242
    Apr 5, 2017
    Louisville
    Mine isn't springs, mine has little rubber cylinders that go between the the PG and PU. The wires on my neck PU are long enough to reach outside the guitar. I just reattach the neck PU to the pickguard and then slide the pickguard back into place and then screw it back down.
     

  5. repave

    repave TDPRI Member

    Age:
    19
    14
    Aug 10, 2017
    Scotland
    I have done the "loosen the strings and capo the neck" thing on an acoustic, which went fine.
    but how on earth do you do it on an electric?? given that the ball-end of the string (idk what they're actually called) goes right through to the back of the guitar.
     

  6. tap4154

    tap4154 Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    Apr 14, 2009
    Southern California
    Okay, just seems a bit tricky to me to do it that way, but if it works it works. I love body-mounted neck pickups. SO easy!
     

  7. repave

    repave TDPRI Member

    Age:
    19
    14
    Aug 10, 2017
    Scotland
    sorry, could you plz explain what the ground wire actually is?
    I vaguely know the meaning of the term "ground" in terms of electricity. but how would I identify the ground wire inside the guitar?
    cheers!
     

  8. kubiakl

    kubiakl Tele-Meister

    321
    May 9, 2012
    Austin, TX
    There's an easy test for static problems - plug in, turn up to your normal playing volume, and run your finger around on the pickguard. If you hear swooshing and crackling you've got static problems. If not, then it's probably a problem with the wiring.

    Another thing I'd try is touching the bridge plate and seeing if that changes anything. Telecasters are grounded on the bridge plate by a little wire run through a hole in the body. If this wire has been pulled loose somewhere along the way you're bound to have some trouble.

    As for taking the neck off, it's a pretty simple thing - you loosen up the strings some (until they're pretty floppy), put a capo on the second fret or so, then unscrew the neck screws from the back. The strings will stay on because of the capo, but they'll be out of the way so you can pull the pickguard up fully. When you're finished poking around, screw the pickguard back on, put the neck back in the pocket and screw it back on, take off the capo, and tighten up the strings.

    But unless you know what to look for in the wiring I wouldn't do that. If it's not static and you're not familiar with soldering or wiring it would probably be best to take it to a tech.
     
    repave likes this.

  9. tap4154

    tap4154 Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    Apr 14, 2009
    Southern California
    I'm talking about removing the neck without having to re-string. Capo at first fret and pull the strings as you loosen them a bit to keep them tight on the tuning posts, then remove the neck screws, carefully lift the neck out of the pocket, and lay the neck next to the body. Then you have full access to the pickguard etc. Carefully replace the neck when done, then tighten the strings so there's tension before removing the capo, remove capo and tune up.
     
    repave likes this.

  10. repave

    repave TDPRI Member

    Age:
    19
    14
    Aug 10, 2017
    Scotland
    sorry, I don't quite understand why people (on here and on other websites) talk about soldering/glueing a nut onto the pickup.
    why would that be necessary? don't nuts just screw onto bolts?

    like I understand the need for soldering when it comes to broken wires etc. but why nuts?
     

  11. kubiakl

    kubiakl Tele-Meister

    321
    May 9, 2012
    Austin, TX
    I think there's just been some miscommunication - you're right, you do NOT solder nuts onto screws. What they're saying is that it's possible something came loose (nut, spring) and may be touching one of the pickup magnets.

    The soldering thing is just if the problem isn't obviously static or some random piece of metal causing the problem - if those aren't the issues then it's somewhere in the wiring and that would require some soldering.
     
    Steve 78 and repave like this.

  12. Steve 78

    Steve 78 Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    Age:
    39
    Oct 27, 2015
    Melbourne, Austraila
    I think the nut comment was just that it might be loose in the pickup cavity and interfering with the pickup. No soldering involved if that is the case.

    (I haven't seen a pickup with nuts personally).
     
    repave and kubiakl like this.

  13. xafinity

    xafinity Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Dec 24, 2015
    my Mom's basement
    I don't have fabric softener sheets to get rid of static if that is the problem!
    That must have been an expensive guitar if you dont have 2 bucks for dryer sheets. :confused: Or are they unknown in Scotland?
     
    Uncle Bob likes this.

  14. robt57

    robt57 Telefied Ad Free Member

    Feb 29, 2004
    Portland, OR

  15. TeleTucson

    TeleTucson Tele-Meister Ad Free Member

    391
    Aug 6, 2016
    Tucson, AZ
    Before dissecting your guitar, I suggest that you "exercise" the adjustment you made by turning that screw in a bit, and then out a bit, to see if that relieves your problem. If this was in fact induced by your adjustment (which, as others have pointed out, may not actually be the case and could be coincidental), it may be that your screw contact to the plate is affecting the grounding of the pickup. The plate looks to be plated or anodized, and it might be that your screw electrical contact to the plate is flaky. String and other vibration from playing could be causing momentary contacting which would give you the "crackle". The plate is usually grounded through a wire that comes from the control cavity to the plate, and is just bent over on the surface of the wood beneath the plate, and makes contact to the plate when it is screwed down into the wood.

    If you're handy with electronics, none of this is a big deal and you should not be worried about some serious problem with your beautiful guitar. Try the above, and if that doesn't work and you're not comfortable dissecting your guitar, take it to a tech and they should get it ship-shape in no time (at some cost).

    Another source of "crackle" can be static electricity on your pick guard. Check to see if this is the cause by sliding your fingers across the pick guard with no playing. If this gives you the "crackle", it has nothing to do with your screws or wiring, and needs to be addressed with some copper or aluminum applied and grounded to the back of your pick guard.
     
    repave likes this.

  16. 10thoufirst

    10thoufirst Tele-Holic Ad Free Member

    834
    Nov 16, 2013
    England
    Is it me or are we looking at two different guitars here? One all fancy and new and a butterscotch well-played one, the one with the scratchplate removed? Or have I missed something?
     

  17. Steve 78

    Steve 78 Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    Age:
    39
    Oct 27, 2015
    Melbourne, Austraila
    There are 2 pics of guitars with the guards removed as an example of what to expect underneath. So far the OP has not removed his.
     
    10thoufirst and repave like this.

  18. Tim S

    Tim S Tele-Meister

    453
    Oct 27, 2008
    Upstate NY
    The Tele is the cockroach of the guitar world. It will survive events that would devastate other guitars.

    Rest easy. It would take *A LOT* more than a simple turn of a screwdriver to "ruin" a Tele. :D
     
    LutherBurger and repave like this.

  19. LutherBurger

    LutherBurger Friend of Leo's

    Oct 29, 2013
    NYC
    Welcome to the forum, repave.

    Do you know any other Tele players who live near you? If someone with a little bit of experience could open it up and have a look around, I'm sure he or she could diagnose and fix the problem within minutes.

    You should watch, too, and you'll see that there's nothing scary or complicated in there. One thing we all love about Teles is that they're easy to work on.

    Good luck.
     
    repave likes this.

  20. Sconnie

    Sconnie Tele-Holic

    Age:
    25
    563
    May 1, 2017
    Denver, CO
    No, that's not the only option. I see this as a perfectly great learning opportunity for you to learn about wiring an electric guitar! You don't need to know how all the components work, just that they have wires connected to them. I can recommend a website to explain the basics of all the components if you want, just let me know, the electronic tech in these things has been around since the mid 1800s.

    Use google to find a standard tele wiring schematic and follow the lines, it's as simple as that. Head to the hardware store and pickup a cheap soldering iron and solder if you don't have one already, and watch a couple youtube videos on the basic techniques. Then you will be prepared for a lifetime of minor repairs without having to schedule an appointment and pay a service technician for what will take you 15 minutes at home.
     

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