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

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

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

  1. unixfish

    unixfish Poster Extraordinaire

    Apr 20, 2013
    Northeast Ohio, USA
    I agree with some of the posts here, but I understand the OP's hesitation.

    Until you have done it, it is a bit daunting.​

    Removing the pickguard is not hard, but if you've never done it, it can be "tricky". Sure, it's only 8 screws, but you need to pay close attention to how tight they are / were when you remove them, and not over tighten or under tighten the screws when putting them back. That is a "feel" issue; if you've not developed that "feel" with hand tools and wood, then it's easy to under tighten and have them fall out, torque down the screws and warp the pick guard, or worse yet strip the screw holes.

    However, a bit of care and a few techniques can prevent that.

    I would suggest - if you are going to take the pickguard off to take a look - to loosen the strings, then take each screw, and loosen it a half turn, then re-tighten it a half turn a few times so you get a feel for how tight they should be. There is a somewhat wide range of torque that these need - it's not an exact science. Then remove the guard, put screws in a cup or something, and look at the pickup connections, mounting screws and springs, etc. Post pictures if you want help with what you see.

    YouTube, as @Sconnie mentioned, is a great way to get a feel for what you will see / what you will have to look for.

    However, if you are uncomfortable doing this on a new guitar, then take it somewhere to have someone look at it. Chances are, it's either a screw that needs to be replaced, or just a connector that needs to be touched with a soldering iron. It won't be expensive.

    Absolute worst case is a pickup died - and your screwdriver work was just coincidence. Still not a big deal or hugely expensive - but that should be covered under warranty.
    repave likes this.

  2. robt57

    robt57 Telefied Ad Free Member

    Feb 29, 2004
    Portland, OR
    Removing the PG on a guitar with the 22 fret neck and fretboard overhang? Did this get mentioned and I did not see it?
    repave and SonsOfMoog like this.

  3. xafinity

    xafinity Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Dec 24, 2015
    my Mom's basement
    I have a feeling the OP is smart enough to NOT tear his new guitar apart and use it to practice soldering and wire tracing.
    repave and Dr Improbable like this.

  4. flyingbanana

    flyingbanana Poster Extraordinaire

    After reading some of this thread, I need a hug. Wish I could take a quick look at the guitar. I'm sure it would be a quick little fix.
    trouserpress, repave and LutherBurger like this.

  5. brogh

    brogh Super Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 26, 2010
    Hi And welcome aboard,

    Well that's a nice one, i like it quite a lot !

    Now to your problem, crackling is probably nothing major, as the guys said, might be a loose wire, might be the cable.

    I'f i'm not wrong the problems raised when you started screwing the pickup(s), i know that it might be "scary" to open her up the first time, if you're not sure or don't want to "risk" just bring it to a good tech and at the same time, having also a good setup with your preferred string size and heights is a good thing to do, it should'nt cost big money,

    Over time you'll eventually learn how to do it yourself, many guys did here, you need to make your homework tough to understand all the various possibilities regarding electronics, pickups, switches etc on guitar.

    I'm not familiar with luthiers in Scotland, but I've seen may UK members who will probably point out a good tech in your area :)

    My 2c, again nice axe :) have fun here !

    cheerios and Guid Luck
    repave likes this.

  6. SonsOfMoog

    SonsOfMoog Tele-Meister

    Jul 22, 2017
    I'd like to recommend The Guitar Handbook by Ralph Denyer for a primer on soldering and trouble shooting.
    JuneauMike and repave like this.

  7. OldCAT

    OldCAT TDPRI Member

    Apr 25, 2010
    Ramona, CA
    When you have the pickguard removed take some photos of the wiring and body cutouts, always a good reference for later, and good luck. by the way I understand the hesitation, but years later now I build and repair electric solid body guitars.
    repave and brogh like this.

  8. repave

    repave TDPRI Member

    Aug 10, 2017
    Thanks so much for the advice about the screws - I will definitely use those methods! :)

  9. repave

    repave TDPRI Member

    Aug 10, 2017
    Can't tell you how much I appreciate all the helpful responses!
    I don't usually use forums for anything so I had no idea how many answers I could get for my question. This has definitely exceeded my expectations!

    Will be taking a look at the guitar tomorrow morning. It's great to know that if I do get stuck, I can ask on here.
    Many thanks again for everyone's help :p;)
    xafinity likes this.

  10. summer_69

    summer_69 Tele-Meister

    Sep 22, 2008
    Nice guitar. Congratulations. It might not be a big issue with the guitar. If it is under warranty and you don't feel confident taking things apart consider contacting the seller. If not so arm yourself with a proper screwdriver (tool) and go along. If you feel stuck somehow just post here. An army of telecaster enthusiasts will be eager to offer their best advice. Welcome to the forum.
    repave likes this.

  11. JuneauMike

    JuneauMike Friend of Leo's

    May 5, 2015
    "I've already ruined my new tele"

    You sound like a new parent. So let me introduce you to your new telecaster and give you a brief overview of the care and feeding of this new addition to your family.

    The Fender Telecaster is the AK47 of the guitar world.

    While in theory, it is possible to "ruin" your telecaster, science has yet to discover a single instance of someone doing so. For this reason, Pete Townshend is still in counseling.

    The telecaster will play country, rock, country rock, baroque, punk, Tuareg, Jewish folk, noise rock, old timey, blues, jazz, and heavy metal.

    You can also use it to fend off attackers or play miniature golf.

    If you crave a twinkie, but unfortunately its on a high shelf that is 1 1/2 inches out of your reach, you can use a Telecaster to boost yourself up. Simply drop it on the floor, when it settles, step on it, grab the twinkie, and either pick up the telecaster or just leave it there, whatevs.

    If your car is loaded with gear or luggage and your telecaster won't fit inside, strap it to the roof, or drag it behind you using a rope. When you arrive at your destination, you may find that your telecaster is slightly out of tune. Retune and enjoy.

    Great white sharks are apex predators of the sea, only because the telecaster chooses not to swim.

    If your house is on fire and you are trapped inside, throw your telecaster through a window, clear the glass away, grab your family and climb out the window to safety. Retrieve your telecaster. You may find that it is now slightly out of tune. Retune and enjoy.

    North Korea is believed to have intercontinental ballistic missiles. North Korea has no Fender Telecasters. North Korea will lose.

    While this is unconfirmed, NASA is studying the possibility of using a Fender Telecaster as an emergency reentry vehicle. Early results are promising.

    The lost verse of "Michael Row The Boat Ashore" mentions the fact that he used a telecaster as an oar. It was still in tune when he arrived at his destination. YMMV.

  12. repave

    repave TDPRI Member

    Aug 10, 2017
    Hahaha. don't worry, I chose an overly dramatic thread name to get attention on the thread :p. your post was enjoyable reading though..
    savofenno and JuneauMike like this.

  13. Poppa54

    Poppa54 TDPRI Member

    Feb 11, 2014
    The pickup is mounted on the guard in the 1st pic. On the pic without guard the pickup appears to be body mount. Which is it?
    There is no nut under a body mount.

  14. repave

    repave TDPRI Member

    Aug 10, 2017
    it's the first scenario! the second picture was just a random one from google. I haven't removed my guard yet :)

  15. The Ballzz

    The Ballzz Tele-Afflicted

    Apr 11, 2016
    Las Vegas, NV
    Now you can see how and why some of us (not me, of course:rolleyes:) become avid addicts to forums, especially this one! It's a great community in which to ask questions, share opinions, etc, unless you're a jerk (like maybe me) who may end up getting ignored by some!
    Again, Welcome To Our Corner Of The Asylum, ;)
    repave likes this.

  16. summer_69

    summer_69 Tele-Meister

    Sep 22, 2008
    You just have to be on guard.
    repave likes this.

  17. Sparky2

    Sparky2 Tele-Afflicted

    Apr 15, 2017
    Harvest, Alabama
    This may be a long-shot mate, but is there any chance that the internet modem in the house (or flat) was idle when you first played the guitar, and then somebody in the house got active with some web activity right around the time the crackling started?

    I have had the experience, personally, of electromagnetic interference (EMI) from an internet modem in the house.
    It was most pronounced whilst playing thru my oldest tube amp.
    It's worth investigating, if all the other trouble-shooting has come up dry.

    Just go unplug and shut-off the internet modem, and see if the crackling noise goes away.

    Note: If you are in a large apartment building, and it DOES turn out to be some NEIGHBOR'S internet modem, then only the Lord can help you.
    Or an exorcist.
    repave likes this.

  18. Pualee

    Pualee Tele-Meister

    Feb 5, 2014
    There are some long posts here, but it just sounds like static to me...

    It worked for 20 minutes, but then started crackling when you strum in every position?
    Rub it with a dryer sheet... see if it goes away, but comes back in a few minutes... that is static.

    Just get some aluminum foil and slightly lift the control plate and pick guard... then screw them both into the foil. It will ground the pick guard from the static you create when you strum. I did that to my MIM Telecaster 3 years ago and it never came back.
    repave and zook like this.

  19. chemobrain

    chemobrain Tele-Afflicted Ad Free Member

    Nov 5, 2016
    oakland ca.
    nice looking tele the metal work is very attractive.
    repave likes this.

  20. Old Tele man

    Old Tele man Friend of Leo's

    May 10, 2017
    Tucson, AZ
    Unless it was delivered directly to his home, I think taking it to the SELLING location (shop or person) and asking THEM for assistance would be suitable.

    And, agreed, that's a beautiful instrument...with excellent engraving craftsmanship!
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2017

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