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Please Help! My Tele Sounds Awful...

Discussion in 'Tele-Technical' started by Wollyroger, Jul 29, 2018.

  1. Wollyroger

    Wollyroger TDPRI Member

    Age:
    36
    24
    Jul 29, 2018
    Birmingham, UK
    Dear Tele owners I need your help please...

    I have been having an issue with my guitar/rig for the past 4 months and it's driving me crazy. I can only describe the problem as an intermittent loss of signal/distorting/farting issue. One minute my clean sound is nice and sparkly then it almost ‘fades’ (it is not a sudden change) to something more 'gainy' with loss of clarity and attack. At it's worst my clean sound sounds like a cheap distortion pedal. Oddly, on a distortion setting the opposite is true – less signal and gain. It is like the signal is being degraded in some way (interference?). Also, the dynamic range is much greater - when I play lightly it is barely audible and when I dig in it goes very loud and distorts/farts. When I turn my compressor on (applied immediately after the guitar) it helps an awful lot, salvaging the gig for me in most cases.

    It is totally random, comes on slowly (so you don't notice it immediately) and only ever seems to happen on a gig (I have ran my rig for hours in the shed at home on numerous occasions and can't seem to replicate the problem). With regards troubleshooting, so far I have...

    - Ruled out the amp (I have had the amp checked/serviced and have experienced the problem running a different amplifier)
    - ruled out all of my pedals (I have my pedals checked and the problem happens with just the guitar and amp)
    - ruled out the guitar lead and speaker cable (it happens with other leads)
    - I have ruled out the guitar (as the problems happens with my second tele)

    Other info: It happens on all pickup positions, on both guitar amp channels, it is not my ears (the guys in the band have heard it!) and it is not anything to do with mics or monitoring.

    Only thing I can think of is that I have a shielding issue or something with both guitars...?

    If anyone has experienced anything similar or can think of something I might have missed I would be very grateful if you could give me a shout. At the moment gigging is pretty annoying, to be honest!

    Here is a link to the sound at it's worst (this is meant to be my clean tone):



    Thanks in advance :)
    Rog
     

  2. strat a various

    strat a various Friend of Leo's

    May 9, 2008
    Texas
    You've ruled out everything including the guitar, there buddy. It's YOU. Have you been abducted by aliens lately?
     
    claes and Wollyroger like this.

  3. TeleTucson

    TeleTucson Tele-Holic Ad Free Member

    896
    Aug 6, 2016
    Tucson, AZ
    You say you've "ruled out" everything relevant, so either you really didn't "rule it out" or it's yet something else. You're mic'ing your amp in the video - is that a common element of your experiences while gigging vs. at home? I see you state that it's nothing to do with mic's or monitoring, but are you sure? (the mic, the mic preamp heating up with a failing tube/transistor, etc., or even the way you've got the mic rested against the grill)?

    Or, does this happen when you're gigging near the Cuban embassy? :lol:
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2018
    DrBGood, Wollyroger and awasson like this.

  4. bgmacaw

    bgmacaw Tele-Holic

    678
    Feb 11, 2006
    Near Athens GA USA
    Sounds like it might be an intermittent grounding out issue. These can be tough to track down.
     

  5. luckett

    luckett Friend of Leo's

    Jun 14, 2011
    .
    It's a sign that god wants you to stop playing clean jazz.
     

  6. TeleFunk Man

    TeleFunk Man Tele-Holic

    Actually that tone sounds good. So you're saying that prior to this you had a nice clean tone with this amp, but now after playing for a while it starts to distort? Could be a tube...
     
    Cam likes this.

  7. rich815

    rich815 Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    Age:
    55
    Aug 22, 2016
    San Francisco Bay Area
    Except he’s had the problem with a different amp too...
     
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  8. Middleman

    Middleman Friend of Leo's

    Aug 29, 2007
    MV, CA
    Failing preamp tube or just loose. Push upward on the tubes to reseat them.
     

  9. rich815

    rich815 Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    Age:
    55
    Aug 22, 2016
    San Francisco Bay Area
    On both amps! :D
     
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  10. rich815

    rich815 Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    Age:
    55
    Aug 22, 2016
    San Francisco Bay Area
     

  11. Middleman

    Middleman Friend of Leo's

    Aug 29, 2007
    MV, CA
    Maybe. What's the other amp?
     

  12. Sollipsist

    Sollipsist Tele-Holic

    Age:
    47
    972
    Aug 25, 2016
    89108
    The description makes it seem like a signal level problem rather than interference. I've heard similar things from dying batteries, bad active pickups, failing connections in wiring...

    But you've ruled all that out. So anything that remains is outside the signal chain. Which means it HAS to be interference.

    Do you have anything close by you when you're playing out rather than at home? Cell phone maybe?
     
    Wollyroger likes this.

  13. awasson

    awasson Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

    Age:
    54
    Nov 18, 2010
    Vancouver
    Ok, so if you’ve ruled out the guitar, amp, effects, cables and speaker wire, what’s the common denominator?

    As far as I can tell there are only two other things to check:

    1) The speaker? Have you tried a different speaker cabinet to rule out the speaker?

    2) The mic and PA?
     

  14. TeleFunk Man

    TeleFunk Man Tele-Holic

    Is this happening in the same location each time? If so, it could be an issue with the hydro lines in your space.
     

  15. luckett

    luckett Friend of Leo's

    Jun 14, 2011
    .
    Maybe it's interference from the beer taps?
     
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  16. Texicaster

    Texicaster TDPRI Member

    11
    May 9, 2018
    Arizona
    Howdy!

    My first post too!

    Weird... Same thing on two guitars?

    have you tried different guitar in same set up/circumstances?

    Have you done any mods or set ups on the guitars? A while back I had a Telecaster week and got two the same week! Sounded great but I decided to set up on my own; set up to specs and see which I liked better. Read the specs and set pups height and the tone was off on both! Then noticed I did it wrong and they were way too low, too much gap!

    If you've done ANY mods triple check the specs you used and proper way to do it! Again with pup height I also didn't notice you measure by fretting at last fret. I read the instructions 10x and it was like someone added between read 9 and 10! Of course I final tune pup height by ear but always start with factory specs.

    Cheers!

    Tex.....
     
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  17. Wollyroger

    Wollyroger TDPRI Member

    Age:
    36
    24
    Jul 29, 2018
    Birmingham, UK
    Thanks for the reply! I have mic'd up the amp at home too and it sounded fine. I have also mic'd up the amp in this same manner since i got it (some 8 years ago) without any audible side effects etc. Reason why I have ruled out the monitors etc is that I experience the problem direct from the amp/cab (with all FOH (desk etc) switched off and unplugged from the mains.

    Nowhere near the Cuban embassy, but I have yet to rule out some form of sinister sonic warfare from a rival band... ;-)
     
    LutherBurger and TeleTucson like this.

  18. Wollyroger

    Wollyroger TDPRI Member

    Age:
    36
    24
    Jul 29, 2018
    Birmingham, UK
    The other amp was the same head (orange th30) with a Marshall 2x12 cab hired from my local studio
     

  19. Wollyroger

    Wollyroger TDPRI Member

    Age:
    36
    24
    Jul 29, 2018
    Birmingham, UK
    Yeah, this is my thinking too. There are all sorts of things nearby; lights, laptops, phones, ipads etc. At the time of the video I asked all the guys in the band to leave the hall with their phones/tablets (including mine) and the problem still persisted. Only consistent thing present at all venue is a lighting rig of some description. At the time of the video we had unplugged all of our gear from the mains, but we forgot to turn off the venue's stage lights...
     

  20. Wollyroger

    Wollyroger TDPRI Member

    Age:
    36
    24
    Jul 29, 2018
    Birmingham, UK
    Hi, thanks for the reply. The problem happens with a different amp and cab and when the amp is not mic'd up.
     

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