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Tele control noises coming through the amp

Discussion in 'Tele-Technical' started by El Tele Lobo, Sep 15, 2018.

  1. El Tele Lobo

    El Tele Lobo Friend of Leo's

    Oct 21, 2014
    Florida
    So I don't know how long this has been an issue, but I noticed today playing one of my teles that turning the control knobs, flicking the switch, etc. are AMPLIFIED through the amp. Rolling up the volume to its stop causes an audible amplified "tap" sound in the amp (like tapping a live microphone). Thisis the only tele I have this problem with. I replaced the pickups about a year ago with Cavaliers (Fat Lion, Fat Lion King)...so I'm pretty certain it's not a pickup problem...most likely something in my wiring. Anyone else ever experience this? Might save my some time diagnosing...
     

  2. VintageSG

    VintageSG Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

    Mar 31, 2016
    Yorkshire
    Try tapping the top of the pickups with your pick. My CV50 is microphonic and switch, pot hitting the stop, even the creak of the strap-locks gets through. I just consider it character.
    Is the capacitor a disc type ceramic?, these can act microphonic and can be a right sod to track down.
     

  3. Ira7

    Ira7 Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    61
    Jan 8, 2008
    Coral Springs, FL
    Sounds like this is going to be a tough one, and you may want to start at ground zero by replacing the switch, cap and pots.

    We're not talking a lot of bucks here, and this would drive me crazy.
     

  4. El Tele Lobo

    El Tele Lobo Friend of Leo's

    Oct 21, 2014
    Florida
    Well, it's not the cables, amp tubes or pedalboard. Tried with and without pedalboard through 3 other guitars and 3 other guitars with 3 different cables. This one guitar still does it...I've isolated it to only the bridge pickup or combinations thereof. If I tap the plastic top of the pickup it comes through the amplifier. Nothing on the neck though...only the bridge.
     

  5. corliss1

    corliss1 Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

    Sep 13, 2008
    Lansing, MI
    Can you give us more detail on how the knobs are getting amplified? I'm not sure exactly what you mean.

    The sound of the switch coming through the amp is a feature. If you listen to "Blues for Roy" by Jim Campilongo you'll hear where he switches from neck to bridge at about 50 seconds in you'll hear that sound. Also present on some Roy Buchanan stuff, but I can't think of it off the top of my head right now.
     

  6. El Tele Lobo

    El Tele Lobo Friend of Leo's

    Oct 21, 2014
    Florida
    There’s some noise is just as the volume and tone knob turning, and especially when they reach the end of their swath, You can hear them clank through the app. None of my other three teles do this. And this one only does it on the bridge pickup. Also, I took someone’s suggestion and tried tapping on the pickups with the pick. I didn’t notice anything through the neck pickup but when I gently tapped on the plastic part of the bridge pickup on top, I heard a sound through the amp is if I had touched the polepieces with a screwdriver. Pretty sure my bridge pickup is microphonic.
     

  7. corliss1

    corliss1 Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

    Sep 13, 2008
    Lansing, MI
    Definitely sounds like a microphonic pickup. I'm assuming the amp/gain isn't cranked much in this situation?
     

  8. Bob Arbogast

    Bob Arbogast Tele-Afflicted

    That's the sound of a lively guitar that's ready to make some music! Source is likely a slightly microphonic bridge pickup. I like that sound myself. I think it's more apt to happen with a Tele because the metal control plate is screwed to the same block of wood that the bridge is mounted to.
     
    corliss1 likes this.

  9. The Ballzz

    The Ballzz Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    63
    Apr 11, 2016
    Las Vegas, NV
    You might want to check and see if the bridge pickup plate is actually grounded with a jumper wire to the signal negative? Some setups depend upon the pickup plate grounding through the screws to the bridge plate only and that can sometimes be "iffy!" And for that matter, not all Tele bridge pickups even have a plate at all!
    Just Sayin'
    Gene
     

  10. dsutton24

    dsutton24 Poster Extraordinaire Gold Supporter

    Dec 29, 2010
    Illinois
    The controls of a Telecaster are very simple. If moving a pot or switch causes noise, the problem is in the pot or switch. Before you get crazy and start replacing things, give your pots and switch shot of Deoxit or a similar contact cleaner.
     

  11. El Tele Lobo

    El Tele Lobo Friend of Leo's

    Oct 21, 2014
    Florida
    Correct. Clean. Bedroom volume.
     

  12. VintageSG

    VintageSG Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

    Mar 31, 2016
    Yorkshire
    Your bridge pickup is microphonic. If it really bugs you, you could try wax potting it, other than that, there is no real remedy. A microphonic pickup isn't faulty, it has character :)
    I'll bet it's quite a lively sound from it. Once the sound comes through the amp, I don't notice it on mine.
    1) Pot it
    2) Get it potted
    3) Get one that the manufacturer guarantees isn't subject to noticeable microphony
    4) Get lucky
    5) Best option!, live with it. If it is a problem at performance levels, see 1-4 above
     

  13. LutherBurger

    LutherBurger Friend of Leo's

    Oct 29, 2013
    NYC
    Does it squeal when you play loudly? If not, I'd leave it alone. I don't mind the clanking noises, but I can't abide the squeal.
     

  14. Bob Arbogast

    Bob Arbogast Tele-Afflicted

    Is the bridge pickup mounted using springs or surgical tubing? My memory is that the tubing provides some damping of this kind of mechanical noise.
     

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