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Aluminum Pick Guards...Tone?

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by Texicaster, Dec 3, 2020.

  1. notroHnhoJ

    notroHnhoJ Tele-Meister

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    Really bad weird microphonic feedback. I couldn’t use the guitar in any kind of live setting. Sitting around at home at low volume, and for recording it was fine. But other than that? Couldnt use it because of the feedback.
     
  2. Zepfan

    Zepfan Doctor of Teleocity Gold Supporter

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    My theory in the supposed drop in treble from noiseless pickups or the aluminum shielding cutting noise is due to the loss of the noise and the treble that was present from said noise and not related to the pickup's output.
    That's an untested theory though.
     
  3. Zepfan

    Zepfan Doctor of Teleocity Gold Supporter

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    Tell me what it was exactly and I may be able to help or figure it out. Sorry didn't see the other post yet.
     
  4. notroHnhoJ

    notroHnhoJ Tele-Meister

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    “They confuse the cause of the issue. It's your pickups, not the guard!”
    uhhh no.....Definitely the pick guard. The problem with feedback wasnt an issue before installing and wasn’t a problem after removing it. Also, the feedback was the same pitch that the pick guard would make if you dropped it.
     
  5. notroHnhoJ

    notroHnhoJ Tele-Meister

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    Tone? Nah. Screeching microphonic feedback with any kind of boost/overdrive/distortion and loud amp levels, in every position? Yeah more like it. Also, oddly enough and purely by accident, I found that after I removed the pickguard, the feedback pitch was EXACTLY the ringing tone produced by dropping the pickguard.
     
  6. Fiesta Red

    Fiesta Red Poster Extraordinaire

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    I do my best to spread my ignorance everywhere I go.
    (Sorry I can’t help!)
     
  7. Matthias

    Matthias Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    I put an aluminium shield on my Jazzmaster and it appeared to attenuate some treble. I was surprised and actually researched it because I had no idea that was a thing until I heard it... So maybe...
     
  8. Zepfan

    Zepfan Doctor of Teleocity Gold Supporter

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    I had that issue with a hollow body guitar way back and wrapped the bottom of the pickups with thin foam. That fixed the feedback problem. Those were the same pickups in my Reso Strat, they still have the foam on the bottom. So try that. The excess space in a swimming pool route could be an issue with microphonics. Try that if you can and let me know what happens.
     
  9. notroHnhoJ

    notroHnhoJ Tele-Meister

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    I did the sensible thing and removed the pick guard already. It was on a Partsocaster with vintage style routing. This has been a few years ago. As cool as the thing looked, it just wasn’t really worth chasing down in any kind of practical sense. Although its still a mystery to me though why it was so problematic.
     
  10. notroHnhoJ

    notroHnhoJ Tele-Meister

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    ....Still the thing that’s so weird to me, was the feedback. It had a musical pitch, a frequency, and it was the same note as the pick guard if you made it ring by dropping it or flicking or something like that.
     
  11. Zepfan

    Zepfan Doctor of Teleocity Gold Supporter

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    Microphonic pickups overreacting to the vibration through the aluminum pickguard? My Strats have plastic pickguards with the aluminum tape on the backside and cavites.
    Also, was your shield taped cavities grounded? Probably so with the pots being attached to the guard. Most likely the PG vibration. At least that's all that I can think of right now.;)
     
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  12. AAT65

    AAT65 Friend of Leo's

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    My theory then is that you had a microphonic pickguard. The pickguard was vibrating (especially near its resonant frequency, which is the note it rings at when you drop it) and that moves the pickups: the strings on the other hand don’t move in response to the pickguard movement, so the pickups moving relative to the strings causes the howling feedback you experienced.
    Just the same as microphonic pickups, but here it’s the whole pickup moving with the guard, not just the coils moving within the pickup.
    I would have thought this is fairly common with metal Strat pickguards... metal’s more resonant than plastic.
     
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  13. notroHnhoJ

    notroHnhoJ Tele-Meister

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    Interesting. Plausible.
    I’m really not inclined to think it was the pickups themselves, because there was no feedback issue before or after swapping out the pick guard.
     
  14. milocj

    milocj Friend of Leo's

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    Nah, snapper (I mean snappier)
     
  15. Antoon

    Antoon Tele-Afflicted

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    My Strat also became almost unplayable because of feedback with this aluminum guard. In that sense a huge effect on tone :lol:
     
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  16. Texicaster

    Texicaster Tele-Afflicted

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    Gosh!

    I didn't know there was such issues!

    Mine sounds great! I kinda dig the dark tone BUT figure you can't have enough treble on a Strat as you can roll it off with tone knobs....
     
  17. deus56

    deus56 Tele-Meister

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    No issues here either.
    [​IMG]
     
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  18. AAT65

    AAT65 Friend of Leo's

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    I think if you had a resonant, microphonic pickguard that caused bad feedback then you would have a chance of fixing it by damping the pickguard. It might be as simple as some strips of tape across the inside, or maybe glueing a piece of card or felt to the inside (shaped to fit into the routed cavities).
    Alternatively you could put some additional screw holes between the pickups (if you don’t have a swimming-pool-routed guitar) and reduce the vibration by securing the guard centrally as well as round the edges.
     
  19. Lonn

    Lonn Friend of Leo's

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    I've had a half dozen Strats with anodized aluminum guards, never heard any tonal difference. What nobody tells you is that they feel like a chalkboard under your fingers if you're like me and anchor your hand on the guard versus the bridge.
     
  20. Zepfan

    Zepfan Doctor of Teleocity Gold Supporter

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    Not saying it's all the pickup's fault, just their reaction to a pickguard that may also be adding something to the signal.

    The 2 large microphonic singles I have were practically uncontrollable in a hollow body, but placed in a tight cavity of a solid body they were controllable. Now they are in my Strat Reso. Neck is in a cavity mounted direct while the bridge is direct mount to the aluminum reso cone. It does have foam on the bottom of the pickup because of the feedback issues from the hollow body guitar and I just added it encase it could be an issue. I have no problems with it, no feedback, no RF noise and no 60 cycle hum from either pickup. Maybe the foam is dampening any unwanted noise/feedback issue like AAT65 mentioned.
     
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