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Audible "pop" if string touches pole screw...

Discussion in 'Just Pickups' started by poboy, Sep 18, 2019.

  1. poboy

    poboy Tele-Meister

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    The pickup in question is GFS Mean 90. It only occurs if the string touches the adjustment screw (no issue with the pickup cover). This causes an annoying distortion-like sound if the low E happens to touch the screw head during heavy strumming.

    Is this normal? I tried putting a piece of tape over the screws to insulate them and the pop does not occur, so I guess the problem is electrical in nature.

    Any ideas?

    Thanks.
     
  2. Shuster

    Shuster Poster Extraordinaire

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    If the string touches the pole piece of a pickup, it will make a popping sound. The pickup shouldn't be close enough to the strings that resting your palm against the strings causes the string to make contact with a pickup.
     
  3. PingGuo

    PingGuo Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    This is standard for all pickups that don't have a plastic cover over the pole pieces.

    I've heard that some people paint nail polish over the top of the pole pieces to solve this. but I've never tried it because I've never had it be a "problem" that needed "solving."
     
  4. dogmeat

    dogmeat Friend of Leo's

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    I don't see how nail polish could help much. the poles are magnets, the string is steel... any contact makes a flux change that will generate a signal in the windings. tape is keeping you from metal to metal contact
     
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  5. jimash

    jimash Friend of Leo's

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    Maybe screw that screw down a bit ?
     
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  6. corliss1

    corliss1 Friend of Leo's Platinum Supporter

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    Yup - that's how you test pickup wiring without strings. Touch them with something metal. Lower your pickup height :D
     
  7. EsquireBoy

    EsquireBoy Tele-Afflicted

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    @Shuster is right: your pickup probably is too close to the strings. Lower it down a bit and see if it solves your issue.
     
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  8. BorderRadio

    BorderRadio Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    Filter'trons love to be by the string--and thus it's almost a shame I have to be a saint with my picking hand to keep the pop from happening.

    You can't lower a pickup if you love the tone, so my advice is to adjust the picking hand technique.
     
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  9. Verne Bunsen

    Verne Bunsen Tele-Afflicted

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    This is the answer. Can’t avoid the “pop”, so if you like the sound of the pickups where they are at then you have to adjust your technique.
     
  10. poboy

    poboy Tele-Meister

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    But, as I mentioned in my OP, placing a piece of tape over the pole screw eliminates the issue, so it must be related to electrical contact and not the physical impact of the string touching the pole. I might try coating the screw head with nail polish as suggested above.
     
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  11. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    It's a little more than just the electrical contact and nail polish alone might not be enough.
    Depending on the pickup and the volume, tapping a pole with a non metal hard object will also make a thump.
    Depending on exactly how close the pickup is to the strings I'd still consider adjusting pickup height a bit since you haven't described your pickup height adjustment process.
    I like SC pickups high but not so close to the low E that the string hits it.
    P-90s are harder to adjust closer to the high E than the low E but it balances the string output better, and can improve the speaker blowing crunch sound of hitting the pole.
    If you lower it a bit and listen to the change in sound, adjust your amp as you adjust the pickup, and find that like @BorderRadio said, you just can't get a good P-90 sound without the low E hitting the pole, then I'd go to a hardware store and get some tool handle coating plastic. It's sort of rubbery plastic in a bottle that you dip pliers handles into and it forms an insulated grip handle, maybe 1/16" thick.

    Maybe nail polish will cut the thump enough but I'm guessing it'll take more than that.
    Another product that will make more of a barrier than nail polish is one of the locktite thread lock products.
    That would be harder to remove though, where the tool handle coating can be scraped off.

    Yet another solution is to remove the screw, file the top flat, and screw it back in so it's just below the cover surface.
     
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  12. Boil

    Boil Tele-Holic

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    Tape seems to work, leave it on,.

    If you get famous you can start you own line of 'Pop Tape' and sell it for $5.99 (please read instructions fully before ordering, package includes enough tape for 3 single coil pickups, two packages required for dual humbucker guitar)
     
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  13. PingGuo

    PingGuo Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    Let me know how it goes once you've ruined your guitar :lol:.

    Seriously though, I hope it works. That would be really cool.

    If it were me trying it I'd use something matte like this: https://www.target.com/p/sally-hans...47OlazuiqECx9ghSp8oaAjqDEALw_wcB&gclsrc=aw.ds

    and slather on a few coats.

    Best,
    -vic
     
  14. El Marin

    El Marin Friend of Leo's

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    Yes, normal
     
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  15. Boil

    Boil Tele-Holic

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    Here, I did all the hard work for you.

    POP Tape.jpg
     
  16. rigatele

    rigatele Tele-Afflicted

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    Is your bridge grounded?
     
  17. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    A ‘normal’ passive magnetic pickup needs to be a certain minimum distance from the strings. If not, the magnetic pull inhibits the string movement. This magnetic force will prevent the string from vibrating in an accurate and strong manner....one will have notes that are not accurate and that cannot have natural sustain. Almost every guitar on which I work has the pickups too close to the strings.....even brand new instruments. When I exhibit the effect and the difference after adjustment, the owners are amazed at the difference.
    The only pickups that allow extremely close proximity to the strings without causing detrimental effects are active pickups that do not have strong magnets.
     
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  18. Antigua Tele

    Antigua Tele Friend of Leo's

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    If tape fixes the problem, clear nail polish will also fix the problem.
     
  19. Chunkocaster

    Chunkocaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    The tape and nail polish might work better in conjunction with wearing a pair of rubber boots or replacing metal fillings with porcelain.
     
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  20. Antigua Tele

    Antigua Tele Friend of Leo's

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    I wouldn't say string should or should not be anywhere. If the tonal quality is important enough, you'll work around the obstacles. Some musical instruments are nothing but obstacles. At least we aren't having to drag horse hair across the strings to get a sound out of the instrument, but it's a great sound that can't be matched through any other means.
     
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