Bridge Microphonic Feedback Issue

Discussion in 'Just Pickups' started by StringSinger, Apr 21, 2019.

  1. StringSinger

    StringSinger TDPRI Member

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    A couple of weeks ago I installed a set of Bootstrap pups in my American Originals Tele. The pups sound good however I’m getting quite a bit of squeal out if the bridge. I did have it wound pretty hot with 9500 winds of 42 per Ryan’s recommendation. My question is is this just due to the hot pickup and the Tele bridge plate or is it not potted correctly or is it something else. It starts when there’s a lot of gain like from a fuzz pedal or stacked overdrives but will happen even when the volume level on the amp is relatively low, around 2 on a 40watt Fender.
     
  2. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Try loosening the bridge plate mounting screws. Snug but not tight.
    Too tight and they can compress the body wood enough to raise the front of the plate a little so it vibrates and picks up amp volume for feedback.
    You can try to slip a piece of paper under the front edges of the bridge to see if it's raised, only take a few thousandths.

    I'm guessing a new quality pickup is not squealy.
    Possibly the mounting screws/ springs if metal rather than surgical tubing, but less likely.

    I've actually seen cases where alder or basswood was compressed enough by over tightening that the bridge could not lay flat even with the screws only snug.
    If you have a string through the screws do almost nothing, so needn't be very tight.
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2019
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  3. Antoon

    Antoon Tele-Holic

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    Did he wax the bottom plate of the pickup? Some players choose not to.
     
  4. El Tele Lobo

    El Tele Lobo Friend of Leo's

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    I had a similar thing happen with my Cavalier Fat Lion bridge. It wasn't prone to squeal...not that I overdrive it much...I use it mostly for jazz) but I could hear the sound of the volume and tone knobs hitting their stopper and the switch change through the amp (in positions where the bridge was in play). I sent it back to Rob and he tested it and even redipped it, but it still occurred. He explained that this can happen with hotter wound pickups and it doesn't mean there's anything wrong.

    I don't presume you're having the same issue but it could be a factor. As I said, I haven't had any issues with squeal and my Fat Lion sounds great on its own or with the neck (Fat Lion King) otherwise. I would reach out to Ryan and ask him about it. These builders know their pickups and how they perform (or should perform) and can advise you accordingly. I know that, like Rob, Ryan is well regarded among the many users of his pickups.
     
  5. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I like the extreme sensitivity of the Tele bridge and pickup assembly, as long as I can play with gain and not get squeal.
     
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  6. Obelisk

    Obelisk Tele-Afflicted

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    If you are getting squeals when using fuzz pedals, then those are also suspect especially if one of those pedals is a Fuzz Face variant. Is the pickup oscillating when the amp is dimed and you aren't playing? If it isn't howling, then the pickup isn't that microphonic. Start tapping around the bridge with a Sharpie and see if you can induce the pickup to ring. If you can't get the pickup to ring under these circumstances, something else in your chain is causing problems. I am player that likes to play really loud with tons of feedback. A microphonic pickup is really obvious in its sound and will usually oscillate without much prompting from the player. To me that is downer as I use feedback as an integral part of my style. Unwanted feedback is never a desired result in my circumstance. Are you positive the pickup has been wax potted? Many current winders seem to love unpotted pickups. I am not sure they like to play very loud. I am personally all for well potted pickups. You can always turn up the treble knob on the amp.
     
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  7. El Tele Lobo

    El Tele Lobo Friend of Leo's

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    Obelisk makes a great point. Some pickups are slightly microphonic by design. It can add to their liveliness. I would test it without any effects (dimed amp) and with each overdrive individually and different combos. Perhaps there's an issue with one of your pedals.
     
  8. Bootstrap

    Bootstrap Tele-Meister Vendor Member

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    Hey @StringSinger , sorry to hear that you’re having trouble! Does your bridge pickup have metal springs or surgical tubing for height adjustment? (This will let me know which generation of Bootstrap t-style pups you have).

    If you have a soldering iron handy, you may try reflowing the wax between the baseplate and bottom of the pickup. Just rest the pickup upside down with the baseplate facing up, hold a hot soldering iron to the baseplate for 20 seconds or so, and then let it cool in place.

    I’m happy to send you a replacement - shipping is free both ways for returns/replacements. If the guitar is microphonic with the replacement as well, you may wish to look at other parts of your circuit.
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2019
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  9. StringSinger

    StringSinger TDPRI Member

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    Ryan, thanks for the follow up here. I got tubing with mine. Just got it from you at the end of last month. I know that the neck pickup I got from you won’t give the same feedback, I can switch between them and it stops. I’ll try your suggestion and some of the suggestions from the other members and see what I get. If there’s still a problem I’ll email you and we will figure it out. The pups sounds great otherwise, so thank you for your good work.
     
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  10. StringSinger

    StringSinger TDPRI Member

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    I will check this out. I don’t think I gave it too much torq but I could be wrong.
     
  11. StringSinger

    StringSinger TDPRI Member

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    I believe he did yes.
     
  12. bo

    bo Friend of Leo's

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    If you already have surgical tubing in place of metal springs then you might also try foam rubber in the pickup cavity to give it a little support.
     
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