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Crackling/popping noise help needed

Discussion in 'Tele-Technical' started by RyanT42, Mar 6, 2021.

  1. RyanT42

    RyanT42 TDPRI Member

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    Hey all, I know this is a fairly common issue w/ plenty of threads online but just needing some help to narrow down the potential cause.

    Last night my 2010 CS Telecaster started a rather bad case of the crackling/popping noises while playing...actually not while playing but while sitting not playing. It would kind of come and go. I noticed it was worse when I either held it up and moved it around in the air or around on my leg (wearing jeans)...if it was still nothing happened. I could bounce it or rub it on my leg and it would make the noise.

    Ran through some typical troubleshooting:

    - Checked different guitars, cables, amps...it was narrowed down to the Tele
    - Cleaned pots w/ DeOxit
    - Cleaned output jack with DeOxit & Q-Tip

    Problem persisted...frustrated went to bed...

    - Next day I removed output jack and checked the connections, all looked good and solid. I did notice the part of the jack that clicks with the 1/4” cable looked worn...it wasn’t dirty but just had the shiny metal worn off from where the cable comes in. I acruakky plugged into the exposed outlet and turned the amp on...I wanted to check and see if the wires s showed as the cause...it appeared that the noise was caused by contact on the part of the jack that clicks with the 1/4” connector...fwiw.

    I put the output jack back in this AM and it’s better, but still a faint crackling...especially when I dime the amp. I also noticed it crackles when I touch anything metal...output jack, chrome knobs, strings, etc...

    Not sure if I need to replace the jack, or if a solder joint is bad or if it’s just static build up (live in a dry arid winter climate).

    Any help is appreciated!!!!
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2021
  2. Bella

    Bella Tele-Meister

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    Have you ruled out static electricity? My Teles are prone to this if the house is particularly dry. Try running a dryer sheet over the pickguard area (for real). Some people even shove dryer sheets into the cavities under the guard. I just keep a sheet nearby and wipe it down as necessary.
     
  3. Cosmic Cowboy

    Cosmic Cowboy Tele-Meister

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    After ruling out a grounding issue (if touching the strings and bridge dont cause the sound to stop), I would check for cold soldered joints or loose wires.
     
  4. RyanT42

    RyanT42 TDPRI Member

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    Thanks!...yeah, I’m leaning that direction after I checked all the wires...I was sure I had a bad solder at ground wire.

    it was just strange how I could put the guitar in the air and move it and it made the cracklings noise. Also how when I had the jack removed, I plugged into it and the noise came from contact to the part of the jack touching the 1/4” plug...so I was wondering if that was a sign of a faulty jack.
     
  5. RyanT42

    RyanT42 TDPRI Member

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    thank you, I didn’t see any loose wires when I had the jack out. How do I check for a cold soldered joint?
     
  6. Cosmic Cowboy

    Cosmic Cowboy Tele-Meister

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    With the guitar plugged in, try to manually wiggle each wire to isolate a bad joint. (Noise changes). Visual inspection will also help.
     
  7. RyanT42

    RyanT42 TDPRI Member

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    did that and the 2 wires appear to be good. The only thing I noticed was the crackling sound would appear when the jack was touching something while cable plugged in. (The part that the 1/4” clicks to)
     
  8. Mr. Lumbergh

    Mr. Lumbergh Poster Extraordinaire

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    Does it do the same thing on different amps?
     
  9. DADGAD

    DADGAD Friend of Leo's

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    Dry air will make static electricity problems arise. If you run a heater or fireplace in your residence, it will remove moisture from the air. Do you know what your humidity is?

    +1 to post #2.
     
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  10. RyanT42

    RyanT42 TDPRI Member

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    Mr. Lumbergh..I will not be coming in to the office this weekend...and thanks for reply.

    yep, I tried it on 2 amps and same issue. Different cables too and different guitars so I knows it was just the Tele
     
  11. RyanT42

    RyanT42 TDPRI Member

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    I think this is what it was...I keep guitars in a small room w/ humidifier at 50%-ish humidity...the house and area where I play is probably 30% at best, probably lower...so maybe last night I was all charged up! Ole Tele seems to be behaving much better. Still a little occasional crackle if I crank the amp and have tone all the way up....but very minimal.

    the only thing left is whenever I touch a chrome knob or input jack or cable into jack (it’s metal) It makes a very faint sound, like a quiet crackle. But it’s only noticake if I have volume way up.
     
  12. Collin D Plonker

    Collin D Plonker Tele-Afflicted

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    It could be the jack, but have you ruled out static first? (We all want it to be static).
     
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  13. RyanT42

    RyanT42 TDPRI Member

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    I t
    I think it was static build up but there wasn’t any issue with the pickguard. It seems to be behaving now but I’ll test again when I play tonight...definitely going to keep an eye on it. I will report back if any more issues persist...I appreciate all the help!
     
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  14. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity

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    You're sure it's not the amp?
    Some guitars if the jack is turned in the body hole it restricts the jack from moving properly when you plug in a cable. It hits the wood. So that's a thought.
    I assume your CS Tele has a good Switchraft jack in it, so likely not that.
    Will it do it if you wiggle the cord?
    IME static will be, at most, a light static'y sound. If it's a good solid crackle likely not static.
     
  15. RyanT42

    RyanT42 TDPRI Member

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    yeah, I’ve tried on on different amps and different cables too. Same thing happened.

    But since I took the jack out and checked the wires/connection (all appeared solid and good), then reinstalled the jack it seems to have really helped and the crackling prretty much has gone away. Now only when I have the amp dimed with treble controls set all the way up on both guitar/amp do I hear the occasional crackle...but nothing like a few days ago.

    I do notice that when the amp is at those extreme volume/high tone settings there is a secondary buzz that goes away when I touch any metal like knobs, tone plate or bridge and also w/ a slight “pop” sound when I touch the metal. If I tap a chrome vol/tone knob it makes a slight “pop, pop, pop” sound.

    is that normal for a tele with an amp set at full on? Only a 5 watt and 12 watt amp, fwiw.
     
  16. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity

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    Hmmm, not normal to me. Static light crackling when you play can be an issue with Teles for some reason, as can that humming until you touch things. When I get either, I check the grounds and I properly shield the guitar. It goes away near 100% when I do that.

    You mention "when I took the jack out it improved..." This makes me wonder if jack rotation in the wood is an issue. Mentioned in my earlier post, the long tang on the jack can contact the wood when a cord is plugged in and keep it from bending properly. Can you let the jack dangle out of the hole and see if that fixes it?
     
  17. Collin D Plonker

    Collin D Plonker Tele-Afflicted

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    Teles seem harder to ground than the average guitar. I had the ground noises on mine before I swapped pickups and reflowed all the grounds. I also find.it useful to shield the entire pickguard and make sure it runs to ground, as well.

    Finally, I have had a number of guitars over time that just seem to have jack problems, even with a Switchcraft jack in them. In those cases I went with a Pure Tone jack. It has four points of contact on the plug, rather than two. No issues with that.
     
  18. RyanT42

    RyanT42 TDPRI Member

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    Thanks for the reply. Yeah, when I had the jack out I plugged it in and while contacting the tang of the jack it made the static sound that was problematic. When I reinstalled it I rotated the jack so the tang was about 20-30 degrees from where it was when I took it out. That seemed to do it. So I think you might be right that the tang of the jack was contacting the wood or something loose in there. I guess that would explain why when I held the guitar up in the air and twisted/shook it the static got worse.

    now I think I’m just super sensitive to it so any little weird noise pops up I’m hyper focused on it. The hum and grounding is probably something i should look into as well with shielding.
     
  19. RyanT42

    RyanT42 TDPRI Member

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    Thanks! I am going to check out those Pure Tone jacks for sure.
     
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