Eliminating squeal (probably neck PU needs potting)

Discussion in 'Tele-Technical' started by BBill64, Oct 6, 2019.

  1. BBill64

    BBill64 Tele-Afflicted

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    A friend is having an issue with his japanese tele. I think it's all stock aside from the CRL pickup selector.

    When switching to the neck pickup with a distorted sound at anything above home volume, there is an unpleasant squealing sound. I've encountered this before with the bridge pickup where the base plate was loose and securing it solved the issue (thanks to Mr DiStefano for the tip).

    I've put rubber tubing on the neck pickup screws (body mounted) as well as a few bits of foam just to try and prevent any external vibrations getting to the pickup. the whole control plate is quite microphonic which presumably doesn't help.

    It seems to me like the pickup needs potting (or, more likely, replacing with something nicer) but I would like to try other options first, within the remit of minor adjustments one can make with a screwdriver and normal household bits!

    Does anyone have any ideas? How best to reduce noise from the control plate perhaps?
     
  2. SixStringSlinger

    SixStringSlinger Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    I recently went through something similar with my Jazzmaster. The sound of my pick hitting the string (before the actual note ringing out) was coming through the amp way too loudly. I (and others here) thought it might be microphonic pickups. Good news: I learned how to pot pickups. Bad news: The issue had nothing to do with potting pickups.

    In hunting down the cause of a seemingly unrelated bridge rattle, I wound up putting Loctite on the bridge height adjustment screws. That killed the rattle, and has also seemed to result the pick-click. As best I can figure, my vibration caused by my pick hitting a string traveled to the bridge, which did its rattle thing and, the bridge posts being so close to the bridge pickup, that sound came through the amp.

    My point in sharing this is to not rule out anything when it comes to guitar bits vibrating more than they should.

    When you say "noise from the control plate", do you mean you suspect this is loose and vibrating too much? If so, can you put some foam at the bottom of the cavity? This could effectively give the plate less room to move, and what motion does happen would be dampened by the foam.
     
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  3. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

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    .

    Grab a wide mouth pickle jar, some canning wax, second pot with water bath to put the wax in the jar to melt, and watch some youtube videos on wax potting.
    Building a vacuum wax potting system (save the pickle jar lid) is not too much more difficult and drives the wax deep into the coil to stop it at high gain.

    Most wax potted pickups are just dipped so only some of the outer windings get coated.

    .
     
  4. BBill64

    BBill64 Tele-Afflicted

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    I mean that the normal "kerthlunk" you get when switching pickups is much, much louder that it ought to be. The grounding and wiring look fine, everything works as it should, it's just a very noisy, microphonic guitar.

    The point about bridge saddles is interesting, as this guitar has one of those crummy six saddle toploaders that 80s-90s MIJ Teles sometimes got.

    If this were my guitar and I wanted to keep it, I'd just gut it and put quality pickups and hardware on it. But I want to do what I can!
    it's honestly not worth the hassle when you can get better replacement pickups so easily and afforably.
     
  5. BBill64

    BBill64 Tele-Afflicted

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    It's definitely the pickup being microphonic, because it's reduced when you hold a hand above the pickup as though you were blocking a mic, not touching anything (but grounding the strings with the other hand). I'm gonna recommend replacing both pickups because these are nothing special. Probably most of the hardware, too - I think the control plate is so lively simply because it's very thin, and the heavy duty CRL switch generates too much vibration.
     
  6. bender66

    bender66 Poster Extraordinaire

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    It's the pickups causing your perceived "control plate" issue, not the plate. The switch being moved is being picked up by the pickups.

    I'd prob just buy another set you like & leave the original unpotted pickups alone. Lots of affordable options.
     
  7. BBill64

    BBill64 Tele-Afflicted

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    the flimsiness of the plate is definitely a contributing factor, as wedging foam in the control cavity has helped, but not completely fixed the issue.
     
  8. bender66

    bender66 Poster Extraordinaire

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    I dont think I've ever seen a flimsy control plate. Does that really exist?
     
  9. BBill64

    BBill64 Tele-Afflicted

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    it just feels thin and light. like the difference between a late 70s pot metal strat vibrato and a quality steel block vibrato unit.
     
  10. BBill64

    BBill64 Tele-Afflicted

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    just an update - my friend got someone cleverer than me to pot the pickups so hopefully it's all good now.
     
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