General Telecaster Noise Question

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by Green Tele, Jul 30, 2021.

  1. Green Tele

    Green Tele TDPRI Member

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    Hey Everyone,

    Lurker for many years and finally I'm an Tele owner.

    I bought an American Pro II Telecaster - and I love it. My first tele.

    I have strats and jazzmasters - and I'm used to the single coil hum, relatively silent in the middle/in-between settings.

    The telecaster - is noisy in the middle position, even noisier in the 1st and 3rd. Should the middle/2nd setting be relatively quiet like other fender guitars?

    Can't really travel/try any other teles as I'm in lock down and left handed.

    Any insights appreciated.
     
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  2. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    Howdy and welcome!
    Your countrymen at Kinman Pickups make great sounding noiseless pickups.
    I have them in both my Strats and my PRS Kestrel bass.
    Personally I cannot tolerate hum.
    Kinmans sound way better than any other noiseless pickups I’ve tried.
    Good luck!
     
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  3. whetherkings

    whetherkings Tele-Meister

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    Is it noisy as in a grounding issue or something else? And significantly worse in that middle position?
     
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  4. Green Tele

    Green Tele TDPRI Member

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    It's not worse in the middle. I guess my expectation is the middle should be hum cancelling and quiet.

    To me: putting it in a relative scale
    Strat - 1/3/5 = noise is 8/10
    Strat - 2/4 = noise is 1/10

    Tele - 1/3 = noise is 9/10
    Tele - 2 = noise is 6/10
    this tele has the series push/push pot and when engaged it's just as noisy as parallel in the middle.

    not sure if this is normal for teles or not.

    Not complaining, just general question about tele's in general.
     
  5. Green Tele

    Green Tele TDPRI Member

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    Also - no change in noise when i touch the strings, bridge or anything like that.

    It's not really noticeable clean - but even with the lightest of overdrive it's really noisy.
     
  6. whetherkings

    whetherkings Tele-Meister

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    I mostly use my Teles in the studio so noise is one of my pet hates and I ground mine to within an inch of their lives.

    On the original Teles, the base plate of the bridge pickup was a decent chunk of metal, so being connected to the bridge plate by screws, both the pickup and bridge were inherently grounded. But as the design of the pickups changed it became more common to ground the bridge plate itself as well. So grounding is obviously one place where noise can be introduced.

    But if you’re not hearing a difference when you’re touching the strings etc. that would kind of suggest it’s not necessarily a grounding issue.

    So it could be something related to the pickups - either they’re just really hot or maybe with their design they need a lot more shielding? There’s a great Dylan Talks Tone video on YouTube where he talks about grounding and shielding - using the underside of your pickguard to shield the pickups for example.

    I recently installed a Seymour Duncan Brad Paisley Secret Agent into my Esquire and it runs a lot hotter than other neck pickups I’ve used. So it’s noticeably more noisy and I’ve been pondering ways to improve that.
     
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  7. ChicknPickn

    ChicknPickn Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    Bill Lawrence noise-free pickups. So sweet, quiet as a tomb, still a great deal.
     
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  8. MrDavey2Shoes

    MrDavey2Shoes TDPRI Member

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    my tele makes alot of noise too, usually because im missing notes, hitting the wrong string...ect :D
     
  9. Green Tele

    Green Tele TDPRI Member

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    Cheers for the insights team!

    I think my Tele might just be the "noisy" one in the bunch and that's ok! Still gonna use it lots!
     
  10. PhredE

    PhredE Tele-Afflicted

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    If you suspect something wrong, it might be worth pulling the pickguard and/or control plate and checking the cavity shielding. Giving a look at the solder joints/wires probably wouldn't hurt as well.
     
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  11. Green Tele

    Green Tele TDPRI Member

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    It’s not that I suspect something is wrong. I’m just not sure if the middle position of a Tele should be as quiet as an in between setting on a strat?

    It’s my first and only Tele, so don’t have any experience/gauge to know what’s up.
     
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  12. Green Tele

    Green Tele TDPRI Member

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    I’m may not be explaining it the best way.

    The 1st and 3rd positions on the Tele, is equally as noisy as any strat/jazzmaster using a single pickup. This i get/understand.

    The middle position (hum cancelling) is only half as noisy as 1st and 3rd. Where as my other fenders are completely silent using when combining pickups… is this just a Tele thing? Or just an American pro 2 thing?
     
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  13. Bella

    Bella Tele-Meister

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    Is one of the pickups in your Am Pro2 RWRP?
     
  14. nickmsmith

    nickmsmith Tele-Holic

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    Order some copper shielding tape off of eBay. I wasn’t a believer until I broke down and tried it. One Tele, I shielded the bridge pickup cavity and not the neck. Noticeable noise difference between the two pickups, when they both were noisy before.

    it really works. I think my house has electrical issues. But shielding really helps.
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2021
  15. JL_LI

    JL_LI Poster Extraordinaire

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    +1 on Noiseless pickups. I have N4 pickups in my avatar Telecaster. I just put Ultimate noiseless pickups in my American Standard Strat. I have CS ‘69 single coil pickups in my CS ‘69 Strat. Fender must have worked magic with them because the noise is barely noticeable. Maybe it’s because they’re low wind pickups. I’d check grounding first and then maybe shield the cavities, but if the noise is from 50 or 60 cycle hum, noiseless pickups are the answer. Lots of good suggestions about them here.
     
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  16. Killing Floor

    Killing Floor Friend of Leo's

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    Of the dozens of Fenders I’ve owned I have never bought a new or even used one that was shielded. Sometimes they don’t even tie off the bridge wire.
    So I’d start there. Not a slam, it’s just an aftermarket mod. Shield the cavity with copper tape or use the shielding paint and before you screw in the controls apply copper tape over the paint because shielding paint is just not that good. Make sure your controls are grounded to the shielding somewhere. Good luck.
     
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  17. thankyouguitar

    thankyouguitar Tele-Meister

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    If you turn the volume knob up all the way do you still hear the noise in position 2?
     
  18. Crobbins

    Crobbins Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Congrats. The pictures are not loading. :D
     
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  19. PhredE

    PhredE Tele-Afflicted

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    A low budget way to do cavity shielding can be done using common aluminum foil and an adhesive (spray is probably best). There are some vids up on YT on how to do it, but it's quite easy. Here's the basic steps:

    Remove the hardware as needed,
    Cut a slightly oversized piece of foil for each cavity,
    Seat each piece cleanly/snugly on the bottom and sides of each rout,
    Then, pull out the foil being careful to retain the shape and folds,
    Spray the cavity with adhesive (cover anything you don't want adhesive on of course!),
    Then, carefully place the sized/shaped foil into each cavity -- gently press down to contact the adhesive.
    Let it dry for a good couple hours to be safe.
    Also, check to see that the foil doesn't inadvertently contact a wire (as in wiring in the control cavity). Trim excess and/or around other areas where a potential contact could be a real problem.
    :
    Check for noise.

    I shielded a guitar (Tele copy) this way and it worked fine.
     
  20. Green Tele

    Green Tele TDPRI Member

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    Just ordered some cause "why not" might see how it goes and add it to my other guitars too.
     
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