New fender ultra telecaster: S1 noisy. Grounding issue?

tendingtropic

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Hi everyone!

I just bought a new fender telecaster ultra (texas tea model)
I also own a squier strat MIJ.

I would have expected the ultra to be more or less 'noiseless' (since it has noiseless pickups), but its not.

In fact, when I turn up the volume on my amp to 60%, and the guitar is at 75%, I start to hear a hum. when I engage the S1 switch, its worse. If I then touch/hold the knobs, or touch the metal of my bridge the hum stops.

anyone recognize this issue? is it fixable? should I send the guitar back?
 

tendingtropic

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also, I noticed that when I screw the bass side of my neck pickup halfway loose, the pickup stays loose, is this normal?
 

Rick53

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Hi everyone!

I just bought a new fender telecaster ultra (texas tea model)
I also own a squier strat MIJ.

I would have expected the ultra to be more or less 'noiseless' (since it has noiseless pickups), but its not.

In fact, when I turn up the volume on my amp to 60%, and the guitar is at 75%, I start to hear a hum. when I engage the S1 switch, its worse. If I then touch/hold the knobs, or touch the metal of my bridge the hum stops.

anyone recognize this issue? is it fixable? should I send the guitar back?

also, I noticed that when I screw the bass side of my neck pickup halfway loose, the pickup stays loose, is this normal?
Yes that is normal for telecaster pups . The noise you hear sounds more like your amp's Power Tubes . The S! switching is bringing to light issues with your AMP . Not the guitar .
I just purchased an Ultra Luxe Telecaster and went thru the same thing with a DR Z Cure . It was my Power Tubes.
Do you have a store or a Buddy that you can plug into another amp to see ? I had to take my pickguard off to remove the plastic on the pickups . I suppose it's possible if you had to do that , you may have pulled a wire loose . Or you have a bad pickup . But not that likely .

Better odds are it's your AMP. Or it could be cord connections . But that hum sounds like tubes . Power Tubes usually go out first .

What amp do you own ?
 
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IrishBread69

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In my experience noiseless are never truly completely silent. Part of it will be the rest of your circuit, cables/pedals/amp etc

The noiseless pickups do significantly help Vs standard coils though.
 

tendingtropic

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interestingly the ultra with the S1 switch engaged gives a worse hum than my (cheap) squier strat, with the same amp settings (roland chorus-> headphone).

the hum completely disappears when I'm playing, or when I touch the strings/bridge/knobs.

strange right?
 

AAT65

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interestingly the ultra with the S1 switch engaged gives a worse hum than my (cheap) squier strat, with the same amp settings (roland chorus-> headphone).

the hum completely disappears when I'm playing, or when I touch the strings/bridge/knobs.

strange right?
That's pretty normal.
The way I explain this is, your body is an antenna which picks up a lot of RF noise and re-radiates it into your guitar (the wiring mostly if you have noiseless pickups). Touching the strings / bridge grounds you and prevents your body acting as an antenna -- hence less noise.
My Elite Tele, with N4 Noiseless pickups, behaves the exact same way. And is much quieter than my Jazzmaster.

Enjoy your guitar -- and post some pictures! That's what here for...
 

tendingtropic

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Thanks, other amp settings helped. its not gone, but way less.

2 questions:
1) is it normal that engaging the S1 switch (while in middle pickup setting) makes the sound louder (and thus a bit more hum)
2) i'm trying to set my neck pickup to the fender recommended hight (bass side 3,6mm, treble side 2,4mm). However, I can't loosen the bass side further than 3mm without that side of the pickup becoming a bit loose in the pickguard (so wiggling/movable when i touch it). Is this normal?

And, here's a picture of both guitars together!
 

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AAT65

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Thanks, other amp settings helped. its not gone, but way less.

2 questions:
1) is it normal that engaging the S1 switch (while in middle pickup setting) makes the sound louder (and thus a bit more hum)
2) i'm trying to set my neck pickup to the fender recommended hight (bass side 3,6mm, treble side 2,4mm). However, I can't loosen the bass side further than 3mm without that side of the pickup becoming a bit loose in the pickguard (so wiggling/movable when i touch it). Is this normal?

And, here's a picture of both guitars together!
1) I expect that with S1 engaged (series mode) main change is which frequencies are emphasised (less top, more mid-low) due to the changing impedance of the paired pickups. That could make it sound louder.
2) So are you trying to lower the pickup (get it further away from the strings? Can you tighten it up again? In other words is the screw still engaged with the pickup baseplate or has it come loose?
My neck pickup is about 2.5mm from the low E (when fretted at the 22nd fret) and that seems to work fine for me. And the pickup is not loose at all.
 

tendingtropic

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Thanks for the reply!

Indeed i was trying to get the bass side of the neck pickup further away from the strings, and after a distance of 3,5mm the screw begins to wobble on the pickguard and the pickup does become wobbly too. Tightening the screw up also elevates the pickup closer to the strings again. Perhaps I shouldnt try and put it at 3,5mm, because if I put it at 2.5mm the pickup is not loose either. But the fender site states a recommended pickup height of 3.6mm for noiseless pickups...
 

unixfish

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Odd. I never thought my S1 was noisy; however, it only works on the two positions where both pickups are activated (4 way switch). There is always some "touch the strings to complete the ground" stuff, but not bad.
 

AAT65

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Thanks for the reply!

Indeed i was trying to get the bass side of the neck pickup further away from the strings, and after a distance of 3,5mm the screw begins to wobble on the pickguard and the pickup does become wobbly too. Tightening the screw up also elevates the pickup closer to the strings again. Perhaps I shouldnt try and put it at 3,5mm, because if I put it at 2.5mm the pickup is not loose either. But the fender site states a recommended pickup height of 3.6mm for noiseless pickups...
Hmmm yeah I didn’t even look at Fender’s recommendation as far as I can remember! I got the bridge sounding good then I adjusted the neck pickup to balance the output. That’s all I did!
 

boris bubbanov

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Also, be on the lookout for a busted or worn out S-1 switch. These switches are IMO not up to the "Keef Richards Stress Test". I don't assume they are ready to go, as I've had 2 out of the seven S-1s I've had give me trouble.
 

ChrisDowning

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BTW you guys in the USA seem to have far more grounding issues at venues/home than we do in W Europe. I'd def check the mains grounding. We played at the local big venue in our town and coming off two ring-main supplies we had huge problems with a ground loop - we were humming for Britain that night!
 




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