Tele bridge pickup baseplate attachment - preferred adhesives?

Discussion in 'Just Pickups' started by 11 Gauge, May 11, 2021.

  1. 11 Gauge

    11 Gauge Doctor of Teleocity

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    So, in another thread, I think I discovered that my problem with squealing Tele bridge pickups probably has to do with the baseplate being loose.

    I know I could re-adhere the baseplate with wax, but I'd prefer a more robust, 21st century savvy type of adhesive.

    I was thinking probably just a thin coat of some type of silicone, but there's an endless myriad of different adhesives, so if anyone has any input on which they've found that works exceptionally well, please share!
     
  2. YoGeorge

    YoGeorge Tele-Afflicted

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    Double-faced sticky tape has worked for me and I'd lean that way before I would use silicone. But wax is my fave...the pickup screws should thread into the base plate but NOT into the pickup bobbin. Enlarge the holes if you want to use a base plate.

    Hint--you can double-face sticky a broken saber saw blade onto the bottom of a strat pickup if you have a broken saber saw blade and a strat like I did a while back and get the effect of a steel plate.
     
  3. fender4life

    fender4life Friend of Leo's

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    Before you do that try this. I spent a day once recently trying everything i have ever read about tele squeal and came to the conclusion it's not the baseplate or the pickup itself. Those can exacerbate the real problem but without that real problem the baseplate itself isn't the cause. It may at times fix it only because it is no longer contributing to aggravating the real issue. And that IMO is the mounting and bridge plate. 2 things i now do and i no longer have the issue on any of my teles. First, i never tighten the bridge plate mounting screws more then seated. Once you feel then seat do not turn any further. Second, don't use rubber, use springs. And what you need to do is stretch the springs out so they are as long as the screws. Rubber may work when just the right length, but it's hard to know where to cut them and you might be cutting, removing the bridge and trying again and again. It may seem logical that springs would be more microphonic than rubber, but i found thats not the case. It has more to do with the tension. I had way more luck during my day of experimentation with springs than rubber regardless of how counter intuitive it may seem.

    Just try it. Maybe it won't work for you, i dunno. All i know is since i started doing those 2 things i have not had squeal since on any of my teles. And securing the baseplate on pickups didn't always work for me.
     
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  4. archetype

    archetype Fiend of Leo's

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    Use wax or double-stick tape. Either material works perfectly and is reversable/removable if you need to get the plate off.

    There is absolutely no reason to use a more robust, 21st century savvy type of adhesive. There's no need to and you shouldn't use something that's permanent. Just don't.
     
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  5. trev333

    trev333 Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I used a few sticky dots and pressed the base plate on... the screws go through the plate on this one, so it is squished on ok..:)

    sticky dots1.jpg stacked bridge2.jpg
     
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  6. 11 Gauge

    11 Gauge Doctor of Teleocity

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    By saying 21st century savvy, I didn't mean to imply 'permanent'. Wax just seems insufficient, otherwise I wouldn't have multiple pickups from different vendors with loose baseplates. If the wax adhesive didn't work by their application, I don't intend to repeat the process.
     
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  7. 11 Gauge

    11 Gauge Doctor of Teleocity

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    In my case, it's definitely the baseplate. I have a low-mileage pickup that I literally was able to remove the baseplate by just inserting my fingernail between the flatwork and baseplate, and it popped right off.
     
  8. 11 Gauge

    11 Gauge Doctor of Teleocity

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    In all instances, the holes in the flatwork are significantly larger than the threaded ones in the baseplate itself. It doesn't matter if it's a Fender, Tonerider, SD, Bootstrap, or DiMarzio Tele bridge pickup with a baseplate.
     
  9. Boreas

    Boreas Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    I just used ShoeGoo.
     
  10. fender4life

    fender4life Friend of Leo's

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    Well, my point was if the baseplate fixes it it's likely a bandaid on the real issue and will likely still do it with more gain. If you don't mount a pickup in the traditional steel bridge, for example one of those 1/2 bridges like the GE smith type, they never squeal unless you use insane gain levels. So a loose baseplate just makes it worse. I have a pickup that was squealing a few years back before i figured this out and i waxed the hell out of it and it stopped. Later it went into a different tele and squealed like crazy. So go ahead and do the baseplate if you want, but if it doesn't work give what i said a try. I have yet to get squeal since i figured this out even with pickups that previously squealed, baseplate stuck on solid or not.
     
  11. milocj

    milocj Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    The thing is that most baseplates aren't attached by anything more than the little ground wire. That's why they are so easily microphonic. That little bit of wax melted between the plate and the magnets/flat work makes a big difference in damping any vibrations.
     
  12. mkdaws32

    mkdaws32 Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    Yep - I’ve had the baseplate come off of three newer pickups (by newer, I mean post 2000) - two of which before they were even installed. My solution was to actually remove the baseplate, and l might get some flack for this, because I don’t think it contributes significantly to the sound of a pickup already installed in a metal bridge. I also tried a Fralin steel base plate on a Strat pickup and it might have added a bit more presence, but very subtle. Nothing turning the treble or presence knob a half a notch on the amp wouldn’t also accomplish. As I said in the other thread, my 83 Tele didn’t even have a plate on the stock pickup.

    Now I love to experiment with different pickups and sometimes the feel (of the attack, mostly) will sway me to swap a pickup even if the difference in tone is comparable. So no one else would notice a difference but me (psychological or not, Lol!) but it matters to me. Of course YMMV!
     
  13. 11 Gauge

    11 Gauge Doctor of Teleocity

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    I understand about getting flack, and I also don't attribute the baseplate to having much (if any, beyond mostly negligible) effect. I've had a few different MIM Teles that had no baseplates on the bridge pickups that twang just fine. I now have a Tele with an Area T bridge w/no baseplate. I have an Esquire with an Area Hot T w/no baseplate. I have an Esquire with a Fast Track T w/no baseplate. They all sound 'vintage enough' to me.

    ...I'd probably actually remove these baseplates if I could (in at least some of the pickups), but the holes in the flatwork are too big to support screws. So if I have to go to the trouble just to have something properly threaded there, I'll just stay with the baseplate.

    I'll admit that there's some aspects to the original Tele design that I embrace, even if it doesn't make sense. I've come to prefer the aesthetics of a traditional Tele, so that spilled over into things like choosing replacement pickups that look like the originals did. Having said that, if there's a somewhat better adhesive than wax for the baseplate, I'm going to at least give it a try. I'm doing the same thing with tubing, trying silicone over latex, based on what Ron Kirn has said he uses.
     
  14. mkdaws32

    mkdaws32 Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    Fair point. I have one that I just never bothered to install in anything because of this exact reason - I'll try some double sided tape, as others have suggested!
     
  15. 11 Gauge

    11 Gauge Doctor of Teleocity

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    This actually makes me remember that I have a Bill Lawrence pickup (I think it's a microcoil design) that uses what looks like copper clad glass epoxy for the flatwork, and it uses no baseplate. So, since the glass epoxy would probably crack or split if threaded, it uses these pressed-in eyelets that are threaded in their interiors.

    [​IMG]

    ...I'm wondering if there's a way to find those threaded eyelets, and if they'd work in regular Tele flatwork.

    I think that's probably a better way to go than either threaded flatwork or threaded holes in a baseplate.

    Those eyelets also eliminate the potential for uneven force/loading across the baseplate, since they are all isolated.

    ...And I think I've realized that one way the plate comes loose is due to uneven loading - you've got more force at one or two of the screws, and the one(s) with lesser force allow the baseplate to separate from the flatwork, even if just slightly, which is probably enough to cause the squealing/feedback.

    Which brings me back to the whole adhesion thing, and why I think wax is inferior, for this specific purpose. Furthermore, it should be possible to choose or find an adhesive that isn't as rigid as wax, and would have some 'give' between the two surfaces, thereby preventing any unequal loading from really being a factor.
     
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  16. 11 Gauge

    11 Gauge Doctor of Teleocity

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    Just as an update for anyone who's interested, I got some regular Permatex RTV adhesive/sealant, and used it to reattach the baseplate on my Bootstrap custom-wound and Tonerider Hot Classic pickups.

    As mentioned above, the Bootstrap baseplate popped off just by nudging my fingernail in between the flatwork and baseplate. The Tonerider required maybe just a tad more effort, but still came off pretty easily.

    Before applying the Permatex, I put tape (just thin cellophane) over the polepiece bottoms.

    I discovered the hard way, on the first pickup, that a very little amount of adhesive is needed. No big deal, as it was pretty easy to remove what squeezed out with an X-acto knife (the next day).

    The Permatex definitely seems like it adheres better than wax, and since it's just the regular stuff, I should be able to remove the baseplate if needed.

    I'm waiting on both latex and silicone tubing to arrive tonight, before I can reinstall the Tonerider. Crossing my fingers that it's stopped the squeal.
     
  17. Ringo

    Ringo Poster Extraordinaire

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    Sounds like the Permatex is a type of silicone, I've used silicone to adhere DIY baseplates to Strat pickups, it's not "permanent" in that it can be cleanly removed if you ever wanted to do that.
    Curious to see if you found the issue,I hope that it works for you.
     
  18. Dacious

    Dacious Poster Extraordinaire

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    Just dribble some wax in. When I fitted one to my 69RI I silasticked it. That sucker ain't coming off.

    It can also help to put some on the top under the bridgeplate. That too can be microphonic if it distorts when mounting screws are tightened.

    A lot of the old school drilled two holes under the leading edge.
     
  19. Rob DiStefano

    Rob DiStefano Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    Scotch "Concrete and Patio Tape" - works killer :twisted:

    1.png
     
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  20. 11 Gauge

    11 Gauge Doctor of Teleocity

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    Yeah, I just used the 'general purpose' Permatex RTV, which they list as being a 'sealant/adhesive', and not being for like automotive applications. Even if some of those might double as an actual adhesive, they just really seem like overkill - they're designed to work with high temps or exposure to gasoline and such.

    So, last night, I got the Tonerider reinstalled in the Tele, and about 85% of the squealing is now gone. Certainly everything with tapping around the bridge pickup is no longer microphonic - it's maybe just barely more audible than tapping around the neck pickup.

    With the Tonerider, I was very conservative with the amount of Permatex that I applied, so I'm thinking that's probably why there's still some squealing. For that reason, I'd think that non-permanent double-sided tape is probably a better way to go, since you can cover the entire surface with something that's of uniform thickness.

    Anyway - my conclusion - I found the bulk of the issue.
     
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