Tele pickups that don't squeal?

Discussion in 'Just Pickups' started by 11 Gauge, May 10, 2021.

  1. Ringo

    Ringo Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    8,611
    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2003
    Location:
    Memphis TN
    I had that problem in the past using the stock Fender bridge plate, with several different pickups, including a Bill Lawrence noisefree bridge pickup.
    The Dimarzio Area T was dead quiet, I changed to a Callaham cutaway bridge , much thicker and flatter plate, it also has 2 small screws at the top corners of the bridge plate.
    Later I used a Fralin Blues, HD Super 90 (great pickup!) and a lot of others and no more squealing.
    And for the most part I was having issues at moderate volume and gain, blues, R&B, some R&R.

    So I think it's a combination of bridge plate and the pickup that caused it and some pickups are microphonic which can be accentuated by a stock thin stamped steel bridge plate.
     
  2. archetype

    archetype Fiend of Leo's

    Posts:
    6,280
    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2005
    Location:
    Western NY
    Most Tele pickups don't squeal under those conditions. Use a wax potted pickup and mount with rubber tubing. If needed, remove the baseplate and reattach with hot wax. That's the short answer. There is no long answer.

    If it still squeals like a piglet in a vise, then you're doing something unnatural with your guitar.
     
    teleplayr and milocj like this.
  3. viking

    viking Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    55
    Posts:
    4,573
    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2007
    Location:
    Denmark
    My ( limited ) experiences over the years:

    Fresh surgical tubing is better than springs ( taming feedback at least , LOL)

    Foam under the pu that j-u-s-t gets squeezed a bit at correct height of pu can make a big difference.

    Or, have someone vaccum wax the sucker !
     
  4. milocj

    milocj Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    3,811
    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2005
    Location:
    Michigan
    This is usually the answer. An amp tech buddy of mine who also rewound pickups taught this one to me. A couple small bits of beeswax from a craft store put underneath the base plate of the pickup and a few careful seconds with a hairdryer usually solve this problem for good.
     
    archetype likes this.
  5. archetype

    archetype Fiend of Leo's

    Posts:
    6,280
    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2005
    Location:
    Western NY
    I forgot... the origin may not be the pickup itself. Us a belt sander to be sure the back side of the bridge plate is flat. The punching process sometimes distorts the metal around the edges of the holes and they are the points of contact with the wood. Drill and screw down the front edge of the plate, if needed.
    Righto. It's pretty simple.

    Sometimes I heat the plate separately so I can melt wax evenly on it, then I pick it up with needlenose pliers and stick it to the pickup.
     
  6. 11 Gauge

    11 Gauge Doctor of Teleocity

    Posts:
    12,273
    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2003
    Location:
    Near BWI Int'l
    I'm starting to suspect it's the baseplate, despite both of the really bad squealers being mostly new.

    I always use tubing, but have switched from the latex stuff to automotive stuff, because the latter doesn't rot. The automotive tubing is considerably stiffer than the latex stuff, and I'm wondering if when it's all compressed together that it might be forcing the baseplate away from the bottom of the bobbin.

    I really have to wonder why wax is used as the baseplate adhesive, at least now in the 21st century. It sounds like a loose baseplate is a fairly common thing, so there must be a better adhesive than wax. I'm going to start investigating maybe silicone and other stuff.

    Anyway, I ordered both some latex and silicone tubing, and will experiment with those when they arrive, instead of using the stiff vacuum line stuff (or whatever it is) that I currently have.
     
  7. 11 Gauge

    11 Gauge Doctor of Teleocity

    Posts:
    12,273
    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2003
    Location:
    Near BWI Int'l
    This is the other reason that I've switched from stamped bridgeplates to thick, machined brass plates, aside from going with something non-ferrous.

    I've had such great success with the Kluson bridges on two other Teles that I got a third one for this Tele, too. Really nice machining and plating.
     
    archetype likes this.
  8. Tele-phone man

    Tele-phone man Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,961
    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2006
    Location:
    Asheville, NC
    I use a stainless steel plate on both of my Teles. One has a Dimarzio Area 615, the other has a Wilde L200TL. Both sound fantastic. Neither ever squeals, even with stupid gain and volume.
     
  9. GuitarsBuicks

    GuitarsBuicks Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    24
    Posts:
    1,043
    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2020
    Location:
    Somewhere between here and there
    Bootstrap and Fender Custom Shop pickups that I have tried do not squeal. I have not had any problems with either of them with maxed out gain pedals, or three cascaded gain pedals. You should be happy with them. The ones I mentioned are not hum-canceling so they do pickup a light 60-cycle hum, but they do not squeal, even if you set your guitar down right in front of the amp.
     
  10. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

    Age:
    61
    Posts:
    28,409
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2010
    Location:
    Maine
    If my Tele bridge pickup is the source of squeal, I just pot it again or some more.

    Usually it's the Tele bridge plate though, too tight on the mounting screws and the leverage of strings against saddles that holds the front of the plate firmly down, is reduced as the screws press the back down harder, sometimes even lifting the front of the body wood is soft.
    Also some plates are not really flat, or they used to be but got bent.
    Then some bodies are not flat, which can be caused by hand sanding or a refin, and even by spraying a finish with some drips that get sanded "flat".

    Sometimes it's a combo of both bridge and pickup.
    Any brand can be made to not have pickup based squeal, just takes careful potting.
    Seems to me that potting needs refreshing at times, either due to vibration/ hitting the pickup with pick, loosening the top flatwork fit to the top of the coil, or some other gremlins I can't see.
    Some just get squeal after a few years of being fine.
    The top cardboard piece being exposed to hitting scraping beer and screwdrivers etc, is a fragile design feature.
    Probably why Leo put a cover over it!
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2021
  11. 11 Gauge

    11 Gauge Doctor of Teleocity

    Posts:
    12,273
    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2003
    Location:
    Near BWI Int'l
    I have a custom-wound Bootstrap pickup that the baseplate came off of just by inserting my fingernail in it (just discovered that last night). So that's definitely the culprit with that particular pickup. I have a Tonerider Hot Classic that does the same squealing, and it's presently installed. So I'm going to reattach the baseplate to the Bootstrap pickup, and swap it for the Hot Classic, and check the Hot Classic's plate while I'm swapping.

    The Bootstrap pickup is really low mileage, and has squealed since day one. Kind of surprising that the baseplate is loose. I guess it happens...
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2021
  12. 11 Gauge

    11 Gauge Doctor of Teleocity

    Posts:
    12,273
    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2003
    Location:
    Near BWI Int'l
    I have a non-ferrous Kluson plate on my Tele with the Area T, but it didn't squeal even when I had the original stamped Fender plate on it.

    I've got the same plate on an Esquire with an Area Hot T, and again, no squealing. The Area Hot T didn't squeal when I used it with a stamped plate, either.

    Those pickups don't have baseplates, so I'm suspecting it's an issue of loose baseplates with at least two of my traditional-type Tele pickups. Actually, on one of them (Bootstrap), the baseplate came off just by me getting my fingernail under the edge of it.
     
  13. GuitarsBuicks

    GuitarsBuicks Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    24
    Posts:
    1,043
    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2020
    Location:
    Somewhere between here and there
    I'm not sure how to help you with the plate. I certainly have not had that problem on any of my bridge pickups.

    To help continue to diagnose your squealing problem, can I ask how much distortion you are using? If you don't feel that you can accurately describe it. We'll put it on a scale of 1 to 11. 1 being nothing at all not even running an amp on the edge to 11 being Van Halen and Ywgwie Malmsteen levels of distortion.

    Also what in the world are you doing with your Tele that you can't get a good tone? I have never had that problem...ever...on a solid body guitar.
     
  14. 11 Gauge

    11 Gauge Doctor of Teleocity

    Posts:
    12,273
    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2003
    Location:
    Near BWI Int'l
    On a scale of 1 to 11, the amount of distortion I'm using probably tops out at 4 or 5, and is nominally lower than that, in most situations. When I'm playing with my '71 VR and the pedals are off, it's probably a 1 or 2. When I'm playing my Marshall Origin 20H and the pedals are off, it's like a 3.5, and then adding a mild OD or boost pushes it up to 4 or 5. Probably my dirtiest tone is just a little more than Malcolm Young's typical dirty tone.

    Can't get a good tone with my Tele? Come again? I get great tones with my Teles! I've been primarily playing Teles since '97 or so, and mainly played Strats prior to that. I'm very pleased with the tones I'm getting, but have been running into the squealing Tele bridge pickup issue more and more.
     
  15. wildschwein

    wildschwein Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,741
    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2009
    Location:
    Perth, Western Australia
    I have a Tele that has given me this problem for years with higher gain and louder volume settings. I was using a Wilde L-48TL in the bridge. It turned out that pickups was always going to squeal. I tried everything -- changing bridges (magnetic and non-magnetic), padding in the cavity, wax along the front of the baseplate. Thewy also had rubber surgical tubing rather than springs. Nothing would stop it and it has always been my most confortable guitar to play so I have look eleswhere after close to a decade of only playing it at home at low volumes.

    I have since changed to the maligned Duncan Quarter Pounder in neck and bridge postions. I love the sound of them and haven't had any squealing problems since. I run a fulll range treble booster in front of my Mesa so I have a lot of gain going on all the time and I can finally play it at a band level without squealing all the while getting a massive crunchy sound.
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2021
  16. cousinpaul

    cousinpaul Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,719
    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2009
    Location:
    Nashville TN
    A Tex Mex bridge pickup doesn't have a base plate and still manages to sound good according to many here. I had a set liked them. If you could get your hands on one and it still squealed that would eliminate the pickup's base plate.

    The first thing I'd try might be adding the small screws to the front corners of the bridge plate. The cost is nominal and it might help. I'm also wondering about the break angle and saddles. I was getting some weird artifacts using Wilkinson compensated saddles. Going back to barrels straightened it out. Top loading to ease the break angle might also help. Question: is there a particular string or note that squeals first?
     
  17. 11 Gauge

    11 Gauge Doctor of Teleocity

    Posts:
    12,273
    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2003
    Location:
    Near BWI Int'l
    I don't even have the strings or saddles on at this point. Since the pickup squealed before, I wanted to see if switching to a non-ferrous machined plate would fix it.

    So, w/o strings on, I tried it with the amp in my typical settings. Even with boost/OD off, I can tap really anywhere in the vicinity of the bridge pickup, and it's very microphonic. Kick on mild boost/OD, and it just squeals.

    Last night, I pulled the pickup out (Tonerider Hot Classic), and was able to pretty easily remove the baseplate. It took maybe just a little more effort than what it took to pop the baseplate off my Bootstrap pickup. I put regular Permatex RTV on both pickups to reattach the baseplates, and let them sit overnight.

    It looks like the Permatex should fix the problem. It seems like it has better adhesion than wax. I'm waiting on new latex and silicone tubing to arrive tonight, before I can reinstall the Tonerider pickup.

    The MIM pickups I've had were indeed all pretty decent. I just wish they had something that was alnico 3 with extra turns of wire, which is what both my Bootstrap and Tonerider pickups have.
     
  18. cousinpaul

    cousinpaul Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,719
    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2009
    Location:
    Nashville TN
    Yeah, I've gone back to the OV's on mine which I believe are A3.
     
  19. stevehollx

    stevehollx TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    55
    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2015
    Location:
    charlotte nc
    Another vote for the Dimarzio Area T or 615. No squeal, no hum. Agree that squeal is different from hum and is usually a result of a lack of wax potting (unless you have vintage pickups I always think wax potting serves more benefit than 'loss of good microphonics'), or something loose that can sympathetically resonate. Rubber tubing for mounts instead of springs may help prevent the latter a bit since I think rubber dampens better than a spring (which is why spring shocks on a car still have a dampener).
     
  20. Nick Fanis

    Nick Fanis Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    6,656
    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2003
    Location:
    Athens-GREECE
    I have had literally hundreds of Tele bridge pickups.
    None of them squealed under moderate to heavy gain.
    You are obviously doing something wrong.
     
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.