Unselected pickup makes a little noise when tapping with screwdriver

Discussion in 'Tele-Technical' started by Esoterium84, Oct 17, 2019.

  1. Esoterium84

    Esoterium84 NEW MEMBER!

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    Hey everyone! My first post ever.
    This isn't exactly about a telecaster but I wired up some pickups and when testing them (tapping magnets with screwdriver) I noticed a little tiny bit of sound when tapping the unselected pickup. The selected pickup is loud, but the other still makes a tiny sound and if the amp is over driven the sound is even louder.
    Is this an issue of bleedthrough with the selector switch or is it normal for a little sound to get through?
     
  2. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    That means your guitar is made of fine tonewood.
    The vibration travels through the whole guitar and gets to the pickup that is on.
    No wiring problems needed for this.

    Oddly though, cheap tonewood and even toneless wood seems to exhibit the same phenomena, which put the tonewood prices in question!

    Welcome!
     
  3. preactor

    preactor Tele-Holic

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    I have some really cheap pickups that are unpotted that are highly microphonic. If I rattle my Straplocks too much they even pick that up.
     
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  4. RolandG

    RolandG Tele-Meister

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    It might be an earthing problem. Have you connected the neck pickup the wrong way around, or even without an earth connection?
     
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  5. dan1952

    dan1952 Friend of Leo's

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    Ive always played Teles, I like 'em microphonic, so NO METAL STRAPLOCKS!!! Rubber washers do the same job for cheap, anyway!
     
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  6. Cerb

    Cerb Tele-Meister

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    The pickups in my strat are so microphonic I can speak through them if I use a loud voice. They're the best sounding pickups I've ever had.
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2019
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  7. suave eddie

    suave eddie Tele-Afflicted

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    What if the guitar is made of regular wood and not tonewood?
     
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  8. pixeljammer

    pixeljammer Tele-Meister Ad Free Member

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    You could say it's Tele-graphing to the other pickups.
     
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  9. Cerb

    Cerb Tele-Meister

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  10. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Yeah we call that toneless wood.
    Still works but has a lower resale value.
    IOW better for music.
     
  11. milocj

    milocj Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    Yep, same here. Straplock rattle drives me nuts when a guitar has "good" pickups.
     
  12. LowCaster

    LowCaster Tele-Holic

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    It is normal, some pickups/pickguard/guitar assembly are more prone to this microphonic effect. This is why I use a tuning fork for testing. The vibrating tuning fork is acting like a string when it gets close to the pickup and you can hear the 440Hz tone through the amp.
     
  13. moosie

    moosie Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Just to make sure we're not on the wrong track here... the OP hasn't said what kind of circuit... If there's a blend involved, perhaps not using a no-load pot... then that's the issue.
     
  14. rangercaster

    rangercaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    Don't tap it with a screwdriver ...
     
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  15. Peegoo

    Peegoo Tele-Meister

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    This is a common problem that’s not really a problem at all. Let’s say you have the bridge pickup on a Tele selected, and you tap the neck pickup with a screwdriver.

    You hear a DONK emerge from your amp’s speaker.

    Chances are good that what you’re hearing is actually the bridge pickup sensing the magnetization of the screwdriver’s shaft—and that creates the signal to the amp.

    Try this instead: use the small hex wrench—the one for bridge saddle adjustments—and hold it vertically, along the same axis as the pickup’s mag poles as you gently tap.

    I’ll bet the sound goes away.
     
  16. Vizcaster

    Vizcaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    I much prefer to use a tuning fork instead of a screwdriver to check a new switching scheme - for this exact reason because you still get a sound touching a pickup that's off (and an unpleasant sound touching a pickup that's on). As long as the tuning fork is ringing you don't need to touch the pickup with it just waive it near a coil and you can tell immediately which coil is connected to the amp.
     
  17. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    Beat me to it!
     
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