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Will a chopped bridge (GE Smith style) fix bridge PU squeal?

Discussion in 'Tele-Technical' started by Sterence, Mar 30, 2017.

  1. Sterence

    Sterence TDPRI Member

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    Title says it all. I have a Bill Lawrence L-290TL bridge pickup and Wilkinson compensated 3 barrel bridge on my partscaster. I think the bridge is nickel. I have been getting the dreaded squeal and feedback when I click on any gain pedal (TS or soul food are especially bad). Will a chopped bridge fix that? Or the is there a better way to address this problem?

    Thanks
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2017
  2. sleazy pot pie

    sleazy pot pie Tele-Afflicted Gold Supporter

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    Are you sure it is the bridge plate? Not familiar with the l-290tl. Does it have a plate?
    Do you have a ground wire under the bridge plate that could be causing it to not sit flat?
    How tight do you have the screws holding the bridge down? If too tight, it can cause the front to lift.
    is the bridge totally flat on the bottom? You can find a surface that is truly flat and sand down the high spots.
    I have had this issue more than a few times.
    Some times it is the plate on the pickup. I have gone so far as to brush wax on the bottom of a bridge plate and then place it on the body to make sure there is full contact.
     
  3. tessting1two

    tessting1two Tele-Holic

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    To answer your first question, if the bridge was the major contributor then yes a chopped bridge will go a long way to fix squeal problems since it eliminates the magnetic steel that interacts with the pickup, plus you'll be direct mounting the bridge pickup to the body with a piece of foam underneath reducing mechanical vibration.

    BUT this is a known issue for your pickups and the consensus is that a mostly non-magnetic bridge (Gotoh modern or a bridge with a brass plate) fixes the problem if you don't want to go the chopped route.

    http://www.tdpri.com/threads/wilde-bill-lawrence-l290tl.390169/
     
  4. Sterence

    Sterence TDPRI Member

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    Ok just to follow up on this, I kept my standard three saddle Wilkison Bridge, but added two screws to the front of the bridge, added some foam under the pickup, and wax around the edge of the bridge. Then I plugged her in to my Deluxe and cranked my TS and no squeal, just ringing ears. Not sure what did it but problem fixed!
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2017
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  5. Galibier_Un

    Galibier_Un Tele-Meister

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    Nice recovery!

    I always wondered why Leo never added two front mounting screws to the ashtray bridge. I know ... assembly time was a major consideration at the time.

    ... Thom
     
  6. The Ballzz

    The Ballzz Tele-Afflicted

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    And of course, the price of the extra two screws and the time/labor to drill the bridge for them!

    Just Sayin'
    Gene
     
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  7. Gary in Boston

    Gary in Boston Friend of Leo's

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    Hmmmm amI misunderstanding this?

    When a PU squeals it's caused by micro phonics in the PU and the remedy is potting the PU with wax etc.

    Right?

    Gary
     
  8. lammie200

    lammie200 Friend of Leo's

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    You also might want to use silicone tubes instead of springs for your pick up height adjustment. I have found springs do a lot of weird things in something that was essentially designed to vibrate.
     
  9. ebb soul

    ebb soul Poster Extraordinaire

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    I have found most tele sequel to be bridge plate induced.
    I also gained some new tips on this thread as to how to stop them.
    Thus far I had been sanding backside of plates.
    Very tedious.
    I like that wax idea.
    Or pinning down the front edge like the new American series do.
     
  10. Sterence

    Sterence TDPRI Member

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    OK to be clear, this problem was happening when the bridge pickup already had rubber tubing around the pickup adjustment screws rather than metal screws. It squealed pretty bad nay time I was at gig volume with OD. I should have been more systematic in my application of squeal fixes, but I had a gig last night and two more this weekend so I threw the kitchen sink at it. I took my bridge off to do all this work and noticed that it was not flat. I tried to "flatten" it by over bending (ie making it convex in the middle) but that was a big failure. Now my bridge is pretty wonky (ugh). But that doesn't seem to be an issue now. I used 1" foam strips for insulating around doors to pad below the pickup in the cavity. I did not actual pour hot wax on my guitar but cut thin strips wax from a candle making kit my kids have. I laid the strips on guitar around perimeter of the pickup cavity. The two new screws compressed the wax out a bit and I had trim some of the excess. But that all that seems to fix it. I can't say if my tone has changed much. So far it is working well. I am still pretty interested in a Half bridge but that will be down the road.
     
  11. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    Bunch of sources for this kind of squeal. 3 easy ones:

    A) bridge plate doesn't lay flat on the body, so a "diapragm" between the body and plate is formed. Either get it to lay flat by working one or both surfaces until they're true, or just slam down the front end of the plate to the body with fasteners;

    B) pickup base plate and pickup are not true to one another (a diagragm between the two has formed, due to dropping the pickup and/or cinching the pickup down over a pedestal of foam or something - the pickup base plate is being wracked or torqued by the screws being tightened down and it is out of specifications with the remainder of the pickup; or finally

    c) the internals of the pickup have voids/crevices and the diaphragm is formed there. The wax only fixes IMO the last issue - since you can't very well pot a pickup while it is (mismounted) in the guitar.
     
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