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Pickup Crackle

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  • Paleo Pete
    replied
    I've been using the spray glue and extra heavy duty aluminum foil method for around 10 years too, it works pretty well.

    A couple of tips.

    Start with an oversize sheet of foil. Spray both foil and pickguard, read the instructions on the can. Spray glue works great if used right. I put my parts in a cardboard box outside to minimize wind and debris, and to keep the smell and overspray out of the house. (works great with spray paint too) Cut one side out of the box, you have a mini spray booth. Don't even open the can in the same room with your guitar...just a precaution...

    Get a flexible plastic spatula and use that to put the two together, start at one end and work to the other, using the spatula to work out air bubbles as you go. They make them for automotive body work to spread Bondo. I think for woodworking too.

    Trim the excess with an exacto knife to fit. Including screw holes. With a little patience you can even get a nice trim job around the slot for a strat 5 position switch.

    Be very careful with that knife...

    I wish I had known about the Bounce trick when I had a pickguard making scratchy noises years ago...

    Leave a comment:


  • eschertron
    replied
    Steve,
    You've helped me with SE model issues for some time now... there are a couple threads on replacement bridges that pointed me in the right direction.

    I'm certainly willing to try the foil glued to the inside of the pickguard. If that fixes the crackle I'll be a happy camper!

    Yes, the EG model has the set neck like the other SE guitars, and the same scale length. So while it looks like a strat, it doesn't have 'all' the characteristics of one. The stock SSS pickups were OK, but I put an assortment of Duncan pickups in it to get a range of sounds. I'm quite fond of it.

    Originally posted by Steve A. View Post
    The SE EG is a solid mahogany guitar
    ...and a bit heavier than my more recently-acquired Singlecut SE with the Sapele body!

    Leave a comment:


  • Steve A.
    replied
    I'm sure that real wood would not have the static build-up which seems to be worse with 3-ply pickguards compared to single ply. Have you tried shielding and grounding the pickguard? Or just putting a sheet of Bounce under it? BTW after hating the smell of Bounce for decades I learned that they make an unscented variety which works every bit as good.

    I looked up the details on your PRS SE EG and it looks very tempting!

    "The SE EG is a solid mahogany guitar with a glued-in mahogany neck and rosewood fingerboard. It features a 3-ply pickguard with 3 custom single coil pickups and a 5-way blade pickup selector."

    I had assumed that it had a bolt-on neck like other strat-like guitars which I really don't care for. But a glued-in mahogany neck with rosewood fingerboard? I want one!

    (I love the PRS SE guitars- I just bought a second Custom semi-hollow body and installed TV Jones Classic & Classic Plus pickups on it to get that Gretsch vibe without the damned Bigsby vibrato and orange paint job. )

    Steve A.

    Leave a comment:


  • eschertron
    replied
    I've been using the bounce trick for several years. An application lasts for weeks to months; not sure what the mechanism is for the source of the noise or its fix. I'm assuming the bounce leaves a residue on the pickguard that is conductive and prevents static buildup?
    I've looked at the wooden aftermarket replacement pickguards on Ebay (yes, they are available for my PRS SE EG). Any idea if wood will prevent the static-y noise?

    Leave a comment:


  • Steve A.
    replied
    Originally posted by gniwe View Post
    Common suggestions I've come across are replacing the volume pot or shielding and grounding the pickguard.
    Just for future reference for anybody finding this thread on Google it has been with my strat and tele vintage-style single coil pickups that I have had problems with the pickguard producing a scratchy noise from static. (I replaced a set of pickups in one of my strats and STILL had that scratchy noise. Darn!)

    A quick test/fix is to rub a sheet of Bounce (or other sheet fabric softener) on the pickguard- if that eliminates the scratchiness then your problem is with the pickguard. I've had mixed results shielding and grounding the bottom of the pickguard- sometimes it helps and sometimes it doesn't. (I still keep a sheet of Bounce in my guitar case just in case.)

    After shielding a few pickguards with copper foil tape I switched to using rubber cement with heavy duty aluminum foil- one advantage is that you can usually shield the pickguard with a single sheet and don't need to worry about continuity from one strip to the next.

    Steve

    P.S. So your roommate had adjusted the pickup height... I wonder if he also adjusted the bridge as well. ;-)

    Leave a comment:


  • Paleo Pete
    replied
    Cool, I like an easy fix.

    Leave a comment:


  • gniwe
    replied
    John_H and Paleo Pete, that's a bingo!

    Totally makes sense too the pickups are inductors, so the closer the movement of the string, the stronger the electrical field developed by the pickup will be. Turns out that my roommate had adjusted my pickups while borrowing the guitar a while back. Thanks a bunch for your help guys, I'm glad it was an easy fix!

    Leave a comment:


  • Paleo Pete
    replied
    Pickups closer to the strings get a stronger signal. I Have to set the pickups in my Peavey Patriot a half inch from the strings or I get the exact same thing, distortion if I even think about playing hard. Some really hot pickups have to be lowered to minimize this type of distortion. In contrast, my Squier Strat pickups (single coil in both guitars) are barely under 1/4 inch from the strings and still clean.

    Lower the pickup and try it, then once you eliminate the distortion, make sure you set the other one so the volume levels are about the same, changing pickup height will affect that. I also sometimes fine tune mine by setting the treble or bass end closer, depending on what it sounds like. It doesn't take much to add or reduce lows or highs, depending on what you want.

    big tee also has a good point, but I think this sounds a lot like the pickup is too close, try that first, much less trouble. Potting will sometimes help, but I usually only have to do that if one is microphonic.

    Leave a comment:


  • gniwe
    replied
    John_H, the string is about a cm away from the pickup. I haven't recently changed the action or anything and it was working well before. What would the string's proximity to the pickup affect?

    big_teee, thanks for the suggestion. The caveat will be actually getting the pot/jack out of the guitar to wire it, since the design for the guitar's electronics is not particularly ergonomic. Nevertheless, I'll give that a shot.

    Leave a comment:


  • big_teee
    replied
    A simple test, try this.
    Take the pickup wiring loose from the volume pot, and wire direct to the jack.
    Pickup to jack, jack to amp, temporarily control the volume with the amp volume.
    Then test.
    If it goes away, then it is not the pickup.
    If it is still there then, something is vibrating, or is string related.
    If something is loose in the pickup, a simple wax potting might cure it.
    GL,
    T

    Leave a comment:


  • John_H
    replied
    How far is the pickup from the strings?

    Leave a comment:


  • gniwe
    started a topic Pickup Crackle

    Pickup Crackle

    Hey guys,

    I've got an old Ibanez AS100 and the neck pick up is acting kind of funny when I play harder, the output of the pickup becomes distorted. I have tried the guitar in various different amps and pre amps, and the problem is always present. I also have no trouble with the bridge pickup. Common suggestions I've come across are replacing the volume pot or shielding and grounding the pick guard. I however am doubtful that either of these two problems are the real issue. I get no crackling when I adjust the neck pick-up's volume knob, and the problem persists even when I do not touch the pickguard while strumming.

    Unless I'm incorrect, this would unfortunately suggest that something is probably wrong with the neck pickup itself. I've attached a small sound file illustrating the issue. Could this be a result of a simple grounding problem? Or does it appear to be a more complex problem of the pickup itself? Any insight would be mucho appreciated.

    Thanks in advance.

    guitar noise.mp3.zip
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