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  1. #1
    Sinner's Swing!
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    11.25.17 @ 09:06 AM
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    Default Mysteries of the Unknown

    Hey.
    Well, I've got a poser for the guitar dudes.
    I've had this old 1 p/u, 1 knob Strat type body kicking around my shop forever. It's been kind of a test mule over the years. It sounds great at lower volumes...great recording guitar. Now here's the thing.
    It does not seem to matter what friggin' pickup I put in it.....It always seems to have this same microphonic type feed back associated with it, as well as this momentary saturation just before it starts squealing like a pig when I get up to gigging volumes. it doesn't only happen when I stop playing, volume up. This happens, and takes over totally out of control, hitting the strings or not. Facing the amp, facing away, whatever...Until I roll the volume off, once it starts, forget it! Leave it a few minutes. Start playing again, and bam! Starts up again!
    I can't explain it. My buddy gave it to me years ago, and he mentioned this phenomenon to me as well, and I just figured it was a bad pickup.
    Well after many different pups: 59, JB, TZ, Pearly Gates, to name a few, as well as trying out different pots, jacks, and of course, I've checked the wiring, and the grounding is good at the claw...No cold joints at all.

    Now obviously, I should just say fuck it and pitch the body or leave it on the wall, but the tinkerer in me wants to know why this is happening.

    The body is actually a nicely sculpted basswood. It's got a slightly different, and smaller profile overall...It's just a very nice body to be honest.
    The pickup mounting is typical rear loaded Eddie style...right into the wood.
    The only thing that I think may be an issue is the air gap around the pickup as it relates to the cavity. It's a bit tight.

    In any of your personal opinions, is this a possible cause for the squealing? I'e read about something to do with ions needing a certain degree of dispersion area, but I've got no bloody idea about that stuff. Maybe it needs to breathe more? I somehow came across this when reading about what might cause this weird saturated effect that happens before the squealing starts up. I've just only routed pretty standard cavities on my builds, so there's wiggle room around the pickups, but this one is intentionally done so it looks a little neater.
    I wouldn't think it would be...Take a look at J-Bass routes. Those are real tight, but then you're not dealing with the same frequencies or gain.

    Or, and bear with me here....is it just possible that the particular resonant frequency response of this particular body is causing the pickups to run wild and feed back microphonically.....maybe causing the components to rattle enough to negate the potting?
    For the record...all these pickups are fine. I put 'em in other guitars. No issue.
    This has become my own personal X-File. Do I have a guitar that is posessed, or is it just simply because of the regular alien abduction related implants I've had?
    Oh yeah...Kodos say's "Hi" to the Linkers!
    Last edited by we die young; 03.23.16 at 03:08 PM.

  2. #2
    Good Enough nobozos's Avatar
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    12.12.17 @ 03:16 PM
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    you try screwing the pickup directly to the wood?
    "Having an opinion that people disagree with doesn't make you a Douche, arguing with the people who disagree with your opinion and calling them stupid does!" -Me.

  3. #3
    Sinner's Swing!
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    11.25.17 @ 09:06 AM
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    Quote Originally Posted by nobozos View Post
    you try screwing the pickup directly to the wood?
    Yep! actually both. Direct, then tried a conventional pickup ring setup. Both, same result.
    Oh...and before anyone mentions it, I did try isolating the pickup with a foam block under it too.
    Didn't do a thing.
    I just pose this as more of an oddity type question. I've never come across anything like this at all! Lol.
    Last edited by we die young; 03.23.16 at 03:37 PM.

  4. #4
    Hot For Teacher joezlo's Avatar
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    11.02.17 @ 07:47 AM
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    1 - What is the pickup distance from the bridge
    2 - What is the height of the pickup from the Low E & High E.
    3 - Put a small cloth behind the pickup that meets the actual bridge saddles & see if that quells it. (You cant really play that way but it will help you determine if question 1 is the root of the problem.)

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  6. #5
    Sinner's Swing!
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    Quote Originally Posted by joezlo View Post
    1 - What is the pickup distance from the bridge
    2 - What is the height of the pickup from the Low E & High E.
    3 - Put a small cloth behind the pickup that meets the actual bridge saddles & see if that quells it. (You cant really play that way but it will help you determine if question 1 is the root of the problem.)
    Right now it's apart, but I've played with pickup height extensively. Still squeals relentlessly. The pickup distance is a good question.I'll have to mock it up and check...by recollection it's no closer visually to the Floyd than say a Kramer Pacer. But worth a look see.
    Last edited by we die young; 03.23.16 at 04:24 PM.

  7. #6
    Eruption AFU's Avatar
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    12.10.17 @ 09:00 AM
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    I wouldn't be suprised if the route is too tight and the pickups are getting vibrations and feeding back. Sounds like the only thing you didn't try to address. Little Dremel goes a long way. Widen that route a tad after you make sure the pickup isn't just too high as suggested. I can see that being a problem, but for a newbie. Not for someone who sounds like they know what they are doing. And you say you used a ring and still had the issue.

    I'm betting one of the legs is vibrating against the body and that's the problem.
    VH III is Ed's solo album. So everybody who keeps saying they wish he'd do one needs to stfu and listen to III. Then stfu again.

  8. #7
    Eruption smme5150's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by we die young View Post
    Right now it's apart, but I've played with pickup height extensively. Still squeals relentlessly. The pickup distance is a good question.I'll have to mock it up and check...by recollection it's no closer visually to the Floyd than say a Kramer Pacer. But worth a look see.
    Is the cavity shielded properly? That's my bet. You said the claw is grounded but you didn't mention if you have the tape shielding on or the painted in shielding in the cavity. I truly don't think the pickup routing snug should do that. I've had some so tight I've had to grind the pickup corners etc to fit and have never had that happen. If it does it with every pickup it has to be shielding!

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    Quote Originally Posted by smme5150 View Post
    Is the cavity shielded properly? That's my bet. You said the claw is grounded but you didn't mention if you have the tape shielding on or the painted in shielding in the cavity. I truly don't think the pickup routing snug should do that. I've had some so tight I've had to grind the pickup corners etc to fit and have never had that happen. If it does it with every pickup it has to be shielding!
    Actually none of my guitars are shielded with the exception of my 68 Strat which has single coils of course, so I use it there. Any humbucker guitars I own. ..shielding has never come up. Only time it has was at a rehearsal hall we had once. They used fluorescent lighting, and everything hummed. PA as well. The whole wiring system was affected. Something to try...why not? I'm not anti-sheilding......single coils really do require it. Years ago a guy brought me a Guild Brian May Red Special...it had TriSonics in it. It was so noisy and some sheilding, but I opted to copper sheild all the cavities and it made a huge difference with it.
    Last edited by we die young; 03.23.16 at 09:34 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AFU View Post
    I wouldn't be suprised if the route is too tight and the pickups are getting vibrations and feeding back. Sounds like the only thing you didn't try to address. Little Dremel goes a long way. Widen that route a tad after you make sure the pickup isn't just too high as suggested. I can see that being a problem, but for a newbie. Not for someone who sounds like they know what they are doing. And you say you used a ring and still had the issue.

    I'm betting one of the legs is vibrating against the body and that's the problem.
    Yeah...maybe I made it sound tighter than it is. There's a good 16th. Along the length of the bobbins to the cavity edge, and around an eighth on the sides. Tight but not making contact. I've run feeler gauges down the sides to check it. No contact except the legs screwed firmly. ...and that's the real mystery. I could understand one, maybe two pickups out of the lot having fitment issues, but all? Like I said, they all live happily in other guitars now, and zero problems. Any feedback is the nice typical harmonic feedback. No microphonics at all. I told you its a weird guitar!
    The bridge proximity issue mentioned earlier may be something to look at. There may be some weird magnetic interplay there? I really don't think it's too close though. With my Floyd mounted...about the same as a Pacer as I mentioned. I was also curious if the trem springs might be getting picked up. The claw on this guitar is a little more flush to the bottom of the spring cavity....I wonder if the springs are a bit closer to the magnet, it might be starting the feedback loop this way, although it has no cover. I'd think my clothes would dampen any vibration from the springs...but maybe a possibility.
    Last edited by we die young; 03.23.16 at 09:30 PM.

  11. #10
    Hot For Teacher joezlo's Avatar
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    11.02.17 @ 07:47 AM
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    tightness of the pickup cavity has nothing to do with feedback from vibrations; especially if you're not even playing. Shielding could be an issue as suggested, but I'm betting your pups are picking up something else in their magnetic field over amplifying your sound.

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    Good Enough nobozos's Avatar
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    The only other things I can think of could be the Trem springs could be adding reverb to the guitar through vibration, or the strings on the headstock side of the nut could be ringing out. Try shoving a cloth or foam under the trem springs to mute them, and wrap a cloth or rubber band around the length of strings on the headstock and see what happens.
    "Having an opinion that people disagree with doesn't make you a Douche, arguing with the people who disagree with your opinion and calling them stupid does!" -Me.

  13. #12
    5150 GilmourD's Avatar
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    Is there any way you could record a video of the guitar doing this where we could see what your hands are doing?

  14. #13
    Little Dreamer stiggybank's Avatar
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    It shouldn't be your springs. Are you using a magnetic pickup ring? or anything magnetic near the pickup?

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  16. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by GilmourD View Post
    Is there any way you could record a video of the guitar doing this where we could see what your hands are doing?
    I can slap the guitar together this week maybe. Record it. Thanks for all the feedback....no pun intended! Like I said, it's not a big deal...it's just something I've been puzzled about since I've had it. It's so weird. I've never had a guitar that did this regardless of parts. It's something to do with this body. Either it's resonant frequency, or the way it's routed...something. tried necks, both Tele style, and Kramer Banana. It's had kahler bridge, and now a Floyd.
    It's more of a mystery game at this point!

  17. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by stiggybank View Post
    It shouldn't be your springs. Are you using a magnetic pickup ring? or anything magnetic near the pickup?
    No....just a standard Allparts plastic ring.

 

 

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