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Sqeauling Pickups


feylya
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A guitar I'm fixing at the moment is having a problem with squealing pickups. I don't know what to do. It has a hss configuration. I waxed the humbucker just in case. The control cavity is sheilded. I'm just wondering could it be the volume pot. I sprayed contact cleaner in it and apparently the squeal was gone for a couple of minutes but it returned. Anyone have any ideas why this would happen?

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First of all, this is an Aria guitar I'm working on. Not exactly the greatest pickups in the world. This squealing apparently started rather suddenly. It is not feedback. It's almost like an overtone over everything when playing, especially at high volumes. It can be controlled with the volume pot, ie roll off the volume and the squeal goes. It cannot be controlled any other way AFAIK. The electronics seem to be ok but the volume pot does feel extremely rough. I'm thinking it might be the pot but again, any suggestion would be appreciated.

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Aligator clip to "bypass" the volume pot and see if that fixes the squeel. You can take the output of the pickup and connect it straight to the output jack.

I suspect though that since the squeel happens at high volume that the wax didn't penetrate the coils deep enough. There may be some wires still dancing in the bobbins.

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Yeah, I'll try that so. I've no alligator clips (poor student) but I'll do something. One question - am I up **** creek if it isn't the pot? This chap doesn't have much money so I'm doing this on the cheap for him but I'd like to get this fixed for him. It should be the start of a long guitar tech career :D

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No clips, eh.

Any bit of wire should do, well maybe not a coat hanger, but a paper clip would suffice.

Have fun. :D

ps. If it is the volume pot, swap out the tone pot and use it for the volume. No one really uses the tone pot anyway. They may not notice that it's dissconnected for years. :DB)

Lovely suggestion but the tone is a push-pull switch to cut out the cap on the tone.

As for the clips, I've got some empty beer cans. I'm sure I can use those some way :D

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Lovely suggestion but the tone is a push-pull switch to cut out the cap on the tone.

As for the clips, I've got some empty beer cans. I'm sure I can use those some way :D

Aluminum cans have a thin plastic coating on them. I tried to use them in the past for something, but gave up because I would have had to strip the metal to make them work. Ironically, I used paper clips instead out of desparation. B)

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OK, an update. I replaced the volume pot and the fecker is still sqeauling. I seriously don't know what's happening. Apparently, it goes when the guitar is turned away from the amp but it isn't feedback. It's of a higher pitch than feedback. This is incredibly annoying to me and the owner of the guitar as you can imagine.

Does anyone have any good/crazy/any ideas and solutions?

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Once, I removed the metal cover from a humbucker, and that caused some weird hi frequency feedback with an old tube amp. The pitch was of such a high pitch that I could hardly hear it; the only indication was the clipping light coming on when I approached the amp. It must have been more of an electromagnetic feedback than an audio feedback. I ended up putting the cover back on. This in itself might not be much help but the fact that it goes away when you bring down the volume might be a clue.

When you lower a guitar's volume, the highs are cut much faster than the rest of the signal. Whether the nature of the problem is electromagnetic or audio feedback, you can try limiting the hi frequencies by adding a very small capacitor across this "cheap" pickup. Experiment to find the smallest value that will stop the feedback and hope that it doesn't affect the sound too much.

Also, Jehle may be right about the wax not penetrating far enough into the coil because pickup makers use vacuum pumps to suck out any air pockets when potting a pickup.

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