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Do My Pickups Need To Be Potted?


~davie
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i've got some overwound single-coil pickups from that guitarfetish clearance sale. They sound pretty hot and are pretty nice sounding, but there's an issue with playing them on loud volumes such as on distortion. The problem is that I can hear the plucking sounds of the pick when I play, more so when I play lead solo type stuff with any amount of distortion. I'm not sure if they were potted before (how well potted and with what substance), so I started to suspect that there may be a microphonic issue. So I tried a test, I put my face right in front of the pickups and yelled it them. :D and I think the pickups 'picked it up' . I even heard my echo when I had the delay pedal on. lol. So.. what should I do? Will potting them solve this? Or is there a limit to how much microphonics you can get rid of?

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Pick noise isn't related to the pickup being microphonic. If you heard your voice in them, that's a clue. A microphonic pickup will give you high-pitched feedback at high volume levels, especially if you face the amp. It's not string feedback, i.e. you can't stop it by damping the strings.

Melt some wax in a double boiler and pot them. It's pretty easy.

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Pick noise isn't related to the pickup being microphonic. If you heard your voice in them, that's a clue.

Wouldn't the actual picking noise FROM THE PICK be a picked up by microphonic pickups? I think there's already some wax in it, because there's like residue on the plastic, but in terms of HOW WELL it is potted, i dunno. And I can actually hear (it's quite noticeable) the plucking sound when I play with distortion. But I've bought some Parowax paraffin wax to pot them later. :D

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Wouldn't the actual picking noise FROM THE PICK be a picked up by microphonic pickups? And I can actually hear (it's quite noticeable) the plucking sound when I play with distortion. But I've bought some Parowax paraffin wax to pot them later. :D

If you hear the pick hitting the pickup cover, then that would indicate microphony. I really don't think that the sound of pick hitting string could have anything to do with microphony. When the pick hits the string, it creates a particular vibration in the string which you hear as the pick attack.

I think the actual soundwaves generated by pick hitting string would have to be quite loud to be picked up in the same way your voice was. I doubt they're that loud.

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