Jump to content

Pickups Still Microphonic In Tokai Ls160 Despite Being Potted

Recommended Posts

I got a 2009 Tokai LS 160. Awesome guitar, great fit and finish, but at higher gains it was going microphonic.

I brought it in to have pickups repotted, by a very very very reputable luthier in the area, so i am not questioning if he did the job or not.

But when practicing a few days ago, plugged into a 400 watt speaker and amp, going through a pod x3 live at, when at very high volumes, tapping the pick off the pickup causes the guitar to still go microphonic ( horrible squealing from pickups).

Fair enough i was less than 3 foot from the speaker, but i thought that potting should resolve this completely.

Guitar teacher said it sounds like the potting was not done correctly.

Is it a case of

1. the job was not done correctly?

2. The pickups just cant handle the volume and i need different pickups?

3. Any guitar, no matter what the pickups will go microphonic that close to the amp/speaker at those volumes?

Edited by fguihen
Link to comment
Share on other sites

A pickup has thousands and thousands of turns of wire on it, it only takes one loose strand to vibrate and go microphonic. Normal wax-potting (by dipping)doesn't GUARANTEE that the wax will seep into every single nook and cranny and stop any chance of the pickup going micro on you, it just reduces the possibility.

You might want to buy some EMG pickups, they're epoxy potted at the factory, most likely under a vacuum for maximum penetration.

I believe Duncan, and probably many other manufacturers, vacuum-pot their pickups at the factory as well, no telling if your man had a vacuum-potting machine at hand, he probably just dipped them, which is a perfectly acceptable practice, but your situation calls for extreme top-notch potting procedures, preferrably factory vacuum potted.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Drak is dead on...I will add that regular potting can miss some other parts of the pickup. Coils are not the only thing that can produce microphonic feedback. Loose pieces go microphonic at that range. I have had coils that were saturated with wax all the way to the center of the bobbin that decided they still wanted to be microphonic. Later I found the magnet was vibrating under the pup.

I have a telecaster bridge pickup that is microphonic. The coil was potted perfectly however it still decided to feedback. When I took it apart I realized I forgot to tape the pole pieces and they were vibrating directly against the zinc baseplate at high volume. A small piece of bobbin tape across the bottom of the poles solved the issue. You will see this with metal covers as well.

Sometimes it is not just the pickup. Check all your bridge screws and make sure there is some down force on them. Once owned a strat that went microphonic only on the G string. Turned out one of the saddle screws was floating... at volume the Mesa made it squeal.

Lastly you are 3 feet from a 400 watt amp... what did you expect?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...