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Pickup Feedback Question


GuitarGuy610
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Wires touching each other wouldn't create feedback, unless you're talking about an electric hum or crackle.

Feedback, the squealy kind, is often caused by microphonic pickups, which is caused by "loose" coils (for lack of a better description). The best solution is to pot them in wax, which is an easy job that anybody can do at home. There are instructions somewhere... I don't have the link, but do a forum search for "Potting" or "feedback" and you'll turn it up sooner than later.

Greg.

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A soundclip would definitely be useful.

If it's hum, though, you might be around a lot of fluorescent lights or in an area with a lot of interference from things like a computer monitor.

Not all new pickups are potted, and even new potted pickups aren't potted properly. Even reputable large manufacturers have a bottom line, and they can't be there to see that a pickup has been dipped long enough, or that air bubbles have properly escaped.

Greg.

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what does potting a pickup do for it? i just don't see how this could help with feedback...

please, if someone has a link or something out there, of if you know yourself, lemme know, 'cause this is actually a whole new thing to me.

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what does potting a pickup do for it? i just don't see how this could help with feedback...

Potting soldifies the coil so that the windings can't move. If they do move they act like a microphone and cause a high pitched microphonic feedback. However, potting does change the sound of a pickup and some players prefer them unpotted.

Jon

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Potting definitely changes the sound of the pickup-- it makes them squeal less. :D

Scientifically speaking, the actual magnetic response of the pickup won't change at all... in other words, your fundamental tone will be unaltered. If there ARE subtle variations in tone from a potted to an unpotted one, it will have to do with microphonic effects, which is feasible. It's funny, because in a lot of ways it's one of those 'faith' things-- although there's no scientific reason for the sound of the pickup to change, some people swear that it does, and who am I, after all? B)

Greg

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feedback is caused by the sound coming out of the speakers making the pickup or microphone vibrate. the pickup picks up that vibration as noise and pumps it back into the amp, making a loop.

if the pickup windings are loose, the pickup can be more prone to feedback, and this is what wax potting can fix. high gain amp settings are also worse, especially with lots of treble dialed in or the 'toe' end of a wah pedal sweep. that's probably why your feedback diminishes when you turn the guitar volume knob down -- you're reducing the gain of the signal going out of the guitar into the amp. this kind of feedback sounds like a banshee or ringwraith screaming -- really high pitched. bagginssssssss!

the pickup can also vibrate if the mounting isn't really tight. to test this, get the pickup feeding back and then grab it really tightly between your thumb and finger. if the feedback stops, then the problem is in the mounting, not in the windings. this kind of feedback is usually a lower pitch, more a ghostly moan than a ringwraith.

most pickup mounting is just designed to hold the pickup there and not to immobilize it, so you may need to tweak things to get the feedback to stop. i've stuffed les paul type humbucker cavities with foam to immobilize the pickups, and some mounting rings and pickups have more than 2 screws so the pickup isn't as wobbly. you could also try adding stiffer or longer springs to the pickup mounting screws.

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I have had the same problem in the past and found that sticking short lengths of matchstick between pickup and mounting stop it from happening. However, this is probably not the ideal long term solution.

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