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Pick-up issue. Advice requested.

Scott Cioe

Member
Joined
Feb 25, 2002
Messages
884
I have a 2018 Murphy '58 with Custom Buckers.
I play in (among other projects) a rock cover band using moderate gain, covering primarily 70's and 80's tunes. Aerosmith, Foreigner, Bad Co, Kravitz, Clapton, etc. The amp goes into a Dr. Z MAZ 18 reverb, studio combo and I use a Boss Angry Driver, mainly on the Blues Driver side for extra dirt along with a DB+ clean boost at the end of the chain for leads, with and/or without the Boss.
I absolutely love the way this guitar plays and sounds, with one exception. At gig volume, with the Boss and the DB+ engaged , I am having squealing issues. Anyone else experiencing these types of microphonic problems? Any advise, short of pick up replacement?
FYI - It is the guitar, not the level of gain or volume , as my other guitars, including a pair of Gibson ES 335's don't do it.
Thanks,
Scott
 

Wilko

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Mar 11, 2002
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19,982
No need to wax pot them. Usually just one of them will squeal? There are tricks to make them stop. Tightening baseplate screw sometimes does it. remove and replace the cover and put tape or something under it.

Make it squeal then push on the top and see if it helps. Press each screw and see if it's one of those., etc.
 

brandtkronholm

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Dec 3, 2006
Messages
2,274
If the pickup is not wax potted (likely) then you can get microphonic at higher volumes/gains. Swap it out for an aftermarket (wax potted) pickup or have it wax potted.
I've not heard this remedy for microphonic squealing. How does lowering the pickup help? In what way should the pole pieces be adjusted?
 

Scott Cioe

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Joined
Feb 25, 2002
Messages
884
Thanks all
I will definitely try the “home remedies“ as I really do like the tone of the stock pick ups
 

Gold Tone

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Apr 2, 2002
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6,819
I’ve had great success removing the magnet, lightly coating in paraffin, replacing and then clamping cover to pickup before resoldering.

Huge reason for squeal is magnet vibrating on base and too much air space under cover. There really is zero need to wax the entire pickup and lose those beautiful microphonics of the unwaxed coil wire…it’s what gives you all those gorgeous upper frequency string and finger sounds (like an acoustic)…I DON’T want to kill that

Almost all your squeal is magnet and cover…NOT coil
 

CK6

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Feb 5, 2020
Messages
251
I’m pretty sure if you press down on the cover while it’s squeezing it will stop. This would mean that the cover isn’t soldered tight enough, so all you need to do is re-solder the cover a bit tighter. Just helped a friend solve this problem a couple of months ago..

No need to wax anything.

Good luck!
 

J.D.

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May 24, 2006
Messages
9,775
True, there are many ways for a tech to quiet a squealing unpotted pickup. Easiest way is to either wax pot it or just temporarily replace it.

If you want to go the tech route without wax, from experience, most pickups that were bad offenders weren't assembled well. Usually the cover isn't fit right or one bobbin is slightly higher than the other when assembled. Here's how I do it...

1. Remove pickup from guitar.
2. Desolder cover (or cut solder) and remove cover. Be sure residual solder on inside of cover does not drag across bobbins and damage coil windings.
3. Inspect uncovered pickup, noting if the top bobbin surfaces are aligned. If not, loosen bottom screws and determine why. Could be that the solder on the lead wire under the screw coil is too high. Could be that the wood spacer under the slug coil is either too thin or too thick. Could be that the magnet and screw coil metal spacer have different thicknesses (i.e. magnet is "loose").
4. Once coils are even, and magnet is confirmed not "loose", with bobbin/baseplate screws slightly loosened, replace cover.
5. Gently clamp cover with rubber-faced light duty clamps. While clamped, resolder.
6. Snug bobbin/baseplate screws (don't strip these out).
7. Reinstall pickup into guitar.

Or just skip steps 2-6 and dip in into a hot wax bath for 15 minutes.
 

El Gringo

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Apr 8, 2015
Messages
4,715
Or remove the pickup cover and just leave it off...
As I don't know the answer I will ask if you have a un potted pickup and if you remove the cover and you are playing thru a high gain amp the pickup will not squeal ?
 

CK6

Active member
Joined
Feb 5, 2020
Messages
251
As I don't know the answer I will ask if you have a un potted pickup and if you remove the cover and you are playing thru a high gain amp the pickup will not squeal ?

Depends on how “high gain”, the volume and room.

Gary Moore played original bursts through Soldanos and Marshalls usually boosted with with and Ibanez or Boss pedal. Maybe not high-gain by todays standards but to be honest if you’re playing with more gain than that you may as well be using something better suited.
 

RocknRollShakeUp

Active member
Joined
Jul 7, 2006
Messages
672
Depends on how “high gain”, the volume and room.

Gary Moore played original bursts through Soldanos and Marshalls usually boosted with with and Ibanez or Boss pedal. Maybe not high-gain by todays standards but to be honest if you’re playing with more gain than that you may as well be using something better suited.

I remember watching videos of Gary Moore playing live, using what I think was Peter Green's LP, and he would masterfully roll the volume off when he sang or took his hands of his guitar..it was Jedi level stuff, and he undoubtedly did it to control squealing.
 

RocknRollShakeUp

Active member
Joined
Jul 7, 2006
Messages
672
I have a 2018 Murphy '58 with Custom Buckers.
I play in (among other projects) a rock cover band using moderate gain, covering primarily 70's and 80's tunes. Aerosmith, Foreigner, Bad Co, Kravitz, Clapton, etc. The amp goes into a Dr. Z MAZ 18 reverb, studio combo and I use a Boss Angry Driver, mainly on the Blues Driver side for extra dirt along with a DB+ clean boost at the end of the chain for leads, with and/or without the Boss.
I absolutely love the way this guitar plays and sounds, with one exception. At gig volume, with the Boss and the DB+ engaged , I am having squealing issues. Anyone else experiencing these types of microphonic problems? Any advise, short of pick up replacement?
FYI - It is the guitar, not the level of gain or volume , as my other guitars, including a pair of Gibson ES 335's don't do it.
Thanks,
Scott

I hope some of the tips that have been described above work, but your experience reinforces why wax potting became a huge thing, historically.

I used to gig in the 90's, typically on small stages, with a loud ass band, and wax potted pickups were a blessing, especially when I kicked on something like a cranked fuzz for a monster tone lead :D.
 

El Gringo

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Apr 8, 2015
Messages
4,715
I hope some of the tips that have been described above work, but your experience reinforces why wax potting became a huge thing, historically.

I used to gig in the 90's, typically on small stages, with a loud ass band, and wax potted pickups were a blessing, especially when I kicked on something like a cranked fuzz for a monster tone lead :D.
I have all of my ThroBak 101 Pluses wax potted and it works wonders for me !
 

El Gringo

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 8, 2015
Messages
4,715
I’ve had great success removing the magnet, lightly coating in paraffin, replacing and then clamping cover to pickup before resoldering.

Huge reason for squeal is magnet vibrating on base and too much air space under cover. There really is zero need to wax the entire pickup and lose those beautiful microphonics of the unwaxed coil wire…it’s what gives you all those gorgeous upper frequency string and finger sounds (like an acoustic)…I DON’T want to kill that

Almost all your squeal is magnet and cover…NOT coil
There is also the double sided tape used on top of the slug coil and the underside of the pickup cover which I have been told works .
 

brandtkronholm

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Joined
Dec 3, 2006
Messages
2,274
Before replacing or waxing them you could try lowering them a little bit. If that doesn't work, adjust the pole pieces a little. It just might do the trick.
I replied to the wrong post earlier... oops! (JD's suggestions in post #2 (and #10) jive with my experience.)
DutchRay's suggestions in post #3 are new to me. I've not heard this remedy for microphonic squealing. How does lowering the pickup help? In what way should the pole pieces be adjusted?
 

DutchRay

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Joined
Mar 15, 2015
Messages
446
I replied to the wrong post earlier... oops! (JD's suggestions in post #2 (and #10) jive with my experience.)
DutchRay's suggestions in post #3 are new to me. I've not heard this remedy for microphonic squealing. How does lowering the pickup help? In what way should the pole pieces be adjusted?
It is mainly to make sure the covers aren't lifted by the pole screws or pickup rings. I have a set of pickups which sounded fine and then I dropped the guitar and the bridge pickup cover gave me all sort of trouble after that. Half a turn on the b-string pole screws fixed it. Of course I later took off the cover and put a piece of double sided tape in there and made sure it was clamped tight when I soldered the cover.
 
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