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FDP Forum / The 'Pup' Tent / What makes a SC pup howl (in a bad way)?

Contributing Member


The floor is getting farther away...
Mar 16th, 2016 09:05 PM   Edit   Profile  

I had to replace the neck pup on my Strat years ago and it normally is a good match with the other 2 pups. But the other day I got real close to my amp and is squealed horribly with the neck pup engaged. So I switched to the other pups in the same proximity to the amp and the other 2 did not squeal. What causes that?

Te 52

Laws of Physics

strictly enforced
Mar 17th, 2016 10:01 AM   Edit   Profile  

It's positive feedback, just like you get when a microphone is too close to a speaker. The two most common causes are (A) general flexibility of the pickguard and pickup mounting or, (B) pickup has gone microphonic.

In case (A), the sound waves from the speaker hit the pickguard and pickup, causing them to oscillate, which in turn creates more signal since the pickup is moving relative to the string, the signal goes through the amp and speaker, etc., etc.

Make sure your pickguard screws are all there and are snug. Check that there's some tension on the pickup height springs, or, if they're rubber, that they haven't gotten stiff and dried out. As a last resort, put a piece of foam rubber under the pickup, sandwiched between it and the bottom of the cavity.

In case (B), the pickup coil turns have gotten loose and are moving. Solution is either to wax-pot the pickup, get it re-wound, or replace it.

(This message was last edited by Te 52 at 03:17 PM, Mar 17th, 2016)

Contributing Member

Eat. Sleep. Guitar.

Apr 22nd, 2016 03:58 PM   Edit   Profile  

The pickup coil can also be wrapped carefully with thread (it takes about an entire spool) to hold unpotted coil wires in place.

FDP Forum / The 'Pup' Tent / What makes a SC pup howl (in a bad way)?

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