Hi all,

My '04 American Fender SSS strat has a kind of out-of-tune rotary sound...
Mostly noticeable only at low E string on frets 8-11.

Hadn't played it for several months. Then I changed the pickguard. A white wire from from the output jack came unsoldered in the process.

I checked wiring diagrams and re-soldered it to the middle 'hole' tab on the volume pot.

Could an electronic issue cause this? I don't hear the sound unamplified...

An additional note: I've just sold my amp, so listening through either PA speakers or PC line-in. No difference on either.

Many thanks!
There aren't really electronics in a guitar capable of "accidentally" making this sound. My bet is that since it happens most noticeably at certain frets and certain strings it is probably the string hitting the pick ups or frets when you strum.
A sound clip would help immensely. My guess is intonation, but that's just a guess because I don't know how it sounds. Amplification can, well, amplify certain sounds from your guitar.
Sound clip:

A few more notes:
- Intonation has been fine for years (though I'm not saying it isn't necessarily now).
- I re-adjusted pickup height following pickguard. Pickup case is half the distance from pickguard and strings, with poles perhaps 4 or 5mm away.
- Strings do not appear to catch on anything (i.e. frets & p'up poles).


Problem resolved by lowering pup heights a few mm

Any recommendations for string distance from magnet? I seem to remember in the past there is often a slope...

I've still no idea why that happened...??
Last edited by norwich_guitar at Jan 21, 2012,
I'm sure some people measure the distance between pickups and strings, I do it by ear. Further away will give you better clarity but less output, closer is louder but too close is muddy, you have to find the sweet spot. Also, closer will have more magnetic pull on the strings which will hurt your sustain and do other weird things, which I'm guessing is what happened.