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#1
Wondering if there is anything I could have done wrong when I potted a single coil pickup of mine.

I've done this mod a loada times now on humbuckers and it's worked a treat. So I tried a great favourate single coil pickup of mine an nothing has changed except string defenition is much better. Why wont the f--king whistley feedback go away like it did with my other pickups.

I figured this pickup of mine would benefit better than the humbuckers as it was microphonic quite a bit but sounded amazing. So having potted it I can't understand why it still is microphonic. I think my frustration made me think it was worse but it probably was just the same as it was before only better string def.


Does anyone know anything to fix the problem? Should I pot it for longer? I did it at around 30min's and then double dipped at a temperature of around 145-148 Farenheit.

Please help potting experts!!!
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#2
single coils have a natural hum caused by such things as cellphones and flurescent lights. theres nothing u can do to get rid of it..
Gibson SG Faded
Epi VJ Stack


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#3
you sure its not 60-cycle hum? its likely a radio frequency or something in the area causing it to hiss or whatever, potting it will only help it from producing microphonics (sharp high pitched feedback). it could be a problem with the pickup, the amp, what its plugged into, what powers your house. haha.
#4
Not getting a hum I'm getting stupid whisltey nonsense feedback. The Pick-up is brand new and sounds fine except for the feedbacking bullsh_it. I do practice in an area with a lot of other bands in different rooms and different floors and the only thing I noticed one time was a singer a floor below me happened to be also coming out of the amp I was using.

So I potted the pickup and I get the squeals. The pickup doesn't appear damaged it reads on the multimeter as 9.4k which is loud for a single coil. It was only supposed to be 8k but I don't think that's the problem.

I thought sqeals would end when I potted this thing. I guess not.
Of course I use lots of volume and gain. But no matter I read that microphonics would end after the potting procedure and I would be left with natural feedback (desirable type)

anyone any definitions on the two types of feedback so I can evaluate what I get back myself?
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#5
its the 60-cycle hum. the sound itself is not always a hum
Gibson SG Faded
Epi VJ Stack


Quote by Øttər
Whenever I clean my guitars, my family wonders why it smells so good; I say that I exude a fresh citrus scent from hidden orifices.
They stopped asking
#6
Who do I have to execute then to stop the 60 cycle hum? Please explain a little AngusJimiKeith? I'd appreciate it!! Does this happen mainly whilst facing the amp? and at certain diagonal angles?

Hey I also just read that lots of things can affect the microphonic situation, like covers. This particular pickup has an unusual cover. It is flat so the polepieces don't stick out, which means internally the pickup has flat pieces itself so it can fit correctly. Now the way this pick up sits I noticed inside the cover leaves a gap of a few millimeters from the flat face of the pickup and the internal roof of the cover which leaves me to believe that may be the excess room is causing more microphonics than usual as their is space for vibration??? I'm tempted to repot with the cover on the way it's recommended to do with humbuckers that have metal covers.

But wont the plastic cover melt? I don't think so, the wire I used to lower the pickup into the wax with was covered with thin crappy plastic insulation and it didn't melt and 150o so is it worth a try?
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#7
As much as I love guitar and modding they're a pain in the ass sometimes!!

I'm certain I'm not changing this pick up it gives me all the tone I'm looking for to solo and to riff with.
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#10
May be Godrex, I don't remember too many bubbles to be honest not like humbucker s I did before. I heard of someone who leaves his over night, I did mine for like half hour or 25mins at least.


I'll do it again anyway, so tempted to try doin' it with the cover on though and completely seal it.
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#11
CobenBlack, you may be talking my lingo 'ere. I did shield the guitar in the far out crazy super way that is taught from the guitarnuts website. But get this, I used crappy cooking foil as I didn't realise there was anything thicker until I found embossing foil. Now the foil did a decent enough job but I expected better results. May be if I re do that again with the heavy embossing foil (the kind that will not tear easy as it's totally thick) I'll have better results??????????????????????????????????? ????

This could be it? I might repot anyway and be really anal myself if I'm looking to anally rape this 60CYCLE monster?

Please someone tell me what exactly it is? I aint heard of it before, a type of EI right?
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#12
shielding is possibly the best way, other than that you'd have to get a humbucker to cancel the hum.....
Gibson SG Faded
Epi VJ Stack


Quote by Øttər
Whenever I clean my guitars, my family wonders why it smells so good; I say that I exude a fresh citrus scent from hidden orifices.
They stopped asking
#13
Quote by Rabid Gerry
Who do I have to execute then to stop the 60 cycle hum? Please explain a little AngusJimiKeith? I'd appreciate it!! Does this happen mainly whilst facing the amp? and at certain diagonal angles?

Hey I also just read that lots of things can affect the microphonic situation, like covers. This particular pickup has an unusual cover. It is flat so the polepieces don't stick out, which means internally the pickup has flat pieces itself so it can fit correctly. Now the way this pick up sits I noticed inside the cover leaves a gap of a few millimeters from the flat face of the pickup and the internal roof of the cover which leaves me to believe that may be the excess room is causing more microphonics than usual as their is space for vibration??? I'm tempted to repot with the cover on the way it's recommended to do with humbuckers that have metal covers.

But wont the plastic cover melt? I don't think so, the wire I used to lower the pickup into the wax with was covered with thin crappy plastic insulation and it didn't melt and 150o so is it worth a try?



I think this is what's going on: there's still some movement in other parts of the pickup.

Molten wax is ~ 60-70 (deg)C (is it not?)
So i doubt it'll do much to the plastic, Don't hold me to that, though.

If it was me (i've never potted a pickup before by the way, so i don't ACTUALLY know what i'm talking about) I would fill up the gap between the pickup and it's cover with wax. ( i thought that was how you did potting - you fill the case with wax? though you said you've done potting before, so i'm not questioning your ability.)

The reason i don't think it's 60 hz, is 60hz is the cause of hum. screeching Feedback is a much higher frequency.
Last edited by jimRH7 at Jun 2, 2008,
#14
Yeah JimRH7 I think this may play a part in it. Well the numerous instructions I've read on potting suggest:

Pot Humbuckers with metal covers, immerse both

Pot Humbuckers on their own just the pick up itself

Pot Single coil with cover just immerse the single coil itself and take the cover of before hand.

I might try this with the cover it's easy enough to heat up wax if I ever need to get it out again and like I said also I had other plastic in there before and it didn't even warp so may be I'd give this a go.

I reckon a normal single coil pickup cover would be fine but since mine has extra space to move I have to treat mine a little different from the normal potting on SC's
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#15
I did my temerature measuring in Farenheit as all the instructions were using that scale. But I think that 60oC is roughly 150oF and it hasn't melted any plastic so far so I think my cover should be fine.

If I pull the desired modification off I'll be ecstatic as I love the tone from this PUP.
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#16
are you mounting your pickup with springs or silicone tubing?
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#17
if you heat it dead slowly, the plastic should be less likely to warp. you could set it so that the water bath you do it in (is it a water bath you're using?) is only a few degrees above the melting point of the wax, rather than boiling or just off the boil or whatever.
#18
CorduroyEW the pickup is on springs and screws.


jimRH7
if you heat it dead slowly, the plastic should be less likely to warp. you could set it so that the water bath you do it in (is it a water bath you're using?) is only a few degrees above the melting point of the wax, rather than boiling or just off the boil or whatever.


I have a pot filled with water, then a metal colinder set in it, then a camping pot filled with the wax (80parafin 20 beeswax). The colinder provides stability. I kinda made my own version of a double boiler rather than what I'd seen on instructions.

The water after I have the wax at the right temperature is never boiling. I dipped my finger in by accident and it's didn't hurt so I'm very confident the plastic wont melt or warp. How I heat is stick the pot of wax on the cooker (glass plates no flames + extractor fan on full whack!!!) melt the wax turbo speed

on another plate have had the pot of water and colinder boil gently then reduce the temperature on the cooker. I've found on my cooker keeping the plate at number 1 provides ideal stability for the temperature maintenance.

Once the wax is melted its near say 170-180o since I've done it so quick so I let it drop at in it's own time in the pot and colinder of water. This take say 15 minutes, when it's around 145-150 I'll stick the pickup in, suspended on some insulated wire, a thin gauge. The wire aint important but the thin insulation has never melted and I doubt the cover would.
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Last edited by Rabid Gerry at Jun 2, 2008,
#19
Quote by Rabid Gerry
CorduroyEW the pickup is on springs and screws.


I was going to type out a big long explination for why this stuff happens but figured it wasn't actually worth the effort...

Basically, you need to get rid of the springs and use silicone tubing instead. You also need to lower you pickup a little. I know it's going to make your volume drop and it's not going to balance your your humbuckers, but single coils almost never really balance with humbuckers.

If you do these things and still have problems then there are a few more things you could look at.

If your pickguard has foil shielding it you need to make sure it's stuck down good and not vibrating at all. If you put sheilding on your pickups you need to take it off. If you are using chrome covers you need to get rid of them. If you are usings a metal pickguard you need to switch it for a plastic one. Also, if your pickups have plastic bobbins then you may need to let the pickups soak for quite a while to soak in the wax. I let my pickups soak for about 10 minutes but my pickups have fiber bobbins. Plastic bobbins are solid on the inside which makes it much harder for the wax to soak in. Also, if you are using straight paraffin then you might want to try mixing it with bees wax. Bees wax (although not as good a straight paraffin in my oppinion) will soak into the coil easier than paraffin alone.
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#20
Quote by CorduroyEW
I was going to type out a big long explination for why this stuff happens but figured it wasn't actually worth the effort...

Basically, you need to get rid of the springs and use silicone tubing instead. You also need to lower you pickup a little. I know it's going to make your volume drop and it's not going to balance your your humbuckers, but single coils almost never really balance with humbuckers.

If you do these things and still have problems then there are a few more things you could look at.

If your pickguard has foil shielding it you need to make sure it's stuck down good and not vibrating at all. If you put sheilding on your pickups you need to take it off. If you are using chrome covers you need to get rid of them. If you are usings a metal pickguard you need to switch it for a plastic one. Also, if your pickups have plastic bobbins then you may need to let the pickups soak for quite a while to soak in the wax. I let my pickups soak for about 10 minutes but my pickups have fiber bobbins. Plastic bobbins are solid on the inside which makes it much harder for the wax to soak in. Also, if you are using straight paraffin then you might want to try mixing it with bees wax. Bees wax (although not as good a straight paraffin in my oppinion) will soak into the coil easier than paraffin alone.


Hey man no one's forcing you for advice, I appreciate anything you've to say believe me so thanks very much .

I have a plastic pick gaurd, my foil is stuck down, I soaked the pickups for about 30mins as I said before, I used 80% paraffin 20%beeswax as said in the last post also and I'm pretty sure it's a fibre bobbin (looks more like material than plastic right?) I've no individual shielding on the pickup itself just the inner guitar and pickgaurd.

The only thing I aint done is tubing instead of screws? I've never done this before. How do I get it and what way should I install?
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#21
And for what it's worth I understand microphonics a little. Which is why me and JimRH7 thought may be the excess room in the pickup cover may be causing more vibrations than usual, this particular pickup as I stated many posts ago does not have poles pieces that poke through the top of the cover, it is flat and the pickup inside does not go all the way to the top inside it leaving room, more room to vibrate more possibly?

I'm gonna have to try a few remedy's I think.
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#22
CorduroyEW I think i know what you're getting at with the screws and the loose shielding - they're vibrating metal (vibrating from the sound of the amp) in the magnetic feild of the pickup and so the pickup picks them up as if they were strings, causing the feed back.

now that you mention it, If the covers are plastic, then no matter how they move around the pickups won't pick up anything, so they can't effect the feedback, right?
I was thinking they might be rattling around inside the casing, picking up sound vibrations like that...
#23
Ok then well that's that eliminated. I might repot, and change screw and springs to screws and tubing. I dunno where to get the tubing anf for all I'll need of it!!! I wonder could I just a mit of rubber or something?

I notice on this particular guitar also that the springs in the back rattle a lot. They seem top be tight, I dunno why they rattle with string strikes. This guitar has a floyd rose tremolo also.

If nothing comes of any doctoring I'm still able to use this guitar so at least that's something.

And yes the pickup cover is hard plastic and this does not cause any microphonics then?
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#24
Sounds like everything is in order then so the only things it could really be are the springs and the pickup height.

The silicone tubing can be perchased at most music shops but if you need to order it online www.allparts.com sells it at a good price but they only sell it by the foot. I'd be willing to bet places like www.warmoth.com and www.stewmac.com have it as well as most other shops that sell single coil pickup covers and mounting hardware.

To put the tubing on you take out the mounting screws on your pickup, the old springs can come out and the new little pieces of tubing go in between the pickup and the pick gaurd.

The difference the tubing is going to make will be very small and I can't promise it's even going to fix it but it does make a difference on some pickups. The bigger difference will happen when you lower the pickup a little. Strat pickups with alnico have a magnetic pull (gauss) of around 1100 when charged fully. The top of the poles on a humbucker with alnco 5 magnets is only around 250 to 300 so you are looking at about 4 times the magnetic energy in a strat pickup. On top of that, the wires in a fiber bobbin strat pickup are much closer to the magnets which again, makes the pickups more sinsitive to feedback. Lowering the pickups could make all the difference in the world.

If you try both of those things and it's still microphonic then chances are your pickup wasn't wound tight enough or it was wound with too much scatter. When this happens there really isn't much that can be done other than getting the pickup rewound.

If you do find that you need the silicone tubing, you can find it by the foot at www.allparts.com


Quote by jimRH7
CorduroyEW I think i know what you're getting at with the screws and the loose shielding - they're vibrating metal (vibrating from the sound of the amp) in the magnetic feild of the pickup and so the pickup picks them up as if they were strings, causing the feed back.

now that you mention it, If the covers are plastic, then no matter how they move around the pickups won't pick up anything, so they can't effect the feedback, right?
I was thinking they might be rattling around inside the casing, picking up sound vibrations like that...


exactly
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Last edited by CorduroyEW at Jun 2, 2008,
#25
Ok CorduroyEW I'll try the tubing, but I'll have to order from allparts as I live in Northern Ireland and there is f_uck all for sale in any music shops that exist here, well certainly in Belfast anyway. I asked for new floyd rose clamps the other week and was told no!!! And to search on the web instead which a shop shouldn't do as it just ruins their rep and sends business in the wrong direction!!!

Anyway's I ll try it. If I get back to you with my pick up to string height could you assess the situation a little more? It's just my pick up seems high at the moment however this is due to the fact that inside this flat polepieced pickup is not near the top of the actual cover.

www.wdmusic.co.uk/product/High_Output_Strat%C3%82%C2%AE_Enclosed_Cover_STE-1

this link above is the pickup were dealing with. It's one loud bitch.
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#26
Quote by Rabid Gerry
Ok CorduroyEW I'll try the tubing, but I'll have to order from allparts as I live in Northern Ireland and there is f_uck all for sale in any music shops that exist here, well certainly in Belfast anyway. I asked for new floyd rose clamps the other week and was told no!!! And to search on the web instead which a shop shouldn't do as it just ruins their rep and sends business in the wrong direction!!!


that's weird, How big is the shop? Our local music shop sells all that kind of stuff, and they're pretty small - 2 storey's but about half the size of a normal shop!
Having said that they are a guitar specialist shop, I suspect all the northern irish shops sell folk instruments etc. (please excuse the biggotted stereotype - there's also another shop in my own town that stock a few guitars but cater mainly to the piano and accordian market - in keeping with the upper middle class and teuchter stereotypes of my town respectively)
#27
Quote by Rabid Gerry
Ok CorduroyEW I'll try the tubing, but I'll have to order from allparts as I live in Northern Ireland and there is f_uck all for sale in any music shops that exist here, well certainly in Belfast anyway. I asked for new floyd rose clamps the other week and was told no!!! And to search on the web instead which a shop shouldn't do as it just ruins their rep and sends business in the wrong direction!!!

Anyway's I ll try it. If I get back to you with my pick up to string height could you assess the situation a little more? It's just my pick up seems high at the moment however this is due to the fact that inside this flat polepieced pickup is not near the top of the actual cover.

www.wdmusic.co.uk/product/High_Output_Strat%C3%82%C2%AE_Enclosed_Cover_STE-1

this link above is the pickup were dealing with. It's one loud bitch.


If you are in northern Ireland then get them from me. Allparts sells the stuff by the foot and you will only need about 2 inches. Besides I just order all of what they had in stock and all of their next shipment (due in about a month) is coming to me as well. I'll sell it to you for whatever I paid and shipping will only be about 60p. Let me know if you are interested.

yes, if you give me the pickup to string hight and can assess the sitiation a little better.
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#28
Quote by jimRH7
that's weird, How big is the shop? Our local music shop sells all that kind of stuff, and they're pretty small - 2 storey's but about half the size of a normal shop!
Having said that they are a guitar specialist shop, I suspect all the northern irish shops sell folk instruments etc. (please excuse the biggotted stereotype - there's also another shop in my own town that stock a few guitars but cater mainly to the piano and accordian market - in keeping with the upper middle class and teuchter stereotypes of my town respectively)


No the music shops are not all folk insturment type shops they're bullshi_t all but one of them. But the one that is good and has people you can talk too is still too limited and too small and I don't get served right away if I'm in a hurry even if there is no one else in there!!

The main 3 central Belfast city music shops are like pop music fans: they just stock the obvious stuff brands and accessories and only can supply you with brands of stuff that they carry rather than allowing you to be able to order something in special. They'll also advise you badly and try to get you to buy a brand that they stock and tell you it's the best. They don't stock saddles, nuts, trems, pick gaurds, mounting surounds, and spares really of any kind or have any variety of brands. They don't have sufficient repair facilities either and charge what ever they want and the end of the day get away with it as there is only 3 bigish shops and they can do what ever they want as they have no real competition.

The small shop I go to in Belfast is the best but it is limited and too small also. But it does have men who know what they are talking about and their prices and deals are good.

If I want anything I shop online with WD MUSIC, Axerus, and Guitar Fetish, sometimes allparts but their measurements, product descriptions are vague and make purchases risky and they are never the cheapest either.
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#30
CorduroyEW I p.m ed you so if you wanna arrange purchase details?


forsaknazrael

it is a Strat man yes. You just stick foam with the spring resting on it rather than the pick gaurd and with the screw head still touching the spring?
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#31
Here is a diagram do I stick on foam or padding like so?

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#32
No, no, no...I'm talking about the springs in back of guitar, the ones that keep your trem tensioned. But the foam behind them between the springs and the body.

I agree with Cord, I got my pickups from him, complete with the tubing, and I don't get any kind of microphonic feedback (I also did the foam thing.)
#33
Ah I see the trem springs!!!!

Right I get rattle from them when I aint plugged in and since the floyd floats it seems to rattle a little more than with a vintage.

So I should also put silicone tubing between pick up and screw

and

then foam type material between and behind the trem springs?

Right I get ya.

wILL I bother to re pot?
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#35
Well I'm getting some of that silcone shi_t from Cord and I have polysterene which can go in the trem springs!!!

When I'm whamming myself to death the polysterene wont get caught in the trem springs I hope!!
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#38
The Joys of photoshop!!!!!!! and to think I have an art degree!!!

right I just was knocking that up to make sure of things, I like to totally understand, and half of that amount of foam in the length department!! Brilliant!!

This kill the vibrations makes lots of sense to me since learning a little of microphonic pickups. For ages I was wondering what the hell the weird rattle was on my guitar and only discovered it was the trem springs like 2 weeks ago. I fact since the are so noticeably loud I'm wondering are they possibley the main reason for excess squeal in the first place?

I'll not truly know till I'm playing loud as hell on Friday at band practice so the true test results will be pending!!

Really appreciate everyones help, you sure learn a lot on this forum
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#40
AWW balls!! The extra foam padding stopped the trem spring rattle for sure, but I still had feedback city yesterday. I'm startin' to think the feedback might not be microphonic. It's not really sceaching pitched but more of an 'A' note. But it's still annoying not being able to stand near my amp when not playing. Especially wha setting s set it off with the wha round the middle somewhere in a stuck position.

I'm positive the pick up is fine. It's tone is absolutely spot on. And it reads on the multimetre fine. Next addition will be the silicone tube pieces instead of springs at the pickup screws.
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