recently whenever I strike a chord my sound gets all messed up. if I turn my active element on higher the cracking gets more noticeable but it's also present when I turn it off. I tried switching the battery and it seemed to work for a while but yesterday the cracking returned and it sounded even worse then before!

it is a pretty old guitar (from late 80's) so I really hope nothing internal is messed up

any thoughts / comments would be appreciated!