How do I reduce guitar feedback?
March 23, 2010 8:21 PM Subscribe
How do I get rid of this horrible, high-pitched feedback?
posted by Zero Gravitas to Media & Arts (6 answers total)
I recently acquired a cheap Tele knockoff which I proceeded to fix up. I put the pickups and electronics from a Baja Telecaster (S-1 switching system, Twisted Tele Neck pup and Broadcaster bridge pup) in place of the crap that was there before. After I had finished setting things up to my liking I had a pretty sweet sounding guitar with a full, really alive tone, but as soon as I tried using it at full volume with my band, problems arose.
When I apply gain it makes a horrible high-pitched squeal, even when I mute the strings. I've been doing some reading around, and it seems to be what is referred to as microphonic feedback. This happens with my other guitars as well, but I've always been careful to manage my volume and gain settings so that it doesn't. This guitar, however, seems to be much more susceptible. It doesn't seem to matter much what pickup I'm using, the squeal always returns as soon as I apply gain-based effects.
If microphonic pickups are the issue here, shouldn't I be able to hear my voice if I talk into the pickups? When I tap the body or the pickups with a pick, I can hear it, however.
This is a single-coil guitar, of course, but so are my other guitars, mostly. The pickups are relatively recent and come from the Fender Custom Shop so I don't think they're shoddily constructed. I've heard that potting/re-potting the pickups can help, but I'm not sure that's the issue here. I soldered the whole thing myself, and I'm pretty inexperienced at that sort of thing, so maybe I screwed something up in that area, though I did follow the wiring diagram. I don't think it's a grounding issue because it makes no difference if I'm touching the strings. Could it be bad shielding then?
I've tried moving further away from my amp, but it doesn't really work - at least not in our practice space. I've tried reducing volume and gain, but the feedback only disappears when I'm down to unreasonable volumes (to my ears, anyway). We do play pretty loud, but I've been doing this for a fairly long time and thought I had pretty good control over feedback.
I guess these are my questions:
Should I re-pot the pickups?
Is this a wiring issue - improper shielding/grounding?
Should I buy a noise gate/equalizer/feedback destroyer?
Should I just buy a ukulele?