X-500 problem

shihan

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There’s a weird thing going on with my X-500; when I play a C# on the D string, I’m getting a audible distortion coming through the amp. I thought at first it was the amp, but it has consistently done it with several different amps. I don’t feel anything vibrating on the guitar; and it seems like it’s just that note.
I tried to record it, but it’s in the background of the note, it wouldn’t come through on my cellphone.
Note: it’s definitely not the amp, doesn’t happen with other guitars.
Pretty frustrating; sooner or later when I’m playing I’m gonna need that note.
Any thoughts?
 

shihan

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The strings are fairly new, and the same brand I always use. I can’t hear anything unplugged, and the usual culprits (tailpiece, tuners, PU rings) are not vibrating.
It definitely sounds like it’s electric in nature. I was convinced it was the amp until I investigated closely. It’s a consistent ‘eeeeeenk’ behind the note.
I will change the strings, though, and try again to record the sound.
It’s not real loud, but it’s certainly annoying once you know it’s there.
 
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swiveltung

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Maybe it's in the strings behind the bridge? Harmonic vibration. Try interweaving something back there?
 

Quantum Strummer

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Bridge base maybe resonating with that C#? I've got a similar thing going on right now with my Duo Jet. Think it's one of the (Melita) bridge feet…I get why so many people replace 'em. :)

-Dave-
 

shihan

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Muting the strings behind the bridge doesn’t change it. It has the original wooden bridge; I can’t hear anything unplugged.
There’s no indication of anything amiss when played unplugged.
It really sounds like it’s in the electronics. It’s consistent in sound and volume, and only on that note. I’ve never come across this before, and I’ve played electric guitars a long time.
It sounds like an amp problem, but it’s not, it’s definitely coming from the guitar. Is it possible the pickups are somehow amplifying a slight fret rattle? I’m stumped. It’s not real loud, but once you hear it, it’s annoying and frustrating.
 

Nuuska

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Hello

Is it on both pickups?
If only on one, then it could be a loose winding resonating inside pickup.
 

shihan

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Nuuska, I think you’ve figured it out. The distortion only occurs on the neck PU. Doesn’t happen on the bridge.
Thanks for your suggestions, guys.
Now how to fix it....
 

DThomasC

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It might be that the pickup is not mounted securely, or that it's not all held together tightly.

I would start by removing the pickup from the body and confirm that the screws holding the bobbin(s) to the base plate are tight and that any magnets are not loose. You shouldn't need to unsolder anything to do that.

When was the guitar made and what kind of pickups are on it?
 

shihan

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It’s an ‘84; with HB-1 PU’s. Yeah, DTC, that’s the first step. Later today, I hope. Thanks.
 

Quantum Strummer

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HB-1s can be microphonic. My '73 S-100's p'ups will yowl a bit with something like a Big Muff in the signal path. Adds character IMO. :)

-Dave-
 

matsickma

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I didn't think HB1's were wax potted until Fender began making them in the 2000's. Never saw any wax on a Guild HB1 but seen a lot on the back of a Fender HB1's.
M
 

DThomasC

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The symptom makes me suspect that the problem isn't loose windings on the bobbins, but rather loose parts.

Wax potting the entire pickup might fix the problem, whatever it is, but I would start with simpler solutions first: makes sure the screws holding the boobins to the baseplate are tight. If that doesn't help, then remove the cover and drip some candle wax in around the magnet and spacers. Follow that by dripping some candle wax into the cover and quickly pushing the pickup assembly down into the cover before the wax sets up. Resolder the cover back on and see if the problem is solved.

If that doesn't work, then find someone to pot the pickup, or find a replacement. Some of you already know how I feel about potting pickups; it's like putting a condom on the poor thing....
 

shihan

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Thanks DTC. I didn’t get time to investigate this yesterday, I’m hoping to get into it today. I hope you’re right about loose parts.
I’m in full agreement on potted PU’s; I’ll replace it before I pot it, but I hope that isn’t necessary.
 

GAD

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FWIW those springs on the original HB1s are always corroded so it wouldn't surprise me to see one broken depending on the environment the guitar has spent it's life in.
 

adorshki

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Wax potting the entire pickup might fix the problem, whatever it is, but I would start with simpler solutions first: makes sure the screws holding the boobins to the baseplate are tight. ......If that doesn't work, then find someone to pot the pickup, or find a replacement. Some of you already know how I feel about potting pickups; it's like putting a condom on the poor thing....
A precautionary measure that might be warranted in the presence of loose boobins.
(Sorry, couldn't resist! :biggrin-new:)
 

shihan

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FWIW those springs on the original HB1s are always corroded so it wouldn't surprise me to see one broken depending on the environment the guitar has spent it's life in.
Well, I bought it from you, so I don’t expect any corrosion occurred in the GAD Lab!
 
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