Screening and Potting
Ever had a guitar that is just wonderful apart from when you turn the gain or volume up loud and suddenly it emits a high pitch squeal that even has the neighbour's pet dog running for cover??
This is what is known as microphonic feedback - and the most likely culprit is the pickups' coil windings being microphonic (in some cases you can talk into the pickup and hear it through the amplifier - just like a mike).
Expensive pickups are usually well and truly wax dipped (potted) and as such are not so prone to this problem, but many pickups are not and the resultant feedback is just horrible. Some older pickups that may have been wax dipped may exhibit feedback as the wax has dried out and no longer holds the coil windings firmly in position.
But help is at hand!!
We have a wax dipping facility here that can eliminate most cases of micro phonics in a pickup.
So whilst we are more than happy to offer one of the fine replacement pickups that we stock (Remember that we keep Bare Knuckle pickups, Oil City, Monty's pickups, TV Jones, EMG, amongst others), we are now happy to offer wax dipping to rectify the problem that may be spoiling an otherwise fine sounding pick-up.
Charges start at £15 - excluding removal and replacement
Excessive hum? Screening may be the answer!
When Electric guitar pickups were first devised in the early to middle of the 20th Century there were far fewer electronic devices in our lives.
Back in the 1950s you would maybe have a fridge and if you were very lucky a TV set in your home so electric guitars had little worry from electronic devices putting out RF noise (hum in an audible frequency).
So guitars didn't really need to be screened against this interference, although single coil pickups did get a noticeable amount of noise, which led some manufacturers to develop hum-bucking pickups.
As the decades went on the number of devices in our lives multiplied and now we contend with so many different sources of airborne noise, that makes it all too easy to be picking up stray hum via our guitars. This can get too invasive at times with some guitars being much more prone to noise which is constantly present.
Thankfully there are steps that can be taken to reduce the amount of noise that gets into our precious signal chain. One factor in this can be screening the internals of the guitar with something electrically conductive - creating what is known as a "faraday cage" inside the guitar which acts like an antenna for the noise but when done correctly makes sure that stray noise is all drained to earth before it can get into your signal.
This can be done by metal tape like a layer of copper inside the guitar, although we much prefer a special screening paint with a high nickel content that was developed for the computing and aerospace industry to keep stray signals away from sensitive instrumentation. It is quite efficient to install (easier than the copper lining we find) and is better sonically in our opinion.
You can either have us do it as a special procedure all on it's own. It can also be requested or we might suggest it if we are also going to do another procedure to your guitar like a set-up, changing pickups or some fretwork, as it doesn't add a massive cost (possibly £20 for the materials and whatever additional time is needed to get in and coat the surfaces and make sure proper earth drainage tags and wires are connected).
The results are worth the effort , and it is something we have automatically done to ALL our custom built guitars