I literally was defending Rickenbacker's QC vehemently the other day... and now I think I've got an issue of my own. Guess I'll have to eat my words. THE STORY: Just got a new amp, Walkabout Scout 12" combo. Last night was my first rehearsal w/ said amp; plug it in, all sounds good. First song, when things pick up a little in intensity, I notice as I dig into the strings, I'm getting this nasty buzzy distorted sound. Something in between a microphone pop and a farting sound. My obvious instinct is "oh no, something's up with my amp!". Checked the settings... everything was flat, nothing weird going on there. Thought maybe I was overdriving the input, so I flicked over to the active pad, and it cut the volume a bit, but I could still generate the same noise by digging in. Rolled off the tweeter (since I've never even had a tweeter before, figured it might help). Killing the tweeter DID help a little, in that it cut some of the high-end content, making the nasty sound a little less present. At this point I also kicked on my VT Bass pedal, and I think the built-in compression and high-end rolloff also helped tame the evil somewhat, though it was still there. Somewhere around here I start realizing I can control this sound somewhat with technique... when I play closer to the neck, its worse. I play with a pick, and picking hard at all would make the sound everytime. And then, almost by accident I happened to tap the neck pickup... and I get a very clear, distinct tapping sound. Tried tapping the bridge pickup: dead quiet. So it sounds like the neck pup is microphonic, right? I've never encountered that before, and I'm wondering if a microphonic pup could send a loud distorted popping sound through my amp, or if I should look for another cause? If it IS purely from the microphonics, this actually explains some past issues as well. My theory is that my new Mesa rig is quite a bit brighter than my previous rig (ashdown into VT Bass into Orange 115 or sealed 610, both very dark cabs), which makes the popping sound a lot more present than it was with the old rig. Over the summer I played two back to back shows that both happened to use GK 800RB's thru GK 410's... which were FAR brighter than my usual rigs. The first time, I thought there was something wrong with the 800RB's input because it was making a "horrible, popping grindy sound" . The second time, I figured "wow, i guess I really hate the sound of these amps" :scowl:. And then, two weeks ago I had a quick recording session where I was running through the VT Bass and straight into the board... and I didn't connect the dots, but whenever I'd play a little harder, the same popping sound happened! I thought I was just driving the input too hard, so I played softer while I was recording. But suddenly all these pieces fit together last night. Does it sound like I'm on the right track here, thinking its a microphonic pickup? And if so, what should I do? For now I can probably play only on the bridge pickup and compensate with some EQ at the amp, but that's not a good long term solution. I assume I need to have the pickup wax potted, or would it need to be rewound?