If I tap my pickup it sounds like I'm tapping on a live microphone

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by guitarfan3, Jan 21, 2014.

  1. guitarfan3


    Aug 9, 2009
    The pickup I'm having trouble with is a Precision-style one. The pickup under the E and A strings is the one giving me the trouble. The problem is that if I bump the pickup with my finger when I'm playing or rest my thumb on it it makes the same sound as if I was tapping on a loud mike. The pickup under the D and G strings does not make this noise. Heeeelp!
  2. Its microphonic. You need to 'pot' it. A search should explain things.
  3. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2010
    Houston Tx
    Owner/Builder @Hopkins Guitars
    You need a soldering iron, a rice cooker and some paraffin wax to solve this problem. Sounds like a McGuyver scenario doesn't it.

    You need a soldering iron to remove the pickup, and the rice cooker to melt the wax in. A $15 rice cooker is much easier than a double boiler and it wont get the rice hot enough to catch fire. Just take the pickup and put it into the melted wax and let it sit there till there are no more air bubbles. Take it out of the wax and dab the excess wax off with a couple paper towels. Let it sit for a couple hours for the wax to harden and reinstall the pickup.
  4. Turnaround

    Turnaround Commercial User

    May 6, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Independent Instrument Technician, and Contractor to Club Bass and Guitar - Toronto
    And I thought a potted pickup was what you did with the barmaid after a joint or two.
  5. RobbieK


    Jun 14, 2003
    All good advice, so far (especially for the barmaids), but there's a good chance just retaping the windings will fix the problem. There's a chance it won't help of course, but worth a shot. A pickup coil that's microphonic, is generally so because of a loose coil or two (or fifty!). Tightly re-taping might just fix it. Just be vary careful when you remove the old tape. If you break any winding wire, it could be a problem. Also, there's no reason you can't swap the coils over, so for a quick fix, if it only makes the noise from your thumb, then when shifted to the g-d spot, you won't have the issue. Oh and you can use super glue on coils too.

    If it's a vintage pickup or something worth a few bucks, please ignore all my advice and take it to a reputable pickup winder for potting. :)