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microphonic pickups?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by gyellow, Jan 20, 2004.

  1. gyellow


    Dec 16, 2003
    What does it mean when pickups go microphonic?
    And What causes it?
  2. SoyBase


    Jul 1, 2001
    Atlanta, Ga
    I literally just ordered a new set of pickups for my jazz bass because of this..

    Basically a microphonic pickup will pick up other noises. Mine started off with tapping the pickup with my fingernail, then within 2 weeks, my guitarist and drummer were triggering my compressor on my amp. It caused feedback and lots of noise.

    You could probably talk through your bass and hear it through your amp as well..

    It sucks, pretty much.
  3. I've heard that there are some advantages, because they give more of a full, acoustic type of sound, because they're literally more like microphones. I don't know if there's any truth to that. It sounds like there's a lot more bad than good as far as microphonic pickups goes.
  4. Microphonic pickups are mostly used on acoustic guitars, and are a desired pickup for acoustic, but are not designed for electric instruments.

    When pickups go microphonic, you can replace them or seal the coils in a solid material, like wax, this is called Potting.

    Pickups will squeal and make a loud whistling noise similar to a microphone when it feeds back. Some pickups are so bad that if you touch them you hear a loud noise through the amplifier.

    The term "potting" refers to the sealing of the coils in a solid material. Potting stabilizes the components of the pickup so that they cannot move relative to each other. This elminates vibration-induced signals that make a pickup microphonic.

    Wax is used because it works well, is inexpensive, and it makes it possible to work on the pickup later.

  5. SoyBase


    Jul 1, 2001
    Atlanta, Ga
    My problem exactly! The new Ultra Jazzes should take care of THAT problem :D

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