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newbie question - pickup taps when touched

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Goomanchu, Feb 23, 2013.

  1. Goomanchu


    Feb 23, 2013
    Hey, new to forum and have just started to learn to play.

    I bought a Gibson Epiphone lefty bass from a pawn shop. It was missing springs and some screws for pick-ups so I paid a bit extra and had it "set-up" so that I would be starting fresh. Guitar plays well (I think) but the bottom half of the neck pick-up makes noise if i touch it while playing the bottom strings. It seems to amplify the notes fine - but if I tap the plastic housing with my finger it makes a feedback sound like when you tap a microphone to see if it is on. That Pick-up can be pushed down some and rebounds on release. Other half of neck pick up and the other pickup do not. I was reading that this may e the problem. Is it just loose or do I have a short or something in this? I am sure this is an easy question - just so new to the guitar that I am starting from zero.

  2. bassbenj


    Aug 11, 2009
    Could be a number of things. I presume these are gibson pickups with the metal covers. The fact that they seem loose means that the springs probably do not have enough tension. This is common with that kind of mount. You want LOTS of tension there so they can't rattle. Maybe even put some foam around the metal parts to damp them.

    But what if you do that and it still is microphonic? Well, that's a common pickup problem as well, especially with older pickups. The cure is to have them "waxed" which means soaking them in wax so wires etc. can't vibrate and make signals.

    Just poke around tapping on things with a wood stick to find what is the problem. These tests are best if the strings are completely off the bass as then there should be no sounds from the pickups unless you tap on them with something steel (screwdriver). Non-magnetic materials should make no (or very little) noise unless pickups have a problem.
  3. Goomanchu


    Feb 23, 2013
    Thanks! Will check this out.