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Pickup squeals when I touch it

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Falkner, Mar 29, 2009.

  1. Falkner


    Mar 5, 2008
    I've had an odd thing happening with my Yamaha RBXA5. If my finger happens to touch the metal blade of the neck pickup, it emits a high pitched squealing sound. The bridge pickup doesn't do it nor do any of the pickups on my other basses, so I'm assuming that it's not normal at all. The effect seems to be less strong if I have my fingers on the strings. Could it be a grounding issue of some sort? :help:
  2. SGD Lutherie

    SGD Lutherie Banned Commercial User

    Aug 21, 2008
    Bloomfield, NJ
    Owner, SGD Music Products
    The problem is that they didn't ground the blade. This is common problem on many pickups. So touching it induces noise into the pickup, and when you are touching the strings, you are making that ground connection, so it's not as loud.

    If the bottom of the blade is accessible under the pickup, you can try to stick some copper grounding tape to it (if it has conductive adhesive, like the kind sold at Stew-Mac), and ground that tape. That should prevent that from happening.

    If you can't access the blade, you have to just try and not touch it. :meh:
  3. Falkner


    Mar 5, 2008
    Thanks, I'll take a look at that and hope that it's an easy fix.
  4. DavePlaysBass

    DavePlaysBass Supporting Member

    Mar 31, 2004
    Put a piece of black electrical tape over the side that is close to where your thumb sits. It is barely noticable. I do this on my five string because I like to use the B string as a thumb rest and from time to time I hit the pole pieces on the pups.

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