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Thread: Pickup Squeal (53/10, 57/08)

  1. #1
    Senior Member LJD's Avatar
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    Pickup Squeal (53/10, 57/08)

    I have 53/10 pickups in my HBII. I recently (finally) was able to play pretty loud with a band, and the guitar sounded amazing. The 53/10's did squeal a bit too much for my liking though.
    Does this happen with 57/08's?
    Are 53/10's "potted", and if not can the PTC pot them (or fix this problem)?
    Thanks!
    Last edited by LJD; 12-02-2013 at 05:21 PM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Rider1260's Avatar
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    Sorry but its a HOLLOWBODY that is half the fun
    The louder you play the more it feedsback ( Think Ted Nugent )
    Don't think a pickup change will change anything
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  3. #3
    Senior Member LJD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rider1260 View Post
    Sorry but its a HOLLOWBODY that is half the fun
    The louder you play the more it feedsback ( Think Ted Nugent )
    Don't think a pickup change will change anything
    It's not that kind of feedback. I want my HOLLOWBODY to do the musical/harmonic kind of feedback, not pickup squeal.

  4. #4
    Senior Member andy474x's Avatar
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    I found that sometimes my pickups vibrate in their mountings... a fault of the springs, mounting rings, whatever you want to call it, but not the fault of the pickups themselves. Might want to check that out. I tried different springs, and even rubber hose material like Fender used to use (I think) but to no avail. Finally, I used a folded up paper towel in the PU cavity on the one I was having a problem with, it stops the pickup vibration when standing in front of the amp, but since its so light and negligible, I don't think it steals too much resonance from the guitar itself.

    I've not had any "squeal" from my 57/08's themselves, I would think you'd have to be standing right in front of a screaming high wattage amp for that to have even a chance of happening... but if that's the case, maybe try some kind of noise gate to prevent that white noise and static from causing the squeal?
    -I'm no expert, but it seems to work and I haven't electrocuted myself yet. Which is pretty much the standard I live by.

    SE Custom 24 25th Anniversary - SE Akesson+57/08's - SE 30 Head/Cab

  5. #5
    Rock-out witcha cock out ]-[ @ n $ 0 |v| a T ! 's Avatar
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    At the 2nd annual Big Balls Shootout in Yorktown, Indiana, all of the semi-hollow guitars in the room (and it was a big room with several brands) squealed at significant volume - much sooner, in fact, than the solid-body guitars; most of which had more of a feedback thing going. Timmy had an Artist package singlecut that never broke up. It just roared like a chainsaw until Chris muted the strings. I came away with a very new understanding of the generalities (tonally speaking) one can apply to semi-hollow and solid-body guitars.
    Last edited by ]-[ @ n $ 0 |v| a T ! ; 12-02-2013 at 10:39 PM.
    One Life

  6. #6
    Senior Member LJD's Avatar
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    I'm talking about the same kind of squeal humbuckers do with solid body guitars. Super high microphone feedback, common with un-potted PAF pickups.

    I love that hollowbody guitars do that endless feedback "breathing" where it sustains forever, you feel it vibrate and the air shooting out of the f hole.
    I've played other PRS HBIIs that do it, not mine. I think mine was made too "feedback resistant", too stiff. Could it have got too much V12?

    Aside from that, getting back to the pickups... PRS pickups potted? Can PTC treat them?

  7. #7
    Senior Member Sage's Avatar
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    I have been told that the 57/08 pickups are not wax potted. I don't know about the 53/10 pickups, but I do know they're much higher powered than the 57/08s, so that might be part of your problem.

    I put a set of GFS Classic II pickups in my Hollowbody II for precisely this reason. They're the only Alnico 2 PAF repro I could find that was wax potted out of the box. I A/B'd these in the same guitar against the 57/08 pickups and they are very similar in tonal character, just not quite as hot. I get the normal feedback issues you'd expect from a Hollowbody, but I haven't heard any microphonic squeal.

  8. #8
    chief Shawn@PRS's Avatar
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    Both the 53/10's and 57/08's are wax potted and both have similar output levels. I would suggest adding more spring pressure to the height adjustment screws that secure the pickup into the ring. Take a spring and cut it in half and add a 1/2 spring to each side of the pickup.

    If you want to repot your pickups, melt some wax in a double boiler and then remove from heat. Place the pickups into the wax for approximately 5 minutes. Remove from the wax and allow the pickup to dry cover-side down. Wipe off the excess wax and re-install into the guitar.

  9. #9
    Senior Member LJD's Avatar
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    Ah... once again, thanks Shawn! I will try the spring fix for sure. In fact I've noticed buzz/vibration from the pickups just from playing the guitar acoustic, as it it very loud and wonderfully resonant. I do set my pickups low, so they're looser than normal.
    Anyone try surgical tubing instead of springs?
    Last edited by LJD; 12-04-2013 at 04:39 PM.

  10. #10
    I was severely impressed Herr Squid's Avatar
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    The pickup cover can vibrate and cause squealing too. If you press your thumb on top of the pickup and the squealing stops, that's what's happening. I've had it happen a couple of times.

  11. #11
    chief Shawn@PRS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LJD View Post
    Ah... once again, thanks Shawn! I will try the spring fix for sure. In fact I've noticed buzz/vibration from the pickups just from playing the guitar acoustic, as it it very loud and wonderfully resonant. I do set my pickups low, so they're looser than normal.
    Anyone try surgical tubing instead of springs?
    I've never tried rubber tubing, but I heard it works well.

    Quote Originally Posted by Herr Squid View Post
    The pickup cover can vibrate and cause squealing too. If you press your thumb on top of the pickup and the squealing stops, that's what's happening. I've had it happen a couple of times.
    A properly installed cover won't wiggle on the bobbins, unless the solder joints have been tampered with and/or the wax potting has melted away. PSA- don't leave your guitars in hot cars folks, the temperature can become so hot that the wax melts out of the pickups.

  12. #12
    Opaque John Beef's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shawn@PRS View Post
    A properly installed cover won't wiggle on the bobbins, unless the solder joints have been tampered with and/or the wax potting has melted away. PSA- don't leave your guitars in hot cars folks, the temperature can become so hot that the wax melts out of the pickups.
    This happened in my mailbox one hot July day in Phoenix where it was over 110 degrees outside. It's the set of DGTs that are in my CU22. even though they lost some wax, they don't squeal and sound phenomenal.
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  13. #13
    Senior Member LJD's Avatar
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    My 53/10's were shipped cross country last October/November, so I don't know what kind of heat they were exposed to.

    What's an acceptable amount of microphonics? If I talk into the pickup on a mellow clean amp setting I can't hear anything, but if I talk into the pickup with a Tubescreamer on, it comes through. I tested it against my other humbucker guitar (SG) and its microphonics were negligible. Can the springs make that much of a difference? Hollowbody nature?

  14. #14
    Senior Member Sage's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shawn@PRS View Post
    Both the 53/10's and 57/08's are wax potted and both have similar output levels.
    I stand corrected! Thanks for the clarification, Shawn.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Proxmax's Avatar
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    i replaced all the springs for silicon tubes - works perfect.
    Bavarian Barbarian

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