Lots of new Strats suffer from terrible static noise when you run your finger up-and-down the pick guard. Try it, see for yourself. The solution is to do what Leo Fender did in the '60s. Underneath each pick guard was a full-size metal plate that acted as a shield and prevented static noise. Today's Strats only have a bit of sticky aluminum foil tape behind the controls.
So, get a pair of tin snips, buy a sheet of galvanized metal, and cut out a nice large metal shield to stick behind pick guard. Voila, end of problem!
OK so I posted a comment after reading the article and guess what happened. I changed the neck pickup on my telelcaster and you are right. I got the snap crackle and pop sound. I was saying to myself what is going on? Is the pickup defective? ah-ha I remembered reading the article and instantly rubbed my finger across the pick guard and the snap crackle and pop sounds got really loud. It's static electricity caused my the fingers that conducts to the wires and presto, noise that I don't want on my telecaster. The pickup I bought was an Antiquity Texas hot and its made like the 40s broadcaster and in those days they didn't use any shield on the cables like Gibson did. So now I am going to buy a couple of these shielded galvanized steel plates and put them my 2 telecasters. I found this thing very funny because I read about it a day earlier and bam! I got the same problem happening to me. Rick keep up the great articles, you are a life saver :)
Actually, you bring up a good point that I forgot to mention. You can always replace the pickup wires with shielded cable, or slip a braided shield over the existing wires. I used this technique (braided shield) on an old Mosrite Ventures model and it worked very well. I would still recommend the metal plate, however, because it really cuts down the noise.
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