Tubes & Biasing

Category: Main -> Guitars & Pickups



Q: I often break strings on my Strat, always at the bridge, any suggestions?

Try slipping a short piece of tubing over the string where it comes out of the vibrato block. Make sure that the tubing does not actually go over the bridge saddle but only protects the string where it comes out of the guitar body. Cover the spot where the string bends against the metal of the bridge plate.

I use the outer sheath of a piece of electrical wire for this purpose. Teflon wire or other plastic synthetic is best. Rubber or vinyl is too soft. Heat-shrinkable tubing is fine as well.

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Q: Sometimes when I'm playing the bottom E string on my guitar touches the top of the pickup magnet and the sounds cuts out completely, is this normal?

The pickup is wired out of phase. This often happens with Telecasters since the negative terminal of the Lead pickup is physically connected to the bridge and the neck pickup is grounded to it's cover.

Either rewire the pickup back to the way it was by inverting the two pickup wires or, if you like the out-of-phase sound, then cut the tiny ground jumper wire underneath the pickup.

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Q: there is a strange vibrato when I play the bottom E string on my Strat from the 11th to 14th frets. Is this caused by the amp? (Yvon M.)

You are hearing false harmonics caused by the magnetic pull of the pickups on the string. The large E string has more mass than the smaller strings so the effect is more noticeable .

Lower the pickups on the bottom E string side and the vibrato effect should decrease. Using pickups with less powerful magnets will help as well.

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Q: When I lower the volume on my guitar the sound gets very thin and brittle, there is no bass at all and the guitar has uncontrollable feedback when I use an overdrive. What can I do?

The guitar volume is a passive control that cuts the high frequencies when you lower it. Many guitar manufacturers use a.001uf cap connected from the top of the volume pot to the wiper in order to prevent the loss of high frequencies.

The trouble with this wiring setup, which was used in mid 60's Telecasters, is that the high frequencies are not reduced in proportion to the bass frequencies as you lower the guitar volume. This causes a very thin sound and a tendency to squeal.

Remove the bright cap that is connected to the volume pot for a fatter tone.

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