I have a crackling noise in my Stratocaster, a Custom Shop 1956 NOS time machine in two tune sunburst. It has 1 volume pot, 2 tone pots, and a 3 way pickup switch. The guitar works excelent and all around is my main axe. I had the bad luck I wasnt using a secure strap and the guitar body slipped while I was laying it on the floor, hitting from a very little hightitude (like a cig package height) on its body horizontally against the floor. I had the neck with my other hand, so it only hitted the body flat way over the floor. No scrathes or anything ... but then a noise appeared.
Ive recorded the noise so maybe someone has a clue what it could be. I took it twice to my usual luthier, but he hasnt found whats the problem. He cleaned the pots, switched the two tone pots and tightened solders. The noise is still there. To recreate the noise, I just shake the guitar, and it makes it specially when moved fast forward opposite to my body or when I hit its body gently against my "bones". My guess is about a broken volume pot or switch selector. I did the "brain scanner" and all the electronics seems to be fine. I had the pickguard removed and tried to find what could make the noises with it plugged into a SS amp but no success. I "messed" with the pots and everywhere, all cables, etc. It only happens when I shake or hit it in a determined way, doesnt matter what amp or cables I use.
Thanks for including the sound clip. But I don't have any firm idea as to what could be causing it. Only guesses.
My guess is about a broken volume pot or switch selector.
Possibly the V pot, much less likely to be the switch, especially since you indicated your Luthier went through it with a soldering iron.
If it were the switch, you'd likely be experiencing more of the same when you manipulated the switch. Same with the V pot.
Was there a reason your Luthier suspected the 2 tone pots, and changed those out, and not the V Pot?
And do you get this noise regardless of which pickups are activated?
If it occurs with all pickup selections, and given that the controls have been checked by your luthier (and by you), my first suspicion would be turned towards the string/bridge ground. Not sure where yours attaches to, but it's often to the trem spring claw. I'd pop the trem cover and check it out, maybe hit it with a soldering iron to be sure.
But again, that's just a guess. We may hear from others with a definitive answer . . .
I noticed some hum in your recording, which is normal enough … but does it increase when you touch the strings? If so, that would perhaps lend some weight to newey’s guess about the bridge ground. Even if there is no change in hum, the solder joint for the bridge ground could be distressed now, causing the intermittent problem … but we’re all just guessing.
So long as we are guessing, I have a wild guess that I want to mention – and, like checking the bridge ground, it also costs nothing to check into.
I had a guitar once and the post of one of the pots was accidentally depressed to the point that the little tabs that you see holding the pot case on were bent up (the tabs where “CLAROSTAT” is written), which caused a little bit of scratchiness.
(Edit: the image will not display properly, but you can see it here - if you don't already know what I am referring to.)
I removed the pot, tightened the tabs down lightly with pliers and the scratchiness subsided.
Maybe the fall pushed the volume pot’s post a bit and caused a similar condition? This is unlikely, especially given the location of the volume pot … but no harm in checking.
You haven’t mentioned shielding, so I am guessing the guitar is not shielded? Nevertheless, if it is shielded, it could also be a wire that is intermittently contacting the shielding. However, while I’ve had short-outs from that before, I’ve never experienced intermittent static.
I’m all out of guesses.
Do you have a soldering iron? It’s no big deal to simply start from scratch and re-wire / re-solder everything – the electrons don’t mind a bit!
The problem is now fixed, and it seems it was all about the volume pot hehe We should have switched that first.
The noise was present with all the three pickups. The bridge ground was fine, but now secured better. The guitar was shielded by the luthier, but we removed it while testing. So theres a chance the noises were coming from a bad spot in that shielding making contact with any electric part. Anyways, the volume pot fixed it completly, and now the guitar been re shielded after cleanup with copper inside the pickups cavities. All correct and rocking again hehehe Thanks for all the guesses, I was worried it could have been about pickups or something strange, but anyways this guitar has pretty simple electronics Thanks again for the help gentleman, I will keep an eye over GN2 nice community