Snap, Crackle and Pop!
First, a bit about me. Iíve been playing since 1970 and have always been a Hum-bucker guy. I love the warmth and darker sounds I get with them.
About two years ago I noticed an American Fender Deluxe Telecaster (Aged Cherry) in one of my local music stores. I was amazed with the sound. Not only did it produce the classic bright Tele twang, but it also produced a nice warm sound in the neck position (and with the S1 engaged).
I broke down, dug deep down into my pockets and ordered the Deluxe. I was in heaven when it arrived. Plugged it into my original 1972 Fender Deluxe Reverb. Absolutely amazing sound. Couldnít put the guitar down. But, I noticed a crackling noise. I didnít think too much about it seeing as it just came out of the box. Probably needed time to acclimate to its new environment.
A week later, the crackling noise was still there. So I changed the cord, several times with no difference. I checked my tubes in the amp and even tried turning lights off thinking that was causing interference. . Perhaps it was denial, but I never even thought it could be the guitar. How could it? Itís brand new!
After a few weeks of scratching my head, I finally discovered the noise was coming from the Pick Guard whenever I touched it. And I touch the pick guard a lot when Iím finger picking or playing softly.
I Googled this issue and found that I wasnít alone. I called Fender and they seem to be well aware of this. There suggestion was to put a dryer sheet underneath the pick guard and I found videos on YouTube on how to ground and shield Telecasters. Especially the Deluxe.
Iím sorry, but I shouldnít have to put dryer sheets under my pick guard or take the guitar apart to do shielding work on a brand new guitar. Especially one that costs $1,700.00.
Well, I called my sales guy Matt. He immediately had their repair shop look at it. They did some shielding to the cavities but, as luck would have it, the extra shielding caused a short somewhere. The neck pickup didnít work. So Matt had a new Deluxe shipped to me over night.
Today, I just sent back the second Deluxe for the same problem. Snap, Crackle and Pop on the pick guard. Not to mention the extra noise on the line when trying to record directly into Pro Tools.
A few things more before I finish;
First, hats off to Matt Wood of Sweetwater. He did everything he could to make this right. To no fault of Sweetwaterís, I got a bad guitar, actually, two bad guitars. But this is why Iíve been dealing with them for about ten years. AMAZING CUSTOMER SERVICE! When itís time to order my next guitar, Sweetwater gets my business. Thanks Matt.
Second, How can Fender release a guitar with known issues? Even itís a small percentage that has this problem, whereís the quality control? How can one guitar be fine, and the next one has grounding issues? Maybe Fenderís correct and all you need to do is place a dryer sheet under the pick guard. Problem is, Iím a pick up my guitar and play kind of guy, not the pick up my guitar, unscrew the pick guard, place a dryer sheet underneath, put the pick guard back on and play kind of guy.
Third. I donít have a guitar. All I wanted was a Deluxe. Back to square one.