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Hello Everyone,
I'm a newbie here...I'm hoping I can get some helpful info. I have a 1999 American Standard Telecaster in which I replaced the stock pickups with Duncan Five -Twos. I am now having a problem with a crackle or clicking sound (sounds like static), if my fingers rub on the pickguard when I'm playing. This happens with different amps & seems to be mainly from the neck pickup....if the selector is in the bridge position the crackle is still there, but is not as loud. I've put some foil tape on the back of the pickguard above the channel where the pickup wires run to the switch, & I also taped the wires to try to insulate them a bit ( there was an insulating wirecover on the stock pickup, but not the SD). I was wondering about the ground wire.....when I took the bridge off to replace that pickup, I was surprised to find that the ground wire was not soldered or screwed to the back of the bridgeplate....it just comes through a small hole & the wires lay on the body of the guitar & make contact when the bridgeplate is screwed on. I assumed this was the proper way, because the guitar was all stock & didn't appear to have ever been tampered with. So, I guess I'm now out of ideas apart from soldering the groundwire to the back of the bridgeplate...any other suggestions?? Thanks.
 

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For the static sound, when you rub your fingers across the pickguard, I had the same issue on my Tele. The solution is to put foil tape across the back of the pickguard as you did, but this foil also has to be grounded to the rest of the guitar. I did this by making the foil longer, and extending it down into the cavity which is covered by the volume/tone control plate. When the control plate is replaced, it makes contact with the foil, and the foil is then grounded to the guitar ground.
 

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I think the newer model American Tele's have a ground wire that is screwed in to the bottom of the pickup cavities, I guess this helps drain static electricity to ground. As far as the bridge goes I think Fender does a poor job with the ground wire under the bridge plate. Over time the bare wire will become embedded into the paint and body making poor contact with the bridge. Rather than soldering the wire to the bridge, I cut a strip of copper shield and folded the two adhesive sides together and soldered my bridge ground to the strip. This makes for a bigger contact area and doesn't bite into the body and finish.
 
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