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Pickups acting like they're microphonic


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Hi everyone,

I play in a band in which I do a couple of tunes on my lap steel. Yesterday, during soundcheck, my steel started to squeal "microphonically" on anything but the lowest volume setting on the amp. The guitar player had the same problem to some extent when he tried his electric.


After the soundcheck, the soundman of the venue told us he'd solved the problem by turning off a certain device that was just installed at the venue. Apparently, that device sends some kind of wireless signal to people with hearing aids so they can hear the show better...(!?) Indeed the problem was gone, but I'm still curious, has anyone experienced something similar?

"Show me all the blueprints. I'm serious now, show me all the blueprints."

My homemade instruments

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No, but what the sound guy was describing is an induction loop hearing assist system. Generally they exist in churches & performing arts facilities. It creates a magnetic field, modulated by the program audio, which is picked up by the transducers inside hearing aids. And apparently magnetic pickups in guitars as well.
Scott Fraser
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I've heard of the system and it's used where elderly people might attend i.e. assisted living facilities, Veterans Halls, Wedding Halls, etc., as they can hear speeches better. I wouldn't think they would need the system for musical performances and had no idea it would interfere with guitar pickups. It was very cool that the house soundman figured it out so that the show could go on!
Take care, Larryz
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