Does your guitar crackle when your roll your volume back?


On a number of my guitars I have noticed the volume pot crackles when I’m rolling back the volume using distortion. I have cleaned the pots using contact cleaner on them but yet the problem remains! It’s not really bad but it’s there.

I’ve noticed this on Suhr, Gibson, Mayones guitars. Even out of the box it happens.

I sold my Suhr recently and I did say in the advert that the volume pot crackled. When the buyer received it he said that he didn’t notice it. However, this problem happens with different gear and cables so I can rule the gear out.

Is this a normal phenomenon or I am the unluckiest person ever?


I have the same problem with my old-ish strat (from 1999). Last year I spent quite a lot to fix it including frets, pickup work etc., but the issue came back after only few months.

So I’d be also curious to know if there’s a relatively simple fix that I can do on my own!


I tried WD40 Specialist Contact Cleaner and it will lessen the problem, but not solve it completely for me. You could try spraying this into your volume pots.


Did you rotate the pot direcly after applying the spray?


Yup, done that on all my guitars. Should I not have done?


Funnily enough I had this problem with my Ibanez S5470. I abused the hell out of that guitar so I figured it was just my neglect.


Should be correct. Never had issues like this, after cleaning that is.


Yeah my one year old Mexican Strat was doing that pretty bad and cleaning didn’t help. Especially noticeable in the in ears too.

I just replaced the wiring with the Emerson prewired blender kit. WOW WOW WOW I should’ve done that sooner. Now my “always-on” compressor and boost pedals are up for sale. :slight_smile:


I actually just bought a couple new pots for the black/red guitar for this very reason. Both vol and tone crackle. They’re cheap enough that I figured why not get a perfectly new one. In other words, I’m assuming it’s some kind of age- or use-related factor, e.g. like corrosion. But I actually don’t know what the cause of this is. Any more knowledgeable gear folks feel free to chime in.

Haven’t installed the pots yet, just waiting for some downtime - hopefully soon!


Here’s an example of the noise. I begin by touching the volume pot and you can hear the crackle. I have a metal volume pot. It then happens when I roll back the volume.



As I mentioned I have done this.


Hmm. What are you plugged into electricity wise? Can you get your hands on a power regulator, plug amp (and effects if applicable) in through that?


Pots have tracks that wear out with use. Sometimes crackle is caused by dirt/dust gathering on the track which is where switch cleaner can help to get rid of the crackle. But in other cases the tracks are worn and no longer make a good contact at certain points along the track and then it’s time to replace.


Plugged into a 2 way trailing socket.


Doesn’t sound like a dirty pot per se. Sounds electrical to me. Like as in careful touching one’s mouth to a mic!


I never thought of it being electrical. I will try plugging into different sockets and see if that changes things.


Best of luck, brother! Lot of snake oil in audio, but definitely no substitute for some clean power.


Definitely sounds like a (lack of) grounding issue. Does this happen in any building you are playing in, or just your practice room? Not sure what you mean by a “2 way trailing socket”. Does that mean a 2 prong electrical plug?


@aliendough, my strat was crackling last night (most certainly dust) and thought of you. Any more clues? I’ve had a power station blow up in my neighborhood (black mushroom cloud, pretty spectacular) and possibly damage computers. Reaffirmed my commitment to being pretty careful about how I plug into the grid.