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Explorer Buzz


Hawkesman

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Hi. My '99 Explorer has started buzzing when I'm not touching the hardware. The buzz goes as soon as I touch the bridge, strings or anything metallic. Weirdly it's actually worse when the volume pots are turned right down. It's not the amp or lead as I've tried three other guitars using the same equipment, and they're fine. Any help/ideas would be much appreciated! Thanks.

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Grateful for the advice, but tried it and no joy. I ran a new ground wire from the jack socket to the case of the tone pot, but it didn't work. I then bridged new ground wires between the tone pot and both the volume pots, and the problem is still there. Like I said before, the buzz isn't too bad when the volume pots are turned up, but when they are both turned down the buzz from the amp is exactly like when you pull the lead out and leave it lying on the ground. I'm lost! Any other ideas please? Thanks!

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Grateful for the advice, but tried it and no joy. I ran a new ground wire from the jack socket to the case of the tone pot, but it didn't work. I then bridged new ground wires between the tone pot and both the volume pots, and the problem is still there. Like I said before, the buzz isn't too bad when the volume pots are turned up, but when they are both turned down the buzz from the amp is exactly like when you pull the lead out and leave it lying on the ground. I'm lost! Any other ideas please? Thanks!

I am convinced that you have a grounding issue. How is your ground from the bridge? There has to be a bad ground somewhere!

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I totally agree, but I have visually and mechanically (i.e. tugged on them!) checked the integrity of all the ground wires from the pots to the pup selector and they seem fine. I haven't check the pups themselves because the wires disappear up inside them and I don't want to fiddle in there! There is a bare ground wire that goes from the pots to the bridge that may well be the culprit. How is this normally connected at the bridge end? I've had the screws out but I can't see the end of it. Thanks!

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I've just tried connecting a loose wire to the jack socket ground. To test it I touched the other end with my finger and the hum went away. I then used that end to touch every grounded metallic part of the hardware, i.e. the pots, pup switch, saddle, bridge, pup covers, and the hum is still there. I even tried 'shorting' to a +ive terminal, and although the guitar obviously 'died' temporarily when I did this, the hum remained undiminished. What the hell can it be?!!! Thanks.

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I totally agree, but I have visually and mechanically (i.e. tugged on them!) checked the integrity of all the ground wires from the pots to the pup selector and they seem fine. I haven't check the pups themselves because the wires disappear up inside them and I don't want to fiddle in there! There is a bare ground wire that goes from the pots to the bridge that may well be the culprit. How is this normally connected at the bridge end? I've had the screws out but I can't see the end of it. Thanks!

I suspect your ground to the bridge is the culprit. You say you tugged on the wires. Does that include tugging on the bridge ground? I do not know how the ground wire is attached to the bridge, but I suspect it is soldered to it somehow. If you can not see the wire, I believe that is probably where the problem is. I would try to fish a new wire to the bridge and solder it to the bottom of the bridge and then solder the other end to the back of one of the pots. It may be that the ground is connected via a loop around the screw that attaches the bridge to the body. Good luck! I truly hope you find the problem!

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  • 2 weeks later...

OK, got to the solution!

It wasn't a ground issue, it was interference. I noticed that when the axe was nearer the floor the hum got worse, so I figured that maybe the mains electric meter (which is in the same room) was affecting it. So, I screened all the cavities with foil (i.e. the pots, switch and pups cavities), and I also added foil to the back of the pot cavity cover and the scratch plate. The hum is now about 75% less, which I can live with.

Why it doesn't affect all my guitars is still a mystery, but at least I now know what the problem was.

Thanks all.

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  • 1 month later...

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