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humming and popping noise


ics1974

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I know there is another thread going on about this but I don't want to really hijack his anymore.

My SG Standard humms whenever I am not touching any of the metal on the guitar. As soon as I touch the strings or anything else metal it goes away. It also usually makes a popping sound when I first touch the strings or stop bar. The popping sound goes away until I release from the metal and then touch it again. Doesn't always pop but does it allot.

Anyways I tested the grounds resistance by placing one end of the millimeter probe on the stop bars big screw head and the other probe in the output socket. It measured Zero. Does this prove the ground is ok or should I remove the control cover and do more testing?

Thing is I tested the guitar before I bought it and never noticed this until I brought it home. I traded in my Strat for the SG and never noticed this happening with the amp or the Strat. I also have two cables and tested with them both. My amp is a Fender G-DEC 30 and I have no pedal attached when troubleshooting.

Any suggestions?

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After further testing the hum is not the guitar. If I leave the amp on and unplug the guitar but leave in either of my chords it still hums but not as loud. If I touch the end of the chord it silences it the same way when I touch the strings or metal parts of the guitar and I can also reproduce the static popping/crackle sound.

I then unplugged the cable from the amp and the sound was gone.

Both cables are Fender cables that came with the Strat I once owned.

I am not sure if they are crappy cables or not but I am going to try a better brand tomorrow that is shielded.

 

PS I also tried plugging into several outlets but the same results, and yes if I touch something metal the popping goes away until I generate more static by walking around.

 

Is there a good cable out there that will fix my problem?

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I used to have a Fender cable, and it was pretty noisy. Look for cables with a semiconducting layer to cut down on handling noise and static. Looks like the basic planet waves guitar cable does not have the conductive layer. The Custom series says 'double shielded' and will have it.

Regarding noise in general, try to plug power supplies for FX and other equipment into a different socket from the amp.

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So I bought the Custom series planet waves cables. Same thing](*,)

Been doing some reseach on the subject and found this article.

http://www.guitarnuts.com/technical/noisebucket.php

 

According to this if you touch the strings or metal and the noise gets quieter this proves the ground is working correctly and in my case the groud seems fine.

I am going to start looking into sheilding the guitar next.

 

Thanks

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According to this if you touch the strings or metal and the noise gets quieter this proves the ground is working correctly and in my case the groud seems fine.

I am going to start looking into sheilding the guitar next.

 

Thanks

 

Actually thats the exact opposite. Shielding is only required on single coil pickups. If the hum goes away when you touch a metal part of the guitar that means its using your body as a grounding circuit and the guitar has a grounding issue somewhere. You can read my thread about this to see how to determine where the ground fault is.

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spike,

 

Reading more into this on multiple sites and this is normal.

If there is noise that your guitar is picking up and you touch the strings it is supposed to get quieter. That is the reason the strings are grounded. Also if the ground was bad the opposite would happen. The hum/buzz noise would get louder when you touch the strings.

Here is a interesting discussing about the same issue. The one guy confuses the issue a little because he misread the title but he also confirms this so read the whole thing.

http://www.fenderforum.com/forum.html?db=&topic_number=687898&lastpost=2008-12-2212:08:55

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spike' date='

 

Reading more into this on multiple sites and this is normal.

If there is noise that your guitar is picking up and you touch the strings it is supposed to get quieter. That is the reason the strings are grounded. Also if the ground was bad the opposite would happen. The hum/buzz noise would get louder when you touch the strings.

Here is a interesting discussing about the same issue. The one guy confuses the issue a little because he misread the title but he also confirms this so read the whole thing.

http://www.fenderforum.com/forum.html?db=&topic_number=687898&lastpost=2008-12-2212:08:55

[/quote']

 

Um, no, this isn't normal. I think your confusing things. Humming is only normal for Single Coil pickups, you shouldnt be getting any from Humbuckers so if your getting a buzz that goes away when you touch the strings your getting a grounding issue as that shouldn't happen. I have more than one Guitar with humbuckers and I can assure you it is not 'normal'. Plus i've talked with actaul professionals face to face about the issue.

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Spike,

 

The problem is not the ground. Yes I totally agree humbuckers should not hum but the problem is the lack of sheilding in the guitar. You are getting interference from something and when you touch the string your body is now becoming the sheilding because it is close to you.

Put you guitar on it's guitar stand. Now try touching the strings and see if the hum goes away. I bet it won't.

 

Did you get a chance to read this yet. It explains everything. I'm not trying to be an *** I just want to help.

http://www.guitarnuts.com/technical/noisebucket.php

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Spike' date='

 

The problem is not the ground. Yes I totally agree humbuckers should not hum but the problem is the lack of sheilding in the guitar. You are getting interference from something and when you touch the string your body is now becoming the sheilding because it is close to you.

Put you guitar on it's guitar stand. Now try touching the strings and see if the hum goes away. I bet it won't.

 

Did you get a chance to read this yet. It explains everything. I'm not trying to be an *** I just want to help.

http://www.guitarnuts.com/technical/noisebucket.php[/quote']

 

lol i'm not sure how many times I need to explain it, but shielding is only required on Single Coil pickups. I have guitars with no shielding what so ever and they emit no humming at all. And yes, I can put the guitar on the stand and touch the strings, and the humming will still go away. Because as I said, its a grounding issue.

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Then explain why I have the same issue and my ground is good?

Single coil pickup have the 60 cycle hum issue and that is why they created the humbucker. Humbuckers do not eleminate other noise interference like tv monitors, fluorescent bulbs etc.

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Then explain why I have the same issue and my ground is good?

 

I have absolutely no idea, but you shouldn't assume all problems are the same. I used some advice from these forums' members and determined I had some type of ground problem, then spoke to a professional to determine specifically.

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Spike, are you still getting the fluctuating resistance when checking the socket to stop bar connection ?

 

Interesting article on hum and buzz : http://www.neelyguitars.com/Pickups.html

 

Just a small point is that the degree to which a humbucker really 'bucks hum' depends on how close the coils are matched in terms of resistance. The closer the match the better the noise rejection. It turns out that some of the best sounding vintage pickups have mis-matched coils !

 

If you really have 'bucked the hum' and got a good ground, then the remaining noise is electrostatic and can be reduced by shielding.

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Spike,

 

I too thought it was probably a grounding issue as it made perfect sense until I read up on it more. Again I agree the hum should not happen but they design guitars to clean the sound by touching the strings incase there is noise. I gave you a link to an article that explains why it works this way but I believe you have not read it. I honestly think shelding is our best option.

 

I will print it here and you can comment if you like.

 

 

http://www.guitarnuts.com/technical/noisebucket.php

 

"So, why does the noise get quieter (or, sometimes, louder) when I touch the strings?

 

I've been answering that question for many years and as often as not it seems like a lot of folks just didn't get it. I think I've finally figured out why. Most folks seem to be looking at the situation backwards. They say things like, "well, when I ground the strings by touching them..." Except in some extremely rare circumstances the human body makes a lousy ground for noise. In fact, it is almost always more accurate to consider the human body a big bucket of noise! Very rarely is a person effectively grounded (how often do you play standing barefoot on a metal plate or with one hand wrapped around a water pipe?), and even when part of them is grounded internal and skin resistance will separate other parts of their body from ground.

 

You may be grounded well enough to be electrocuted by high voltage and still remain a noise source, instead of a ground for noise! Ohms law tells us that the current through a conductor is related to the resistance of the conductor and the voltage applied. It only takes a few milliamps to stop the heart, and it takes about 100 volts to push that much current through the middle of your body in most circumstances. So, a person's resistance may be low enough and they may be grounded well enough that a high voltage can push a lethal current through them while they remain a source of noise.

 

The noise (usually) gets quieter when a person touches their guitar strings because the strings are grounding the player! Almost all guitars have a wire that connects the bridge (or tremelo claw) to the ground terminal of the output jack so that the strings are gounded. When someone picks up the guitar and holds it close to them, that person's body is acting as a radiator or reflector of noise in the vicinity, "concentrating" it, if you will, close to the guitar's pickups.&nbps; Then, when they touch the strings their body is suddenly much better grounded, shunting noise to ground. They go from being a radiator or reflector to being a shield. How much the noise is reduced depends on the person's internal and skin resistance – a person with high resistance may still be concentrating a bit of noise around the pickups while a person of low resistance may completely shunt the noise to ground.

 

If the strings are not grounded, the noise will usually actually get louder when someone touches the strings because the strings act like very good radiators to concentrate the noise from the person's body right over the pickups. If the player's body was grounding the strings, the noise would get quieter when the player touched the strings, even if there was no bridge ground wire!

 

Now, I realize that this may be more of a paradigm shift than some folks are able to accept, so here's a little experiment you can run to demonstrate these facts for yourself. The experiment doesn't require anything but an amplifier and an instrument cord.

 

1. Plug the instrument cord into the amp. Make sure that the amp is plugged into a properly wired mains socket. Turn the amp on and the gain up high. If it's a tube amp give it a few moments to warm up.

 

2. Dress as you would normally dress to play and sit or stand where you would normally play (i.e. no sitting bare-nekid on the radiator).

 

3. Take the free end of the cord in your hands, being careful not to touch the metal plug shell (if it has a metal shell) or the long ground shank of the plug (there is no hazard here, we just don't want to be touching it right now). Touch just the very tip of the plug lightly with your finger. Did the noise get louder? If your body were a ground for noise, the noise would have gotten quieter!

 

4. Now move your finger so that it is lightly touching both the tip and the ground shank of the plug. The noise level should change – how much it changes is a function of your skin resistance. For most people the noise level will drop but will still be louder than when they weren't touching the tip at all.

 

5. Now, wrap your hand tightly around the plug so as much of your bare skin is in contact with both the tip and ground as possible. The noise level should drop some. Again, how much it drops is a function of skin resistance.

 

6. Lastly, if you are near your computer monitor or a television, touch just the tip of the plug again then reach over with your other hand and lay the palm flat against the screen of the monitor (while it's on). The noise should get much louder as your hand approaches the monitor face. This is demonstrating that your body is "channeling" noise.

 

Once one realizes that they are not grounding the strings when they touch them, one can begin to understand the noise problem better. Now one can see why the noise getting louder as one touches the strings is indicative of either a missing or broken string ground wire or of the wires to the output jack being reversed. (With reversed output wires, touching the strings is exactly like touching the tip of the plug in the experiment above.)

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So I opened up the control cavity and see no sheilding at all. Did they forget this on my guitar or do all SG's have no sheilding in the control cavity.

 

No shielding either on my The SG. No problem with noise unless I was in single coil mode.

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Go ahead and shield it if you want' date=' it's your guitar. But I don't need to read an article when I already identified the problem and fixed it. [/quote']

 

Wow! So it really was your ground? I'm now more confused then ever. How did you fix it?

I'm happy for you that this is resolved.

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I haven't used the SG for a while, but I mostly used it with this 1978 Marshall 50W combo. I used to have coil tap on both pups, and series / parallel on the neck. The parallel was a favourite sound - it was so unique. For the last 10 years I've had problems with neighbours, so I had to find alternatve ways to record. I've tried various modelers - both digital and analogue, but there's nothing like a real amp ! The most difficult amp to emulate in my experience is the JCM 800 (my amp is effectively the predecessor of it), so I was always struggling to get that crunchy sound into the multitrack. I recently had the chance to try my amp out again, but the period in hibernation seems to have not done it any favours - it now hums !

Is your amp the one with drum tracks built in ?

 

IMG_936301-15-2009.jpg

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I haven't used the SG for a while' date=' but I mostly used it with this 1978 Marshall 50W combo. I used to have coil tap on both pups, and phase reverse on the neck. The phase reversed was a favourite sound - it was so unique. For the last 10 years I've had problems with neighbours, so I had to find alternatve ways to record. I've tried various modelers - both digital and analogue, but there's nothing like a real amp ! The most difficult amp to emulate in my experience is the JCM 800 (my amp is effectively the predecessor of it), so I was always struggling to get that crunchy sound into the multitrack. I recently had the chance to try my amp out again, but the period in hibernation seems to have not done it any favours - it now hums !

Is your amp the one with drum tracks built in ?

 

[img']http://i523.photobucket.com/albums/w352/marscape1/IMG_936301-15-2009.jpg[/img]

 

I wish I had a Marshall. Mine does have the drum tracks built in. I am still a beginner so this is the perfect amp for me to learn with but some day I will definitely go Marshall

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Wow! So it really was your ground? I'm now more confused then ever. How did you fix it?

I'm happy for you that this is resolved.

 

Well I said it a few times, I took it into a professional. Apparently I had a faulty jack which was making a bad ground connection.

 

I've already decided to flip the guitar for an SG Standard so I wont own it anymore in a few days.

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