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Les Paul Noise issue


dan bow
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I've recently brought my first Gibson ( a Les paul). I noticed that there is a Hum that goes away when I touch the strings or any of the metal parts. I've checked all the grounds are connected (with a multimeter) and shielding the control and switch cavity but the sound still persists. Has anyone ahd the same issue?

 

I could send it back under warranty but Gibson are struggling to fulfill their orders here in the UK so I don't really want to if possible.It's a bit crazy because my strat through the same rig is dead quiet!

 

Cheers

 

Dan

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I've recently brought my first Gibson ( a Les paul). I noticed that there is a Hum that goes away when I touch the strings or any of the metal parts. I've checked all the grounds are connected (with a multimeter) and shielding the control and switch cavity but the sound still persists. Has anyone ahd the same issue?

 

I could send it back under warranty but Gibson are struggling to fulfill their orders here in the UK so I don't really want to if possible.It's a bit crazy because my strat through the same rig is dead quiet!

 

Cheers

 

Dan

 

Did you check for ground on the Bridge/Tailpiece?

Edited by Jeffytune
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Your grounds are fine. You can tell because the noise goes away when you touch metal on the guitar, so it is clearly connected to ground; the same thing will happen if you just hold the guitar and touch any other grounded metal - like say on the amp, or via a wire to the ground lug on an outlet- because YOU are being grounded.

 

The guitar, and your body, act like big antennas picking up all the RF noise in the air. When you just hold the guitar, your RF noise gets radiated into the electronics/pickups. But when you are grounded and hold the guitar, you act as a big shield for the guitar and all the noise you collect is dumped to ground instead.

Edited by jmg257
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Guest Farnsbarns

Your grounds are fine. You can tell because the noise goes away when you touch metal on the guitar, which is clearly connected to ground; the same thing will happen if you hold the guitar and touch any other grounded metal - like say on the amp, or via a wire to the ground lug on an outlet- because YOU are being grounded.

 

 

Your body (and the guitar on its own) acts like a big antenna picking up all the RF noise in the air. When you hold the guitar, your RF noise is passed into the electronics/pickups. When you are grounded though, you act as a shield and the all noise is dumped to ground instead.

 

Absolutely. Don't know why everyone always says check the ground on this when the symptom proves the ground is great.

 

The noise is from a local source, can even be a capacitive coupling but probably RF. Common culprits are dimmer switches, fluorescent bulbs, including the energy efficient bulbs with the curly tube and anything with an electric motor so fans, fridges, freezers, heating etc.

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Guest Farnsbarns

What kind of Les Paul is it? Got pics?

 

If the hum goes away only if you touch any of the metal parts (and thereby grounding it yourself with your body), then please check the grounding of the guitar again. There must be something amiss there.

 

Nope, the opposite is true. [flapper]

Edited by Farnsbarns
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” (and thereby grounding it yourself with your body), then please check the grounding of the guitar again. There must be something amiss there.”

 

 

Unless you are holding onto a water pipe - you make a terrible ground. The guitar is grounded through the amp, and so it is grounding you when you touch it's metal.

Edited by jmg257
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Nope, the opposite is true. [flapper]

You're right; I wasn't thinking it through. It's inherent in the design of a loudspeaker and in the design of guitar pickups that they should emit or be affected by electro magnetic fields. For example, sitting too close with your guitar to the loudspeaker of your amp or a desktop computer will cause noise issues (it's particularly bad with the latter). A distance of 2 meters from the electro magnetic source is considered safe for your sound.

Edited by Leonard McCoy
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Guest Farnsbarns

Maybe try an isolator on the outlet that you plug your amp into... it pays to understand if the interference is conducted or emitted/radiated.

 

It's the latter, that's why grounding the antenna (player) immediately drops the signal to ground and eliminates the hum.

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  • 2 years later...

Only way to shield that works for me:

You have to fully copper shield all the cavities and the inside of their  covers, being sure the copper in the cavities touches the copper on the covers when cover is installed, then jumper it all together in a single line and then to ground lug of output jack. If you have hum buckers with shielded wiring, you would not have to shield the pup cavities, just run the jumper wire from selector cavity, thru pup cavities, then into control cavity, then a jumper to ground lug of output jack. Check for shielding continuity before closing it all up. If you have continuity from selector cavity shielding thru output jack sleeve, then you are good to go. If you have connectivity from your strings to same, then your grounding system in the guitar wiring harness is good to go. The shielding basically absorbs all the interference and sends it to ground.

Just overlap the edges a little on the top of the cavities so the cavity covers' shielding will contact it when cover installed. Then the cavities all have to be connected, in one line, to each other (by wire or a strip of copper shielding tape) and then run the last jumper wire from the control cavity copper shielding (can copper tape it down there) to the output jack ground lug (solder here). Then all the noise goes away except for AC hum, but you should have no AC hum with humbuckers.

I have done this to my Guild bass and my Rickenbacker bass and,  praise the Lord, those basses are noiseless now. They have humbuckers in them, too. I will try this next on my Gibson Les Paul DC Tribute Bass, though it is pretty quiet now. I still would like it noiseless.

Edited by Lungimsam
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  • 7 months later...

Bring back to life this post cause i've the same issue and did some tests to dig in :

My LP Std. 2012 buzzes when I dont touch the strings.  Buzz it's so loud when I play live that I need to use a noise gate.

Same configuration, live, with a Stratocaster (with pure vintage pickups, no noiseless) and there is no buzz, no need for noise gate.

Someone having this problem tested also with other guitars in same configuration?

Thanks,

Oscar

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14 hours ago, OJordan said:

Bring back to life this post cause i've the same issue and did some tests to dig in :

My LP Std. 2012 buzzes when I dont touch the strings.  Buzz it's so loud when I play live that I need to use a noise gate.

Same configuration, live, with a Stratocaster (with pure vintage pickups, no noiseless) and there is no buzz, no need for noise gate.

Someone having this problem tested also with other guitars in same configuration?

Thanks,

Oscar

I would verify that your bridge is grounded with a multimeter if you kill the noise when you touch the strings. And the fact you describe the noise as  so loud you need a gate, a grounding issue may be at play here. You won’t know until you can verify that the ground plane is connected to the bridge - where of course the strings very likely are continuous with the bridge hence why you kill the noise when you ground the bridge by touching the strings. 
 

Now if you don’t have a connection between the bridge and ground, you have the problem identified in part, but you have to figure out where the connection is broken. Either the wire in the control cavity isn’t connected to the ground and/or the guitar’s bushing that holds the tailpiece isn’t touching the ground wire in the control cavity most likely. 
 

EDIT: if you don’t know how to do what I’m talking about, take your guitar to a tech cuz your guitar shouldn’t do that normally. Does it do it everywhere you play or just one place? Maybe you’re playing in a noisy electrical environment? Bad amp/gear? Troubleshooting is a PITA sometimes.

Edited by NighthawkChris
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Thanks for your replies 🙂 

Noise always happens so it's not related to place. As I said at the same place, same gear but other guitar there is no problem so your explanation seems cool.

I'll take to a guitar tech cause I don't know too much about electronics. 

Thanks a lot!

Oscar

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  • 3 months later...

Gonna Re-Re-Up this thread as I have similar problems also with a 2017 Les Paul Classic (including noise diminishing almost completely when I touch anything metal on the guitar).

It was checked out by a tech during a set up about a year ago. He said that it wasn't a grounding issue and that to really do anything about it would probably require replacing electronics. It wasn't really clear if he meant pickups or just like wiring and pots. Honestly didn't have a great experience with the guy.

Be that as it may, it seems like the issue probably has to do with RF interference and this guitar being particularly sensitive to it.

Which would indicate shielding as a possible remedy, but given the exposed pickups on the Les Paul Classic wondering if there would really be any benefit in shielding cavities if the pickups are left uncovered? Also might be a reason why these sorts of problems seem to be common on the Classic in general (given internet comments) with the uncovered pickups.

A related question as I know very little about electrical stuff. My other single coil guitar (Telecaster) has the same issue, but not as bad. Would that make sense given that the output on the Gibson is higher (ergo noisier)?

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When a buzz goes away when you touch any metal it is a ground, usually the bridge.  Could also be just a crappy ground on one of the pots, especially if it seems better on some days and worse on others.

Noise that doesn't go away when you touch any metal is usually everything surrounding the guitar, that would be the cable, the amp, line noise from the wall, etc.

If something is giving your pickups fits it is usually directional and you can aim the pickups at it and make it worse, turn away and make it somewhat better.

The covers don't change the situation at all.

In my experience shielding is way overrated, unless you are sitting in front of 4 37 inch monitors and the computer to go with them.  In that instance, shielding can help a little.  In the actual environment that guitars are used in, not really much. 

rct

 

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