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Popping sound when touching strings


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I am new to the forum. I just got my new SG Standard yesterday, and noticed that when I touch the strings or any of the metal components I get a popping sound.


This doesnt happen with my other guitars so I dont think it is my amp or other gear.


It is more noticeable when I am using a lot of gain. It seems to be a grounding problem.


Is this something that is inherent with an SG, or do I need to return this one for another?


I have only played single coil guitars up to this point and didnt know if the higher output of the humbuckers would cause this either.


Any help or advice is appreciated.





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This is the electrostatic charges in your body being sent to earth. it shows your ground connection is fine.


It happens because modern Gibsons are badly shielded, and the SGs with PCBs are amongst the worst. The electrical components are picking up the electrostatic noise. When you touch a metal part, your charge is shunted to ground, and the guitar picks this up.


Gibson know how to shield guitars. From the mid 1960s onwards, many guitars were fitted with very effective shields in the control cavity. My 1980 LP Custom has one. Gibson seem to think they are not needed anymore.

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Great thanks for the responses.


80LPC, this is probably going to happen with all new SG's right?


Would there be any use in exchanging this one for another? Would lowering the bridge pickup lessen the sound? I have noticed it is louder with the bridge and the pickup is really close to the strings.


Thanks again for the help!

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Yes this will happen with all new SGs, so if you are happy with the guitar in other respects keep it. It's possible that the close proximity of the bridge pickup to the strings could make the sound louder. However, the bridge p/u is also closer to the control cavity. I think it would be worth dropping it slightly to see what happens.

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Search some of my recent posts from 2009... I had purchased ~3 SG new Standards, the ones with silly PCB board in the control cavity, and had that pop on all of them, as well as a hummm....


I ended up getting a 2004 model (used), with no PCB, and all is fine, even though it is NOT shielded either. In the end I am not sure what I concluded, but I was certainly suspicious of the PCBs..... however I did try a non-PCB SG that had the same problem at the store (GC).


Like I said, check my recent threads, one of them deals with this issue and explains what I found.

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