July 30th, 2012, 10:03 PM
I have a CVC with a Duncan Broadcaster in the lead and a Duncan STR-1 in the neck. I recently put a nickel-silver cover on my neck pup in place of the standard brass. I'm noticing more buzz when my hand is off the guitar than I did with the brass cover. I did have some issues getting solder to stick to the tab on the cover when soldering the ground, but I plugged in the guitar after I was done soldering to ensure that there was a good connection before closing 'er up.
To be honest, I don't recall the noise level with the brass cover, only that I didn't notice it like I do now that I've changed to the nickel-silver. It's not an issue when my hand is on the guitar, but the bridge pup does not have the same level of buzz as the neck when my hand is off the guitar.
Is the increased hum the price of the clearer treble or does it sound like I've done something wrong?
July 30th, 2012, 11:02 PM
You have a humbucker that's buzzing more than a single coil? Yes, something's wrong.
Time to use a meter to check for continuity everywhere there should be, and check your solder joints.
July 31st, 2012, 01:43 AM
It's a standard vintage-style Tele neck pup, not a humbucker. Had the thought after my post that i might try soldering to the backside(un-chromed) of the lower tab on the cover. maybe the plating was why i was having problems getting it to solder and maybe the other side will ground it. Thank you for your reply.
July 31st, 2012, 01:45 AM
take some sandpaper to the tab and it will rough it up a bit so solder will stick better
July 31st, 2012, 09:15 AM
Whoops, sorry... I think I'm starting to make too many reading mistakes lately. Maybe I need glasses, or more sleep :-)
It is very tough soldering to the plating on the cover, so it's likely that you have a cold solder joint. Do like twiggymac says and it will work much better.
July 31st, 2012, 10:46 AM
While in playing position try touching just the pickup cover and not any other metal part on the guitar. If the noise doesn't go away or gets louder, you have a grounding problem ime, perhaps even the cover is connected to the wrong side of the circuit. Could still have a bad solder joint as suggested above.
July 31st, 2012, 11:16 AM
The noise does go away when I touch only the cover. I'll go in and check that solder joint. I did it in a rush (kids) and felt less than 100% about it. Again, thanks to all for the help.
July 31st, 2012, 12:56 PM
If the noise goes away when you touch the cover, what's happening is that you're grounding yourself, and you are the source of the noise. Your body is acting as an antenna for interference and concentrating it near the guitar.
Look for other sources of noise on that electrical circuit. Dimmers, anything with a motor, etc. I was faced with the same problem the other night after a pickup install that had gone smoothly, and then I remembered that I'd left my soldering iron plugged in on that circuit. Iron off, noise gone.
August 1st, 2012, 12:12 AM
Opened her up and tried again. This time, I soldered a wire from the cover to the back of the volume pot. I know the connection is solid. And yet the noise level persists. When not touching the guitar, the bridge pup is virtually silent compared to the neck pup. When touching any metal on the guitar, the buzz from the neck pup decreases dramatically. I just gotta think that the same properties of nickel-silver that allow for more transparent highs than brass also allow the pickup to "pick up" more interference until I touch metal on the guitar. Stated another way: the brass seemed to be a more effective shield at the cost of veiling the treble response. I'm happy with the clearer highs. Just my 2 cents.