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Old December 27th, 2010, 10:34 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Got an Electro-Harmonix Germanium Big Muff now what?

So I got an Electro-Harmonix Germanium Big muff for christmas. It has the overdrive and distortion in one pedal. Well when i turn on the overdrive I get a really loud hum. When I turn on the distortion i just get a little hum, so what do I do? Do i trade it for a visual sound jakyl and hyde which has a built in noise gate or any other options?

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Old December 27th, 2010, 10:54 AM   #2 (permalink)
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When you crank up your amp without the pedal turned on do you get any hum?

and how are you powering the pedal battery or electric power supply?
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Old December 27th, 2010, 11:05 AM   #3 (permalink)
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The amp is a Fender red knop super 60 tube amp. The amp does have a little hum when cranked but the levels i play the amp through I don't get any hum. I am using a one spot to power the pedal. I tried the pedal just using a battery and it got really loud with the overdrive engaged. I tried it on another amp which was solid state and it was just as loud.
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Old December 27th, 2010, 11:12 AM   #4 (permalink)
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My gut instincts are that the pedal is just amplifing the hum inherent in your guitar. Does the hum change between when you touch the strings and when you don't.... or when you get further away from your amp.
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Old December 27th, 2010, 12:02 PM   #5 (permalink)
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The hum seems to be a constant no matter where I stand or when I pick the strings.
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Old December 27th, 2010, 01:21 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Okay so what are my options for fixing this hum? Get an eq pedal, noise gate/suppressor pedal, or an effects loop pedal like the big shot?
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Old December 27th, 2010, 01:38 PM   #7 (permalink)
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It depends on what is causing the hum. A noise gate does not stop the hum it just shuts off the audio signal when it does break the gates threshold so you don't notice it.

It sounds like it may not be a power supply problem. Since you used both a wall wart and a battery. It could be a hum loop if there are any ac powercords running close to the audio cables. If that is the problems maybe better shielded cables would help along with taking care of where you run you cabling. I thinking since you hear the hum with the pedal off that the hum is eith coming from the guitar due to either 1) grounding or lack of shielding, 2) single coil pickup issues, poor cables. But I don't know.

What kind of guitar do you play? Is it one with good shielding and quality pickups? Do you use good cables? Have you tried swapping any cables in and out to see if there is a certain cable that changes the hum?

Personally don't noise gates on my guitars if they can be avoided. But that is just me, I like how gate come in and out sometimes. I try really hard to limited the number of stomp boxes I use at one time be cause the signal to ratio on most effects I have used are too high.

I would start with testing for the cheapest solutions first.
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Old December 27th, 2010, 01:49 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Thanks I will try some different setups. I use an Artcore with humbuckers. I am wondering if it is my amp also because i also got a new fender pt-100 tuner and when I have it engaged and hit the string to tune it, there is a weird really quiet hum, but when i mute the strings with my hand the hum goes away. Do you think my tuner is broken or it is just my amp?
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Old December 27th, 2010, 01:58 PM   #9 (permalink)
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is there hum from the amp without the pedal? then:

any light dimmers in the room? any neon or florescent lighting, anything odd in the electrical circuitry, there?

try another room or circuit...


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Old December 27th, 2010, 02:08 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Earlier when I said touch your strings I meant flesh not a pick. Take the palm of your hand and lay it flat across your strings and see what this does to the hum. That can give you some grounding clues.
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Old December 27th, 2010, 02:12 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Okay thanks Ed I will try that. Could that have an effect on my tuner also?
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Old December 27th, 2010, 02:45 PM   #12 (permalink)
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It does sound like a grounding/shielding issue. Some pedals do seem to bring it out more than others.

I hope it's not your new Germanium Fuzz pi because I put it on my Xmas list but got a GC gift card instead, and they're currently back ordered..... A buddy of mine got one and it's a nice pedal, he doesn't have any issues. So to make a long story longer, I really want that pedal and that gift card is burning a hole in my pocket!

Let us know what you find and good luck.

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Old December 27th, 2010, 05:00 PM   #13 (permalink)
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okay so say the pedal is just amplyfing the hum that is inherent in my amp. How do i fix that?
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Old December 27th, 2010, 09:51 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I have that pedal. Dirt boxes usually hum more than other pedals. Telecasters also hum alot. But I have not encountered the Overdrive half humming more than the Distortion half. For me its vice versa.
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Old December 27th, 2010, 09:57 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I have a call into a Musicians Friend tech so hopefully he can clear up some questions.
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Old December 28th, 2010, 11:26 AM   #16 (permalink)
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So I got an email this morning from MF and they said try different plugs in the house, which I have done and they also said spray my guitar and pedal with anti static spray. This to me doesn't seem like it will really fix the problem what do you guys think?
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