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Old September 16th, 2009, 06:22 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Hum that stops when I touch metal?

Just finished a partscaster and it sounds alright, but it hums when I'm not touching the strings. The hum stops when I touch any metal part or I turn the tone knob to cut the treble. I've noticed the same thing happens with my CV, but the hum's quieter. I'm just palying through a Champion 600 RI. Can you tell waht's happening, and if there's a way to stop the hum? Thanks!

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Old September 16th, 2009, 06:33 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Just finished a partscaster and it sounds alright, but it hums when I'm not touching the strings. The hum stops when I touch any metal part or I turn the tone knob to cut the treble. I've noticed the same thing happens with my CV, but the hum's quieter. I'm just palying through a Champion 600 RI. Can you tell waht's happening, and if there's a way to stop the hum? Thanks!
Welcome to the world of single-coil pickups. That buzz is why dual-coil humbucking pickups were invented. The difference between the two guitars may have to do with the possibility that one of them is shielded a bit better than the other, but the only way to completely nuke the buzz is to go with noiseless (i.e., dual coil) pickups.
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Old September 16th, 2009, 08:28 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Ah! so that's why they're called humbuckers. I was wondering. Thanks!
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Old September 16th, 2009, 08:48 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Consider it a "vintage" feature. Every old single coil guitar I've owned does that. You soon get used to keeping one hand touching the strings, I did anyway.
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Old September 16th, 2009, 08:57 AM   #5 (permalink)
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what about humbucker hum?

I also have this hum phenomenon with my LP with humbuckers! I assumed it was my body completing the ground circuit when i touched the strings, but it still makes me wonder why humbuckers would still hum like this.

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Old September 16th, 2009, 12:45 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by BoogerRooger View Post
Just finished a partscaster and it sounds alright, but it hums when I'm not touching the strings. The hum stops when I touch any metal part or I turn the tone knob to cut the treble. I've noticed the same thing happens with my CV, but the hum's quieter. I'm just palying through a Champion 600 RI. Can you tell waht's happening, and if there's a way to stop the hum? Thanks!
I would suggest a search for one of Terry Down's excellent posts on the subject...he can explain it much better than I can.
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Old September 16th, 2009, 02:02 PM   #7 (permalink)
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If you want to kill the hum, shield it in copper tape. I did it to my tele and it's dead quiet...no more buzz/hum.

Follow these guides and you'll be noise free:

http://www.guitarnuts.com/wiring/shielding/tele.php

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H_UnQ...eature=related

You may also want to pot your pickups:

http://www.guitarnuts.com/technical/...ical/index.php

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kbYGeYL9b88
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Old September 16th, 2009, 02:24 PM   #8 (permalink)
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If it's a partscaster could it also be that the jack is wired backwards, or that the bridge assembly isn't properly earthed? Also I hear the Champ 600 is a tad "hummy" too! Good luck with it anyhow.
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Old September 16th, 2009, 03:44 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Now here's a thing, it only hums when the lights are on in my living room!
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Old September 16th, 2009, 04:47 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Ahh, well then it's a power issue. Let me guess, you have some florescent lights in your living room? It's called 60 cycle hum and it gets worse depending on what you have plugged into your house's electrical grid.

If you want to remove it, you can use what's called a power conditioner that will even out the power coming from the wall and into your amp. I don't think they're all that cheap tho.
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Old September 16th, 2009, 05:00 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Ok... so I had to ReDo my S101 custom Tele when I put in my hotrails in and now I get a heck of a Buzz. AND My hot Rails are too Hot (see matching thread name)

What do I do!
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Old September 16th, 2009, 05:56 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Ahh, well then it's a power issue. Let me guess, you have some florescent lights in your living room? It's called 60 cycle hum and it gets worse depending on what you have plugged into your house's electrical grid.

If you want to remove it, you can use what's called a power conditioner that will even out the power coming from the wall and into your amp. I don't think they're all that cheap tho.
Yep, some of them are fluoresent energy saving bulbs and on a dimmer - had problems with them before.

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Ok... so I had to ReDo my S101 custom Tele when I put in my hotrails in and now I get a heck of a Buzz. AND My hot Rails are too Hot (see matching thread name)
I built my partscaster from bits stripped from another guitar with a HotRails that I didn't like. The HotRails had massive output, but no soul.
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Old September 16th, 2009, 11:14 PM   #13 (permalink)
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In a word, it's your dimmer...does it have a full-on position ?
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Old September 16th, 2009, 11:58 PM   #14 (permalink)
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mellecaster nails it.

IMHO It's the rheostat (dimmer). Turn it all the way on or turn that light off (from the switch) and see if that doesn't clear things up for you. Not discounting OPs responses, they are, indeed, valid. However, when I started reading the thread, the first thing I wondered was if you had a light on a rheostat nearby.

I have one of those lights too. I listen to talk radio on AM radio sometimes and unless I turn the rheostat either full on or completely off, my radio buzzes like crazy.
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Old September 17th, 2009, 12:50 AM   #15 (permalink)
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For my strat, shielding it with copper tape fixed that problem. It had a very small effect on hum while I'm touching the strings, but the hum doesn't increase if I move my hands off.
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Old September 17th, 2009, 01:59 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Thanks for your help, I'll turn the lights up and get used to keeping my hands on the guitar to stop the hum.

I'm just happy that I didn't mess up putting my guitar together.

Going to enjoy playing it now!
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Old September 17th, 2009, 10:08 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Aluminum Foil and spray adhesive works well for shielding too, just make sure the spray adhesive isn't insulating (electrically)
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Old September 17th, 2009, 10:12 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Recheck your wiring. You may have a ground issue. I had the same problem with a Gretsch. It turned out to be a bad solder joint on the ground side of the wiring.
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Old September 18th, 2009, 12:47 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Aluminum Foil and spray adhesive works well for shielding too, just make sure the spray adhesive isn't insulating (electrically)
Strangely, aluminum foil didn't do much for me. I put a layer of copper tape on top of it a few years later (I think someone said it could be a bad idea for some reason) and that fixed my hum-when-I'm-not-touching-the-strings problem.
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Old September 18th, 2009, 01:18 AM   #20 (permalink)
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I would suggest a search for one of Terry Down's excellent posts on the subject...he can explain it much better than I can.
Well I'm not sure about that but....


You shouldn't ever expect a guitar with single coil pickups to be quiet if YOU are holding it AND NOT touching the strings. The problem is YOU, not the guitar. The human body is a very good wideband antenna. You will have an amazing amount of power line fields as a large body antenna that is mostly water. You already know this by the huge signal that is injected into an amplifier when you touch the tip of an open guitar instrument cable plugged into an amp. It will buzz like crazy. In fact, it will buzz louder than the signal from your pickup that has thousands or turns of wire. This signal in your body is re-radiated into the pickups when you are holding the guitar and not touching the strings.

When you touch the stings that are grounded, this ground shorts your body to ground and makes YOU and ineffective antenna. That's why guitars have the strings grounded. If they didn't, your big human signal would add even more hum by being injected into the pickups by the strings.

It sounds like your noise problem is exacerbated by light dimmers. Those pesky things quickly/abruptly apply voltage to the bulb in the middle of an AC cycle. This fast rate of change of current generates more voltage in the pickup than that of a regular power field. Get rid of them or turn them wide open.

Noise cancelling pickups are wonderful things. Some don't like the way they sound tho.

I hope this helps.
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