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Old January 24th, 2011, 10:04 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Guitar ground loop 101?...

So I'm a little confused about the whole ground loop thing in reference to guitar circuits.

With this in mind, I have a few questions:

1) Can ground loops theoretically form in the first place in a normal guitar guitar circuit (e.g. a telecaster circuit)

2) Assuming they can form, what wiring configuration sets this situation of potential ground loop problems.

3) With #2 in mind, how can I avoid ground loops in my own tele circuit. Are there any rules of thumb?

Thanks for the info!

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Old January 24th, 2011, 10:23 PM   #2 (permalink)
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1) No they can't. Not possible.

2&3) Nothing to worry about. You could wire everything star grounded to a single point, or you could run hundreds of wires to, from, in between and around every single component in every direction possible, and it would still be completely impossible to achieve a ground loop.

http://www.aqdi.com/groundloop.htm
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Old January 24th, 2011, 10:27 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Collins View Post
1) No they can't. Not possible.

2&3) Nothing to worry about. You could wire everything star grounded to a single point, or you could run hundreds of wires to, from, in between and around every single component in every direction possible, and it would still be completely impossible to achieve a ground loop.
Is this because there is only one true connection to ground in the circuit-- the grounding lug of the jack... as opposed to multiple connections to different grounds?
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Old January 24th, 2011, 10:45 PM   #4 (permalink)
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More or less. Put simply, to get a ground loop you essentially need to have some level of voltage difference in the grounds of the power supply going to different components.

Ground loops have become a common myth in guitar wiring due to a misunderstanding of how they actually work. Many people have falsely assumed that if wires are connected in parallel between different components that current will potentially "loop" through them, simply because the wire forms a physical loop. This doesn't happen though, as current does not simply move in circles because they are available to travel through - it needs a motive to go in any direction, and if there's no voltage difference, there's no motive.

Ground loops can occur between an amp and pedals, or a mixing board and power amp if they are plugged in to different outlets, but not inside a passive guitar circuit.
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Old January 24th, 2011, 11:07 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Old February 7th, 2013, 06:31 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Collins View Post
1) No they can't. Not possible.

2&3) Nothing to worry about. You could wire everything star grounded to a single point, or you could run hundreds of wires to, from, in between and around every single component in every direction possible, and it would still be completely impossible to achieve a ground loop.

http://www.aqdi.com/groundloop.htm
Sorry to be late in this thread, but a ground loop can occur inside a Guitar, according to:
http://www.guitarnuts.com/wiring/shielding/shield3.php

Jupiter does have a valid point, when you consider Mains loops, which are entirely possible when connecting different parts of your stage gear to separate supply circuits.

However; A great number of manufacturers have been installing shielding devices, albeit it mediocre foil tape inside the pick-guard, which also tends to create a common ground between each component, switch, pot, that is touching it. Having your pots all touching this foil as well as having their shells connected through typical soldered on connections, does indeed create 2 paths for the current to travel.

Thought it worth mentioning, even being late in the thread, and the link above is a relevant resource. :-)
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Old February 7th, 2013, 08:23 AM   #7 (permalink)
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