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Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups Warmoth.com

Bridge humbucker electrical buzz, changes with volume

Discussion in 'Tele-Technical' started by rockymtnguitar, Aug 29, 2017.

  1. rockymtnguitar

    rockymtnguitar Tele-Meister

    326
    Aug 30, 2012
    Colorado Springs, CO
    I recently purchased a pre-wired pickguard from Sigler music (big mistake) for my Chris Shiflett. This is the split-coil, Page wiring Pearly Gates combo. The guitar buzzes like crazy unless I'm touching the strings/bridge/jack plate.

    What I've done so far:
    -different amp, same problem
    -different cable, same problem
    -different guitar into this amp - silent

    I did the final wiring - 2 wires to the jack and 1 ground from the bridge to the ground on a pot.

    The issue may be in the bridge humbucker - when I turn the volume up/down the buzz comes and goes. Interestingly, the buzz is nearly gone with the volume at 10 and very strong with the volume at 1.

    I'm not experienced with wiring and I suck at soldering, but I'd like to try to work this out myself.

    Ideas?
     

  2. rockymtnguitar

    rockymtnguitar Tele-Meister

    326
    Aug 30, 2012
    Colorado Springs, CO
    Bump
    Going to try to address this tomorrow by resoldering the bridge ground wire to the pot, but I would like to hear from anyone with additional suggestions or info.
     

  3. Guran

    Guran Friend of Leo's

    Mar 20, 2007
    Sweden
    Could you have wired the jack backwards, i.e. center lug to ground and ring to hot?
     

  4. ct_anthony

    ct_anthony Tele-Meister

    104
    Sep 8, 2014
    germany
    Sounds to me like a shielding topic... The human body is a pretty good antenna for some RF stuff. As soon as you touch the String your body gets grounded an your body is a shield instead of an antenna. Your "touching test" proves that your grounding is correct and functional... an additional test you could try: let the guitar buzz and touch a different ground like a radiator (is it called like that? the big heating device mounted to a wall :D)... if the buzz goes away you have a shielding problem in your guitar.
     

  5. rockymtnguitar

    rockymtnguitar Tele-Meister

    326
    Aug 30, 2012
    Colorado Springs, CO
    Thanks for the replies, both of you. One of today's To Do list items is to try to fix this.

    Question (since I'm not very good with electronics) - why would this only occur with the bridge humbucker and not the neck? And why gone when volume is at 10 and loud when the volume is at 0?

    Thanks again!
     

  6. tonyv77

    tonyv77 Tele-Meister

    Age:
    32
    305
    Mar 24, 2009
    New Brunswick, Canada
    I doubt the issue is shielding if the buzz is that strong. Grounding. That is the issue. I've seen unshielded or practically unshielded guitars do just fine with proper wiring. If you get signal but there is a buzz its almost always grounding. I've spent plenty of (wasted?) time shielding control cavities with the buzzing remaining. I had an issue with a tone pot introducing hum. Not grounded properly. Ok enough rant.

    -Check that you don't have the jack wiring reversed as others have said.
    -Does it happen in split coil or only humbucker or both? Is it push pull split or a separate switch? Could be the switch not grounded?
    -Are the pots grounds connected?
    -If you have some wire alligator clips it would be a good idea to open it up and try to trouble shoot that way (i.e. try to eliminate hum but connecting different grounding paths (pot to bridge, pot to pot, etc.) This way you don't have to solder.

    Also a pic may help.
     

  7. rockymtnguitar

    rockymtnguitar Tele-Meister

    326
    Aug 30, 2012
    Colorado Springs, CO
    Good info - thanks tonyv77 (and everyone).

    Background - this is a prewired pickguard with Pearly Gates, split coil and with Page wiring. All I had to do was attach the wire from the bridge to ground and attach the jack. So I ASSUME the rest of the wiring is correct/grounded. However, with the long list of issues I had with the vendor, who knows (Sigler Music - not recommended).

    In my first post I stated it's only in the bridge pickup, but I just tested it all again and it occurs in all pickup positions.

    -buzz does not go away when I touch something else grounded but am not touching the strings

    -will check jack when I open it up
    -happens when split and when in humbucker mode, as well as in both series and parallel. 4 push-pull pots/knobs and a 3 position pickup selector switch. There are no changes to the buzz when moving between pickups, both pickups, split or series/parallel. Buzz is consistent in all settings
    -will check the pots grounding
    -great idea on the clips!
     

  8. rockymtnguitar

    rockymtnguitar Tele-Meister

    326
    Aug 30, 2012
    Colorado Springs, CO
    Opened 'er up today. Jack looks good. According to Sigler's own site, white is hot and black is ground. See pick but clean solders to the right spots.

    Will reattach the bridge ground wire... could I attach it to the jack? Or is there some voodoo about it being grounded at a pot?

    UPDATE - regrounded the bridge wire to a Tone pot, back to the Vol pot and the jack ground - no change to the buzzing at all in any of those attempts.

    IMG_2228.JPG IMG_2229.JPG IMG_2230.JPG
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2017

  9. rockymtnguitar

    rockymtnguitar Tele-Meister

    326
    Aug 30, 2012
    Colorado Springs, CO
    Update to my update - ran a small jumper wire from the pot ground directly to the bridge in case the other end of the bridge ground wire somehow wasn't making contact with the underside of the bridge. Wedged it between the saddles. No change to the hum.

    I am at a total loss. Could the pots somehow be damaged? The vendor solders look really clean.

    jumper.JPG
     

  10. LutherBurger

    LutherBurger Friend of Leo's

    Oct 29, 2013
    NYC
    I don't know anything about push-pull pots, but...

    There's gotta be something, somewhere, that's touching something it shouldn't. I'd poke around all of the connections and make sure nothing's bent or otherwise out of place.

    Good luck, and please keep us posted.
     

  11. xland

    xland Tele-Meister

    357
    Mar 26, 2015
    Central Illinois
    I wish I could help, I also have a pre-wired Sigler pickguard and have the same issue. I don't know what the problem is but admittedly I have not delved into it since installing it. I've been too upset about it.

    Prior to me buying the pickguard, I sent a message to Sigler asking if it would fit a Squier 72 Tele Deluxe and they replied, "As far as I know there are no problems with it fitting." Well, the switch would not fit and I needed to route out some of the cavity just to make it fit and the switch still doesn't lineup for it to be switched straight up and down. I find it hard to believe that they would not know for sure if their pickguard would fit into a Squier model.

    So after mauling my guitar just to make the pickguard fit I plugged it in and all I heard was buzzing, constant buzzing unless I touched the strings or the input jack. I just unplugged it and set it off the side. Prior to installing the Sigler pickguard the guitar and it's original WRHB pickguard was dead silent. So it's not a shielding issue.

    This is the SECOND pre-wired Sigler pickguard I have bought and BOTH of them exhibited the same buzzing sound. The first pickguard I tried to install into a Chis Shiflett 72 Tele and all it did was buzz.

    Good luck and I hope you can figure it out. I do plan to look into my situation further at some point and if I can find out what the issue is I will definitely respond to this post.
     

  12. SecretSquirrel

    SecretSquirrel Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

    941
    Jul 2, 2015
    PNW USA
    Is there conductive paint sheilding somewhere that might be contacting non-ground parts? I once had a similar problem and turned out the input jack was just touching the conductive paint. I put thick tape over both parts and all was fine.
     
    LutherBurger likes this.

  13. rockymtnguitar

    rockymtnguitar Tele-Meister

    326
    Aug 30, 2012
    Colorado Springs, CO
    Well crap - that's bad news to hear. I wish this thread had existed before I bought the pickguard. Never again.

    Anyway, this sounds like a quality control thing rather than something specific to my guitar. It sounds like you've had multiple attempts. My original CS pickups were also dead silent, so I know it's something in the kit rather than the guitar itself.

    They sold me a 72 Deluxe pickguard/pickup set saying it would fit in the Shiflett. It doesn't - you have to modify the pickguard. I assume that means they won't let me return it (but I'm gonna try). In addition, the pickups are horribly out of line with the strings. I guess that won't really affect the sound any but it pisses me off.

    Anyway, I'll hope to hear some additional ideas.

    I went through with a small set of tweezers and every single connection seems to be nice and tight (very good soldering) and I don't see any wire strands poking out any where.
     

  14. rockymtnguitar

    rockymtnguitar Tele-Meister

    326
    Aug 30, 2012
    Colorado Springs, CO
    No conductive paint at all. Some of the "foil" on the inside of the pickguard - I'll see if it could be interfering somewhere. Thanks for the suggestion!
     

  15. LutherBurger

    LutherBurger Friend of Leo's

    Oct 29, 2013
    NYC
    Does it still buzz when the pickguard isn't on the guitar?
     

  16. rockymtnguitar

    rockymtnguitar Tele-Meister

    326
    Aug 30, 2012
    Colorado Springs, CO
    Yep. Here's a photo of how I've been testing. During this I've been careful that the jack/cable is floating and not touching or even near anything else. At one point I got stupid and touched the bridge ground wire by hand to a variety of grounding points around the inside - pot ground areas, the jack ground, etc. Nothing made a difference. Open or closed, it buzzes the same way every time, no matter where the ground wire is.
     

    Attached Files:


  17. LutherBurger

    LutherBurger Friend of Leo's

    Oct 29, 2013
    NYC
    Dammit.

    Can you get help from the vendor?
     

  18. warrent

    warrent Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

    273
    Sep 15, 2009
    toronto
    As above what does the 920d custom shop say?
    do you have a multimeter?

    ignoring the hum for a minute do all the pickup switches work as described?
    plug the guard in and use a screwdriver to tap individual coils and see if everything works.
    if you put both humbuckers in series and play with the phase does the hum level change?

    are the shields on the humbucker pickups always connected to ground no mater how the switches are set?

    if you have a mm I would trace all the wiring and make sure it connects where its supposed to, it sounds like somewhere a ground or hot cable is not connected right. With the page wiring ground wires become hot and vice versa depending on the way the switches are set, so I would think something is not connecting correctly.
     

  19. rockymtnguitar

    rockymtnguitar Tele-Meister

    326
    Aug 30, 2012
    Colorado Springs, CO
    Emailed the vendor but not likely to hear until tomorrow (Monday).

    To be honest I really have no idea how to use the multimeter to get any info. As for the humbucker shields - I assume you're referring to covered humbuckers. These are uncovered.

    I will be looking at it again today but am now going to try to demand my money back even though the pickguard had to be cut to fit. We'll see what happens. Xland above had a variety of issues, too. I hope he'll contact them demanding a return, too.

    Thanks all and more suggestions are welcome!
     

  20. rockymtnguitar

    rockymtnguitar Tele-Meister

    326
    Aug 30, 2012
    Colorado Springs, CO
    UPDATE: Sigler responded to my query for help and after asking for detailed photos offered to guarantee the pickguard would work. I elected to just get my money back and start all over again with something else. What was supposed to be a very simple and versatile upgrade turned into a mess that left me without the guitar for 6 weeks.

    Thanks to all who helped.

    XLAND I'd encourage you to try a return and see what happens with it. They definitely have a QC problem and need to be aware of it.
     

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