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

Grounding question - new member

Discussion in 'Tele-Technical' started by DanH8482, Sep 7, 2017.

  1. DanH8482

    DanH8482 TDPRI Member

    Age:
    35
    12
    Sep 7, 2017
    Connecticut
    Hi Everyone,

    I'm a brand new member as I got my first ever Tele yesterday. Its a MIM Deluxe Thinline. I've been after a Tele for a bit now and couldn't pass up the deal I got. It sounds great and hopefully it will keep the urge to buy a much more expensive at bay.

    Anyway, on the question. While playing it at rehearsal last night, I had an intermittent grounding issue, really loud buzzing that would come and go throughout the night, and would disappear immediately if I touched any thing metal.

    So, I'm not very good with technical things, but I'm assuming there's a grounding wire that's loose and is coming in and out of contact somewhere. Does this seem like something I could open up the guitar and find easily? I normally go to a tech for things like this, but I really want to do it quickly at home so I can get it out to a gig sooner than later.

    Thanks!
     

  2. BorderRadio

    BorderRadio Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

    Apr 2, 2014
    Phoenix, AZ
    Welcome!

    Yep, you have a loose wire, bad solder joint, poor connection of some kind. Is a continuity tester available? That will make hunting down the bad ground much easier.
     

  3. DanH8482

    DanH8482 TDPRI Member

    Age:
    35
    12
    Sep 7, 2017
    Connecticut
    Thanks!

    Don't have one, but could easily go out and grab one, seems like a good thing to have around. Either way, I'm not sure I'd know what to do with it. I think I'll head over to YouTube and look for some grounding tutorials maybe.
     
    BorderRadio likes this.

  4. jvin248

    jvin248 Friend of Leo's

    Apr 18, 2014
    Near Detroit, MI
    .

    Start at the jack and work your way up the wiring.

    Harbor Freight <$10 "ohm meter" is what you want. Set it at one of the mid range points on the ohm scale, touch the leads to make sure you get "0.00" (conducting) then touch one to the jack ground and try on up into the guitar.

    Sometimes a visual of the wiring condition gives it away, like a previous owner or the factory had a stray strand of wire touching where it shouldn't.

    .
     
    BorderRadio likes this.

  5. 41144

    41144 Tele-Meister

    Age:
    64
    156
    Sep 5, 2017
    West Midalnds, GB
    DanH8482 ... Hi there ...

    Returning it not an option I presume then?

    Mmm ... jvin248 is quite right but ... what exactly is your level of competence here?

    Tricky one really, I'm all for folk trying stuff themselves ... and ....Nothing wrong at all with taking the control plate and pickguard off and gently pulling at the solder joints to look for a lose wire.
    Significant problem here is if it's the wire underneath the Bridge (actually Earthing (Ground to you I beleive) the whole plate. You won't see that unless you take the whole Bridge off!

    But... having found any lose connection(s), what then? If one is completely detached are you confident you know where to re-solder it to?
    Also, do you have all the soldering gear to effect a repair, and a multi-meter to test it before plugging in?
    If not - it could actually be cheaper to get a local tech/store (or even an electrician) to do it for you. No idea what local rates might be where you are but will surely be a max. of 1 hr labour would do it so say $25/30?

    Either way ... please, don't plug it in again until it is fixed!

    Good luck ...
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2017
    DanH8482 likes this.

  6. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

    Mar 17, 2003
    Lubbock, TX
    Welcome, Dan. IF this noise comes and goes when you break and make contact with the strings, the bridge, the control plate or the outside metal of the jack, then chances are that your guitar is wired correctly. There is a connection tomground from all of those points. If the player is not touching any of those points, then there will be noise. When the player makes contact with any of those those points, that noise will go away. Completely normal.
    Fwiw, this connection to ground is why one should always assure themselves of correct AC wiring and correct amplifier AC voltage input wiring. Wall outlet testers are inexpensive..but valuable to a guitarist.
    Now, if this noise will come and go while you are touching any of those points, then you have a ground connection problem.
     
    LutherBurger and BorderRadio like this.

  7. DanH8482

    DanH8482 TDPRI Member

    Age:
    35
    12
    Sep 7, 2017
    Connecticut

    Thanks!

    Its funny, right as I got your post, I had just finished removing the pick guard, took one look and figured I would just pay someone. Returning is not an option, was used, private deal. There is a guy around here who comes to your house to do guitar work, for really reasonable rates, I think I'll give him a call. My level of competence is ZERO when it comes to electronics and wiring. I'll play it safe.
     
    LutherBurger likes this.

  8. DanH8482

    DanH8482 TDPRI Member

    Age:
    35
    12
    Sep 7, 2017
    Connecticut

    The noise does disappear when I touch metal, but the noise does not exist all the time, even when I'm not touching anything. There were times when there was (relatively) no noise at all (noiseless pickups) then in an instant there would be an almost exaggerated amount of noise. Like a wire had moved while I was playing. It came and went about a half dozen times while I was playing for 3 hours.
     

  9. DanH8482

    DanH8482 TDPRI Member

    Age:
    35
    12
    Sep 7, 2017
    Connecticut
    Oh, and thanks for the welcome!
     

  10. 41144

    41144 Tele-Meister

    Age:
    64
    156
    Sep 5, 2017
    West Midalnds, GB
    Sounds a good choice there ... to coin a phrase ... there's no fool like a dead one!
    Hope it's all easily resolved for you ... best wishes ...
     

  11. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

    Mar 17, 2003
    Lubbock, TX
    Dan, did you check the issue out with what I posted in mind? IF the coming and going of the noise is related to touching the metal ground points with your hand/s, then your guitar doesn't have a basic problem.
     

  12. mherrcat

    mherrcat Tele-Meister

    393
    Dec 12, 2013
    California
    Not to hijack, but, how would you diagnose this same scenario but when you touch the strings/bridge plate/control plate, etc. and move your finger/hand across it there is a crackling/static sound? Is that normal? This is really bad on the Baja Tele I recently purchased.

    I still get the normal single-coil hum that varies based on the orientation of the guitar, but the crackling sound is really annoying and you can hear it when playing, especially in a musical passage where there are rests or muting is required.

    I'm getting ready to completely rewire this guitar with different pickups and electronics so it will be interesting to see if it continues.
     

  13. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

    Mar 17, 2003
    Lubbock, TX
    mherrcat, that is an odd one. I would have to look at the ground circuit very hard with a meter and my eyes...maybe reflow all connections. I can't say that I have ever encountered such a situation
     

  14. DanH8482

    DanH8482 TDPRI Member

    Age:
    35
    12
    Sep 7, 2017
    Connecticut
    I haven't plugged it in since last night. But yes, I believe so. I was trying to figure it out with my bandmates last night and on several occasions, I took my hands off the guitar completely and let it hang from the strap to show that it was noise-free. So there were times when I could take my hands off the strings, etc, and it was almost completely silent, impressively so. And other times when I took my hands off and it was extremely noisy.
     

  15. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

    Mar 17, 2003
    Lubbock, TX
    One needs to be in a controlled situation so that there is no mistaken conclusions, imho. With your hands off of the strings/ground points there should be a noise there that goes away when you touch the ground points. This noise will have nothing to do with the single coil hum noise.
    Know that that single coil hum noise will change with the orientation and proximity of the instrument to the amp.
     
    LutherBurger likes this.

  16. DanH8482

    DanH8482 TDPRI Member

    Age:
    35
    12
    Sep 7, 2017
    Connecticut
    All of these points is why I'm glad I'll have someone check it out tonight. Its my first Tele, but not my first single-coil guitar so I'd expect the behavior that you're talking about. This was noticeably different than what would be normal noise, even with noiseless pickups. In fact, when it was making the excessively loud noise, I was moving around the room to see if it would change depending on where I was related to the amp, expecting it to get quieter/louder as I moved, and it was consistent and loud, definitely beyond what would be considered normal.
     

  17. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

    Mar 17, 2003
    Lubbock, TX
    Okay...so those are not single coils and don't have that particular single coil noise. This is one of those times when a multimeter is really helpful even for the non-tech player. One can check the continuity of the ground from the strings/bridge to the controls and to the output very easily with an ohmmeter. IF the continuity is there, then touching the ground pints will quieten the 'ground' noise. Whatever other noise is there is something else. Let us know what the tech says.
     

  18. DanH8482

    DanH8482 TDPRI Member

    Age:
    35
    12
    Sep 7, 2017
    Connecticut

    I'll definitely let you know! Thanks for all the information, maybe I was wrong to say it was a grounding issue, but I'll let the tech tell me (hopefully) where all this noise is coming from. If its normal for this guitar and these pickups, then I'm afraid a Tele is not for me, but I know that its not :)
     

  19. 41144

    41144 Tele-Meister

    Age:
    64
    156
    Sep 5, 2017
    West Midalnds, GB

  20. DanH8482

    DanH8482 TDPRI Member

    Age:
    35
    12
    Sep 7, 2017
    Connecticut
    @Wally

    I ended up talking to the tech over the phone first and he's going to check out all my wiring some time next week when our schedules line up better. Until then, I'm going to see if it happens again but in a more controlled environment with way less going on. I've played multiple guitars in the same place with the same rig plugged into the same outlets and never experienced this before, so maybe it was a fluke, maybe it was the wiring, not sure yet. Hopefully will figure it out next week.
     

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