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Hum stops when I touch strings

Discussion in 'Tele-Technical' started by iim7v7im7, Dec 19, 2009.

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  1. iim7v7im7

    iim7v7im7 Tele-Meister

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    Hi,

    I have a Fender Custom Shop Nocaster NOS that is wired "modern" (it came that way). The guitar hums when plugged in until my fingers touch the strings. Is this a dangerous grounding scheme?

    Thanks,

    Bob
     
  2. JohnS

    JohnS Friend of Leo's

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    Only if you touch something of opposite polarity.
     
  3. sjtalon

    sjtalon Poster Extraordinaire

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    >dangerous grounding scheme<
    Nope

    Single coils will hum, normally. Some lots, some not so bad.

    How bad is it ? When your volume is up a bit, is it just a slight buzz or hum or does it really blast (B4 you touch it) ?


    Wired properly (output jack, pots, bridge plate grounding) a light (normal) buz will subside when you touch the metal.
     
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  5. slew71

    slew71 TDPRI Member

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    I replaced my 2000 American series tele pups with Fender vintage noiseless, problem solved, and the guitar still sounds great. I think the noiseless pups were just under $100.
     
  6. Jimmyspaz

    Jimmyspaz Tele-Holic

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    That hum is "normal" for old style single coil pups. 60 cycle hum is part of the mojo. You soon get used to touching a metal piece ( string, bridge, control plate) when not playing.
    My 2 cents.
     
  7. otterhound

    otterhound Poster Extraordinaire

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    The beauty of that situation is what happens when you pick them . Nothing sounds like a good single coil pickup .
     
  8. fenderguy

    fenderguy Tele-Meister

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    Solder a wire from the bridge plate to the volume pot that will help
     
  9. neocaster

    neocaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    +1 You can run that to ground from the bridge plate, or the plate under the bridge pickup. Either will ground bridge, saddles, strings and the plate under the bridge pickup. Should control that buzz.
     
  10. iim7v7im7

    iim7v7im7 Tele-Meister

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    Thanks...

    I seem to remember some artists electricuting themselves when touching their lips to a microphone in the 1960s and it having somthing to do with how his instrument was grounded.

    Bob
     
  11. sjtalon

    sjtalon Poster Extraordinaire

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    Nocaster bridge pickups have a conductive base plate (zinc shielding plate) that ties (bonds) the strings & bridge plate to ground through the mount screws so no other wire is required.
     
  12. Brad Miller

    Brad Miller Tele-Afflicted

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    Nature of the beast.....
     
  13. grifff

    grifff Tele-Meister

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    I thought that a buzz was normal because of the nature of the single coils, but it shouldn't remedy itself when you touch something metal should it? It sounds like a grounding issue to me if it gets better when you touch the strings but I could be wrong.

    I was just about to post a thread asking the same question because my Highway 1 stops buzzing when I touch the strings or something metal.
     
  14. tdowns

    tdowns Friend of Leo's

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    If you are holding a guitar with single coil pickups while NOT touching the strings, bridge, or control plate, you should expect it to hum. Your human body is a fantastic power line antenna. You know that by touching your finger to the end of a guitar cable plugged into an amp. Your body in close proximity to the guitar induces power line hum into the pickups. If your guitar is properly grounded, touching the guitar silences the hum. You body is now shunted to ground and you are a shorted worthless antenna. :)

    What you should watch for is when the humming gets worse when you touch the strings for instance. That means you as an antenna is inducing hum into the strings by touching them. In that case you would need to check the ground wire between your bridge and the control panel.

    You can soon develop a habit of always touching the strings, until you turn the volume down. It's the nature of the beast.
     
  15. TeleGS

    TeleGS TDPRI Member

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    +1 on this

    Some buzz is normal, but I would check the bridge ground.

    I have also found that playing near compact fluorescent bulbs creates a heck of a buzz. I didn't think of it at first, but the CFs are as bad or worse than any other fluorescent.
     
  16. TeleGS

    TeleGS TDPRI Member

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    Makes sense, but I would still take an ohm meter from the bridge to the jackplate and see what happens, you never know what might have broken.
     
  17. tdowns

    tdowns Friend of Leo's

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    He said it stopped buzzing when he touched the strings. That is as good as an ohmmeter. If it buzzed more by touching the strings, then one would suspect the bridge is not grounded. :)
     
  18. iim7v7im7

    iim7v7im7 Tele-Meister

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    Thanks...it stops when I touch the strings.

    I feel better now.

    :)
     
  19. boneyguy

    boneyguy Doctor of Teleocity

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    Yup. It's you (your body) that is in large part creating the hum. The pickups on the guitar are 'picking up' the radio frequencies that your body is radiating. When you touch the strings the guitar is grounding you so things become quieter.
     
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