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Hum that stops when I touch metal?

Discussion in 'Tele-Technical' started by BoogerRooger, Sep 16, 2009.

  1. BoogerRooger

    BoogerRooger Poster Extraordinaire

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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!
     
  2. Dr. Bill

    Dr. Bill Tele-Afflicted

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    Welcome to the world of single-coil pickups. :D 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.
     
  3. BoogerRooger

    BoogerRooger Poster Extraordinaire

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    Ah! so that's why they're called humbuckers. I was wondering. Thanks!
     
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  5. Jimmyspaz

    Jimmyspaz Tele-Holic

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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.
     
  6. barkley

    barkley Tele-Afflicted

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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.

    :?:
     
  7. mellecaster

    mellecaster Former Member

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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.
     
  8. polishcomedy

    polishcomedy Tele-Meister

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  9. funff

    funff Tele-Holic

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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.
     
  10. BoogerRooger

    BoogerRooger Poster Extraordinaire

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    Now here's a thing, it only hums when the lights are on in my living room!
     
  11. Citizen_Insane

    Citizen_Insane Tele-Meister

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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.
     
  12. dantonel

    dantonel Tele-Meister

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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!
     
  13. BoogerRooger

    BoogerRooger Poster Extraordinaire

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    Yep, some of them are fluoresent energy saving bulbs and on a dimmer - had problems with them before.

    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.
     
  14. mellecaster

    mellecaster Former Member

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    In a word, it's your dimmer...does it have a full-on position ?
     
  15. JDC

    JDC Tele-Holic

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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.
     
  16. giantslayer

    giantslayer Tele-Holic

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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.
     
  17. BoogerRooger

    BoogerRooger Poster Extraordinaire

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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!
     
  18. jb12string

    jb12string Tele-Afflicted

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    Aluminum Foil and spray adhesive works well for shielding too, just make sure the spray adhesive isn't insulating (electrically)
     
  19. FMA

    FMA Friend of Leo's

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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.
     
  20. giantslayer

    giantslayer Tele-Holic

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    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.
     
  21. tdowns

    tdowns Friend of Leo's

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    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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