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

Pickup advice please

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by JL_LI, Sep 18, 2017.

  1. JL_LI

    JL_LI TDPRI Member

    Age:
    67
    44
    May 20, 2017
    Long Island, NY
    I have a 2012 Am Std Strat that I play through a Mesa Boogie Express 5:25 and noise and hum are driving me crazy. I added a toggle switch for 7 sounds. I get no noise or hum with the bridge and middle together and an acceptable level of 60 cycle hum with the middle alone. I rarely use neck alone. Bridge alone hums badly as does the bridge with the neck. I can't find the source of a very objectionable interference which sounds like loud pickup hum for a second and then another second long hum about a second later with the cycle repeated every 6 seconds later. I don't get any of that with my Tele with noiseless pickups or with my SG or Annie which both have humbuckers. I think a noiseless bridge pickup may help. Can I expect it to cancel hum when used together with the neck pickup? I don't need twang from the pickup like I get with my Tele. A less ice pick treble may even be preferred because I use my Strat finger style to accompany vocals. I don't need high output because I play the Strat clean. Is a Fender Vintage Noiseless pickup a good choice? Will it do what I'm looking for? I'd like to be able to swap covers to keep things looking the same on the pick guard. Are there other pickups that may do better?
     

  2. Dismalhead

    Dismalhead Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    54
    Feb 16, 2014
    Auburn, California
    Before you start swapping pickups I'd look to electrical issues first:

    Does it happen everywhere you play or is it in one room?

    Have you tried going straight into the amp, and swapping cables and amps?

    Has the guitar been less noisy in the past? Did this just happen when you added the toggle switch?

    Have you looked at all the wiring in the guitar and is it shielded well?
     
    awasson and Obsessed like this.

  3. Obsessed

    Obsessed Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Nov 21, 2012
    Montana
    +1 Yup, I agree. Go back to that switch and review everything you did. Spend more time isolating the problem like Dismalhead suggest before embarking on changing pups.
     
    awasson likes this.

  4. Budda45ftw

    Budda45ftw Tele-Meister

    Age:
    37
    126
    Aug 21, 2017
    Rochester NY

  5. jvin248

    jvin248 Friend of Leo's

    Apr 18, 2014
    Near Detroit, MI
    .

    The noise should be the same regardless of bridge, middle, or neck alone unless pickups have been swapped or an electrical problem. Switch positions 2 & 4 should be hum canceling with parallel connected pickups, seems like you get that for bridge and middle in parallel.

    If you unsolder the "7" toggle wires added does the noise change?

    Do you have a shielded wire to the jack or the stock two separate unshielded wires? I've had guitars where this run of wire is 50% of the idle noise.

    Do you have shielding on the back of the pickguard and in all the cavities? Nashua Aluminum Flashing Tape is $8 and will shield a couple dozen guitars. Some like the shielding paint but I find it's a lot easier to use the tape. Use an ohm meter to make sure you have continuity, if not add additional bridging strips or wrinkle the corners.

    The other thing you may want to investigate, outside of the shielding, for the tone desires is the Dan Armstrong Blender Mod (SSS -> HSH using the second tone knob for series humbuckers).

    .
     
    awasson likes this.

  6. awasson

    awasson Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    53
    Nov 18, 2010
    Vancouver
    As the guys have recommended, go through your wiring to make sure you haven't got a problem, ground loop or something then shield it. I shielded both my Tele and Strat and they are really not very noisy in the single positions and noise free in the combined positions.

    [​IMG]
     
    Dismalhead likes this.

  7. JL_LI

    JL_LI TDPRI Member

    Age:
    67
    44
    May 20, 2017
    Long Island, NY
    Thanks everyone for your suggestions. I checked three different cables and brought up an old SuperChamp-XD amp. The electrical interference noise remains in all combinations as does the hum. There has always been 60 cycle hum with this guitar. I've lived with it because I like the middle pickup and middle and neck pickup sounds. The middle has always been a little less noisy than he neck or bridge for some unknown reason. The electrical interference noise goes away on the other side of my house. I plan to check to see if it's house wiring or something else tonight. I suspect it may be RF from a wireless router which is in a room directly over where I had the amp or maybe our home alarm system. I replaced the pickups in my Tele with N4 noiseless and love them in that guitar. I use my Strat for softer finger style sounds and never much liked the bridge pickup sound anyway. I'd like to have a good bridge sound for finger style and I'd like to use that bridge and neck together. That's why I'm curious if anyone knows if a hum cancelling bridge pickup will work like a reverse polarity pickup and cancel hum from the neck when used together. BTW I checked the switch I added and checked for ground continuity and both are good. Getting rid of the wireless router will be a problem if it turns out that it is where the RF is coming from because my wife works at the PC at night and lives on Facebook. Soldering in a hum cancelling pickup that mitigates the problem will be easier for me that starting a homefront war over a router.
     

  8. JL_LI

    JL_LI TDPRI Member

    Age:
    67
    44
    May 20, 2017
    Long Island, NY
    I moved my amp to my living room on a different breaker and the RF interference went away. 60 cycle hum dropped to a tolerable level. To me, it appears like the line the amp was on was acting as an antenna. I don't really understand why that happens on my single coil Strat and not the noiseless Tele or HB's but it looks like the problem is solved until my wife sees where I moved the amp to. Thanks again everyone for help in this thread and others.
     

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