60hz Hum w/ Fender Blues Junior

Discussion in 'Amp Tech Center' started by judd3121, Jan 23, 2019.

  1. judd3121

    judd3121 TDPRI Member

    Age:
    31
    Posts:
    9
    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2019
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Hi everyone,

    I'm brand new to guitar-playing (bought this amp last night) so go easy on me! I have an American professional tele and now this brand new fender blues junior. I've scoured this site for a precise answer, but thought it might be easiest to just post my exact issue in the hopes the correction will be easier to advise on.

    The 60hz hum only comes when I plug in a cable, even before it's attached to my tele. And the sound persists once I plug in the tele with minimal changes between pickups. This is literally out-of-the-box new so it would amaze me if the issue were the tubes or poor soldering. Could it be a power issue with my home?

    Hopefully this is an easy fix!


     
  2. beninma

    beninma Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    42
    Posts:
    2,538
    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2017
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    Are you plugging straight into the amp?

    To a certain extent this is normal.. some amps are going to let a bit more through depending on their design and how well maintained/old/new they are, some guitars are going to let a bit more through, some buildings have more or less of the 60hz hum.

    It IS normal AFAICT for the cable itself to be able to pick this up without the guitar being plugged in.

    An American Pro Tele should have shielding in the cavities, maybe the only thing that could be done for it is to change the wire to the jack out with a shielded wire? No idea if that guitar is already supposed to have it shielded. A lot of Teles do not.

    Stuff you can try:

    - Make sure the outlet is grounded
    - Get a good power strip like a Furman, etc.. that has some filtering
    - Turn the volume down on the guitar, this can help
    - Get a noise gate type pedal or something like the EHX Hum Debugger (I have one of these and love it)
    - Set the amp up clean to mimimize the amplification of the noise
    - Have a long enough cable that you can get away from the amp a bit
    - Swap out Flourescent light bulbs in the room for LEDs
    - Move the amp to a different part of the room or a different room
    - Switch to noiseless (humbucker) pickups (kind of does the same thing as getting an EHX hum debugger)
    - Take the amp to a tech?
    - Get used to the noise, no one can hear it when you're playing, if there are other instruments (drums, etc..) you can't really hear it
    - Keep your hand touching the bridge even when not playing as you're grounding the strings and lowering the noise.
    - Orient your body different directions.. the 60hz field in the room travels in a direction, if you turn your body you can find an orientation where your pickups don't pick up the field.

    I have plugged into some late model Blues Juniors in Guitar center with run of the mill Teles off the shelf and the 60hz noise was never particularly annoying to me...

    I've had 3 amps I've owned at home and played in the same locations.. there was a correlation between the cost of the amp and the amount of noise it makes.. cheapest amp was the noisiest, most expensive amp is the quietest. But the Blues Junior is a pretty nice/expensive amp.
     
    Bob Sushko likes this.
  3. Bob Sushko

    Bob Sushko TDPRI Member

    Age:
    58
    Posts:
    51
    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2017
    Location:
    Alpine, NJ
    You're in good hands here . . .
     
  4. NMore

    NMore Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    341
    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2017
    Location:
    Castle Rock
    Mine did the same(I own the same tweed BJ) till I changed out the XXXX preamp tubes, and then WAHLAH no more 60 cycle hum.......
     
  5. David Barnett

    David Barnett Doctor of Teleocity

    Age:
    63
    Posts:
    11,517
    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2003
    Location:
    The Far-Flung Isles of Langerhans
    Do you have lights on dimmers? Those are a known source of hum/noise.

    Turn off the lights in the room and see if the noise changes. If it does, you may just need to arrange for an alternate source of lighting when you're playing guitar.
     
  6. judd3121

    judd3121 TDPRI Member

    Age:
    31
    Posts:
    9
    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2019
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    beninma - Wow, what a thorough and quick response! So many things to try out. I will mention it’s plugged directly into a Furmam power conditioner (with nothing else plugged in) FYI. I for sure don’t expect it to be fully silent with a tele plugged in, but as I attempt to mic up the amp to record, the hum is so much louder than I experienced at recording studios with their blues junior. So at least I know it doesn’t have to be this loud! I can certainly try the hum debugger, though I’d love to fix the amp directly.

    NMore - that’s encouraging. Just frustrating to think the issue stems from the tubes since I unboxed this thing last night. Perhaps I can rearrange the tubes? Would that help?

    David - no dimmers installed in my home and unfortunately no difference when the lights are off.
     
  7. D'tar

    D'tar Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,284
    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2013
    Location:
    WNY
    Without a guitar plugged in as in your video. That cable is a huge antennae. Does it do it when the guitar is plugged in? And also does it stop when you touch the strings or any other part of the guitar hardware?
     
  8. NMore

    NMore Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    341
    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2017
    Location:
    Castle Rock
    All I know is that the GT 12ax7 tubes in mine were very noisey. I changed them out and the amp is operating silently now.
     
  9. jhundt

    jhundt Doctor of Teleocity

    Age:
    65
    Posts:
    11,603
    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2003
    Location:
    Netherlands
    that's 120hz
     
  10. D'tar

    D'tar Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,284
    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2013
    Location:
    WNY
    I'm getting B1 60.0hz
     
  11. beninma

    beninma Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    42
    Posts:
    2,538
    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2017
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    Maybe the answer is to get someone to check your amp out then if you've plugged into another Blues Junior in a studio with your same Tele. The room is an important variable but you wouldn't necessarily think a recording studio would be quiet in terms of picking up noise.

    Brand new to guitar and "the hum is so much louder than I experienced at recording studios with their blues junior" is an interesting combo... are you experienced with another instrument or something?

    When I first got my Tele home and my first cheap ($99) amp home after a couple years of trying to learn on acoustic I was like WHOA this sounds terrible. So I get where you're coming from. The noise level I had when I started was totally off the wall. But my Tele was not as nice as yours, and that $99 amp was nowhere as nice as a Blues Junior.
     
  12. jhundt

    jhundt Doctor of Teleocity

    Age:
    65
    Posts:
    11,603
    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2003
    Location:
    Netherlands
    oh, OK, maybe it's 60. How do you measure that? I am just listening to this tone generator (http://onlinetonegenerator.com/) and his recording matches up nicely to 120Hz. 60Hz is just way too low... but that's just me, listening.
     
  13. D'tar

    D'tar Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,284
    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2013
    Location:
    WNY
    Guitar tuner(A-tuner lite) for android. I've tested it against the oscilloscope and it is pretty dependable for quick reference like this. just play the video and hold the phone to the speaker.

    Screenshot_2019-01-23-11-43-56.png
     
    robrob likes this.
  14. judd3121

    judd3121 TDPRI Member

    Age:
    31
    Posts:
    9
    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2019
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    D'tar - here's a video of the amp on the same settings but plugged into my tele. Still as loud on all pickup settings unfortunately.

    NMore - did you get any tubes in particular or just getting new tubes in general was your cure?

    beninma - I'm a touring artist (singer, keyboard) and producer and spend most my time in studios...just rarely ventured into live amps, mostly do everything in guitar rig since my guitar skills are very limited. So this is all very new territory for me. One thought...the cable I'm using could be causing the issue. Maybe I need to pick up more expensive shielded cables.
     
  15. robrob

    robrob Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    7,552
    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2012
    Location:
    United States
    The fact that the guitar switch affects the noise so much suggests the noise is getting into the cable or guitar.
     
  16. JMac52

    JMac52 Tele-Meister

    Age:
    58
    Posts:
    131
    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2018
    Location:
    Mesa, AZ
    If you bought that amp from a store, I would take it back.

    If you bought it from someone as is, one thing to check is lead dress as that is a common issue with Blues Juniors. Google it and if you don’t feel comfortable opening the amp up yourself, take it to a tech.
     
  17. judd3121

    judd3121 TDPRI Member

    Age:
    31
    Posts:
    9
    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2019
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Thanks, JMac52. I bought this from Guitar Center last night (brand new) so I'm taking it back now. I don't recall the same model in store making anything close to this level of hum so perhaps this is just a funky amp.
     
  18. strat a various

    strat a various Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,273
    Joined:
    May 9, 2008
    Location:
    Texas
    Hi Judd
    Try the amp in different outlets and if possible different buildings with separate mains feed, in other words, go to a friend's house or a public place, like a music store or a community center. We want to eliminate the branch wiring and if possible, the mains wiring at your house, as a problem.

    You've tried a different instrument cable, right? (Accidentally using a speaker wire will hum like crazy)

    Open the back of the amp. The hum should be worse with the back off. Find the flexible grey flat cables that run vertically (but are folded) at the amp section above the preamp tubes, the ribbon cables. With the amp on (be very careful not to touch wiring or circuit board with you hand), and with one hand in your pocket, use a chopstick or a pencil and move the ribbon wires gently, one at a time, pull the fold away from the chassis a little, then try pushing the cable back in a slightly different shape. Be gentle.

    My Blues Jr made a loud hum until I settled the ribbon cables in the proper orientation to minimize hum.
    I had to pull one of the the ribbon cables (the one above V3) out so it wasn't so close to the circuit board. Then, the hum went away.

    If none of this works, there's a messed up connection or a bad component in the amp.
     
  19. strat a various

    strat a various Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,273
    Joined:
    May 9, 2008
    Location:
    Texas
    Hi Judd
    Try the amp in different outlets and if possible different buildings with separate mains feed, in other words, go to a friend's house or a public place, like a music store or a community center. We want to eliminate the branch wiring and if possible, the mains wiring at your house, as a problem.

    You've tried a different instrument cable, right? (Accidentally using a speaker wire will hum like crazy)

    Open the back of the amp. The hum should be worse with the back off. Find the flexible grey flat cables that run vertically (but are folded) at the amp section above the preamp tubes, the ribbon cables. With the amp on (be very careful not to touch wiring or circuit board with you hand), and with one hand in your pocket, use a chopstick or a pencil and move the ribbon wires gently, one at a time, pull the fold away from the chassis a little, then try pushing the cable back in a slightly different shape. Be gentle.

    My Blues Jr made a loud hum until I settled the ribbon cables in the proper orientation to minimize hum.
    I had to pull one of the the ribbon cables (the one above V3) out so it wasn't so close to the circuit board. Then, the hum went away.

    If none of this works, there's a messed up connection or a bad component in the amp.
     
  20. judd3121

    judd3121 TDPRI Member

    Age:
    31
    Posts:
    9
    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2019
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    strat a various - this is all amazing advice, thank you. I think I was using the wrong cable, heading back to Guitar Center now to test out a different cable and check out the amp on their power source. If I'm still having issues, I'll definitely try out your chopstick advice next.

    I'll report back shortly! Thanks everyone, this is an awesome community.
     
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.


  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.