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Head scratcher...

Discussion in 'Amp Tech Center' started by RidiculousWonk, Jul 24, 2020.

  1. RidiculousWonk

    RidiculousWonk TDPRI Member

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    I am having a noise issue that I can't run down and am seeking the wisdom of the forum. I have a Dr. Z Jetta and a Boss Katana 100. When playing either my Player Series Tele or my Vantage VP795 (humbuckers), I get a crackle out of both amps on some sustained notes (open E and G are two biggies). The crackle is more intense the louder the guitar volume is turned up. The tube amp did need new preamp tubes a few weeks back, but the typical bad preamp tube noise is gone and this is something different.

    Straight in, through my pedal board, different cables, no change. I have a TrippLite voltage regulator with good noise filtering, so I don't think it is a power issue. I have a lot of stuff in my basement practice space (PC, Roland digital piano, dimmer lights), but turning off and unplugging those things has no effect. It almost feels like harmonic feedback, but it is an unpleasant crackle as opposed to what I'd consider typical guitar feedback. I can actually hear something rattling in my drop ceiling on those same notes that cause the crackle. The last thing I'm going to try is physically moving the amps to another spot in the house to see if that changes things.

    Besides trying a different room, anyone got any suggestions?
     
  2. gkterry

    gkterry Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    Have you tried without the voltage regulator? The can go bad. Can you peek into the drop ceiling while playing to see what may be up there?
     
  3. RidiculousWonk

    RidiculousWonk TDPRI Member

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    I did try without the voltage regulator. Forgot to mention that...sorry!

    As for peaking in the ceiling, I haven’t tried to look. I can really hear it near the recessed lights. I can’t tell if it’s in the fixture, ceiling, or the light bulb filament. I get the ceiling rattle at the same time I get the crackle from the amp.
     
  4. RidiculousWonk

    RidiculousWonk TDPRI Member

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    I have discovered that the bridge pickup in my tele and both humbuckers are slightly microphonic. I am not getting that typical squeal, but maybe that is causing the crackle at loud volumes. I don't seem to have any issues when I'm straight in to my AXE I/O or using headphones on the Katana.
     
  5. Lowerleftcoast

    Lowerleftcoast Friend of Leo's

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    Are these amp heads that are played through the same speaker cab?

    It may be a speaker problem.
     
  6. Boreas

    Boreas Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Don't laugh, but my insulin pump can create a crackle noise. I also have a heating pad that does something similar. I doubt it is related to your guitars or amps. I think it is some nearby electronics switching on/off.
     
  7. RidiculousWonk

    RidiculousWonk TDPRI Member

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    Both amps are 1x12 combos. I also tried moving one amp to another part of the house. Same result. I might try a pickup swap and see how that goes. Probably try
    To pickup something used that I know is potted. I’m not sure if any of the pickups from my two guitars are potted from the factory.
     
  8. Lowerleftcoast

    Lowerleftcoast Friend of Leo's

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    Two different guitars. Two different amps. Two different rooms. With and without voltage regulator/pedals. Everything is different, yet same problem.

    You are right... *Head scratcher*.
     
  9. Lowerleftcoast

    Lowerleftcoast Friend of Leo's

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    Ahh...

    Static electricity.

    Try bending the cables or slapping them on the ground.
     
  10. Boreas

    Boreas Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Air conditioner? Fan?
     
  11. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Are you rubbing the pick guard with your fingers and developing static discharge?
     
  12. BobbyZ

    BobbyZ Doctor of Teleocity

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    That one almost had me tearing an amp apart, thankfully my brother was here at the time. He's played Teles longer than me and told me all I needed to do was rub a dryer sheet on the pick guard. Don't remember that ever happening with the Les Paul and Strats I played prior to getting my first Tele.
     
  13. Treadplatedual

    Treadplatedual Tele-Holic

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    This. Where is your cell phone during all this playing?
     
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  14. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    the solution is closer to the guitar world than the laundry room. Cleaning and Polishing the pick guard cures the situation.
     
  15. BobbyZ

    BobbyZ Doctor of Teleocity

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    When I got my first decent guitar, a Les Paul, I was 17 and cleaned and polished it all the time. My cleaning and polishing phase didn't last real long. :)
     
  16. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Keeping a guitar clean and polished is important, ime, especially with nitrocellulose finishes. I have always used Gibson polish on nitro finishes. Old cowboy saying....’that horse looks like it has been rode hard and put up wet’. Good care pays off, imho/ime, and neglect detracts from condition and value.
     
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  17. johnnylaw

    johnnylaw Tele-Afflicted

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    Turn off your cell phone?
    Mine can make gear noisy sometimes.
     
  18. RidiculousWonk

    RidiculousWonk TDPRI Member

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    I finally figured it out! The Humbuckers are microphonic. Still kept hearing the noise on the tele. After striking out with the dryer sheet, I kept on digging. I wasn’t getting a typical ground hum when not touching the strings. Nonetheless, I took out my multi meter just to double check my grounding. Bingo! I found that I was having trouble getting consistent ground continuity on the bridge. It turns out the wire I was using to connect my shielded cavities and bridge was not making good contact anymore. Once I fixed the ground connectivity of my cavities and put better contact to my bridge and pick guard, the intermittent static disappeared. Problem solved!

    Thanks to all who made suggestions! Now I can finally practice without going nuts with the static!
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2020
  19. Collin D Plonker

    Collin D Plonker Tele-Afflicted

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    Glad you fixed your issue.
     
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