Holy 60 Cycle Hum, Batman...some houses are just louder than others.

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by cmm71, Nov 23, 2019.

  1. Zepfan

    Zepfan Poster Extraordinaire

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    I had a plywood Strat body and a decent neck that I repaired and some time on my hands - Bad combination. I also had some old large single coil pickup that were extremely microphonic for the project. I also had this small aluminum skillet(8 or 9 inches diameter) and it had a nice ring to it when it fell out of the cabinet, so the project became a Strat-O-Rez build.

    After getting it together I was surprised to find the guitar to have no 60 cycle hum. Couldn't figure out why, nothing special in the wiring. I did add a small round piezo under the skillet and it had a 5-way switch. piezo on #1, piezo/bridge #2, bridge on #3, bridge/neck on #4 and neck on #5.

    Later I found out it was the Aluminum after reading a writeup by Bill Lawrence. Now I use aluminum HVAC tape in the cavities of all my guitars and 2 layers in the ones with single coil pickups. It makes all the difference in the world. It cuts out about 75% to 100% of the noise and hum. Lots cheaper than noiseless pickups.
     
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  2. Octorfunk

    Octorfunk Tele-Meister

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    I have a noisy house as well. I've gone so far as to put active EMG's in my guitars to try and tame it... to no avail. And I'm talking the solderless installs, so as to eliminate the possibility that I'm somehow doing it wrong. Headphones amps, battery-powered amps, modeling, tube, SS, just loads of hum. Am I doing something wrong? Is it possibly that I'm grounding it to the bridge incorrectly?
     
  3. urbandefault

    urbandefault Tele-Holic

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    I don't worry about it.

    I was in this band, once upon a time, where I played Fender style guitars and the other guy played mostly Gibson style guitars. I worried about the hum when we'd rehearse, and when we'd play out. It was always there, and I did everything I could to minimize it.

    After a while, I found that the noise was not coming from me or my rig.

    No more worries, have another beer. :lol:
     
  4. alnico357

    alnico357 Tele-Afflicted

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    My 1940s house has no ground. I'm used to it. I played a gig once where my PA head would not work. No ground. I went home, got my 60 watt electric guitar amp, plugged in a mixer and finished the evening's acoustic gig.
     
  5. 24 track

    24 track Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    I installed 2 20 Amp dedicated services on the same phase into my studio right from the panel nothing else from the house on that line, if I had seriously thought it through I would have done iso ground ( orange outlets and special wiring at the panel) it quieted every thing down considerably in the studio , no fridges, dimmers, microwaves , dishwashers, clothe washers , dryers in the circuit, only studio gear. I may go Iso ground some time in the future if I need to
     
  6. Zepfan

    Zepfan Poster Extraordinaire

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    House items that cause issues are: Fluorescent lights, dimmer switches, walwarts, computers, ceiling fans, window unit AC's, small electric heaters, bad/no ground, overloaded circuits and something that happens more than you think are sockets that are wired wrong.
     
  7. Rayf_Brogan

    Rayf_Brogan Tele-Meister

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    This is my fear when I buy a house next year. Is there any way to test this aside from bringing a guitar and amp during an open house?
     
  8. tubelectron

    tubelectron Tele-Afflicted

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    No hum in my house built circa 1850 - only ghosts that discovered my guitars and amps, trying to play them at night - not too loud because they love us... :eek::lol:

    More seriously : electrical appliances in your house or outside, messy aerial mains supply lines with transformers and power factor corrector condensers (very common in Canadian and US streets ;)), HV supply lines, tramway, metro, trains, trolleybuses power supplies, etc... Can disturb, even destroy the mains quietness of a well done and suitably earthed home mains wiring, even at an unsuspected distance.

    And it's sometimes very difficult to combat that mains disturbance to complete eradication - I mean : costy and unconclusive... :confused:

    By the way, we all encoutered these adverse hum problems on stage, at one time or another : I remember a show where I had no choice than to shift to my 2 humbucker guitar spare to play decently hum-less, and in clean mode... :mad:

    -tbln
     
  9. GuitarGeorge

    GuitarGeorge Tele-Meister

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    Ever since I discovered the Volume and Tone controls on the guitar, 60HZ hum seems to have become a thing of the past.
     
  10. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Did you replace the two wires to the jack with shielded cable? If not that's about 50% of the noise floor. Why fender tries to sell guitars with two wires for big money while even $80 Epiphone Specials ship with shielded cable to the jack...

    Remove that dimmer switch, certainly. You could run an extension cord from another part of the house to your amp and then cut the circuit breaker to that room's dimmer and see how much impact that switch does have.

    Outside the house high tension lines and transformers.

    Computers you record with and phones in your pocket.

    Aluminum flashing tape the cavities. About 50% of the rest of the noise. $7 roll from the hardware store will shield two dozen guitars or more.

    Before spending on the Illitch system ... go on ebay and find those import three strat pickups for $10 affairs, take one of them and knock the magnet off and push out the poles from the plastic bobbin. Mount that inside your guitar cavity with it's ghost poles pointing in the same axis as the other bobbins. Control it with a push/pull tone pot. Wire the dummy coil so that it is opposite winding of the neck and bridge coils in your guitar. Then if the noise is too much, pull up on the tone pot and add that dummy coil in series so you get noise cancellation.

    You can also use pickups like Tele neck or lipstick that have shielded covers. I've found that to make a big impact when sitting in front of an electrically noisy laptop recording -- humbucker guitars fully shielded but with and without covers are dramatically different noise level there.

    .
     
  11. Average_Joe

    Average_Joe Tele-Holic

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    Wall wart chargers are noise pollution.
     
  12. Fred Rogers

    Fred Rogers Tele-Afflicted

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    Encase your guitar in 6” of copper foil. Boom! Problem solved!
     
  13. Zepfan

    Zepfan Poster Extraordinaire

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    Ask the seller if the electric wiring is up to modern code and be prepared for having the electrical inspected by a electrical inspector before you buy. Most inspectors do a brief electrical inspection, but it's good to have an in-depth inspection before you buy.
     
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  14. Zepfan

    Zepfan Poster Extraordinaire

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    The copper tape and shielding paint handles the RF noise, but does nothing for 60 cycle hum. Aluminum Tape takes care of both.

    Also forgot to mention that shielded wiring throughout the guitar makes a big difference like JVIN248 mentioned. Guitar cables and amp problem are other contributors to unwanted noise.
     
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  15. AxemanVR

    AxemanVR Tele-Afflicted Ad Free Member

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    Last edited: Dec 3, 2019
  16. cmm71

    cmm71 Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    I just read through your review. Interesting, and thanks for posting.
     
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  17. Viejo

    Viejo Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    The Illitch system works great I have it on two Strats and one Tele all three are quieter than a pair of humbucker equipped Gibsons I have. If it affects the sound of the Fenders other than hum reduction I can't tell it
     
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  18. scooteraz

    scooteraz Friend of Leo's

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    Interesting, I was just going to post on this issue. I’m wondering how the pro’s really deal with this. I remember Chris Duarte’s “Cloepatra” track on his “Tailspin Headwhack” album has his guitar amp going from standby to on a measure before he starts playing and you clearly hear the 60 Hz in the “silence”. But, once he starts playing, it seems to disappear in the mix.

    For me, at church, we seem to have 60 Hz as well as maybe 300-1000Hz hum. I think the latter may be associated with the LED stage lighting. I have a hard time with real single coils, as the hum seems to always be in the mix. For the most part, I am playing either some sort of noiseless or humbucker guitar there. Not so bad an issue as I have a couple of guitars that meet the requirement while getting “close” to a good single coil tone. But...I still wonder how guys like Vince Gill take out their vintage Teles and don’t seem to have the problems.

    Yes, they are just better than me. But is there anything additional?
     
  19. Zepfan

    Zepfan Poster Extraordinaire

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    The sound board and associated amps, effects and high end filters take care of that racket if the sound guy knows what he's doing.

    The aluminum HVAC tape in the cavities and backside of pickguards works, which is why Strat pickguards come with aluminum tape on the back of the guard around the pots and switch. The effects of aluminum on pickups and their magnetic fields has been a real deal for some time, just hasn't been well known I guess.
     
  20. teleplayr

    teleplayr Tele-Afflicted

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    Totally normal if it's on the same circuit.
     
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