My amp doesn’t like my cell phone.

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by Mike Eskimo, May 12, 2019.

  1. Mike Eskimo

    Mike Eskimo Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    When I use it to check chords on some song I’m learning everything I do comes through the amp.

    Noise , noise , noise. A page loading is particularly skronky.

    Just to be on the level, our house wiring is not the best.
     
  2. TeleTucson

    TeleTucson Tele-Afflicted Ad Free Member

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    I don't think cell phone noise in your amp has anything to do with your house wiring - it is almost certainly coming in as RF that gets into the signal path upstream of the preamp and gets rectified somewhere - the rectification most likely occurs in the preamp itself. The RF data bursts that your phone transmits can be at the 1W level, and you're hearing the envelope of those data bursts as buzzes, etc.

    People who do public speaking or performance with a lapel mike, for example, have probably experienced the same kind of noise coming from their cell phones. So - you learn to turn them off in that situation!
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2019
  3. doolbon

    doolbon TDPRI Member

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    It's most likely your guitar pickups. I get a lot of noise when I play my guitar sitting in front of my laptop. When I back away, the noise stops
     
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  4. Flakey

    Flakey Friend of Leo's

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    I didn't know about this until recently. :lol: I had placed my phone on my amp that sits next to my chair in the living room. Then I start hearing these cycles and click. It's a Magnatone less than a year old! :eek: So I stop in to my amp tech. He is a well known builder. He asked me if my phone was on top of it which it was. He then explains to me what is going on and why. Class act on his part. So, yes, cell phones and amps don't play nice.
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2019
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  5. rickthescot

    rickthescot Tele-Holic

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    Amps by their very nature have to hate cell phones. Just think how many more amps would now live in good homes if there were no cell phones.
     
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  6. Silverface

    Silverface Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    Actually, it CAN come from funky house wiring - I had my house completely rewired last year due to that and other problems - but all were directly related to old, hacked-togther house wiring: 3 prong outlets with disconnected grounds, reversed hot/neutral on some, motorised equipment on studio circuits and so on -

    Test the outlet the amp is plugged into with a $7 outlet checker. Verify 1) it's properly grounded, and 2) that the hot and neutral are not reversed. If you have either issue you HAVE to fix it....

    ...but ALSO you need to check every other outlet that's on the same circuit breaker (or fuse). If you find a bad one that has anything plugged into it - fix it!....

    ...but also make sure your amp has a properly-installed 3-prong grounded cord (many on vintage amps that have been upgraded are installed wrong) and preferably has some sort of shielding at the inside/top of the cabinet....

    ...but also make sure that if your guitar has shielding that it is ALL soldered together and connected to ground. Otherwise it acts as an antenna....

    ....but ALSO make sure NONE of the following are on the same breaker/fuse:

    1. Fluorescent light bulbs (including the little twisty-shaped ones)

    2. Dimmers (rip 'em out - you CAN'T have them on the same circuit)

    3. Older TV's and other electronics equipment, including old PC's and CRT-type monitors

    4. Kitchen equipment - microwaves, blenders, coffee grinders, coffeemakers, toasters, toaster ovens.

    5. ANYTHING with an electronic motor - Fans, forced-air heating, A/C units, refrigerators, washers and dryers.

    6. If you use effects with AC adapters throw away all cheapo "9VDC" ones that read 12 VDC or more on a multimeter - they are unregulated, or "ACA" adapters suitable for some vintage gear but almost nothing made after 1987 or so. Use ONLY regulated adapters - which also work fine for older effects. as long as one old effect is also on a daisy-chain with at least one newer effect.

    Surge protectors are useless for noise, and hum eliminators generally only deal with ground loops and TWO pieces of equipment plugged into reversed outlets.
     
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  7. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    If I set my phone on the clock radio the station goes crunchy.
    If I set my cell phone on my open laptop, the laptop screen goes black.

    I do not set my phone on guitars, amps or speakers.

    I do set my iphone up and take video notes of amped playing with no problems, as close as a foot away.

    Can't say I've surfed the net with the guitar and amp running.
     
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  8. Mike Eskimo

    Mike Eskimo Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    It’s the phone def, I’m sure the wiring also.

    I know it’s the phone because I can make it happen and it makes a different sound when I’m typing as opposed to a page loading.
     
  9. JL_LI

    JL_LI Friend of Leo's

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    Your cable may be the real problem. I had problems with my cell phone and some poorly regulated device that I believe was inside a next door neighbor’s house. A cable held vertically acted as an antenna whether a guitar was plugged in or not. Even a Fender Custom Shop cable exhibited the problem. After months of searching for a solution, I bought a Mogami Gold cable and haven’t had the problem since. Short of setting up inside a Faraday cage, a $50 cable may be your best bet.
     
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  10. richey88

    richey88 Friend of Leo's

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    My phone has to stay at least 3 ft away from my amp(s)......
     
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  11. Ten Over

    Ten Over Tele-Meister

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    I remember when the drummer got a new smart [sic] phone. It was proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that it caused noise in the guitar player's amp. Turning the smart [sic] phone off did not remedy the problem. It still transmitted when it was off, which brought up the question of what exactly it was transmitting (what do you think?). The sledge hammer was invented long, long before the smart [sic] phone, but it remains a viable solution.
     
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  12. Flakey

    Flakey Friend of Leo's

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    Chuck says, "RF? I play only acoustic."

    RF aint' got time for that.-300x253.jpg
     
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  13. beninma

    beninma Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    My Orange amp is pretty much fine with my phone sitting next to it. I keep my phone in my right front pocket, I hate playing guitar with the guitar bouncing off the phone so the phone always gets taken out of my pocket.

    But if that phone gets anywhere near the pickups forget it.. the phone is emitting tons of RF in many spectrums... bluetooth, cellular, wi-fi, probably even switching noise since that screen is millions of transistors switching on and off rapidly and the backlight is an LED that has a refresh cycle.

    Stick the phone right up against your pickups with something happening on screen and watch what happens. That'll solve any doubts about what is going on.
     
  14. ricknbaker

    ricknbaker Tele-Holic

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    Old valve amps just hate fancy new technology. Keep them apart, that's what I do.
     
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  15. beninma

    beninma Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Actually the old part could be key.. new tube amps (partly due to regulation?) have the tubes hidden behind shielding. Partly to keep people from sticking fingers in there, but the RF shielding has got to be a benefit.
     
  16. corliss1

    corliss1 Friend of Leo's Platinum Supporter

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    Yup - no big deal. Don't keep a cell phone on the amp or in your pocket while playing. It's happened with every amp I've seen.
     
  17. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

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    .

    covered and grounded pickups
    shielded cable to the jack (you get vintage noise with the vintage white black pair)
    shielded cavities/pickguard

    check the cable and around the amp when not guitar is plugged in

    .
     
  18. aerhed

    aerhed Friend of Leo's

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    Ha. I went nuts chopsticking an amp with my phone in a shirt pocket. Lesson learned.
     
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  19. Nightclub Dwight

    Nightclub Dwight Tele-Holic

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    I've left my phone on top of my AC15 before and gotten noise. Luckily my bass player is a computer and electronics whiz and immediately picked up my phone, showing me that my amp isn't actually broken.
     
  20. beninma

    beninma Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Somebody needs to figure out how to make musical noise with the phone held up to the pickups I guess.

    I am still blown away with TC electronics crazyiness with beaming pedal parameters through the pickups to their pedals, they pretty much built a modem that runs over pickups.
     
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