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New Build Grounding Issue Telecaster Bridge Loud Hum

Discussion in 'Tele-Technical' started by The Angry Possum, Sep 10, 2020.

  1. Controller

    Controller Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Thanks for your input, this is my next step. If what you say is correct for my case as well, it gives me hope, see below.

    Buzz is a maddening problem. I have been trying to eliminate buzz in a Cabronita. Should be quiet, humbuckers. I reflowed all the solder joints, replaced the single cap, put in star grounding, it definitely helped. Then I discovered it is dead quiet plugged into my Rumble 40 bass amp. What? My main amp is a Pathfinder 15r, none of my other guitars hum through this amp. I tried all the lights off, different plugs, power strip, not power strip. Still thinking about shielding control cavity and wires to output jack, what the heck.

    Sorry for your troubles. I hope a systematic approach will do it. I did some troubleshooting starting with wiring a pickup directly to the output jack and then adding in switch, pot to see where the noise started. If you approach it as scientific discovery rather than annoying problem it helps. At least it helped me. I also learned more than I think I wanted to about ground loops, noise, hum and I discovered my guitar was wired incorrectly to start, it brought sparkle back to those pickups, along with the hum.
     
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  2. Boreas

    Boreas Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    Never rule out noise from house outlets and cheap guitar cords! Sometimes noise can come from cheap asian output sockets as well if they don't make good contact. I have switched most of mine over to output jacks with two contact points for a better connection. And don't forget to ground your shielding!
     
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  3. Controller

    Controller Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Thanks, no shortcuts here!
     
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  4. Vizcaster

    Vizcaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    Sorry if I missed it but does your bridge pickup have a metal base plate or just plastic or phenolic? Pickups that have a metal base plate usually have a little jumper from the ground terminal so the black lead connects not only to the pickup coil, but also to the bridge pickup base plate. That will provide a ground connection to the mounting screws and on up to the bridge plate, the saddles, the strings, and you. So touching the strings should quiet the noise the same way touching the control plate or output jack sleeve would do. Look up "string ground" for the reason why this works.

    If you do not have a metal baseplate on the pickup (doesn't sound like you do if you don't have continuity between the bridge plate and ground) then all you need is a wire (connected to ground at the back of one of the pots) with enough exposed/stripped-back bare wire to mash underneath the bridge plate up against the paint. Sometimes it's done with a ring terminal around a pickup mounting screw, but if the surgical tubing shrinks back this connection can be jeopardized.
     
  5. The Angry Possum

    The Angry Possum Tele-Holic

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    It has a metal baseplate.
     
  6. TimTam

    TimTam Tele-Holic

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    There is nothing wrong with your guitar's grounding. If the control plate/bridge were not grounded they would not be able to ground you, which is where the noise is coming from (the big human noise antenna, for EMR in your particular environment). The fact that the noise stops when you touch (grounded) metal signifies that its grounding is fine.

    Nice recent proof here ...
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2020
  7. Leonardocoate

    Leonardocoate Tele-Meister

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    Did you ground the bridge?....If you touch the strings does it get quiet?
     
  8. Vizcaster

    Vizcaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    Ok then visually check for a jumper or connection between the eyelet where the black lead is connected and the baseplate of the pickup. if there's none, then you should add one (be careful soldering near the eyelet because you're opening the possibility of disconnecting the fine coil wire from the pickup itself). If there appears to be one, then you need to check for continuity between the circuit ground and that base plate, screws, bridge plate, and strings (you don't have non-metallic synthetic graphite saddles or anything do you?).
     
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