Normal Amount of Noise from Telecaster or Grounding Issue?

wheniwakemusic

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Signal path:

Fender MIJ tele Hybrid Series >
Boss Blues Driver Wazza Craft >
Line 6 DL4 Delay, Strymon Big Sky >
Boss RC 300 Loop Station >
Vox Pathfinder 15r (quiet solid state amp)

My Tele is a Made in Japan “Hybrid” series with full copper shielding in all cavities (except where the pots are)

I have also run a grounding wire from the bridge plate to the back of the tone pot. (tested for shorts)

I have tested my shielding in all cavities to make sure they are no shorts to the output jack ground; there is continuity between all shielding in the cavities & final ground on output jack…

I’ve tried 3 different cables; it’s not that.

Scratching my head here. Starting to think this is just how it suppossed to sound. Unfortunately, I find the noise too distracting to enjoy playing this guitar…

What do you guys think?
 

thegaijin

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It’s a grounding issue. The fact that you are grounding it with your body when you touch it proves this. It’s not normal. It’s annoying but easy fix once you find the cause. I had a similar issue this weekend. Unscrew the control plate and check the wiring again. Check everything is connected electronically and that the ground connections are intact, even the one under the bridge, pickguard etc.
Also, I’d plug guitar into amp directly rather than have pedals in between.

FWIW, my wires were all fine, but the connection between the shielding on the back of my pickguard and the copper tape connecting it to the control plate was broken.

Good luck.
 

Sea Devil

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Here's how to trouble-shoot it: remove all effects and plug one cable into the guitar. If it still happens, try another cable. If it still happens, try another guitar. Gone? It's the guitar. If it still happens, try either guitar into another amp. If it still happens, try the first guitar into a battery-powered amp. If it still happens, it's definitely in the guitar; if ground continuity seems to be good when metered, the jack may be wired backwards.
 

loopfinding

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you live in a noisy spot probably (your house's wiring, building wiring, densely populated?, etc). i had this exact problem last summer in one apartment i was living. i don't have it anymore, and i have changed nothing with the shielding in the guitar (and i have noiseless pickups and my shielding is more overboard than what you have). there was just a lot of crap in the air.

you're forming a more direct path to the amp ground with your body when you touch the jack, there's always a little bit of resistance between strings and guitar ground.

for recording, try wearing a grounding strap from your wrist to the cable in the jack, turning your body/the guitar at a specific angle so the noise stops, or do both. i wouldn't sweat it at the guitar level otherwise...i'm sure if you brought it into a better wired/better isolated spot, it would be quiet.
 

Boreas

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Odd that it goes away when you touch the INSULATED part of the cable. I agree with all of the above, but suspect it is mostly a noisy room. Try moving around the room to see if it changes. Try it with lights and appliances off in the room. To me, it sounds like a dimmer frequency. Are you plugged into anything that has a dimmer (power strip?), or is there a dimmer near where you are trying to play? It could very well be a strong source of interference is being picked up by your cable(s) acting as an antenna, and you ground the cable sheath by touching the insulation.
 

TokyoPortrait

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Hi.

I don’t know so much about this stuff, but to me it sounds normal.

Normal in the sense of, it’s normal to get sounds like that in an environment with a lot of interference going on.

I don’t know if it is a dimmer interference sound, but I felt like I could hear ‘something’ and it varied when you moved the guitar. That makes me think it’s a specific source. Are you near a computer / monitor? They can be as noisy as heck, and you seem to be reaching to one side to turn the recording off, suggesting a laptop.

I like the advice from above, about removing variables and investigating in stages. If it were me, in my own situation, I’d go to a different part of the house with a different cable and different amp, and start there. Or, I might just use it as an excuse to take it to a music store and try out an amp or pedal or two there, seeing what happens. :)

You also might find this episode from That Pedal Show interesting.





Oh, and welcome. And, kudos for including the sonics and visuals whrn explaining your problem. And, nice blossoms on the wall. Oh, yeah, and, nice guitar.

Pax/
Dean
 

Boreas

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Boreas, I didn't watch to the end, just saw him touch the jack a couple times before that.
Yeah, I just happened to notice that at the very end. Pretty odd. I had a similar issue with a bad house ground. The bulb blew on my old Champ, and immediately my guitars became noisy with that amp. Put in a new bulb and all was fine. Remove the bulb and the noise came back. Other amps were fine. But I could drop the noise by touching metal on a guitar. Traced it back to the grounding wire in my house outlet had disconnected itself (gremlins). Re-attached the ground and all was fine. I likely have a leaky ground somewhere in that amp. Too lazy to track it down, but it is going to be a long winter. -8F today.
 

wheniwakemusic

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Here's how to trouble-shoot it: remove all effects and plug one cable into the guitar. If it still happens, try another cable. If it still happens, try another guitar. Gone? It's the guitar. If it still happens, try either guitar into another amp. If it still happens, try the first guitar into a battery-powered amp. If it still happens, it's definitely in the guitar; if ground continuity seems to be good when metered, the jack may be wired backwards.
I’ve tried with a battery powered amp (blackstar fly 3) & it is still noisy.

So I decided to send it in for repair - services like this are cheap where I live in Bali.

Hopefully there’s an improvement when I get it back. Worst case, I’ll have peace of mind.

Thanks everyone for your input! The fact people seem split on the issue makes me feel better about not knowing myself! I’ve tried to fix it myself so many times already..

I will follow up with the results when I get my Tele back!

This is an awesome forum/community btw. I’ve gotten so much good information on here before I joined..

Julian
 

wheniwakemusic

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Hi.

I don’t know so much about this stuff, but to me it sounds normal.

Normal in the sense of, it’s normal to get sounds like that in an environment with a lot of interference going on.

I don’t know if it is a dimmer interference sound, but I felt like I could hear ‘something’ and it varied when you moved the guitar. That makes me think it’s a specific source. Are you near a computer / monitor? They can be as noisy as heck, and you seem to be reaching to one side to turn the recording off, suggesting a laptop.

I like the advice from above, about removing variables and investigating in stages. If it were me, in my own situation, I’d go to a different part of the house with a different cable and different amp, and start there. Or, I might just use it as an excuse to take it to a music store and try out an amp or pedal or two there, seeing what happens. :)

You also might find this episode from That Pedal Show interesting.





Oh, and welcome. And, kudos for including the sonics and visuals whrn explaining your problem. And, nice blossoms on the wall. Oh, yeah, and, nice guitar.

Pax/
Dean

I love this channel but haven’t seen this video.. thanks I’ll check it out.

Yes, when I get the guitar back I will try it in a few different rooms too. It never made the sound at the store when I bought it - the guitar is brand new by the way..

Cheers!
 

Wound_Up

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Yeah, I just happened to notice that at the very end. Pretty odd. I had a similar issue with a bad house ground. The bulb blew on my old Champ, and immediately my guitars became noisy with that amp. Put in a new bulb and all was fine. Remove the bulb and the noise came back. Other amps were fine. But I could drop the noise by touching metal on a guitar. Traced it back to the grounding wire in my house outlet had disconnected itself (gremlins). Re-attached the ground and all was fine. I likely have a leaky ground somewhere in that amp. Too lazy to track it down, but it is going to be a long winter. -8F today.

Miswired outlets can cause all sorts of noise. At my old house, it didn't have grounds on half the outlets and 90% of them were wired backwards. Neutral and something swapped. I forget which wire it was. But literally all but 2 outlets in my house were wired wrong and/or without ground.

I found 1 in my room that had ground but was backwards and I fixed that one. That alone killed 90% of my noise. Now, the power going into the guitar was clean, it wasn't picking up extra noise anymore from electromagnetic interference. And the power into my pedals and amp was clean, now, also. You wouldn't believe how much noise miswired outlets can cause.

Like I said, it got MUCH quieter when I did that. Thankfully I'm out of that house. Just moved into a more modern house that was built after 1950 and it's the quietest I've ever heard. Anywhere. I couldn't believe how quiet it was when I plugged everything in. I mean, I can crank the 15w Monoprice amp to wide open and there's almost no noise. Just a slight hiss from the speaker.
 

Sparky2

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merrin guitar.PNG
 

wheniwakemusic

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My guitar is CURED! It no longer suffers from that awful noise!!

I asked the tech how he fixed it - He doesn't speak much English but he gave me an analogy:

"The noise like a water on a broken bowl..if juts cover on half side..the water can out in other side of broken bowl wall. Must all covered the cavity with shield copper"

Now, the only place I hadn't used copper shielding was the control cavity. I was told (by another tech) you don't need it there & that it could cause problems. Haven't taken the guitar apart to see his work; he might've redone ALL the shielding or just added some in the control cavity.

Either way, the take way is that shielding makes a night & day difference if done properly.

If anyone wants me to open the guitar up and post some photos I'm happy to do so on my next string change. I Elixirs so won't be for a while though.

I'm ready to start recording again...

Thanks everyone for your input!

Cheers,

Julian
 

TokyoPortrait

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My guitar is CURED! It no longer suffers from that awful noise!!

Hi Julian.

Cool. I wasn't expecting it to be the shielding, but there you go.

Oddly, I've played a few MIJ Tele models (and a few MIJ Strats), but not one of the hybrid models if I recall correctly. I have two MIJ Teles. Both models no longer made - an Exclusive Classic 60s and the slightly more flash Exclusive Classic Special 50s model. Roughly equivalent to current counterparts in the Made in Japan Traditional 60s and Heritage 50s models. I dig them.*

Pax/
Dean
* okay, it's true, I want to change out the 'modern c' neck on the 60s model, for something soft V or more like the current version's U shape...
 

Boreas

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I for one would like to know what he did. I have also seen buzz problems due to cold solder joints "solved" by simply removing and reinstalling the control plate, but the cause was never noted. Hopefully whatever he did was a permanent fix.

I shield my control cavities, but I too have heard opinions stating it isn't necessary. I support the "broken bowl" analogy.

@wheniwakemusic Please let us know if it recurs.​

 
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