Question about slight buzz even with noiseless pickups in a Strat

Discussion in 'Tele-Technical' started by jwp333, Sep 30, 2020.

  1. jwp333

    jwp333 Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    I'm getting some buzz from my Peavey Falcon with a set of Bill Lawrence 280's and a 290 noiseless pickups. Buzz goes away when I touch any metal on the guitar. I've had the multimeter out, continuity seems to check out.

    I did modify one thing recently. I resoldered the six ground wires to the back of the volume pot. I also put aluminum foil tape under the pick guard (it had none and also has no shielding in the cavities). The original wiring had jumpers between the switch and pots for the ground connections which are still in place. I have since then read on the Fralin website that this can be bad for noise. Any truth to that? Any other ideas on what I can do other than shielding the cavities with copper foil?
     
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  2. edvard

    edvard Tele-Afflicted

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    First, double check that you have continuity between all parts that are meant to be connected to eliminate cold solder joints, etc. Then make sure all your grounds go to one point, which is what it sounds like you have, but eliminate any stray connections that aren't needed. After that, I'd definitely recommend shielding your cavity; I'm a firm believer since my own experience. If it still hums after that, then chalk it up to "noiseless" pickups not being perfect. Id bet they are much quieter than regular single coils, even with a little hum.

    That's all I got...
     
  3. Treehouse

    Treehouse Tele-Meister

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    Turn your amp off. Then they’ll really be noiseless!:p

    Ok. Try putting a piece of scotch tape over the top of the pickups below the strings (cover the pole pieces). If you find this helps, you can coat each pole piece with clear nail polish. This is a trick I heard from Seymour Duncan and did indeed seem to help my Strat and P-Bass.

    But a thorough shielding with conductive copper tape helped with my noiseless pickup-equipped Strat too.

    Good Luck!
     
  4. memorex

    memorex Friend of Leo's

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    Make sure you have a good guitar cord. Your ground is only as good as the ground wire in your cord.
     
  5. loopfinding

    loopfinding Tele-Meister

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    all pickups will pickup buzz when you're not touching the strings. your body is a big antenna and you ground yourself to the guitar/amp by touching the strings. what noiseless pickups do is eliminate the low frequency 60 cycle hum that single coils have. they're just a humbucker but stacked. the only pickups i've ever used that almost completely shield external buzz when not touching the strings at all are the kinmans, but it's due to their specific internal construction.

    depending on the environment (noisy appliances or lighting), you may also pick up some buzz when you're still touching the strings, but it will be much less than when not touching. in that case, you can usually turn your body at a specific angle to the source of noise to completely eliminate it while touching the strings.
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2020
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  6. Frodebro

    Frodebro Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    The pickups aren't the only points in the circuit where electrical interference is introduced. Any unshielded wires in the cavities can also pick up noise. The quietest guitars I have do not have noiseless pickups in them, they do not have humbuckers, but the cavities are all fully shielded.
     
  7. pypa

    pypa Tele-Meister Ad Free Member

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    Why would a jumper from the switch ground to the pot grounds cause noise?
    I'm not an expert, but the shielding seems to work only when everything is tied to a single common ground.

    Were you getting noise before your rewire?

    Are your pickup cases tied into your ground? Is your pickguard shielding tied into your ground? (I tested mine by checking continuity between the pickguard screws when screwed in, the case, and the switch.
     
  8. kingvox

    kingvox Tele-Meister

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    Buzzing going away when you touch any metal on the guitar is normal. Even with noiseless pickups.

    Even with everything grounded, this is going to be an issue. Just the nature of the beast. If you want that buzzing to go away, you need to be in contact with metal on the guitar at all times.

    In my experience, it is true. Redundant grounds can introduce more noise into the circuit. Jumper wires on a shielded pickguard are redundant grounds and you would be better off removing the jumper wires.

    If nothing else, it makes for much cleaner and more professional wiring. The pots are already connected via ground with the shielding, so you don't need the jumpers between them. I'd get rid of them and see if that helps at all.

    However, buzzing until you touch metal on the guitar is always going to be the case. Proper wiring without redundant grounds can reduce noise a bit, but it will not change that.
     
  9. jwp333

    jwp333 Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    I was messing around on it last night and noticed again that I get more noise in the 2 and 4 positions than I do in the single pickup settings. Just thought I'd bring that up. I'm probably going to change the strings and open it up this weekend to have a look again.
     
  10. Geo

    Geo Friend of Leo's

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    May just have to get a mini alligator clip jumper when opened up and go over the connections.
    I noticed a buzz noise only when my volume control was completely up last night. This is on
    a Telecaster w/ Fender noiseless pickups. I suspect it is an intermittent of sorts ground on the
    volume pot.
     
  11. jwp333

    jwp333 Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    Changed the strings yesterday and had the pick guard off for a good long look. I did end up taking the foil off and returned it to the way Hartley designed it in that regard. I had the multimeter out. Everything checked out. I poked and pulled at all the connections and found a ground wire on the tone pot was hanging by a thread. (The one to the claw). I pulled it off and resoldered. That was the only potential problem I could see.

    So I screwed it all back on and plugged in and, sure enough, still makes more noise than my other single coil strat without noise free pickups.

    On the plus side, it sounded great despite the buzz. So end of story. It is what it is as they say .
     
  12. LightningPhil

    LightningPhil Tele-Meister

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    For the best shielding, tape up all the holes so it's leak tight, then fill with mercury. It's wonderfully conductive and conforms to all internal shapes.

    More sensibly. There are 2 coupling methods for hum to get into the system. Magnetic and electrostatic. The noiseless pickups should (mostly) eliminate the main source of magnetic pickup. After that, making sure all grounds use a star connection and that there are no loops should further reduce magnetic pickup. This involves twisting all wires to get rid of their ability to pickup magnetic fields too.

    Then for electrostatic, making sure all ground connections are good should go along way. This includes switch contacts and the cable jack.

    Eliminating the source of the noise can help also. Try unplugging/turning off electrical circuits to see which one is causing the most noise.
     
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