Question about shielding and buzzing

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Snowmonkey
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Question about shielding and buzzing

Post by Snowmonkey » Fri Jun 18, 2021 10:13 am

Hi all,

I have a puzzler, hope you can help. I have a player JM with Humbuckers which can be split into single coils. I plug into a pedal board and then a bassbreaker 18/30 amp.

At home I have no issue with this setup, and no unwanted noise/buzz etc. However, when I plug in at our practice room, I get all sorts of noise and buzzing. In SC mode, it is worse when on neck or bridge pickup, quieter when using both. In HB mode, it is the opposite, noisier when using both. And the noise gets louder when I am not touching the strings.

I guess it is a problem with grounding and/or shielding. But what I can't figure out is why it only happens in one location, and not at my home.

Any ideas? Thanks in advance...

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bjornsynneby
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Re: Question about shielding and buzzing

Post by bjornsynneby » Fri Jun 18, 2021 11:44 am

At your rehearsal room; are the power outlets grounded?

One explanation can be that your power is well grounded at home and not at your rehearsal room…

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Snowmonkey
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Re: Question about shielding and buzzing

Post by Snowmonkey » Fri Jun 18, 2021 1:23 pm

In all honesty, I have no idea. Is there anything that can be done about that? Would it cause problems with all guitars, or does it just emphasise the fact that mine is cheap with inadequate shielding?

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HarlowTheFish
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Re: Question about shielding and buzzing

Post by HarlowTheFish » Fri Jun 18, 2021 6:31 pm

You can crack it open and check the shielding, and if there isn't any/much there, you can add some yourself to see if it improves. Shielding can only do so much, though, and if that doesn't improve the situation then your only real choice is some kinda power conditioner (for your pedalboard and amp) and a noise gate -- I recommend the TC Sentry, because it's multiband and super customizable, so you can dial in just enough to make the noise workable without completely killing your tone.

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Re: Question about shielding and buzzing

Post by timtam » Fri Jun 18, 2021 7:34 pm

Is everything in your rig plugged into the same wall outlet (good) ? Try the absolute minimum setup: guitar->amp->wall ... same buzz ?

Noticeably worse noise when not touching guitar metal => noisy airborne EMI environment and prone guitar (wiring/pickups) .... your body acts like noise antenna and touching grounded metal grounds you (if the guitar's metal were not grounded there would be little or no change). Does noise change when the guitar is in different parts of the room or with pointing guitar in different directions ? Any effect of room lighting/other gear on/off ? Sounds like SC pickup coil combination is RWRP so you get some reduction in middle (although noisier alone, as expected for SCs).

Cavity / pickguard shielding should help somewhat, but unless there is a single room 'culprit' that you can remove, maybe not enough to make that environment as quiet as home.
"I just knew I wanted to make a sound that was the complete opposite of a Les Paul, and that’s pretty much a Jaguar." Rowland S. Howard.

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Snowmonkey
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Re: Question about shielding and buzzing

Post by Snowmonkey » Sat Jun 19, 2021 2:34 am

Some good advice here, thanks. I was worried it was simply my guitar and nothing can be done about it. I did have everything plugged into the same wall socket. I might get there early next time and have a play around with position, sockets, take out the pedalboard etc.

Obviously the noise dissapears when I turn down the volume on the guitar (which I guess is obvious), but also when I turn down the tone knob as well.

It is a small room with a lot of equipment plugged in, so it could just be that I guess.

I will report back if I find a solution...

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adamrobertt
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Re: Question about shielding and buzzing

Post by adamrobertt » Sat Jun 19, 2021 6:15 am

Sounds like everything is working more or less as intended and you're just in a noisy room. There may not be a ton you can do about it, aside from rewiring the space you're in.

People will tell you to shield, but IMO it doesn't make a huge difference. Might make a very small one though.

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bjornsynneby
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Re: Question about shielding and buzzing

Post by bjornsynneby » Sat Jun 19, 2021 6:54 am

Snowmonkey wrote:
Fri Jun 18, 2021 1:23 pm
In all honesty, I have no idea. Is there anything that can be done about that? Would it cause problems with all guitars, or does it just emphasise the fact that mine is cheap with inadequate shielding?
If your guitar is shielded it will drain electro magnetic induced current to earth via the ground in your power outlet. If your power outlet ground connection is not existing or bad there will be no drainage. Note that it can also be the shielding of your amp that is bad in your practice room. Or that your amp power plug has no ground.

If your guitar is silent at home your shielding should be fine. Its not likelly that you have no magnetic disturbance at home and very much at your practice home is it? Dimmers and fluorescent lamps can cause a lot of buzz.

I’m not sure of how to test your ground at the power outlet. But there must be some gadget for that… but you can check your ground connection from the amp power plug ground to the guitar strings with a multimeter.

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Re: Question about shielding and buzzing

Post by Lost In Autumn » Tue Jun 22, 2021 2:02 am

bjornsynneby wrote:
Fri Jun 18, 2021 11:44 am
At your rehearsal room; are the power outlets grounded?

One explanation can be that your power is well grounded at home and not at your rehearsal room…
I've been having a similar problem. While I haven't ruled out my power just yet, I think I have an issue with my instrument cable.

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