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Grounding question

Posted: Mon Jun 29, 2020 7:02 pm
by adamrobertt
I have two Jazzmasters. They both have noiseless pickups - one has Kinman Fatmasters, and one has Lindy Fralin Noiseless JM pickups. Both sound great, both are really quiet - EXCEPT when my fingers are off the strings and I'm using high gain.

I understand that this is normal - and that touching any metal part on the guitar should silence it (completing the circuit), which it does. My question is this:

Is there a way to even eliminate that "normal" buzzing? Sorry if this is a dumb question!

Re: Grounding question

Posted: Mon Jun 29, 2020 8:32 pm
by timtam
The reduction in noise at high gain when you touch grounded metal is, as you say, normal. At least as far as guitar grounding is concerned - it says that your guitar metal is grounded correctly. The usual explanation is that you are grounding your human body noise antenna. However it also shows that there is airborne EMR noise in your environment (otherwise you wouldn't get as much of a difference with touching ground). Full shielding of your guitar can often reduce that. As can identifying/reducing the noise at its source if possible.

Some people are happy to go with more drastic 'solutions' for noisy guitars ... noise gates, winding the volume off as soon as you stop playing.

Your noiseless pickups should of course be getting you quieter than conventional JM pickups - those of course can be noisy, less so in the middle RWRP position ... eg as Tom Bukovac recently showed on his vintage JM ...

puisheen also recently showed less noise with Lollars using a vintage anodized gold aluminium guard compared to a mint guard with thin metal shield, most evident in the gained-up noise floor when not playing ... (jump to 10:33 for noise comparison)

Guitar noise can be mysterious and thus very frustrating. I like the more objective, categorization approach to identification / attenuation that these guys take ... ... se-manual/

Re: Grounding question

Posted: Mon Jun 29, 2020 9:06 pm
by adamrobertt
Do you think running a shielded cable to the output jack would help? I’ve noticed that the Thin Skin is much quieter than the 60th... it has the full vintage style shielding whereas the Mexican one just has the shielding paint

Re: Grounding question

Posted: Mon Jun 29, 2020 9:30 pm
by andy_tchp
Wear a grounding strap like this and clamp the alligator clip to one of the strings?


People will hardly notice.

Re: Grounding question

Posted: Mon Jun 29, 2020 10:33 pm
by mbene085
I actually remember some forum years ago, where a guy put a grounding clip like that running from his belt to the metal casing of his patchcord's plug, and solved the issue to his satisfaction.

The problem reminds me a bit of the old joke, "Doctor, it hurts when I go like this," and the doctor replies, "So, don't go like this!"

If you have to take your hands off the guitar at high gain, you can use the volume knob, or rhythm switch, or a kill switch, or a tuner pedal, or the footswitch on that gain pedal/amp footswitch, or a noise gate, or...