Old 06-21-2013, 03:33 PM   #41
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Got dimmers on your lights?
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Old 06-21-2013, 03:42 PM   #42
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yeah, I tried any outlet I could within a distance of the studio room, no go.

I thought that letting it run off of the UPS im using - that was actually WORSE... lol

but I also had bypassed the UPS and still had the problem...
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Old 06-21-2013, 03:42 PM   #43
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Got dimmers on your lights?
There is one in the bathroom downstairs. Not on this floor, however.
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Old 06-21-2013, 04:01 PM   #44
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Sink a stake in the garden. Piss on it. Join it to your computer earth with at least 6sqmm wire. See if that makes a difference. I'll almost put money on it that it'll take out most of your noise.


>
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Old 06-21-2013, 04:34 PM   #45
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My bassist and his dad are electricians- they are coming by on Sunday. I've wasted too much time as it is, and this thread seems to have helped eliminate anything I am able to do...
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Old 06-21-2013, 04:51 PM   #46
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jason
earth problem
Tap the top of your guitar around the switching area (or back) with the ends of your fingers without breaking the guitar listen for changes in the buzzing.
Could be earthing (ground where you come from) even from the wires to your outlet... is the guitar lead output loose in any way?
Do you put the heel of your plucking hand on the bridge while the fret hand touches the strings and the sound diminishes?
An earthing problem for sure from me (guitar for 42 years)
Listened to your sample

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Old 06-21-2013, 06:16 PM   #47
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NO noise is acceptable for a guitar! You young punks and your rock and roll! You turn your amplifiers up to 100 and pound on it until it sounds like a hyena with the hiccups! Perhaps if you didn't bang so hard the singer wouldn't have to scream to be heard! Any amplifier over 1 watt should be BANNED! In my day, the guitar was something beautiful that helped and added to a beautiful voice singing a beautiful song! You young kids don't know ANYTHING about music. You only make noise! The louder the better! If I had my way, everybody who went about with Merry Christmas on his lips would be boiled in his own pudding!

At least that's what my grandpa would say...

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Old 06-21-2013, 10:20 PM   #48
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Your Gramps was Charles Dickens?

Wow!


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Old 06-22-2013, 02:11 AM   #49
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with a loud distorted patch like above, does it sound like too much?
If you're using Amplitube it's probably the software.
I get the impression that they were so obsessed with getting the amp sounds right that they modelled in the hum as well. Some patches hum like a b@st@rd regardless of the guitar I use. The equivalent settings on my real 'rig' are almost hum-free.
FWIW try a different guitar lead.
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Old 06-22-2013, 02:42 AM   #50
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So far, nobody has sited the obvious one - are you using balanced (TRS, i.e. stereo) cable? You need to use mono jacks at both ends to earth the electrics in the guitar.

If that is not the case and it still buzzes, then the electrics in the guitar are not properly connected to the shield/earth. Get the old multimeter out and test them!

Failing that, the house earth is poor and an electrician can/should be able to sort that out for you.

This is a very, very simple fault and is easily rectified!

Last edited by The Byre; 06-22-2013 at 03:00 AM.
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Old 06-22-2013, 02:44 AM   #51
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Sounds like your mains supply earth is not grounded.

Get an electrician in.


>
Yes, that can happen it seems...

I recently had my house rewired and in the process discovered that for several years the earth was not well grounded. I am in the UK and it was, so to speak, quite a shock to find this out. It cost nearly £200 just for the Electricity Board to put in a new one.
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Old 06-22-2013, 03:07 PM   #52
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My bassist and his dad are electricians- they are coming by on Sunday. I've wasted too much time as it is, and this thread seems to have helped eliminate anything I am able to do...
You said the noise drops when you touch the strings/bridge?

There is a trick that session players used,.......you have a thin wire that you attach to the bridge with an alligator clip,.......the other end of the wire,you make a loop to go around your picking hand's pinky finger.

Leave enough slack in the wire to allow for freedom of movement.

It may not be pretty,....but if it works for eliminating the noise for laying down a track,....what the hell,might as well try it.
It's a trick that might come in handy in so many situations.
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Old 06-22-2013, 09:05 PM   #53
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Your Gramps was Charles Dickens?

Wow!


>
No, but sometimes he reminded me of ol' Scrooge so I just thought I'd throw that in there.
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Old 06-22-2013, 09:19 PM   #54
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Balanced power .. what about it. Does it really remove all of these noise and hum problems?

Some may find this item interesting as a starter.

http://www.equitech.com/articles/origin.html
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Old 06-22-2013, 10:12 PM   #55
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first thing
Turn amp on / do not plug guitar in / after warm up turn amp up and listen
/ is there noise as in your noise sample? if so faulty earthing which may be occurring in amp or home wiring from mains power supply

Second thing if no noise in previous
Turn amp down / plug guitar in / turn amp up / is there noise

If there is noise / change to a new guitar lead / still noise as in your noise sample? if so proceed to the next thing otherwise the first guitar lead was faulty.

Next thing
Noise is from faulty Guitar wiring / pickups, pots and the bridge should be grounded. faulty solder joints that sort of thing could be the cause, or faulty earth wire, / unattached wire.

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Old 06-22-2013, 11:07 PM   #56
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If there is a bad supply earth Grinder, plugging-in a good lead and guitar may introduce this noise or make it worse as good screening and continuous ground connection is no good if it is not connected to a good ground or earth.

Identifying the culprit here is a methodical and thorough process that might be difficult through a forum. I'd wait to see what Jason's electrician friends say about the supply ground first. If that is floating, nothing suggested here will help.


>
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Old 06-23-2013, 03:35 AM   #57
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Balanced power .. what about it. Does it really remove all of these noise and hum problems?
No, of course not!

The only cure for bad earthing is good earthing.
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Old 06-23-2013, 03:52 AM   #58
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No, of course not!

The only cure for bad earthing is good earthing.
Do you know anything about it?
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Old 06-23-2013, 04:26 AM   #59
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You do need to check if your interface shield is grounded. And that this ground is continuous through the shield of the guitar lead, the foil shielding behind your backplate and the bridge and strings.

A "Faraday Shield" is no good without grounding. Is your interface grounded? Is your computer grounded? Is it a desktop or laptop?

And finally, is the house electrical ground grounded at all? This would all contribute to the noise you are getting.

Ungrounded guitar amps can be quite dangerous, but if this is just an ungrounded shield then not so bad. Bad domesticnearths could be another thing though. Have you access to a multimeter?


>
This is the crux of the issue.

A floating ground will not provided an adequate Faraday Shield. Current running through a shield connection will also either induce noise or create it directly (balanced/unbalanced signal)

If touching the strings (ie "earthing" them) will reduce or defeat the noise, the problem is almost certainly an incorrectly bonded, floating or high-impedance earth.

Whether this lack of bonding to earth is due to something in the guitar, the socket, the lead, the interface, the USB connection, the computer PSU, the connecting mains lead or the main supply earth is debateable, it almost certainly is an earthing/screening issue at root.

Electric guitars involve a high-impedance pickup supplying a high-gain amplifier via an unbalanced lead; they require a good earth for a reasonably quiet signal. Electrical and physical requirement and we feel it is not being met.

Personally I'd connect the screen on the lead to a radiator via a pice of fuse wire to see what happens, after I'd taken a few voltage and resistance measurements, but I know what I'm doing. Unfortunately I'm on an entirely different continent and so I can directly help Jason.

He's got some electrician friends coming in, we're hoping they can confirm these suspicions and solve the issue for him.


>
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Old 06-23-2013, 05:30 AM   #60
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Do you know anything about it?
Yes, quite a bit, in fact!
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Old 06-23-2013, 07:16 AM   #61
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Yes, quite a bit, in fact!
Cool! Then be specific, brother. Help the man. Just telling a person to get the meter out and test stuff isn't gonna do it if he doesn't know where to put the leads! I hope I don't sound like a dick, but this happens all the time. Someone has a problem and then eventually someone else pops in and states that the solution is 'obvious' , but there's no elaboration. I'm not an electrician but my stepfather is. Every time I've ever had an electrical question or concern, he just rattles off all kinds of vague crap that I don't understand. Again, not tryin to sound like a dick, but if you think you might be able to solve the problem please offer a little more detail, and try not to assume that everyone understands exactly what you're talking about. Thanks!

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Old 06-23-2013, 07:19 AM   #62
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I found the information here to be really helpful - it's just that when I try to fix this type of thing, I either:

1. make it worse
2. waste time



so, sometimes there are a few things I can do, and it's CLEAR that I need to learn more about this stuff, but getting someone in here (especially for free) to just see what the problem is, is a far smarter idea than trying to do anything myself (yet).
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Old 06-23-2013, 07:26 AM   #63
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Yes, quite a bit, in fact!
So .. Is this balanced power thing a myth or what is what I'm asking seeing as you just said it doesn't help. There's lots to read on it by all sorts of people claiming credentials like electrical engineers and stuff and I don't know enough to understand the intricacies of it all. Where does this theory have it wrong?
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Old 06-23-2013, 07:58 AM   #64
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Has anyone suggested switching to active pickups yet? They really cut down the noise.
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Old 06-23-2013, 08:19 AM   #65
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Has anyone suggested switching to active pickups yet? They really cut down the noise.
yeah, not changing the pickups in my 13 guitars to accommodate for a fault i can fix (or get fixed) otherwise

thanks tho hehe
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Old 06-23-2013, 08:26 AM   #66
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yeah, not changing the pickups in my 13 guitars to accommodate for a fault i can fix (or get fixed) otherwise

thanks tho hehe
Did you have the same noise at the old place? Anyway, you can reorient yourself in the room. See if that helps. Take an extension lead from a socket off a different circuit. Unplug appliances, maybe you find one that's creating problem. Turn lights off.
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Old 06-23-2013, 08:29 AM   #67
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Did you have the same noise at the old place? Anyway, you can reorient yourself in the room. See if that helps. Take an extension lead from a socket off a different circuit. Unplug appliances, maybe you find one that's creating problem. Turn lights off.
no problem in the old place.
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Old 06-23-2013, 09:04 AM   #68
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1. Balanced power is for very specific problems to do with residual currents carried in the mains supply. It is illegal (most US states and the UK) to fit this as a fixed installation if you are not a qualified electrician. It was used for a while in operating theatres, but even there, it is largely today deemed unnecessary. It has the added problem, that if it is not fed through an electronic trip that disconnects BOTH sides of the balance in cases of a short or fault, it can put half the mains voltage through anyone or anything touching the faulty equipment. That means it can kill your equipment, your mother-in-law, or your hamster.

2. The ground/earth carries away any nasty and unwanted signals via the taps (caps linked to ground) throughout most bits of equipment. Interference via the mains supply is dealt with by the massive smoothing caps in the PSU of your equipment.

3. Every length of wire is also a radio aerial and if there is an impedance (i.e. a resistance value) between your shield (e.g. the guitar strings, the wire shield, the cover plate) then it does what radio aerials do best - pick up radio signals. In this case, the mains hum.

4. When you touch the strings, etc., you are acting as an alternative ground and shorting this out. (See all that Planetnine wrote!) The fact that this happens tells us that something somewhere is not earthed/grounded properly. Either the connections in the guitar are no longer OK, or the user is using stereo cable which does not touch the outer ring/shield to the guitar and therefore there is no shield connector at one end and the guitar is not earthed.

5. Active pick-ups put out a much higher voltage and therefore 'drown-out' any mains hum. That masks the problem, but does not solve it. As solving the problem is so very, very easy, spending money on new active pick-ups would be madness.
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Old 06-23-2013, 09:17 AM   #69
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That's more like it! Hahaha....thanks for the explanation. As for the testing, where on the guitar would he take his measurements? If a ground wire is loose or off in the guitar, a visual inspection could find that pretty easily. But if he wanted to use a meter and test the ground connection, where do the leads go?

Edward
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Old 06-23-2013, 09:29 AM   #70
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I believe in troubleshooting the issue earlier you determined the following:

1. You moved, and the issue has come up in the new environmet.

2. When you strap on your guitar and turn, the noise gets louder in when pointing in a particular direction.

3. Lace sensors make the noise quieter.

4. Piezo pickups eliminate the noise altogether

Because the Piezo pickups get rid of the noise this points in the direction of EMF. Touching your strings (with magnetic pickups) will reduce the amount of noise that you hear induced into the system as your body is changing the 'antenna' length.

Make sure that when your electrician friends come over that you explain to them that this issue goes away with the piezos, as this rules out a grounding issue, or an issue with your equipment. A Piezo is not affected by magnetic fields, and I have to assume that you are pluging it into the same gear, if you can swap just the guitar for the accoustic and the problem is gone, then it is safe to say that the problem is EMF in the environment.

A bad ground can cause EMF in your home, but it would likely be a larger issue that will need to be fixed at the demarcation point, where the service enters the building, so every electrical run in the house will be emiiting it.

It can also be caused by large motors, coils, transformers or generators - either through the air, or induced on your power lines. There are whole house filters that can help to minimize the noise if this is the issue. Sometimes it is found that grounding to plumbing, rather than the afore mentioned stake in the ground causes it.

WiFi, radio transmitters, cell phones etc also emmit it.

As far as issues go, EMF is one of the hardest to deal with in a studio. On a side note, it is has also been linked to all kinds of serious health issues with long term exposure, so it is worth getting it resolved.
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Old 06-23-2013, 09:29 AM   #71
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Unplug the refrigerator, turn off the A/C.

Move your convertor away from the computer.

If you're using the Variax with the power supply, try it on batteries. If you've got the power supply/DI box plugged in while trying your other guitars, take it out, power supply could be going bad.

Look for aliens.
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Old 06-23-2013, 09:29 AM   #72
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I am tempted to say 'Where the monkey puts the nuts' but in this case, it should read zero Ohms between guitar plate/strings/whatever and the chassis of the amp.

In an ideal world, there should be a perfect connection (zero Ohms again) between guitar strings/plate etc. and Planet Earth.
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Old 06-23-2013, 09:31 AM   #73
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I wilingly chose passive pickups for my new guitar (Agile Interceptor 727 - WOW!!! btw), for the first time in an extremely long time. Wow the noise! And the PITA of having the noise floor depend on whether or not I'm touching the strings? Yuck.

I went to some way higher output pickups and the noise was nearly acceptable, though, there's still tons of potential for interference, and depends where I'm facing in most rooms

I got some of that new water soluble shielding paint and now its nearly as quiet as my EMGS
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Old 06-23-2013, 09:40 AM   #74
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I am tempted to say 'Where the monkey puts the nuts' but in this case, it should read zero Ohms between guitar plate/strings/whatever and the chassis of the amp.

In an ideal world, there should be a perfect connection (zero Ohms again) between guitar strings/plate etc. and Planet Earth.
So you're saying Jasons problem is RF interference?
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Old 06-23-2013, 09:40 AM   #75
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A bad ground can cause EMF in your home, but it would likely be a larger issue that will need to be fixed at the demarcation point, where the service enters the building, so every electrical run in the house will be emitting it.

Sometimes it is found that grounding to plumbing, rather than the afore mentioned stake in the ground causes it.
+1

My money is still on earthing, despite the Piezo thing. But altogether, that was a very good summery of some of the issues involved.

One of the first things I check in cases like this, is to test that the electrical earth is actually connected to Mother Earth and the metal structural parts of the building.

If it ain't then you can wave your arms in the air, install balanced power, stand on one leg and put power conditioners where the sun don't shine and it will be all to no avail.
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Old 06-23-2013, 12:05 PM   #76
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Jason
Are you able to take your guitar gear to a friends place that does not have problems and play?
If that is easy enough do this and see whether you have any problems. You will then soon find out if the problem exists from the building so to speak.


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Old 06-23-2013, 01:27 PM   #77
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This is my tale of chasing down a guitar hum and noise problem.

Despite all the advice ... mine included ... IMO you're on your own.

IMO eliminating or reducing hum and noise is not so simple as it seems.

I had a similar problem in my one room recording studio ... aka spare bedroom. I use a Fender Mustang II, Amplitube 3 and single coils.

My best recommendation is to do some tests, be methodical in your approach and document your results.

I spent 2 weeks doing tests ... removing stuff from my signal chain, ruling out the obvious, changing guitars and pickups, messing with computer settings, fiddling with cords, moving gear to different rooms ... all kinds of stuff.

After the obvious causes were eliminated I was left to deal with the esoteric. More testing ensued ... more data to add to the pile to aid in making the next decision and formulating the next test ... and then the next ... and the next.

There came a point when some of the test results made no sense and I didn't have the technical chops to sort it out. My try this, try that method of finding the cause by the process of elimination ... had to end. Beats me what the problem was ... but my general conclusion was that my pickups were picking up electrical noise from my computer ... but I can't say for sure because tests were ambiguous.

But what did I do?

Like it or not ... out with my boutique single coils ... in with noiseless pickups. Although not a silver bullet it helped a huge amount.

Later I picked up a Tele with N3 noiseless pickups ... which are pretty quiet but despite being properly grounded still had a tiny bit of noise when touching the strings ... which I further reduced by running a ground wire from the guitar jack to my ankle.

In the end this is a useless story that will be of no help to you ... but I'll just say ... good bloody luck!

KenB
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Old 06-23-2013, 02:16 PM   #78
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I feel like my guitars are noisy.
The noise goes away for the most part when I touch the strings...
Your sample clip sounds pretty normal for when you're not touching the strings. If you get that noise when touching the strings or bridge I'd be more concerned.

I use Waves X-Noise plugin on guitar tracks to help with noise, can get rid of even this kind of buzz. Better than a noise gate because it's active all the time...
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Old 06-23-2013, 03:21 PM   #79
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heres a sample ...
I had the same problem. WARNING: I would not recommend this solution for live performance but here's how I got rid of the buzz when recording.

I took a 2' piece of about 14 gauge wire and stripped of 1/2 an inch of insulation from one end. I loosened the jack plate and slid the bare end of the wire underneath and the tightened the plate back down again. I peeled about 5" off the other end and wrapped that around my wrist. No more buzz.

This is a poor man's electric chair, so be careful not to provide a complete circuit for some higher voltage. Considering that I'm usually completing this circuit with my fingers or palm anyway, I consider it an acceptable risk for my home studio needs.
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Old 06-23-2013, 04:08 PM   #80
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Hey Jason.

I am an electrical contractor. I mainly do commercial and industrial work but residential is a highly simplified version of commercial.

Two things you can do on your own.

One is to locate the main service bonding wire that runs from your main panel to where the water pipe enters house. There should be a water pipe clamp that connects bonding conductor from panel to water pipe itself. Most often it is made of brass and is two piece in design.

You will want to take sand paper and lightly sand water pipe down to bright copper and sand clamp halves also. Also sand wire and port where wire enters clamp so everything is bright and shiny copper. This ensures that your primary service ground is good. You will also want to make sure where that same bond wire connects in your panel that the set screw is tight there also. This is assuming you have a copper water main and not plastic.

You will want to then repeat this process for your secondary bond which is outside ground rod. Sand rod and acorn connector shiny and also the wire and tighten the acorn connector. Check tightness of the other end of that bond wire in the panel once again.

You can shut main breaker off in panel if you are uncomfortable working in a hot panel.

Be deliberate and use common sense and take your time, it's not a race.


If your soil is dry and or rocky, you may want to drive another rod at least six feet from existing one. CAUTION you will want to locate power if it's an underground service before you drive another rod. Usually a locate is free for customers on the utility side.

Nate
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