Fender Ultra Jazzmaster BUZZ/HUM! Need some help!

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TheEightSixty
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Fender Ultra Jazzmaster BUZZ/HUM! Need some help!

Post by TheEightSixty » Sat Sep 12, 2020 3:34 pm

Hey all. I have a 2020 Fender Ultra Jazzmaster with the noiseless pickups. It sounds awesome, but buzzes like crazy when I take my hands off the strings. If I touch the strings or any other metal on the guitar, it’s super quiet. If I touch metal on my amp, Vox AC15, or metal on cables, or pedals the buzz also stops. I turned off my ceiling fan, my AC unit, TV, etc. I have my amp plugged into a surge protector as well. I’m at a little bit of a loss. I have a feeling it might be a grounding issue, but I’m not sure. I mean, the noiseless pups should be noiseless right? Anyone with one of these beautiful guitars, I’d love to know your experience. Any help is greatly appreciated!

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Re: Fender Ultra Jazzmaster BUZZ/HUM! Need some help!

Post by jvin248 » Sat Sep 12, 2020 5:17 pm

.

Most guitars when wired correctly have no buzz when touching the strings but will buzz some or a lot when not.

Turn the guitar volume down when you're not playing.

If you need improvements: replace the two wires from the volume to the jack with shielded cable, fender likes to use separate wires when we all use shielded cable to the amp... because that's what they did in the 50s.

Aluminum flashing tape (Nashua brand) works to shield cavities. Sometimes factory shielding paint is not enough. See youtube for installing. Aluminum works better than copper, but you'll see copper because it looks nice and it's "what they used in the 50s". You can search for scholarly articles that prove aluminum vs copper performance, most work in the cell phone and computer industries.

.

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Re: Fender Ultra Jazzmaster BUZZ/HUM! Need some help!

Post by timtam » Sat Sep 12, 2020 7:01 pm

The Ultras do have shielding paint and pickguard foil. The pickups as you say are supposed to be "noiseless". Reduced noise when you touch metal is indeed normal. But also means that your environment is somewhat noisy. If I were you I would find it similarly frustrating (although one man's 'noise' is sometimes another's 'normal') - to see the extent to which the problem is environment versus guitar, I would try to test the guitar in another location with different amp, cables, power, EMR. You don't have dimmers by any chance do you (a common source of noise) ?

This is how they're wired. If you told an electrical engineer to design a wiring scheme to minimise noise, they wouldn't come up with this. It's basically the same as it would have been in the 1950's.
http://www.offsetguitars.com/forums/vie ... 6#p1591556
Image
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Re: Fender Ultra Jazzmaster BUZZ/HUM! Need some help!

Post by TheEightSixty » Sat Sep 12, 2020 7:03 pm

Wow that pic is from an ultra?

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Re: Fender Ultra Jazzmaster BUZZ/HUM! Need some help!

Post by adamrobertt » Sun Sep 13, 2020 12:36 pm

What you're describing is normal behavior, even for noiseless pickups. The pickups will cancel 60 cycle mains hum from the power source (the wiring in your house) but the buzz you're describing is due to the way the guitar's circuit is wired. No noise when touching metal, but a bit of buzz when not, means that the circuit is working as intended.

Yes, it's partially due to the antiquated way that Fender (and most other guitar companies, for that matter) wire their guitars, mostly due to nothing other than tradition. You could try the shielded wire to the output jack as mentioned above, but it may or may not fix your problem.

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Re: Fender Ultra Jazzmaster BUZZ/HUM! Need some help!

Post by alexpigment » Sun Sep 13, 2020 8:26 pm

You guys really think this is normal? I don’t think I’ve ever owned a guitar that had that problem and wasn’t solved through proper grounding.

My suggestion would be to fold a strip of aluminum foil so that it’s around 4” by 0.5”. Unscrew the trem plate a little bit and wedge one end of it under there and tighten back down. Run the other end straight to the bridge pickup route and tape it to the shielding paint in the body. Does it hum when not touching the strings now? If not, then you need to ground your trem plate. If it still happens, you can blame me :)

Note: this could be solved by grounding the bridge, but I find that the connection can sometimes be a little wonky during trem use on some bridges. Trem seems to be the best bet because the strings always make contact.

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Re: Fender Ultra Jazzmaster BUZZ/HUM! Need some help!

Post by alexpigment » Sun Sep 13, 2020 8:42 pm

Here’s a photo of what I was describing:

https://ibb.co/ZVvVTBg

This is effectively just like adding a ground that connects your trem to your shielding paint.

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Re: Fender Ultra Jazzmaster BUZZ/HUM! Need some help!

Post by ChrisDesign » Sun Sep 13, 2020 9:01 pm

alexpigment wrote:
Sun Sep 13, 2020 8:42 pm
Here’s a photo of what I was describing:

https://ibb.co/ZVvVTBg

This is effectively just like adding a ground that connects your trem to your shielding paint.
That ruins a £1800 guitar’s look! Use a some old high e string wire. It will do the same job but be almost invisible. It's still a janky fix.

Take your jazzmaster to a good tech, of watch Daves World of Fun on YouTube.
"I own a '66 Jaguar. That's the guitar I polish, and baby - I refuse to let anyone touch it when I jump into the crowd." - Kurt Cobain

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Re: Fender Ultra Jazzmaster BUZZ/HUM! Need some help!

Post by TheEightSixty » Sun Sep 13, 2020 9:02 pm

Ahh yes like the old jazz basses.

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Re: Fender Ultra Jazzmaster BUZZ/HUM! Need some help!

Post by timtam » Mon Sep 14, 2020 3:03 am

The Ultra already has a trem ground wire ...
https://www.fmicassets.com/Damroot/Orig ... 7_2020.pdf
"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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Re: Fender Ultra Jazzmaster BUZZ/HUM! Need some help!

Post by mbene085 » Mon Sep 14, 2020 3:14 am

timtam wrote:
Mon Sep 14, 2020 3:03 am
The Ultra already has a trem ground wire ...
https://www.fmicassets.com/Damroot/Orig ... 7_2020.pdf
Which is exactly why the noise disappears when he touches the strings. Grounding the bridge grounds the strings, touching the strings grounds the player and stops them acting as an EM antenna, which is what is causing the eztra noise when their hands are off the strings.

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Re: Fender Ultra Jazzmaster BUZZ/HUM! Need some help!

Post by Bradley-Jazz » Mon Sep 14, 2020 3:39 am

Grounding the bridge grounds the strings, touching the strings grounds the player and stops them acting as an EM antenna, which is what is causing the eztra noise when their hands are off the strings.
Exactly this. Try putting the guitar down and moving away from it whilst it's still plugged in and turned up - I bet the noise drops.

Try moving around the room with your guitar - you may find a quieter spot (I do in my attic lair!) but it's how electric guitars work (rightly or wrongly) and really doesn't sound like a fault. It's also why you so often see people on videos demonstrating (be it gear or tutorials etc) turning the volume down as soon as they stop playing.
Stop me if you think you've heard this one before....

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Re: Fender Ultra Jazzmaster BUZZ/HUM! Need some help!

Post by alexpigment » Mon Sep 14, 2020 4:21 am

ChrisDesign wrote:
Sun Sep 13, 2020 9:01 pm

That ruins a £1800 guitar’s look! Use a some old high e string wire. It will do the same job but be almost invisible. It's still a janky fix.
This was meant as a quick non-invasive, no-soldering test - not a permanent fix. I thought I made that clear at the end of my first post but perhaps not.

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Re: Fender Ultra Jazzmaster BUZZ/HUM! Need some help!

Post by alexpigment » Mon Sep 14, 2020 4:33 am

timtam wrote:
Mon Sep 14, 2020 3:03 am
The Ultra already has a trem ground wire ...
https://www.fmicassets.com/Damroot/Orig ... 7_2020.pdf
It’s definitely there in the diagram, but unless the grounding point is different than in the diagram, I don’t see it in the pictures the OP provided.

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Re: Fender Ultra Jazzmaster BUZZ/HUM! Need some help!

Post by kimson » Mon Sep 14, 2020 5:00 am

The way I see it, the hum, if it indeed isn't "normal", could be caused by either one of these:

1) the room itself

2) some other part (amp, pedal, cable, etc.) of your rig

3) broken ground connection in the guitar

4) insufficient shielding in the guitar

I can't really help you with the first two, but intolerable hum does sound a lot like a broken ground connection somewhere in the guitar.

If you have a multimeter, it's pretty easy to check. Set the meter in continuity test mode, then put one of the probes on the jack sleeve, then check all other ground points one by one: trem plate, lead circuit pot sleeves (all three of them), 3-way switch sleeve, one of the slide switch screws and one of the rhythm circuit pot bracket screws.

If you get continuity across all points, the grounding should be okay, but since the Am Ultra, at least judging by the photos I found online, doesn't have proper shielding in either the cavities or the pickguard, I'm sure adding a proper shielding ($5-10 for a roll of tape that'll last for years) would go a long way towards killing all unwanted hum.

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