Fender Ultra Jazzmaster BUZZ/HUM! Need some help!

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

Post by timtam » Mon Sep 14, 2020 8:25 am

kimson wrote:
Mon Sep 14, 2020 5:00 am
... 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 believe it does have both. Fender shielding paint often gets applied before the finish coats on MIAs, so can be hard to see. I thought I had seen an ultra JM with shielding paint prior to finishing but I only managed to find an ultra strat showing that ...
https://youtu.be/yY00D1kLXWc?t=153
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Re: Fender Ultra Jazzmaster BUZZ/HUM! Need some help!

Post by kimson » Mon Sep 14, 2020 9:54 am

timtam wrote:
Mon Sep 14, 2020 8:25 am
kimson wrote:
Mon Sep 14, 2020 5:00 am
... 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 believe it does have both. Fender shielding paint often gets applied before the finish coats on MIAs, so can be hard to see. I thought I had seen an ultra JM with shielding paint prior to finishing but I only managed to find an ultra strat showing that ...
https://youtu.be/yY00D1kLXWc?t=153
Interesting, thanks for the link. You may well be right about the paint, but I can't really see how this...

https://reverb.com/item/33441834-fender ... s-usa-mint

... and this...

https://stratosphereparts.com/fender-am ... st-10-off/

... would result in an idiot-proof hum-free guitar.

I mean, if the pickguard only has a few strips of foil tape and the foil doesn't have any contact with the shielding paint under the finish, it hardly qualifies as a Faraday's cage. It may eliminate hum under some circumstances, but in many circumstances it won't.

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

Post by Bradley-Jazz » Mon Sep 14, 2020 10:31 am

I mean, if the pickguard only has a few strips of foil tape and the foil doesn't have any contact with the shielding paint under the finish, it hardly qualifies as a Faraday's cage.
Well that body on Stratosphere has an earth tag screwed into the body, which would contact the shielding paint, so if that tag is wired, say, to the back of a pot, the pot contacts the foil and the shielding on either side of the cavity is connected. The fact that that tag is there at all suggests the body cavities are shielded to me, assuming the tag is a factory fitted item.
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Re: Fender Ultra Jazzmaster BUZZ/HUM! Need some help!

Post by alexpigment » Mon Sep 14, 2020 10:44 am

Even if the body had shielding paint applied before the finish, the potential for failure there is high, as you're talking about a thread in a screw needing to contacting a small layer of shielding paint (and that layer is probably subject to chipping when drilling/screwing). The hum originally described in the thread seems to imply to me that the trem/bridge are not grounded. If so, I would make sure that the wires from the trem and/or bridge are connected to that tag, and then solder a 3rd wire to the tag to connect it to the back of a pot.

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

Post by Bradley-Jazz » Mon Sep 14, 2020 11:07 am

Even if the body had shielding paint applied before the finish, the potential for failure there is high, as you're talking about a thread in a screw needing to contacting a small layer of shielding paint (and that layer is probably subject to chipping when drilling/screwing).
That’s fair comment - unless the finish under the tag was scraped back to the shielding, there is scope for a bad contact.
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Re: Fender Ultra Jazzmaster BUZZ/HUM! Need some help!

Post by timtam » Mon Sep 14, 2020 7:33 pm

alexpigment wrote:
Mon Sep 14, 2020 10:44 am
... The hum originally described in the thread seems to imply to me that the trem/bridge are not grounded. ...
But the OP's reduction in hum when "the strings or any other metal" is touched is actually a sign of a well-grounded guitar, as @mbene085 emphasized. The guitar is grounding the OP.

Nice proof of that recently in this vid, where touching any ground in the room reduces guitar noise, ie you don't have to touch the guitar to reduce its noise, because the source of the noise problem is not the guitar ...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SQU85rklIgQ

He also touches on the fact that the local noise environment will then determine how much EMR the body picks up, and thus how much of a problem the body-borne and air-borne noise mechanism will be. So if a noisy environment is the cause of the OP's noise problem, the exact same guitar setup in an EMR-quiet environment will not be as noisy.

Regarding how far you have to go to shield a guitar well, we don't really know. We know that the resistance per unit area of shielding paint is higher than foil (and varies with paint type and thickness ... thicker ~= lower). But we don't know if that translates to worse noise rejection at typical guitar noise frequencies. We don't know if Fender's practice of running a ground wire to each cavity to ground the shielding paint is sufficient (they have electrical engineers desiging amps, so maybe it's been tested ?). We don't really know if copper foil is better or worse than aluminium foil at common guitar noise frequencies. We also don't know if a faraday cage really needs to cover the whole guitar internals and be 'watertight' .. many such cages in industry/research are actually mesh rather solid, and have openings through which cables pass. We don't know if just using shielded conductor cabling (like in many MIJs) and/or some twisted pairs makes other shielding redundant. We also don't know the exact circumstances under which shielding might affect pickup frequency response (ie maybe only when it's too close to a SC, affecting eddy currents ??).

So ... lots of unknowns about guitar shielding. And lots of variation in how (well) people apply it. Some of that may contribute to some people on forums saying shielding didn't make any difference for them - maybe the noise source was one unaffected by shielding, maybe they didn't ground their shielding, etc etc. One of my personal bugbears is the number of people on youtube showing "how to shield your guitar" who fail to include a before and after recording to show that it actually worked !

So the best we can probably say at this point in time about shielding is "something is better than nothing". ;)
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Re: Fender Ultra Jazzmaster BUZZ/HUM! Need some help!

Post by andy_tchp » Mon Sep 14, 2020 7:41 pm

^ Great post.
timtam wrote:
Mon Sep 14, 2020 7:33 pm
So the best we can probably say at this point in time about shielding is "something is better than nothing".
Yep. And Chuck agrees.

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

Post by alexpigment » Mon Sep 14, 2020 8:29 pm

I don’t know guys. I have 8 or 9 guitars that disagree. There is absolutely zero change in hum when touching / not touching the strings. My money is still on the trem not being grounded. I’ll sit out on this until the OP confirms that or not.

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

Post by andy_tchp » Mon Sep 14, 2020 9:26 pm

alexpigment wrote:
Mon Sep 14, 2020 8:29 pm
I don’t know guys. I have 8 or 9 guitars that disagree. There is absolutely zero change in hum when touching / not touching the strings.
Then I'd suggest you are extremely fortunate to be in an environment with very, very low levels of electrical interference.
alexpigment wrote:
Mon Sep 14, 2020 8:29 pm
My money is still on the trem not being grounded. I’ll sit out on this until the OP confirms that or not.
And this makes no sense. In the case of the OP, if the vibrato/strings weren't connected to ground, there would be no difference in perceived noise when touching the strings.
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Re: Fender Ultra Jazzmaster BUZZ/HUM! Need some help!

Post by JG-MACK » Mon Mar 29, 2021 4:21 pm

Ok so I'm new here but I found this thread when looking for a fix to a crazy Buzz/Hum on my new Fender Ultra Jazzmaster. I was so upset when I received it given the crazy amount of noise. This noise was only audible when "not touching" the strings or anything grounded.

So I took a grounded probe and started poking around . I was thinking I had a grounding issue. Note, I had not opened the pick guard yet... What I found is that the top left screw of the neck pickup make a popping sound when I touched it. Very similar to when you touch one of the coil elements of the pickup. I thought... Hmm thats interesting. So, when I grounded that screw with my probe the noise/buzz/Hum was significantly reduced... not completely gone but very reduced.

So, after building up some courage to rip apart my brand new Jazzmaster I took off the pick guard and pickups. What I found in the neck pickup screw hole was a threaded metal insert. When I probed that insert I got the same popping sound but also noticed again the significant reduction of noise/buzz/hum.

THE FIX:
I added a grounded wire into that hole which contained the threaded metal insert of the neck pickup. I also use copper tape to completely shield the body cavity. After I put everything back together I was AMAZED!! Quit as a church mouse!!! NO BUZ/HUM at all!!!! I was so happy. I can't seem to figure out how to post a picture on this chat.....???

I hope this helps someone else. Let me know If you have any questions.

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

Post by bjornsynneby » Tue Mar 30, 2021 3:30 am

The buzz might occur because the power outlet you are using has no safety ground. If there is no ground connection there the emf may not be drained. If your amp has no ground prong you can try rotate the power cord in order to swap leads.

I’ve just built a Fender Tweed Champ clone and when I connect it to a power outlet without ground it buzzes when I play my archtop (with humbucker pickup). But when I move the amp to the kitchen with grounded power outlets there is no buzz when I play.

So, change location. Change guitar cable. Shut of your dimmers. When you are sure you have a solid chain of grounding from your guitar output jack and onwards and there is still buzz you can check continuity of the grounding in your guitar. But it seems unlikely the guitar should not be well grounded. Although reading the post above by JG-Mack makes me seriously doubt that.

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

Post by Bradley-Jazz » Tue Mar 30, 2021 4:39 am

bjornsynneby wrote:
Tue Mar 30, 2021 3:30 am
The buzz might occur because the power outlet you are using has no safety ground.
Living in the UK, the idea of a power socket with no ground connection (or "earth" to us) is terrifying!

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

Post by bjornsynneby » Tue Mar 30, 2021 7:31 am

Living in my 1970s flat in Gothenburg, Sweden its a reality.

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

Post by Bradley-Jazz » Tue Mar 30, 2021 7:32 am

bjornsynneby wrote:
Tue Mar 30, 2021 7:31 am
Living in my 1970s flat in Gothenburg, Sweden its a reality.
Some sort of rubber socks might be in order? ;D

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

Post by bjornsynneby » Tue Mar 30, 2021 9:25 am

Bzzzt.

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