62 AVRI INSANE buzz/hum in position 1*3

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DDJ
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62 AVRI INSANE buzz/hum in position 1*3

Post by DDJ » Thu Sep 17, 2020 7:12 am

Hi,
I just got my guitar back from a tech who redid some connections to restore continuity in the shielding but it made zero difference to the insane hum that my guitar produces in positions 1&3. I compared it to my wife's Telecaster, which has single coil pickups, and hers is much more quiet. I also tried both guitars in her Twin and the results were consistent.

The noise is so loud that I can only use the middle position. It doesn't change if I touch the strings/bridge/jack nor if I run wire from the jack to the bridge.

What else can I try to remedy this?

Thank you

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mbene085
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Re: 62 AVRI INSANE buzz/hum in position 1*3

Post by mbene085 » Thu Sep 17, 2020 7:15 am

Noiseless pickups are the only option. Jazzmaster pickups make excellent antennas with their wide, flat coils. Your hum is 60Hz (or 50, but I digress) and the JM is inherently worse for that than a Telecaster.

By all available evidence, Kinman is basically the only game in town for hum-free Jazzmaster pickups that sound like Jazzmaster pickups.

You can shield the pickups/covers themselves but that doesn't solve the fundamental issue. Telecasters have smaller coils (less noisy) and the neck pickup is fully shielded by its cover, while the bridge pickup has shielding underneath (the baseplate) and on the sides (the bridge). It's just always going to be quieter than a JM.

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Re: 62 AVRI INSANE buzz/hum in position 1*3

Post by adamrobertt » Thu Sep 17, 2020 7:21 am

DDJ wrote:
Thu Sep 17, 2020 7:12 am
Hi,
I just got my guitar back from a tech who redid some connections to restore continuity in the shielding but it made zero difference to the insane hum that my guitar produces in positions 1&3. I compared it to my wife's Telecaster, which has single coil pickups, and hers is much more quiet. I also tried both guitars in her Twin and the results were consistent.

The noise is so loud that I can only use the middle position. It doesn't change if I touch the strings/bridge/jack nor if I run wire from the jack to the bridge.

What else can I try to remedy this?

Thank you
The way you describe it makes me think that something has come ungrounded or something

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Re: 62 AVRI INSANE buzz/hum in position 1*3

Post by DDJ » Thu Sep 17, 2020 8:08 am

mbene085 wrote:
Thu Sep 17, 2020 7:15 am
Noiseless pickups are the only option. Jazzmaster pickups make excellent antennas with their wide, flat coils. Your hum is 60Hz (or 50, but I digress) and the JM is inherently worse for that than a Telecaster.

By all available evidence, Kinman is basically the only game in town for hum-free Jazzmaster pickups that sound like Jazzmaster pickups.

You can shield the pickups/covers themselves but that doesn't solve the fundamental issue. Telecasters have smaller coils (less noisy) and the neck pickup is fully shielded by its cover, while the bridge pickup has shielding underneath (the baseplate) and on the sides (the bridge). It's just always going to be quieter than a JM.
I'll look into those pickups, though, I think there is something wrong with the wiring, shielding etc. It's also possible that I have a lot of interference in my old house.

I saw a photo on this forum last night of someone who put copper tape on the underside of their pickups. I'll look into trying that too.

Thanks for your help

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Re: 62 AVRI INSANE buzz/hum in position 1*3

Post by DDJ » Thu Sep 17, 2020 8:10 am

adamrobertt wrote:
Thu Sep 17, 2020 7:21 am
The way you describe it makes me think that something has come ungrounded or something
I know. I'm going to grab a multimeter today and see if that reveals anything.

I'm also going to take my amp and guitar to work to see if it's the same there(to rule out interference in my house).

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Re: 62 AVRI INSANE buzz/hum in position 1*3

Post by mbene085 » Thu Sep 17, 2020 9:05 am

There's no reason in the world that the middle position would be quiet if there was a grounding or shielding issue. The noise is present on neck or bridge, but not both, and doesn't vary when a grounded part is touched.

If either pickup lacked a connection to ground, the noise would be present in the middle position. That's just 60Hz hum.

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Re: 62 AVRI INSANE buzz/hum in position 1*3

Post by DDJ » Thu Sep 17, 2020 9:23 am

mbene085 wrote:
Thu Sep 17, 2020 9:05 am
There's no reason in the world that the middle position would be quiet if there was a grounding or shielding issue. The noise is present on neck or bridge, but not both, and doesn't vary when a grounded part is touched.

If either pickup lacked a connection to ground, the noise would be present in the middle position. That's just 60Hz hum.
Gotcha. I'm not technically inclined at all, hence why I'm here.

So, your suggestions would be a set of noiseless pickups. Would something like a power conditioner in the room make a difference at all?

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Re: 62 AVRI INSANE buzz/hum in position 1*3

Post by mbene085 » Thu Sep 17, 2020 9:56 am

DDJ wrote:
Thu Sep 17, 2020 9:23 am
Gotcha. I'm now technically inclined at all, hence why I'm here.

So, your suggestions would be a set of noiseless pickups. Would something like a power conditioner in the room make a difference at all?
Hope I didn't sound like I was criticizing, I was just hoping to explain why I came to my conclusion. A ground issue creates noise that is present whenever the ungrounded component is in the signal path. If it's something like a volume pot, that would be all pickup positions. If it was an individual pickup, it would be present with that pickup solo, as well as the middle position. The middle position, however, is the only one where 60Hz hum is canceled, and your guitar is quiet in this position - so I have to believe it's purely 60Hz hum.

There can be multiple sources of 60Hz hum, and a power conditioner can be helpful if the noise is being picked up by the amp. When you're in the middle position, it goes away, right? That tells me it's all at the level of the pickups. If you rotate your guitar around with the bridge or neck pickup selected, does that cause the noise to vary? And then it disappears when in the middle position? That would be all pickup-related, and I don't think any degree of power conditioning would change it.

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Re: 62 AVRI INSANE buzz/hum in position 1*3

Post by parry » Thu Sep 17, 2020 10:05 am

If you have the means, check to make sure all the grounds are well-connected. Also see that the bridge AND tailpiece are part of that grounding. If they're not, that's going to make a world of difference. You're familiar with what hum from single coils sounds like (telecaster reference) - if the Tele isn't behaving that badly, something's gone amuck with the wiring. The JM should be at least that quiet. There are plenty of folks with quiet Jazzmasters not using noiseless pickups.

(and that's not a knock against mbene's advice)
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Re: 62 AVRI INSANE buzz/hum in position 1*3

Post by alexpigment » Thu Sep 17, 2020 12:28 pm

Do you by chance have dimmer switches in your house? Or if you don’t, do you share walls or live in close proximity to someone who does? I dealt with this for years due to a neighbor who went dimmer-happy in his adjacent condo. Essentially, if the dimmers aren’t turned up to full brightness, they emit a ton (seriously it’s not trivial at all) of EMF that comes into your pickups as noise.

My solution was to use a dummy coil that just sits in the cavity of my JMs (and teles), so it’s always as quiet as it would be in the middle position, but the tone is basically unchanged.

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Re: 62 AVRI INSANE buzz/hum in position 1*3

Post by DDJ » Thu Sep 17, 2020 3:57 pm

Ok. I tested the guitar and amp at work. It sounded amazing. Super quiet.

So, it's gotta be a ground issue with the house (It was built in the 1890's after all). We do have some dimmers throughout the house. 3 total. I'm hoping they aren't the issue cuz they aren't going anywhere ( mood lighting > noise in my wife's opinion).

Now to google how to test grounds and find out how expensive it is to have it rectified...

Thanks for the help everyone. I'm getting close!

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Re: 62 AVRI INSANE buzz/hum in position 1*3

Post by DDJ » Thu Sep 17, 2020 3:57 pm

alexpigment wrote:
Thu Sep 17, 2020 12:28 pm
Do you by chance have dimmer switches in your house? Or if you don’t, do you share walls or live in close proximity to someone who does? I dealt with this for years due to a neighbor who went dimmer-happy in his adjacent condo. Essentially, if the dimmers aren’t turned up to full brightness, they emit a ton (seriously it’s not trivial at all) of EMF that comes into your pickups as noise.

My solution was to use a dummy coil that just sits in the cavity of my JMs (and teles), so it’s always as quiet as it would be in the middle position, but the tone is basically unchanged.
This dummy coil is interesting. Is there a source for doing something like that?

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Re: 62 AVRI INSANE buzz/hum in position 1*3

Post by DDJ » Thu Sep 17, 2020 4:02 pm

mbene085 wrote:
Thu Sep 17, 2020 9:56 am
There can be multiple sources of 60Hz hum, and a power conditioner can be helpful if the noise is being picked up by the amp. When you're in the middle position, it goes away, right? That tells me it's all at the level of the pickups. If you rotate your guitar around with the bridge or neck pickup selected, does that cause the noise to vary? And then it disappears when in the middle position? That would be all pickup-related, and I don't think any degree of power conditioning would change it.
The noise doesn't change when I move the guitar around. You're right about the rest though.

So, power conditioner?

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Re: 62 AVRI INSANE buzz/hum in position 1*3

Post by alexpigment » Thu Sep 17, 2020 5:31 pm

DDJ wrote:
Thu Sep 17, 2020 3:57 pm
This dummy coil is interesting. Is there a source for doing something like that?
Well, it's fairly easy and inexpensive compared to noiseless pickups, but you need to know how to solder. Here are my tips:

1) Figure out what pickups you currently have. Look on Reverb or eBay and buy the same bridge pickup that you already have.
2) Install the new JM bridge pickup where your current neck pickup is.
3) Wrap your old JM neck pickup in some bubble wrap but leave the wires exposed, then put it in the cavity between the 3-way toggle switch and the volume/tone knobs.
4) Unsolder the wire that goes to the input of your volume knob. Solder this wire to the ground wire of that JM neck pickup that's now sitting in the cavity.
5) Solder the hot wire of the pickup to the input of the volume knob. Effectively, you're just putting a pickup in line with the pre-existing signal path.

Gotchas:
1) Your pickups are no longer RWRP. This means that the middle position is going to have double the hum of the two pickups, but it should still be way lower than what you're currently dealing with on your bridge or neck pickup. Your new neck and bridge positions should be quiet.
2) The effect of the dummy coil will probably not be the same on your Rhythm circuit. I've never actually tested this to be honest, because I always rip out the rhythm circuit and repurpose it.
3) The JM pickup will work as a dummy coil, but in my experience, a Tele neck pickup works considerably better. I assume a Strat middle pickup would be just as good, but you would need to make sure it's RWRP compared to your other two pickups. Also, you don't have to spend a lot of money. I've used cheap Classic Vibe tele pickups, because they're still Alnico pickups with vintage-ish output.
Last edited by alexpigment on Thu Sep 17, 2020 5:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 62 AVRI INSANE buzz/hum in position 1*3

Post by alexpigment » Thu Sep 17, 2020 5:33 pm

Also, if you want to test if your dimmer switches are the problem, turn them all off (i.e. not turned all the way down, turn it off). If the hum goes away, there's your problem. I suspect you can get some better dimmers, but they are inherently bad for guitars, and so any improvements to your dimmer switches will only serve to minimize the hum, not cure it.

Assuming that you can identify these as the culprit, a power conditioner won't help. Source: Me, several years ago after buying a power conditioner ;)

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