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JTV 59 - Hum noise on mag pickups
by daferalo on 2012-01-06 09:26:57

Hi folks,

The jtv 59 is an excellent guitar and I am very happy with it. However I have an issue with mine and I would like to know if you guys have the same issue with yours, so that it might be a consequence of the guitar design, or maybe it is just mine.

Attached to this message, there is a sound sample of the "problem" (or behaviour if it would be expected). It corresponds to an unprocessed signal of the neck + bridge magnetic pickups of the guitar. The setup used to record the sample was like this: JTV 59 (no battery) - VDI connection - POD HD 500 (studio/direct as the output, variax ch 2 as input 1, mic as input 2, no amps nor effects added to the signal path, power supply connected into a voltage regulator) - USB cable - HP Pavilion dm4 laptop (powered by its battery). So I am totally sure there was no ground loops nor bad earth connections that came into action. Also, there was no DAWs, no audio external cards, no ASIO drivers other than those of the POD HD 500, and Cubase 5 was used as the recording software.

The problem is that in magnetic mode, when I am not touching anything metallic, there is a noticeable hum noise on magnetic pickups that comes up, which dissapears once I touch something metallic. It happens all the time, ALWAYS, no matter if the guitar is connected into the POD HD 500 or directly in front of an amp, through a VDI cable or a 1/4" one, in my house or at the rehearsal room.

The first 8 seconds of the sample were recorded without touching any metallic part of the guitar, and there is a noticeable hum noise that you can hear kind of easy. And remember that it is an unprocessed signal, so Imagine what would happen if a sort of gain is added? Once I touched something metallic (after then) in order to play a chord, the hum noise dissapeared (and the sound quality is very good). At the end of the sample, I let the strings untouched and the hum noise appeared again.

I think this is not an expected behaviour of the guitar, as it has humbuckers and I have also a cheap Washburn MG 24 from 1992 (US $ 200) which is totally noiseless. So I would like to know if the same happens with your guitars, so that it could be a consequence of guitar design.

Thanks. Best Regards,

Daf



Re: JTV 59 - Hum noise on mag pickups
by Nick_Mattocks on 2012-01-07 03:46:44

In my house where the electrical grounding is very very good I get no noise such as you describe with my JTV-59 or any of my other guitars (I have quite a few).

In other houses where I've lived the saftey of the grounding has been good but the ability of the ground to carry away Radio Frequency Interference and general Electro-magentic Interference has been poor, so when I touch the strings it becomes my role to provide a better path to ground (for this purpose) than the electrical ground of the house wiring can.

Elsewhere such as at rehearsal rooms or gig venues or a holiday cottage we rent regularly, to varying degrees I can experience similar to what you describe.

It's not my guitar(s).  It is definitely due to the varying standard of the mains grounding in those other venues for me  It may or may not be the same for you.

There is a slight possibility a shielding wire may not be connected in your guitar, in which case you have to take your guitar to an Authorised Service Centre to preserve your warranty and get the guitar checked out.  My feeling is that this won't be the case, but........ you never can be 100% sure without having it checked first hand.

Nick



Re: JTV 59 - Hum noise on mag pickups
by daferalo on 2012-01-07 09:15:16

Hi Nick,

Glad to hear from you, and thanks for your answer,

Yes, I understand what you say and I agree with you about the ability of the house wiring to carry away the interference which has a major role on this behaviour. But I am sure this is not the case as it happens always, and the rehearsal room has a electrical grounding which is very very good (as you described) and we have voltage regulators and so on. And as I said before, with my cheap Washburn I do not have the same problem in the same place at all!!!!

I have been talking with a very nice person at Line6 customer support, but he has told me that it is a consequence of guitar design, so that it is the expected behaviour. Honestly, I do not think so, and that is why I opened this thread and marked it as a question (in order for him to see it). It is not that I do not trust him (they have been always very good at giving advices), but I think he might be a little confused, or maybe I have not been able to explain myself clear enough.

Anyone else can also give his/her thoughts on this thread, please?

Best Regards,

Daf



Re: JTV 59 - Hum noise on mag pickups
by edstar1960 on 2012-01-09 02:35:32

Hi Daf,

I had a listen to your sound sample on headphones and I could not hear any hum - maybe its just me or my equipment but I could not hear it.

Having said that, I do know exactly what you are speaking about having experienced it myself on at least 2 JTV59s.

I was also told that this was just down to the guitar design and that all JTVs to some degree or other have hum from the mag pick ups when using the VDI cable, and that this was most likely down to the D/A convertor on the guitar and was being looked at by Line6.

Nick has not had any issue with his JTVs and I didn't experience it with my first JTV59 (or at least I did not notice it). So maybe it does not affect all JTVs - maybe some are more prone to it than others and that may be down to slight differences in production or quality inconsistency with base hardware. Pure speculation on my part.

I can tell you that my 2nd JTV59 suffered really badly from mag pickup hum, it went back to Line6 UK for repair and still had bad hum and earthing issues when it returned after having its main electronic components replaced.

My 3rd JTV59 does exhibit the problem but only slightly so I can live with it.

I have both an X3L and an HD500.  If I use my JTV59 with my X3L then I can barely notice any issue, but if I use the HD500 then it is quite obvious, however, if I ensure my HD500 is connected to either an amp, a mixer or a powere PA speaker that is plugged in (not switched on - just plugged in) then the hum levels are comparable to what I get with my X3L.  I believe this is because the X3L power supply provides an earth but the HD500 one does not, therefore, if I provide the HD500 with an earth route then the hum becomes much quieter.  Does your JTV59 hum problem get much quieter if you ensure the HD500 is connected to an amp, mixer, PC that has an earth connection?  Or does it make no difference?

The other interesting thing you state is that you get the same problem when using the 1/4 jack, and I think I had that issue with the 2nd JTV59, but that one generally seemed to have a bad earth problem. It doesn't seem to be an issue with my 3rd JTV59 but I haven't tested that for a while as I always use the VDI cable, plus I am using it mainly with my X3L which does have better earthing then the HD500, but I know that my current JTV will produce a little earth fizz/grounding sound when I touch the strings particularly on high gain settings, but I get the same thing off my Gibson LP Standard, but I don't get it on any of my other humbucking equipped guitars.

I hope my experiences have helped you a little.  You are certainly not alone.

In my opinion, from listening to your sound sample, I don't think your JTV has a fault, and I think if you sent it in to Line6 to look at then they may very well say the same thing.  I don't think the JTV59 should have any hum issues, but I know from experience that some do and that some are more noisy than others and the line where that noise moves into unacceptable will depend very much on your own preferences and will vary from person to person.

If you have no other problems with your JTV59 and if the hum is something that you can live with or work around then, although it may be annoying, my advice would be to stick with it for now and wait to see if Line6 provide either a firmware or hardware solution for the issue.

Good luck with whatever you decide to do.

Best Regards


Eddie



Re: JTV 59 - Hum noise on mag pickups
by daferalo on 2012-01-10 08:59:52

Hi Eddie,

Thanks for your answer, your words are highly appreciated ("you are certainly not alone"). All of you guys are excellent and I am very thankful, I also try to help other forum users if I know I can help them, and If you consider I can do something for you, please let me know!!!

Yes, the hum noise is noticeable. I mean, I do not know if "hum" is the correct term, maybe "buzz" (although it is more related to amps) or ground loops or bad earth connections or, as you call it, "earth fizz/grounding sound" are more accurate terms, but I think everyone knows what we are talking about. You can hear it at the sound sample I've attached, in the first 8 seconds there is a "gggggggg" sound (sorry, there is not a correct letter to describe that sound), then I touched the strings and it totally dissapeared. It is a sound very similar to what you get when you use high gain amps or effects. BUT it comes up ONLY when nothing metallic is touched in the guitar. And remember, that sound sample correspond to an unprocessed signal, so imagine what happens when I add some sort of gain!!

I agree with you about it is a very subjective thing, so that for some guys this could be acceptable and for others could not. That is why there are standars, and I would like to know what the standars are for Line6 (if existed) in regard to this issue. If they existed, I would like to know why they are not reported at the moment when you buy the guitar. That is a customer right. And when I play my cheap Washburn MG 24 and that noise does not sound at all, I wonder "Why should it be present in a $1500 guitar?". Please, do not get me wrong, I think this guitar is wonderful.

I was not very concerned about that noise until some day I was playing in my house, and my mom came in to my room and asked: "what is that noise?". I got very surprised, at first moment I did not know what she was talking about, but then she said "look, that sound dissapeared", and I realized what she meant and that it could be an important issue. I mean, my mom does not know anything about music (she cooks very nice, though), but she was able to notice it. And the fact is that it is noticeable!!!!!!

In regard to your question, up until now the noise always comes up, no matter if I am connected to the HD 500 or directly in front of an amp or mixer, and with very good earth connections, so it does not make any difference. That is why I think there might be something wrong and I am asking for your opinions, in order to talk with Line6 customer support (they think this is normal due to the pickups are wired to the bridge).

Thank you very much again. Best Regards,

Daf



Re: JTV 59 - Hum noise on mag pickups
by spikey on 2012-01-11 13:53:21

OTOH, The 1st variax JTV69 that I had was noisy as hell with the pickups selected until I touched the strings, just as you stated.

However the 2nd one I have now is very quiet. My house wiring has not changed... YMMV... ; )



Re: JTV 59 - Hum noise on mag pickups
by daferalo on 2012-01-11 16:44:07

Hi Spikey,

Thanks for your replies. Did you return your first guitar due to the noisy magnetic pickups?

It seems this issue to be like a lottery. Where are the Line6's standars in regard to this subject?

Best Regards,

Daf



Re: JTV 59 - Hum noise on mag pickups
by Line6Don on 2012-01-20 11:45:47

As I mentioned in our open support ticket, you can have the guitar repaired under warranty. To our knowledge this is part of the design of the guitar, as the pickups are wired to the bridge to be grounded as most guitars are. For more information about warranty repair, you can review the information at the links below:

http://line6.com/support/docs/DOC-4838

Moreinformation about Line 6 repairs in general is available at the link below:

 

http://line6.com/support/docs/DOC-1606



Re: JTV 59 - Hum noise on mag pickups
by spikey on 2012-01-23 18:45:29

Don, are the guitars single point grounded, or are they grounded all over the inside of the cavity?

This and proper shielding makes a huge difference in the noise.

Daf, yes the 1st was returned for that and other issues.



Re: JTV 59 - Hum noise on mag pickups
by daferalo on 2012-01-23 19:32:35

Hi Spikey, very good point!! Thanks for your reply.

Don, could you please answer to Spikey?



Re: JTV 59 - Hum noise on mag pickups
by Line6Don on 2012-01-24 10:03:25

They are grounded to multiple points within the cavity as well as the bridge.



Re: JTV 59 - Hum noise on mag pickups
by spikey on 2012-01-25 19:51:33

Can you request a change to single point grounding Don?

Thanks



Re: JTV 59 - Hum noise on mag pickups
by Line6Don on 2012-01-31 16:52:07

After clarifying this with our repair tech, it is classified as a single point ground guitar. There are mulitple runs that ground to one point within the cavity.



Re: JTV 59 - Hum noise on mag pickups
by daferalo on 2012-01-31 17:37:46

Hi Don,

So, that "one point" would be in the bridge? Or below the tone knob control?



Re: JTV 59 - Hum noise on mag pickups
by Line6Don on 2012-02-01 08:21:52

The main ground point is located underneath the tone controls.



Re: JTV 59 - Hum noise on mag pickups
by daferalo on 2012-02-01 10:23:10

Line6Don escribió:

The main ground point is located underneath the tone controls.

So, why do the hum noise dissapear when touching the bridge or strings if this hum is not routed to the ground through, i. e., the bridge?? it does not make sense to me!!! I mean, there should be a problem for sure in my guitar.



Re: JTV 59 - Hum noise on mag pickups
by Line6Hugo on 2012-02-02 11:47:54

It's tought to tell if there is a problem with you guitar.  Listening to the audio you provided, I really don't hear anything problematic.  All magnetic pickup equipped guitars have some level of noise or hum that lessens when you touch the hardware that is grounded.

If the noise you are experiencing is louder than normal hum from magnetic pickups, it may need to be serviced.  Where was the guitar purchased from and where are you located?

Regards,

Line6Hugo



Re: JTV 59 - Hum noise on mag pickups
by daferalo on 2012-02-02 12:15:30

Hi Hugo,

Thanks for the replies.

Remember that the audio sample I have attached corresponds to a totally unprocessed signal, e. g. the natural sound provided by the magnetic pickups without any kind of processing (no amp, no gain, no compression and so on) recorded directly on my laptop. So, if I use an amp, or a distortion-like effect, the hum would be even more audible accordingly. Perhaps, that is why you do not hear anything wrong in the sample.

By doing a comparisson with my cheap Washburn MG 24, which is noiseless, I think that there should be something wrong with my JTV. Moreover, if the ground point is not located in the bridge, as Line6Don said, I do not understand why the hum lowers to such extent once I touch the bridge.

I was also told that I would need to ship the guitar back to USA (I purchased mine through Musicians Friends) to get my guitar assessed and repaired by the warranty, according to Line6's warranty policies. However, it would be too costly for me to do so. That is why I asked for some pictures showing good ground connection at least, in order for me to compare the state of my guitar.

Best Regards,

Daf



Re: JTV 59 - Hum noise on mag pickups
by Line6Don on 2012-02-02 15:28:16

As I mentioned above:

"There are mulitple runs that ground to one point within the cavity." The guitar has multple points where it is grounded internally within the cavity, one of which is on the bridge, but all of the ground then are grounded to a single ground point on the guitar.



Re: JTV 59 - Hum noise on mag pickups
by daferalo on 2012-02-02 16:10:30

Hi Don,

Thank you very much for clarifying the concept. It would be very nice to be able to see a picture of a properly grounded JTV-59 guitar, for sure!! Anyway, I understand what you told me before.

Cheers,

Daf



Re: JTV 59 - Hum noise on mag pickups
by praguebob on 2012-02-13 04:42:45
I was getting a hum noise (sometimes worse, sometimes better - seemingly random) on the mag pickups of my JTV-59  which I solved completely by tightening the three-way switch, which was slightly loose (I could turn it with my fingers).


Re: JTV 59 - Hum noise on mag pickups
by daferalo on 2012-02-13 06:32:38

Hi Praguebob,

Thank you very much for your input!!! very helpful, for sure it is something to take into account. However, I checked my JTV and it is not the case.

Best Regards,

Daf



Re: JTV 59 - Hum noise on mag pickups
by spikey on 2012-02-17 22:02:00

http://www.guitarnuts.com/wiring/shielding/shield3.php

http://www.guitarnuts.com/wiring/shielding/shield3.php">http://www.guitarnuts.com/wiring/shielding/shield3.php

__jive_macro_name="quote" class="jive_text_macro jive_macro_quote _jivemacro_uid_13295463115977917" jivemacro_uid="_13295463115977917">

Line6Don wrote:

As I mentioned above:

"There are mulitple runs that ground to one point within the cavity." The guitar has multple points where it is grounded internally within the cavity, one of which is on the bridge, but all of the ground then are grounded to a single ground point on the guitar.

Don, Please see the site listed above. This is true single point grounding.... I know because I have followed this many times since 1st reading it, and it worked for me.

FYI- Just soldering the grounds kinda close to one another all over the pot cavity (Like Fender and a few others do) is NOT single point grounding.

I know that is not what you are saying , Im just being clear as to what single point grounding is because it works when its done right.

Thanks




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