Jump to content
Nos402

Help with mag pickup hum

Recommended Posts

So first off let me say that I completely disassembled my JTV-69 to get the body refinished. In that process the black wire from the humbucker snapped off the circuit board on the pickup selector. I had my friend (who owns and runs a music store and knows what he's doing) solder it back on.

 

Ever since then I've felt like the mag pickups have more hum than they should, especially the humbucker. Now, truth is, I never use them as I only use the digital modeling, but I would like them as an option in case of emergency. 

 

The thing is, I'm not even *sure* there's anything wrong. I'm wondering if I'm just so used to the silence of the digital models and am scrutinizing extra hard since I know it was disassembled and had to have that wire re-soldered and such. I took it to Guitar Center today just to compare it to a cheap $79 HSS Squier Strat in terms of noise. Again, I *think* it seems a little noisier, especially the humbucker but i'm just not sure.

 

Took another look inside at the electronics tonight, and nothing seems amiss. I was going to have my luthier take a look at it tomorrow to see if he could find anything obvious but he's not really familiar with electronics this complex. He's used to just regular old guitars. 

 

Just wondering if anyone had any ideas about it. The one thing that baffled me is that when I looked at the offical wiring schematic it shows "shield" and "black" going to W2 but I don't see a "shield". I see Black, Green, Red, White. Of course, I know very little about wiring and such.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the video Jandrio good information.  Nos402, I know what you mean about wondering of the noise got worse or is it just you are so used to having none with the modeling engaged.  I have a JTV59 and and 89F.  I only use modeling with the 59 but I do use the mag pickups in the 89F quite a bit.  I remember reharsing in my basement with the band and hearing a slight buzz and thinking it was my bass player, however it was me using the mags on the 89F which at the time I felt was pretty loud, specifically because I was so used to how quiet the guitar was in modeling mode.  Just to make sure I wasn't going crazy I grabbed my 78 Gibson the Paul and the level of hum was pretty much the same.  The videos Jandrio posted though are excellent guides for trouble shooting and reducing hum.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Luthier did NOT find anything wrong and said they sounded normal to him so I guess i'm just spoiled by the silence of digital models!

Edited by Nos402

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a 59 with the humbuckers, and later picked up the 69S with 3 single-coil pu's. I've been a Fender guy for 40+ years and have constantly fought with PU hum. My Tele Deluxe from 1973 is not too bad as it has Fender's first real HB's designed by Seth Love who worked for Gibson, originally, I believe. My 78 Strat, though was a problem with it's SC's... Love the sound though. When I got my Variax 300 in 2005, as curiosity got the better of me, and the price was in my range, I was pleased by the quietness (lack of hum) of the guitar. It also opened my eyes more to other guitar models I had never had the opportunity to play much.... Mainly HB equipped Gibson's, etc...I then picked up an Epiphone LP Classic -- very nice guitar at about a 5th of the cost of its Gibby cousins with similar features....

 

Anyway, with all physical pickups, they have differing amounts of noise pickup. Humbuckers way less than single coils, but still there is some hum. Gigging out at that point, I was using 3 guitars, my Variax 300, the Epi LP Classic, and an Ovation Acoustic-Electric. The JTV's were released, and were pretty much a game changer for me. The 59 I have has pretty minimal hum with it's physical mags, but still about what any HB gets. My LP slid to the backup position, and I stopped taking the Ovation. I got to thinking if the 59 broke a string, there many songs we'd have to skip in the sets until I could replace the string at break time, so started thinking about a 2nd JTV.

 

The 69S was released in late summer of 2012 -- being a Strat guy, that one is more in my comfort zone than the regular 69 with the HSS layout, so I bought one. It felt right to me, BUT I realized I had the hum back when using the mags.... Some times worse than others -- neon lights in bars, light dimmers, etc., etc... I had been totally spoiled by the noise rejection of the HB PU's and modeling of the 59, and HB guitars in general.

 

Within a few months, I took the chance and got a set of DiMarzio noiseless single coils and replaced the 69S's original single coils. Other manufacturers make their versions and different models as well. It totally silenced the noise pickup of the 69S. I was amazed, and very pleased. The 69S tends to be the one in my hands all night, and now the 59 is on the stand as backup. I play the mag PU's probably 90% of the time on either guitar, and use the models for specific sounds in some songs, acoustics, banjo's, odd tunings, and such, but the mag sounds are very critical for me.

 

The 69S original PU's were totally fine as far as the sound they had, as with the 59's HB's -- others disagree and change those out.... I was fine with the 69S PU's, but wanted to try to cut the inherent hum that SC's just normally have compared to HB's.

 

Dave

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You could buy (or try) a Electro-Harmonix "Hum Debugger". I recently bought one because since I power my JTV-89F externally I also have hum (but only when using the mag pickups).

 

The Hum debugger works really well, has two positions (normal and strong). The "normal" position is enough to cancel out almost all hum with just a slight change in tone. BTW: it's not a noise gate and not a filter; it's an active noise reduction.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What am I missing here? Just use a noise gate with the mags. Or am I oversimplifying things again?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a G&L Legacy (their take on the SSS Stratocaster). Like most Strats, the 1, 3, & 5 switch positions were really noisy.

 

I shielded the entire pickup cavity with copper tape from StewMac. The adhesive is conductive; it electrically connects all of the pieces just by overlapping them.

 

I also shielded the back side of the pickguard, the spring cavity, and the back of the spring cavity cover.

 

To connect the pickguard and spring-cover shielding to the body, just wrap a bit of the tape from the cavity over the top of the guitar, where it will be hidden by the plastic.

 

I soldered a wire between the pickup cavity shield and the ground terminal on the output jack. I also made sure that the ground wire from the bridge was connected.

 

In the spring cavity, I soldered a wire from the shield to the existing ground wire for the springs.

 

Now the pickup and spring cavities are basically Faraday cages. All stray electrical interference goes to ground instead of into the pickups or springs. I can play any pickup setting into an amp or PA, standing under fluorescent lights, while someone talks on a walkie-talkie. The guitar is dead silent.

 

I've come to really love the single-coil positions, now that I can fully exploit them.

 

I encourage anyone with a Strat or Tele to try this mod. It makes a huge difference.

 

-Rob

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Luthier did NOT find anything wrong and said they sounded normal to him so I guess i'm just spoiled by the silence of digital models!

 

Yeah, my 69s' pickups are very noisy. Definitely not hum cancelling single coils. You have to use a noise gate.

 

I still find natural noise on the models when using the modeling, but if you feed anything through high gain you're bound to bring up the noise floor a bit, so, noise gate is always a nice thing to have to get rid of that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If I ever upgrade the pickups on my 69S I will use low noise pickups.  I can't use the mags in my music room with an overhead speed controlled ceiling fan.  The Variax in modeling mode is dead quiet.  My G&L ASAT with EMG active pickups is pretty quiet too.  Active pickups are one answer to pickup hum or noise.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I probably wont do any customization to my JTV until the warranty runs out, just to be on the safe side. I probably will do stuff to my guitar afterwards though. There's a small chance I might swap the neck out one day just to be a little better, but right now it's fine. Maybe when fretwear starts to become evident.

 

If I installed new pickups, I'd probably want splitting single coil sized humbuckers or something, and I'd just put another switch in the pickguard or something.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Speaking of noise, I'm noticing the JTV picks up mechanical noise a lot more than my 600. A noise gate helps get rid of. Must be the piezos. The upside of the piezos is that using the whammy bar doesn't have a volume drop, maybe because the the piezo elements have more of a rounded pill shape to allow the string to always sit against it regardless of the angle of the bridge.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×