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grdGo33

Humming with high gain that goes away with touching metal part of the guitar? [solved!]

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I'm getting some bit of weird noise with high gain amps, where it's humming if I'm not touching any metal part of the guitar, but goes away as soon as I touch the strings or bridge.  I'm using headphone out to stereo amp & speakers, and just a guitar in cable...   Getting the same with multiple guitars, and what's strange is that it does it even with humbuckers.  It's almost like if there was a ground loop...   Sure, noise gate does help, but it doesn't feel quite normal that I'm getting that much 'electrical' noise for no apparent reason...

 

Any idea what could be causing it and is anyone getting the same thing?

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It's very normal with high gain particularly if you have other equipment running eg computers, lights, and it's worse with single coils than humbuckers. What guitar and pups do you have? 

 

Lots of things can contribute to noise e.g. earthing, shielding or lack of it in your guitar, your guitar leads, lights on dimmer switches, other devices plugged in on the same ring mains etc.

 

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Ibanez HSH or HH, Fender SSS, PRS SE HH, etc., What is weird is that if there was a ground loop, I would hear it from other systems (audio speakers, etc.), but it's really just from the Go, with high gain amps, so it doesn't look like it's a ground loop. 

 

Also, I don't get it from my L6 Spider amp, which to my knowledge doesn't have a noise gate, but maybe...  Hmmm...  Ha!  The Spider amp does have a 'hidden' defeatable noise gate, and if I turn it off manually, I'm getting similar noise...  So yeah maybe it is 'normal' behavior...!

 

Would using a power conditioner with the go + amp reduce or fix this issue?

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4 hours ago, grdGo33 said:

Would using a power conditioner with the go + amp reduce or fix this issue?

 

But if it's just really that every pickup will inherently pick up some noise, and high gain amplifies that noise a lot, then yeah power conditioner would do absolutely nothing...  But it is weird that it goes away if you touch the strings though.  It really does seem like there's some sort of grounding issue between the guitar and the Go. 

 

I can even touch just one of the guitar tuners and poof, the noise almost completely disappear!  On my Yamaha Pac, every of 5 pickup positions do it, even the humbucker and position 2 and 4 (which should be hum canceling), but the hum sounds different as you go through PUs options... 

 

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You should be able to tame or even do away with the hum using the Pod Go's noise gate. 

 

A Line conditioner may help, as in the US this type of issue is more prevalent than in the UK due to differences in mains electricity.  

 

However, check out the Electroharmonix Humdebugger which is brilliant. It is not a noise gate per SE but cleverly filters out hum with no perceivable impact on tone. 

 

 

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It's not the same type of hum though...  For instance, take here https://youtu.be/JAllMFGdQTI?t=996 this is like a magnetic hum from the pickups themselves, but if you notice, it doesn't go away when he touches the strings.  Mine does though!  Large hum, I touch the strings, bridge or tuners, and ploof, no more hum, gone!

 

But yeah I tested different guitars with the same amp & settings, and it does appear that the hum does vary by guitar.  For some reason, the Yamaha Pacifica's humbucker is by far the most noisy, and the only one which I now think has an issue with...  With the same OD + Amp with drive all the way up, all the other humbuckers do their job and stop the hum, but not this one...  I don't get it...  :\

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Sounds like a ring mains earth issue.  If you're in a house, try plugging into a different socket downstairs if you're up stairs & vice-a- versa, as these will usually be on a different circuit.  Also, check what else is physically plugged in and switched on - if everything is on a single circuit even things like a fridge could be causing the problem. A line conditioner may be the answer, or even a mains adapter that has some noise filtering eg 'Belkin'.   

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Well since it turned out to be mainly one guitar, I think that particular guitar is the culprit.  Found this:

 

Quote

https://forum.gibson.com/topic/115891-humbuckers-humming/

Humbucking pups prevent this because there are two coils "balanced" to prevent them from picking up the stray signals already there. Some "humbuckers" are more balanced than others. It is impossible to create a perfectly balanced pup in the first place, but due to research and technology, some are made less balanced than others on purpose because they "sound better".

 

It was a bit misleading because with lots of gain, compressor, distortion, etc., every guitar will hum at one point, so when configuring new patches I noticed the hum with different guitars, but when comparing directly guitars with the same settings,  then it became evident that one hummed much more than others, almost as much as a single coil...  Which is quite weird...

 

I don't think I'll bother with a power conditioner as the Go's noise gate fixes the issue, also I think my power is already fairly clean. Thanks for your help vox!  :)   Still weird that if I touch a guitar tuner, the hum stops though... LOL

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No probs  - out of interest, I think you said the problem was with your Pacifica - which model do you have?

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112V  https://oldtimemusic.com/yamaha-pacifica-112v/   Still great for beginners/amateurs, for what, 1/3rd cost of a Strat, great buy!  My US Strat gets barely any use in comparison...  The hum issue isn't that bad, and I couldn't find anyone else commenting on it anywhere, so might be an issue with mine.  Or... They're all the same, but it's largely a non-issue so nobody noticed...  Had it for years, and I just noticed a couple days ago, and had I not directly compared, probably would have never noticed it hummed more than the others.

 

My favorite PU config is definitely HSS, strat tones neck + humbucker bridge, best of both worlds.  I was thinking for a short while of upgrading to maybe something like an Ibanez AZ or Vola, but you're talking more than 5x the cost of the Pac...  Vola was interesting, especially since they now have distributors for US & Canada, but buying online isn't incredible when you can't try before hand... 

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I was just curious because I have a Pacifica too. Mine's a 611VFM in translucent black. I picked it up in mint condition from a very nice guy on Ebay for only £300 inc a gig bag. 

 

It's a cracking guitar that punches way, way above its weight with a Seymour Duncan P90 neck and Seymour Duncan bridge humbucker, Wilkinson VS50-6 bridge and trem, locking Grover machines, graphite nut and 3 way plus a push pull tone knob for single coil options. The neck is superbly comfortable with a lovely dark varnish and rosewood board, and it has a matching headstock.  The trem was set up badly when I got it, but I've set it up properly and it now returns beautifully.  It didn't come with the allen keys but I called Yamaha Music (London) and they very kindly sent me a set in a cute little holder.  

 

Qp944YAPcw4XKB4gBuGkl58ORmEVFwAwXlmAnTD-CidYXmeuZg4qp1xeMOoPS29TGtzLGbKyszzA-IrkHjYOKEwNKgOSuWgyazPOugTknLgvPLKVrCUlWkKt7f5mlydAIFMIywRM_wEl90aX47kgbMAVqMIImouf4ZwEP7IfT3TpFfSGx7ira-7W55jkfS-3b3WC2_s3v_mDa3B-sapnwCBZoRzmxQhBY_nklwSgiLjtnoqKZ9iHoCzNEM5vwdILYspZRrJR5s1x7tfN8zItu2ktygAQ2YXPgBoVvurqdT2b8JOFAO99urf7zsjRZfsTtq3UApqX39ZDzlMtwIWaLTtMPPdZAboISzKgKN6ynf7poURnOrtktBJWI6L1YLt3n3MLvO2prfDl8ZjL86HjGXZAVWw24t9qp5kd8cgI6_rjdCgCL9EvSbbhqOWClGbKk_pNAWk2aUaEcoWbLoztMxmnE49H3HgtKCw0fCR9Xj3fJMYe4JA9K_mzncePiBlm-Ob7kGCTvUV9tNPQmpa8HLR9A_QZvCz4th05OwD40W39G5zFC93dk2SdTmps0Ayoy20YBJ-3aqhlT-fAGo05XV_NnmwRS_WyTkvcyUfbA1wbpe8Z3-rflaNmXJfvM-ozzAfnpgsz2p1mKXCZcU3frR5e3MNlcgDgGUoqmCrxKLkmaYB_RGPcfsNtYwuWxA=w1768-h993-no?authuser=0

 

 

Yamaha Pacifica 611VFM Translucent Black Front

 

 

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On 7/7/2020 at 4:33 PM, voxman55 said:

Mine's a 611VFM in translucent black.

 

That's not a bad looking axe!!!  nice score for 300...!

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8 hours ago, grdGo33 said:

 

That's not a bad looking axe!!!  nice score for 300...!

 

Thanks - these are something like £550-600 new so it was a darned good price.  It's just a good 'workhorse' guitar with a nice range of tones that's typically an everyday guitar at home. But I rotate them so the last few days I've been playing my 2009 Daphne blue USA Strat. 

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I have also had some noise issues. The phenomenon you describe in that the noise is worse when you do not have contact with the strings, may be due to lack of grounding in the system. The Line 6 power supply has only 2 poles and no ground contact (At least the EU version). I use a Yamaha mixer that is not grounded either. Something that improved the situation for me was to connect a couple of studio monitors with grounded contacts to the mixer. Otherwise, as it is said here, there is always some noise in high gain amps and effects, and then you need to use noise gate. Another issue about noise. I bought a TC Electronic Hypergravity mini compressor pedal and tried it in the effect loop (Since four effects can be a bit limiting). There it made a lot of noise, but not if I put it in front of the POD. And (also mentioned above here): a guitar with single coils can make more noise, especially if it is not shielded with copper foil or similar in the cavities inside.

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I was also thinking about shielding the 112V guitar; since it's mostly worse with that one.  And I actually just did that, just using some aluminum foil on the pickguard and in the cavity of the 2 single coils.  The way the humbucker cavity is routed, there's not even enough space for 1 layer of aluminum!  So I thought this would do nothing since I couldn't really shield the humbucker, but lo and behold, it seemed to have worked!  I think it did a good difference, should have been more scientific and do a test before and after, but being lazy, I just did it, and I think it made a difference...

 

Oh yeah just compared with another guitar and it's definitely fixed.  Even with 2 distortion pedals + amp drive maxed, well, there's obviously a lot of noise, but no more of that "you need to touch the strings so that it doesn't hum like a mofo!"  :D  So yeah for me at least shielding the guitar made a big difference!

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On 7/11/2020 at 8:18 PM, voxman55 said:

Thanks - these are something like £550-600 new so it was a darned good price.  It's just a good 'workhorse' guitar with a nice range of tones that's typically an everyday guitar at home. But I rotate them so the last few days I've been playing my 2009 Daphne blue USA Strat. 

 

Btw Vox have you noticed that your Pacifica is noisier than others?  From what I read about the P90, they are extremely noisy, so I now think that there was probably a grounding issue with my 112V, and shielding it somehow fixed it...

 

I've seen some reviews vid where they had a Fender strat type guitar, and they had put just copper foil on the PU screws, and the switch, so not even shielding, just grounding the PUs and switch.  I think this is what solved it in my case.

 

I guess you could test it with yours, max distortion pedal and amp, see how it sounds, then just touching anything metal, see if the noise changes.  If it does, then probably just using foil on the pickguard, like this, just making sure it also covers the switch, would solve the issue, I would try that before foiling the entire thing...

 

pickguard.jpg?height=327&width=400

 

 

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My 611VFM is OK from a noise perspective - with all guitars, single coil pups inc coil split HB's will always be noisier than HB's but there's no excessive noise with the 611.  Glad you resolved your noise though - shielding will always help. 

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