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videoman77

Noise & Buzzing HD500X

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Hey Everyone, over the last couple months i have been having to compensate for excessive buzz and noise with the noise suppressor.  I keep having to increase the threshold.

 

When i put my hands on the guitar  or on something medal the buzz goes away.  Including touching the medal bar on the hd500x.  I thought "it couldn't be the POD" so i swapped cables...from monster to just a cheap brand...no change.  Then i thought, it must be the headphones. So i swapped those, still noisy. I have the threshold up to like 60 btw.  Then i plugged the Left 1/4 out to a professional MAUDIO studio speaker....still buzzing.  So my thought was then "since it can't be the pod" it must be my Gibson SG.  So i took the back cover off of the guitar..all solder points are solid, no frayed wires...everything is perfect.  Just for grins i blew some compressed air in there for good measure.  Still Noisy!  So i thought "it must be a functional problem with the Guitar" as it buzzes on almost every position but the loudest in the bridge pickup.  So i took it in to my local luther (sp?) and had him check it out.  He took the guitar out of the case, plugged it in with a cheap old cable, into a cheap looking solid state amp....The guitar was so quiet you could hear a mouse fart!

 

So he says what are you playing though...i say the Line 6 HD...before i could even get out the model name...he says..."Thats the issue!"

 

So now I'm here looking for answers on how to do the unthinkable troubleshoot the hd500x :(

 

Anyone have any suggestions?  Is this something that i should have repaired? Last time i got a repair on my X3 Live it didn't come back the same...acted weird and buggy.

 

Incidentally i have massive buzzing and noise when i play at church too...sometimes i have to crank the NS up to 70.

 

The best i can tell the noise comes when i add and amplifier.  I can't hear the buzz on an empty patch.  But as soon as i add any amplifier...buzz buzz buzz.

 

HELP!

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A few questions.

 

  • Did you have a similar buzzing issue with your previous amp/fx setup and the same guitar?
  • Have you tried a different cable between the guitar and the 500X?

All guitars act like antennas, and can pick up noise from all sorts of places (florescent lights, dimmers, neon-signs). Placing your hand on metal "shorts" the guitar and sends the RF noise to ground. Some guitars are more prone to noise than others. Single coils are most sensitive to picking up hum/noise. Humbukcers... well, they buck hum.

 

I'm not sure how you are running the sound at your church; are you using the balanced outputs?

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Hello! Yes I've swapped cables from guitar to amp. Also as I said I took the guitar in to shop and they plugged it into the cheapest little amp I've ever seen and my SG with humbuckers was quite as a mouse.

 

At church I run out xlr left to house PA we hear ourselves from an aviom system.

 

I noticed a new firmware update I could try. The description mentions noise but not same issue as mine.

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I noticed a new firmware update I could try. The description mentions noise but not same issue as mine.

 

Have you tried engaging the Ground Lift switch (on the front panel by the Volume/EXP pedal) for the XLRs? Is your SG loaded with Humbuckers or P90s?

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It's the chrome/silver hum-buckers. I thought the ground lift was in for 1/4 out? Anyway no effect when I switch it.

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Hey Everyone, over the last couple months i have been having to compensate for excessive buzz and noise with the noise suppressor.  I keep having to increase the threshold.

 

When i put my hands on the guitar  or on something medal the buzz goes away.  Including touching the medal bar on the hd500x.  I thought "it couldn't be the POD" so i swapped cables...from monster to just a cheap brand...no change.  Then i thought, it must be the headphones. So i swapped those, still noisy. I have the threshold up to like 60 btw.  Then i plugged the Left 1/4 out to a professional MAUDIO studio speaker....still buzzing.  So my thought was then "since it can't be the pod" it must be my Gibson SG.  So i took the back cover off of the guitar..all solder points are solid, no frayed wires...everything is perfect.  Just for grins i blew some compressed air in there for good measure.  Still Noisy!  So i thought "it must be a functional problem with the Guitar" as it buzzes on almost every position but the loudest in the bridge pickup.  So i took it in to my local luther (sp?) and had him check it out.  He took the guitar out of the case, plugged it in with a cheap old cable, into a cheap looking solid state amp....The guitar was so quiet you could hear a mouse fart!

 

So he says what are you playing though...i say the Line 6 HD...before i could even get out the model name...he says..."Thats the issue!"

 

So now I'm here looking for answers on how to do the unthinkable troubleshoot the hd500x :(

 

Anyone have any suggestions?  Is this something that i should have repaired? Last time i got a repair on my X3 Live it didn't come back the same...acted weird and buggy.

 

Incidentally i have massive buzzing and noise when i play at church too...sometimes i have to crank the NS up to 70.

 

The best i can tell the noise comes when i add and amplifier.  I can't hear the buzz on an empty patch.  But as soon as i add any amplifier...buzz buzz buzz.

 

HELP!

I just have one question. What does a mouse fart sound like?

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Ok, I guess I have another question.

 

Are the electrical outlets where you're plugging in grounded? The reason I ask is because in my house I have both grounded and ungrounded electrical outlets. If I plug into the grounded outlets, I get very minimal buzzing from high gain amps, and a noise gate makes it disappear completely.

 

If, however, I plug into an ungrounded outlet, I get very loud buzzing on high gain amps, and I have to really turn the noise gate up to compensate, and I usually can't get rid of it completely.

 

This is true of all of my equipment; it happens with my POD HD500X and with my Peavey Vypyr VIP II amp. In my case, it's totally related to the electrical wiring in my house and I have zero problems at church where the wiring is better, or in the outlets in my house where the plugs are grounded.

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First thing I would've tried if this happened to me, would be switching to 1/4 outs for a test. I've seen

many cases where XLR caused noise issues, which is contradictive, seen as tho XLR terminations

where designed for better noise cancelling properties, XLR outputs are hotter than the 1/4 outs.

Could be a loose GND wire at one of the sockets inside the POD itself ?

 

Simple process of elimination should nut it out.

 

Swap cables (1/4 and XLR), no ? put cables back

Swap with a diff guitar, no ? put guitar back.

Swap POD for another MFX or stomp pedal, no ? put POD back.

Swap guitar amp (if in use as-well as PA), no ? put amp back.

 

You get the point. As for the noise fix in the firmware update, I believe it was just for a USB audio issue.

 

Ultimately, my instincts tell me the POD is at fault, with a bad ground connection at one of the sockets.

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Ok so i found an outlet in my home that has one of those little reset buttons on it.  I think that one is suppose to be grounded. Anyway, same buzz.  I will try the 1/4 outs at church wednesday night to see if that makes a difference there.  But as for my home its just something i guess i'll have to live with.  Wish there was like a grounding mat or something that could be placed under the unit.  Anyone know of anything like that?

 

Thanks for the help btw :)

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A grounding mat isn't really a solution, just a side step to the main cause.

And I don't think throwing new gear at it is a solution either. You really need to hunt down

the suspect causing your noise first, then start looking at specific solutions, which I have

many to throw at you, lol, but first things first, do your process of elimination till your sure.

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swapped the hd500x for my old x3 that has some issues but still lets me do some things.  Buzz is till there :(

 

The only other stomp i have is a strymon BigSky, but i can't really hear it and it doesn't really have a headphone jack so it needs to be patched into an amp...which i don't have.

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If all else fails, try swapping every single element simultaneously, including your guitar and amp, at least then

you'll know its a high possibility that the problem just may originate from the mains power at your property. Or

alternatively, go to another property away from your mains CCT, and see if you can replicate the problem there.

If the problem is still there, it HAS to be a problem somewhere in your current equipment. Back to square one. 

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Just as a side note, I keep one of these hum destroyers just in-case I run into grounding issues

that's common to guitar gear when interfaced with other gear. http://www.behringer.com/EN/Products/HD400.aspx

Not saying it will definitely fix it for you, but its a worthy last resort, and cheap.

As for mains grounding, technically this is an "earth" connection rather than a grounding.

Typically, an earthed power socket/plug/cable will consist of 3 pins/wires, as opposed to the 2

pins/wires on non-earthed power connections. Also, I would take a hard look at the power

supply that Line6 supplied with your HD500X, it may be defective. Hope this helps.

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Does the noise go away if you have nothing plugged into the HD500?

 

Does the noise go away if you turn down both volume controls on your SG?

 

Getting no noise at the shop may just mean his electrical distribution is well grounded and/or isolated from the lights. At a previous home I'd get more noise the closer the guitar got to the ceramic tile floor. Have no idea why. I could also change the noise by facing the guitar in different directions or moving around the room. I actually found a magic spot in the room where there was no noise at all.

 

My church recently added more stage lighting and noise got substantially worse. No wiring was changed. This indicates the source is external to me and my FX. Not inly do I have noise but the bass is even worse (because they have single coil pickups). I line the guts of his guitar with copper foil and the noise got much, much better. Does anyone else get the noise at church besides you?

 

Do you have SPDIF connected to anything? Of so, disconnect it and listen thru headphones. SPDIF may be causing a ground loop due to its shield (Line6 should have used an optical TOSLINK to solve this issue).

 

The fact that it goes away when you touch the strings almost certainly indicates your guitar is picking up AC hum from the surroundings. The SG has a little wire from control cavity to the bridge hardware to do this "touching" for you. I wonder if this wire is broken or corroded. On my SG it is just press-fitted between the bridge foot and the wood, hoping to stay in contact with the bridge. Slight corrosion could easily break that connection. It would be far better to screw it onto the bridge/tailpiece somewhere. If you or a friend has an ohmmeter, check the continuity between a string and the ground of the 1/4" jack on the guitar. It should be less than 1 ohm.

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Does the noise go away if you have nothing plugged into the HD500?

 

Does the noise go away if you turn down both volume controls on your SG?

Yes. When nothing is plugged in its quite through headphones

If i turn down the volume the level of hum and noise gets worse until the knob is completely turned off.

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Videoman, everything you've said seems to point to the guitar picking up electromagnetic radiation. I don't believe this is an HD500x problem. I know you had the guitar checked out but I'm not sure if the ground connection from the jack to the strings was checked. That would not be a normal thing to look at, I think. That's what my next step would be.

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Do you have any other guitars you can try with? This really sounds like a ground issue with the guitar rather than the HD500.

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Just as a side note, I keep one of these hum destroyers just in-case I run into grounding issues

that's common to guitar gear when interfaced with other gear. http://www.behringer.com/EN/Products/HD400.aspx

Not saying it will definitely fix it for you, but its a worthy last resort, and cheap.

As for mains grounding, technically this is an "earth" connection rather than a grounding.

Typically, an earthed power socket/plug/cable will consist of 3 pins/wires, as opposed to the 2

pins/wires on non-earthed power connections. Also, I would take a hard look at the power

supply that Line6 supplied with your HD500X, it may be defective. Hope this helps.

 

This behringer box has worked for me as well. When i was running a multi amp setup (pod on one side / amp on the other) I was getting a ground loop. This box took care of the issue. Must be used in front of the amp or pod to avoid tone suckage.

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Ok i borrowed a guitar from my friend. Its a strat style kona.  Tone sounds great, but im getting the same loud buzz without the Noise Gate on.  So im thinking this is a ground or sheilding problem with the POD.

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I was about to ask how old your guitar was.

I just fixed a buzz that was created by a worn out (i.e. also Intermittent) guitar input.

One day it would be fine... another day it would crackle and buzz.

 

Turned out all I had to do was bend over the "Tip" connector to ensure it fully engaged (create better tension/spring contact).

The guitar is turning 20 years old so it's allowed. I've plugged into that thing easily a thousand times. :P

 

Sounds like you've got it figured out to be the POD. :(

 

Please post back to let us know how it gets fixed.

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Ok i borrowed a guitar from my friend. Its a strat style kona.  Tone sounds great, but im getting the same loud buzz without the Noise Gate on.  So im thinking this is a ground or sheilding problem with the POD.

 

Take your POD to your friends house if you can and try it there, both with your guitar and his.

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Yes, alienux is right. Strats are usually single coil and are notoriously noisy so your result could be that both guitars are as bad as each other regarding noise pickup. I'd move your setup to your friends house and try it there.

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First of all i really appreciate all the help everyone!

 

pfsmith0 & alienux,  i actually borrowed his guitar and brought it to work with me today and on my lunch break is where i tested it on my pod and the kona (strat style) and as i reported the buzz is horrendous!  Unless of course i use the noise gate and bump it up to about 40 to 60% on the threshold.

 

I've submitted a support ticket to line 6, so far their only reply is that this is typically caused by grounding from AC current...ie a wall outlet, and they suggested i try other outlets or other locations.  So everyone in this forum is Spot On with your diagnosis, however i think i've debunked that solution, at least in my case.  I really think the pod is the issue now.

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when this problem occurred a couple of months ago was there anything that  you changed or did it start suddenly?

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The only change i have made was the addition of using the fx loop for my external pedal the strymon bigsky.  That said when i remove it from the fx loop the buzz is still there.  Id say it was gradual change.  Started out as a little buzz i'd have to set threshold to like 20 or a little higher, now im having to really turn it up.

 

Also if i disable the amp in the signal chain it gets better...but thats probably just a result of it not gaining up the buzz.

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OK, so if it IS an HD500 problem then we have to figure out why it goes away when you unplug the guitar. And why it goes away when you touch metal on the POD or the guitar (man, this still sounds exactly like a classic grounding problem - having a hard time getting past that).

 

Idea: plug your guitar into the Aux input and change the patch input to Aux. If the noise goes away then it's a faulty Guitar Input circuit.

 

Another idea, with your guitar plugged in, change the Guitar In switch on the top from Normal to Pad and see if the noise gets better on PAD (which means it's the guitar/cable since the PAD invokes a HW attenuator, which is similar to turning down your guitar volume control - nothing changes in the digital domain).

 

Idea - do you have a microphone? Try plugging it into the XLR in the back and using your same patch except change the patch input to MIC and see what happens. If you have a 1/4" to XLR adaptor, plug the mic into the Guitar and Aux inputs. See if the noise comes or goes as you use different inputs. That will tell us if one of the input circuits is faulty.

 

A 3rd idea, do you have another sound source you can plug into the various input ports to see if it gets noisy? I don't trust the Strat to be a noise-free source. In fact, I'd be surprised if it DIDN'T give you noise.

 

Those are what come to mind at the moment.

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my thoughts are that if the noise stops when there is no input, the pod is at fault, since you have tested another guitar with the same results.  suppose there is a ground wire  or input plug fault in the pod. this, [Idea: plug your guitar into the Aux input and change the patch input to Aux. If the noise goes away then it's a faulty Guitar Input circuit.] sounds like a good test

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Honestly I would check into what pfsmith0 said with the ground going to the tail piece. I had the same thing happen to me it was driving me nuts. Like he said the ground wire is just sent to the bottom tail piece mount and it's supposed to ground against it when it's pressed into the hole. I had to change my strings anyways so I took them off got a rag to protect the finish and a set of side cutters and with the stud still screwed in used the tag as kind of a fulcrum and pried it out. You will see the wire there. I just moved the wire up the best I could so when I reseated it it made a good connection. I did have to do this a couple of times because it kept coming back but since the last time which must have been like four years ago I've had no issues.

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I should say too that I swore at the time it was a case of bad power given the age of the house but wasn't the case with me though that's always a possibility on your case

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Ok took back panel off and removed input jack. Looks like everything is soldered to back of pots. The only wire i saw going to the body of guitar was a paper clip kind of metal wire. Is that the ground? It was connected to the guitar.

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Ok took back panel off and removed input jack. Looks like everything is soldered to back of pots. The only wire i saw going to the body of guitar was a paper clip kind of metal wire. Is that the ground? It was connected to the guitar.

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the wire leading to the tailpiece is sometimes bare. i would do a continuity check to make sure it's connected unless you can see that it is in fact connected 

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The grounding wire in most passive pickup loaded guitars, is almost always connected to the back of

the tremolo system (close to the springs), so you need to remove the cover to that cavity for inspection.

Verify continuity from there, to the back of the pots, and then to the output jack, with a multimeter.

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No the tail piece or stop bar whichever way you want to say it. The bar that the ball end of the strings rest in. The wire goes to the stud closest to the pots. At least it does on my les pauls I'm sure it's the same for the sg. The multimeter approach like the other guys said would probably be a good idea before you try to tackle anything.

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Wether its to a tremelo system, or the bridge system, there should always be continuity

between those 2 with either, or both, the electronics approach is all the same. You

should even find continuity between the guitars strings, and output socket too.

I'll also add, that this grounding method, doesn't usually apply to active pickup guitars.

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Hey guys, I'm having a problem with a buzzing sound too when I connect my earphones, this happens when I place a distortion block or and mp block is switched on , but normal sound, there's no buzz.. Is this normal?

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