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View Full Version : Les Paul Hum- Hands off strings- Grounding?


KSKONDOR
05-30-2011, 07:46 PM
Am I correct a properly wired les paul should be hum free, and that if I get him with hands off my strings, it's a grounging issue, if there is no hum when the strings are touched?
Thanks. Matt

Felix Leclerc
05-30-2011, 08:08 PM
You sir are correct.

Pantone 333
05-30-2011, 09:16 PM
Is it hum or buzz? I get buzz when my hands are of the strings.

Tone Disciple
05-30-2011, 09:21 PM
Hum can occur from a lot of sources, but what you are describing does sound like a basic grounding issue. I have this issue when I am not plugged into grounded outlets.

Joe Naylor
05-30-2011, 10:00 PM
If it is properly grounded, hum should increase when you remove your hands from the strings.

Tone Disciple
05-31-2011, 12:06 AM
If it is properly grounded, hum should increase when you remove your hands from the strings.

Really!? I did not know that. Please elaborate.

Findthetone
05-31-2011, 01:00 AM
If you have swapped pickups make sure your ground is good i.e.: no cold solder joints. If it's still a problem, do you live in an old house? My house is over 100 yrs old and I have an open ground issue I'm currently fixing. If your house is old, invest in an outlet tester.

theruley
05-31-2011, 01:03 AM
If you have swapped pickups make sure your ground is good i.e.: no cold solder joints. If it's still a problem, do you live in an old house? My house is over 100 yrs old and I have an open ground issue I'm currently fixing. If your house is old, invest in an outlet tester.

best $6 you will spend.

Trebor Renkluaf
05-31-2011, 01:23 AM
Why does this keep coming up? Joe Naylor is correct. Take a look at all these Les Paul wiring diagram:

http://www.millerguitar.com/images/wiring/lp_style.jpg

http://lespaulelectricguitars.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/les-paul-3pu-schematic.jpg

http://img129.imageshack.us/img129/5989/33915460.png

Notice they all have a "ground to bridge" or "ground to tailpiece". What touches the bridge and the tailpiece? The strings. What touches the strings? Your hand. What are you? Ground.

Jef Bardsley
05-31-2011, 04:57 AM
You're not a ground, you're being grounded. Usually, touching the amp chassis produces the same results as touching the strings.

http://www.guitarnuts.com/technical/noisebucket.php

Humbucking pickups buck the AC 60-cycle hum, and are somewhat less effective at reducing static and RFI, those being random and high frequency, respectively. Also the shielding of the Gibson style wiring is less than 100%. The sort of cavity paint/foil measures Fender players use will have a slight effect, albeit in the "not worth the trouble" range for most of us.

If you're using "high gain", then you just realised why powered pickups are a metal masher's best friend. If not, and you don't play around, then sometimes it's easier to remove the source of noise from your room. Dimmer switches, TV/computer CRTs, fluorescent light ballasts or antique Bally tables are often the problem.

Mostly, though, LP players just live with it, and turn one of the volume knobs down when they're not able to keep a hand on the strings.

TD_Madden
05-31-2011, 05:14 AM
I'm glad to read this post as I've been pursuing how to end that bothersome buzz for a long time; all the outlets are wired properly, guitar wiring checked and double checked, etc. Hands on the strings removes the buzz. I think a lot of us believe that since the amp is grounded (and by extension so is the guitar), there shouldn't be any untoward noises.

Of course, my music room DOES have an overhead flourescent light and the a/c unit is just outside.....I'm guessing that it's as good as it's going to be, and just turn down the volume when not touching the strings.

doveman
05-31-2011, 05:57 AM
This is how I fixed mine ... I upgraded the wiring while I was there.

http://www.thegearpage.net/board/showthread.php?t=622683

The player is not the ground.

KSKONDOR
05-31-2011, 08:39 AM
Why does this keep coming up? Joe Naylor is correct. Take a look at all these Les Paul wiring diagram:

http://www.millerguitar.com/images/wiring/lp_style.jpg

http://lespaulelectricguitars.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/les-paul-3pu-schematic.jpg

http://img129.imageshack.us/img129/5989/33915460.png

Notice they all have a "ground to bridge" or "ground to tailpiece". What touches the bridge and the tailpiece? The strings. What touches the strings? Your hand. What are you? Ground.
Obviously based on the number of responses not everyone gets it. By trade, I sell widgets internationally, and am intelligent, and good at what I do, but I am not an electronics wiz which is why I come to a guitar forum. Thanks for your input. Matt

doveman
05-31-2011, 08:45 AM
Obviously based on the number of responses not everyone gets it. By trade, I sell widgets internationally, and am intelligent, and good at what I do, but I am not an electronics wiz which is why I come to a guitar forum. Thanks for your input. Matt

Only problem is that the answer given there is incorrect. The whole "you are the ground thing" is not true. If you read the link above that is from the guitarnuts site (jef's post) ... it's pretty accurate. Sounds like you just need some shielding ... I linked in an old post where I fixed my Les Paul that had the same problem you might find interesting.

bigdaddy
05-31-2011, 08:50 AM
I'd bet the OP is sitting in front of his computer whilst he experiences this.

doveman
05-31-2011, 08:55 AM
I'd bet the OP is sitting in front of his computer whilst he experiences this.

The best piece of home recording gear that I ever bought was a flat screen monitor. But a bit of shielding made my LP noiseless ... as it should be.

:)

KSKONDOR
05-31-2011, 09:20 AM
I'd bet the OP is sitting in front of his computer whilst he experiences this.
Actually I was sitting on my houses fusebox and using a plugged in neon lamp as a glass slide. The amp was plugged into my 1974 diesel generator. My wife had on her mxing bowl and the dryer was running. And it was in the middle of a thunderstorm.

No...well grounded new house. In the basement, no electrical nearby except for anything running through the walls in that corner which shouldn't be much. I think it's just a grounding issue on the LP.

Blue4Now
05-31-2011, 10:32 AM
If it is properly grounded, hum should increase when you remove your hands from the strings.


yes!!!!!!! this is correct it is amazing how many people do not realize this

guitarzan58
05-31-2011, 10:39 AM
:horse

Aran
05-31-2011, 10:41 AM
yes!!!!!!! this is correct it is amazing how many people do not realize this

Folks expect complete silence. Of course reality is something completely different. My R9 makes noise too unless I grasp it to play. It doesn't bother me in the least because I expect it if I have a OD pedal on and not holding it. That's just how guitars are at times.

You'll be chasing the dog's tail if you're trying to get a completely silent rig.

If you don't like even that slight buzz you could always get a Decimator pedal or similar noise reduction of some type.

http://www.isptechnologies.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=46&Itemid=63

KSKONDOR
05-31-2011, 12:02 PM
Yeah, it seems like a trade off. I do have a noiseless SCN Deluxe Tele that has significantly less hum than the LP so even though I do expect some hum, I still think there is a grounding issue with the LP. It has aftermarket wiring and I think there must be something not quite right. I'll just take it back to the guy who did it and have him look at it. Thanks for everyones responses. I do hear noise at big shows too I suppose but once the band starts you don't notice.

Joe Naylor
05-31-2011, 12:18 PM
A couple thoughts:

If the pickups have metal covers, have him check to make sure the covers are grounded... I have seen covers wire hot, caused by the pickup leads wired backwards.

Also make sure the pickups are not wired in coil tap/single-coil mode by accident.

doveman
06-12-2011, 06:50 AM
I stumbled on this link I posted in the LP forum a while back. Thought about a couple of threads over here recently where there was some debate ... some right ... some wrong I think. But I think this is a really good description of both grounding and it's relation to shielding and guitar grounding. Anyway ... thought it was worth dropping in to these recent threads.

http://www.taylorguitars.com/see-hear/Video.aspx?file=AudioGrounding_High.wmx

Earlier in the thread I posted what I had to do to get my LP Traditional to stop humming. I had a good ground but it needed shielding to fix my problem. But this explains what happens to the noise collected by my shielding. Without the ground ... I would still have noise. I am not the ground.