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any les paul players have this issue?

howthewestwas1

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
1,294
so i have two historic les pauls, an R7 black beauty (fitted with a duncan custom and a '59) and an R8 (w/ a rio grande BBQ and genuine TX). BOTH of these guitars have a similar hum issue: they have a continuous hum/buzz that goes away when i touch anything that is electronically ground (bridge, pots, jacks, ring around the pickup switch, strings, etc...) or if i turn off the volume pot. this occurs with all pickup positions. it's not an overbearingly loud hum and i know it's somewhat "normal" to have it but continue reading...

i've used a multimeter to check continuity and resistance b/t the jack, pots, bridge, pickup switch, etc and everything is reading with out around 0.2-0.3 ohms so soldering and wiring seems to be good. i've checked to make sure the ground wire from neck volume pot to bridge stud is good by running a shielded wire directly from the pot to the bridge to see if it fixed anything and it didn't.

now i know the room/amp/cables, etc can all contribute to this type of hum. the kicker is i have an ESP guitar with the Custom/'59 config that does NOT have this problem at all. so it definitely seems to be an issue with both my les pauls.

after going through all the tests i'm left with two considerations:

1.) shielding - neither of the les pauls have shielded cavities. the ESP has shielding paint in all of its cavities along with some shielding foil on the removable back plate. i am considering buying some copper tape from stewmac.com to shield all my cavities. i know this has helped for many people so i think i may try it. anything i should worry about or know before i do?

2.) covered pickups - both les pauls have covered pickups where as the ESP has open coils. could the covers be adding extra noise? i've heard that the covers should reduce hum if anything. is there anything i can check with my les paul pickups other than reading their DC resistances (which i have done and they all check out to spec)?

i will say that the les pauls sound awesome and am more than pleased with the tone i am getting. i'd just like to see if there's a way to get rid of this hum to get the les pauls to be as quite as my ESP. any info or feedback on the tests i've done so far or if there is anything i'm overlooking would be greatly appreciated. much thanks.
 

walterw

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
38,449
1.) shielding - neither of the les pauls have shielded cavities. the ESP has shielding paint in all of its cavities along with some shielding foil on the removable back plate. i am considering buying some copper tape from stewmac.com to shield all my cavities. i know this has helped for many people so i think i may try it. anything i should worry about or know before i do?
i think that's your answer. the esp likely has that black shielding paint everywhere inside it, while the historic pauls will have none.

personally, i don't think it really matters that much: when in the course of a gig are you going to have your guitar turned up and not be touching the strings, either playing or muting them from feeding back?
 

howthewestwas1

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
1,294
walterw, yea i think it really comes down to the shielding. the ESP does in fact have that black paint in all the cavities. looks real slick and the guitar is dead quite.

about gigging, if i'm not playing, i have my volume pot rolled all the way off. it's never been a problem live, b/c like you said, i never have the guitar running open and not grounded. i've just noticed it at home just playing on my own and recording.

thanks for the input!
 

baumwolle

Member
Messages
34
My Lester has had the same problem, with both pickup combinations I used - BBs #1 & #1, potted by a tech, and BBs #1 & #2, stock, but only when the signal was dirty, i.e. cranked up amp, active booster etc. To be honest, I never gave it much thought, as most passive humbuckers still have some degree of hum, although a lot less than a single-coil.
 

moj067

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
522
Make sure your ground from the bridge is connected.
If that's good, you might want to consider getting some copper tape and shielding the cavity better. Also consider some of th methods to quiet these noises can affect the openess and can sound slightly muffled as a result.
 

ganzosrevenge

Member
Messages
252
Are the coils wound evenly? Uneven coils tend to have a little hum from what I've seen. If they have a difference in winds that's more than a few, then you'll notice hum depending on how much more dominant one magnetic coil is than the other one.
 

skeeterbuck

Member
Messages
1,668
There is nothing wrong with your LP's. They are wired correctly. It's when you touch the strings etc, and the hum DOESN'T go away that you have a problem. :horse
 




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