How do I get rid of single coil hum?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by Docgab, Aug 9, 2006.

  1. Docgab

    Docgab Member

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    I live in an old area of New Orleans (prone to electrical surges and noise in the electrical lines). The house is 90 years old but rentovated with new wiring (all grounded plugs). Since moving in I have picked up a lot of hum throught my Stats and Teles compared to my old location (so much that it is intrusive to playing).

    It seems to be RF interference as it gets better or worse depending on where I stand or point the guitar.

    Would lining the pick up cavities and tone cavity with copper foil help? Is there a better sheilding material. Any other ideas?

    Thanks for any help.
     
  2. Hamer Player

    Hamer Player Senior Member

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    The only way to avoid single coil hum is to get a humbucker.

    You can shield it out the wazoo, but it will always still be a single coil pickup, and they hum.
     
  3. HEY!YOU!

    HEY!YOU! Senior Member

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    Shielding AND grounding will help but it is the nature of the beast.
     
  4. m4tt

    m4tt Member

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    you could install one of those suhr backplates
     
  5. david henman

    david henman Member

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    ...if you want (genuine) single coil mojo without the noise, that is the ticket.

    the other option is noiseless single coils. the dimarzio area series are gaining respectability, as are the lace holy grails.

    -dh
     
  6. QuickDraw

    QuickDraw Member

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    a power conditioner might help clean some of the noise out of your power source, also turn off any computer monitors or TV's nearby(unless they're LCD)
     
  7. rich-96db

    rich-96db Member

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    You could also go to active single coil pickups like EMGs to get rid of the hum.
     
  8. ronin32

    ronin32 Member

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    I thought LCD displays also contributed to hum?
     
  9. musicmind

    musicmind Member

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    hi

    Its a question thats been on my mind too, since I'm thinking of getting a new strat. The EJ strat pickups are the good old fashioned noisy ones, whereas the american deluxe are the SCN noiseless.
    I suppose there is a tradeoff to be made between the noise and the lively sound of the pickups. Many single coil noiseless pickups, like the LaceSensor or active pickups like the EMG's are accused of taking away playing dynamics and some of the expressive sound or character of the guitar. The same is said about the SCN pickups to some degree, mostly about its poor sound with high gain settings. Havent played them so I cant say for sure if I agree.

    I guess it depends ultimately on what you like and what sound you are going for, smooth or raw.

    Practially speaking, one way is to get into the good habit of turning the guitar volume off when you arent playing.
    I'll checkout the Suhr backplate thread for more info....

    Thanks
     
  10. PolyMorf

    PolyMorf Member

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  11. Jack The Riffer

    Jack The Riffer Member

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    Yep
    :BEER
     
  12. QuickDraw

    QuickDraw Member

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    hmmm maybe, not sure I have a CRT monitor, and i always shut it off while playing guitar. I thought LCD's were supposed to be much better, but I don't know

     
  13. drunkdolphin

    drunkdolphin Member

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    Hi All,
    I once read, I think It was Cesar Diaz used one of the halves of a P-bass pickup wired in the control cavity of a strat in between the selector and volume pot i think, and it gave a humbucker type effect in all positions.
    I will see if I can dig up where I read it.
    Steve
     
  14. rickboot

    rickboot Member

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    I switched to LCD last year from a CRT. LCDs are better but still induce hum.

    I've tried Kinman noiseless pickups. They are quieter than most humbuckers and still sound like traditional single coils in my strat. The latest generation of Fender, Dimarzio, and Lace noiseless are supposed to be good as well. EMGs will be silent too, but I haven't seen anyone claim that they are traditional sounding. However, David Gilmour likes 'em.

    If I were trying to silence the guitars, I'd do a shielding job and get the Suhr Silent Single Coil backplate that people are raving about.
     
  15. Gordon

    Gordon Silver Supporting Member

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    Hey Will,

    I am not a fan of any of the noiseless pickups. I think the only way that a Strat or Tele sound and good is with the original style single coils. What I would recommend trying is making a simple filter using a motor-run capacitor. I have had very good success using this method for playing in areas that have high levels of RF trash on the lines. You can send me an email if you like and I can send you one of these things to try out if you would like.

    Gordon
     
  16. SW33THAND5

    SW33THAND5 Member

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    you need to get a better ground. my hum went completely away after i ordered me some ghetto toofeses!

    [​IMG]







    they really take away the 60 cycle hum.

    and i get better reception outta my portable radio!:crazy
     
  17. pbradt

    pbradt Senior Member

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    How much of the high end does it kill?
     
  18. Gordon

    Gordon Silver Supporting Member

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    Hi pbradt,

    The capacitor does not go on your guitar or amp. It is connected to a plug and plugged into a wall socket as close to your amp as possile. It does not change the tone of your guitar in any way.

    I use a 40mfd motor-run capacitor that is rated at 440 volts. You can find them at an electric supply store. It is usefull to smooth out and leesen the effects of high frequency transients that a superimposed on the power. After you are done using it and unplug it, it will have a stored charge on it and could be quite dangerous. I would make a bleeder resitor (10K 2 watt) with two alligator clips on it to clip onto the capactor when you are storing it.

    I found out about this because a lot of us out here use solar power and it's full of trash. When I go to a monthly blues jam that we have here, I always use one of these things to make that situation playable. It lessens the noise enough so I can use a Strat or Tele. You can also use more than one for additional smoothing. Some of the power out here is so bad that you can hear an audible buzz from appliances in your house like a ceiling fan or even light bulbs. I needed to find a cheap and easy way to deal with this stuff. I can't guarantee that it works with all types of power line trash because I haven't tried it in a wide variety of situations. But it does work well for the kind of noise that we have and it only costs about $20. So, if you give it a try let me know your results as I am curious to get feedback.

    Good Luck,

    Gordon
     
  19. deluxemeat

    deluxemeat Member

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    get an evans eliminator single coil!
     
  20. Docgab

    Docgab Member

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    Thanks for the info. While I like the teeth idea I am not sure that my HMO will pay for them. lol

    Gordon, thanks for the sugestion on the capacitor. I have a PS audio power station on my home stereo and a PS Audio Ultimate Outlet for my power amp. It had not occured to me to plug my guitar amp into it (brain cramp).:jo The PS Audion outlet basically uses a systme of chokes and caps to remove line noise.
     

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