Humbucker grounding issue....

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by guitarfly02, Apr 30, 2016.

  1. guitarfly02

    guitarfly02 Supporting Member

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    Hi gents,

    I just received a PRS Starla in trade, and it sounds AMAZING.....other than some electronic buzz.

    The issue: the buzz is apparent in all three pickup positions. The buzz will stop when I touch the humbucker covers or the metal part of the instrument cable.

    Any ideas as to where I should go look under the hood for this earthing issue?

    Thanks in advance for the help!
     
  2. snow and steel

    snow and steel Supporting Member

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    if the hum goes away when you touch the strings, this is 100% normal.
     
  3. Darkburst

    Darkburst Member

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    The buzz could be dirty power in your house or RF interference.
     
  4. copperhead

    copperhead Member

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    If the buzz is really loud & goes away when you touch your strings .you may have have a problem with the ground from your bridge to your pot .
    a little amount of buzz is ok & & normal but most times it can be eliminated by shielding you guitar properly
     
  5. guitarfly02

    guitarfly02 Supporting Member

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    No, nothing changes when I touch the strings. That's how my other guitars are.

    Only touching the metal pickup covers or metal part of the instrument cable will stop the buzz.

    None of my other guitars have this amount of buzz, so I don't think it's dirty power

    Thanks guys
     
  6. Chris Pile

    Chris Pile Member

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    If it's not your gear, it's quite possible that the ground on your home has reversed. Happens sometime when the copper anode driven into the soil to ground to your home has dissolved or corroded. Mine did once - I found out when my hands would tingle in the shower when I touched the fixture. Got a new one installed - pronto.
     
  7. Blix

    Blix Supporting Member

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    Sounds like there is no bridge ground on it.
     
    pepedede likes this.
  8. pepedede

    pepedede Member

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    I had this exact same problem with a 1978 gibson les paul custom which had the pickups swapped to bare knuckle crawlers and had replaced pots and wiring, the previous owner had even put shielding tape in the pickup and control cavities. I got some 20swg wire and connected it to the legs of the neck and bridge humbuckers and ran it to the bridge posts. I'm not familiar with PRS wiring, but on gibsons they should have a grounding wire which goes through a hole in the bridge pickup cavity to the bridge mounting post. My 78' custom didn't have the wire to the post, so I had to fit one. It was fine after that. Hope this helps. it certainly isn't normal to have ground hum and then go away when touching the strings or pickup covers.

    If your starla has a trem or bridge plate and not a stoptail it may be like a fender strat or tele and have an earth wire from the pots to underneath the trem/ bridge plate. It's worth checking this is contacting the bridge properly.
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2016
  9. guitarfly02

    guitarfly02 Supporting Member

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    Thanks for all the info, guys!

    Much appreciated!
     
    pepedede likes this.
  10. The Interceptor

    The Interceptor Member

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    Yep. Very easy to test: get a multimeter and check for continuity between the jack and the bridge. If it's not very close to zero ohms, you've lost the bridge earth for some reason.
     
    Killed_by_Death likes this.
  11. guitarfly02

    guitarfly02 Supporting Member

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    Found the issue. Pepeded nailed it. There was a thin wire coming from the tailpiece that had come loose. After re-soldering, she's dead quiet.

    Thanks guys! Much appreciated!
     
    pepedede and Kestrel like this.

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