Hummmmmmm.....

Discussion in 'Luthier's Guitar & Bass Technical Discussion' started by SlideGuy123, Feb 13, 2008.


  1. SlideGuy123

    SlideGuy123 Member

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    I have a one-pickup lap steel with volume and tone pots. I have tried wiring it and re-wiring it and still get a pretty constant hum that does not go away when I touch the strings.

    Yes, I have a ground lead going to the bridge. I also have shielded the back of the pickguard and the cavity and made sure the foil overlaps. My multimeter says I have continuity at all the grounds. Any ideas?
    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Rosewood

    Rosewood Member

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    Is this a big single coil pickup? Lots a hum in them babies.
     
  3. SlideGuy123

    SlideGuy123 Member

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    It's a strat-sized pickup - I don't know i it hums more than most, buit it seem odd that touching the strings doesn't change it. I'm at a loss to explain that.
     
  4. Rosewood

    Rosewood Member

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    Are we talking the lower 60 cycle grind?
     
  5. SlideGuy123

    SlideGuy123 Member

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    Yeah -- it's just louder than what I hear from most single coil instruments. I have to stand pretty far away from the amp to get the noise level down.
     
  6. Rosewood

    Rosewood Member

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    You might try changing the angle of the steel in relation to the amp.
     
  7. SlideGuy123

    SlideGuy123 Member

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    Interesting point, and a weird thing. If I turn the steel so it's perpendicular to the floor (like a regular guitar), the hum goes away. This may just mean there are magnetic fields I can't do anything about. But turning the steel while holding it face up doesn't make any difference.
     
  8. walterw

    walterw Gold Supporting Member

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    there's your answer. it's a single-coil. if it's exactly strat pickup sized, you might try a hum-canceling strat pickup. for my money, pickups that are too loud, hot and dark for regular guitar can be pretty cool on a lap steel, so how about a duncan hot rails?
     
  9. SlideGuy123

    SlideGuy123 Member

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    I keep coming to that conclusion, walter. I like the tone of the pickup I have, but I think I'm going to have to go to a hum-canceler. Thanks, all.
     
  10. blueguitar

    blueguitar Member

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    If you're sitting under a flourescent light that may be the source of the hum when the steel is in the horizontal position. When turning the instrument and hearing hum look in that direction and see what may be emitting RF from that direction. As for the shielding, its always seemed to be a bit of a waste, IMO, because ultimately you can't shield the top of the p/up and still have it work well and the RF will get in there. The DE lipstick design is probably one of the few where 360 degree shielding can occur around a p/up. Play loud and nobody will hear the hum or lose some tone and go to the "bucker".
     
  11. SlideGuy123

    SlideGuy123 Member

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    No fluorescents in the room, and the hum is the same in rooms where we do have compact fluorescents. Might be the house wiring. Maybe I'll try the "play loud" approach...
     
  12. Cadbar

    Cadbar Member

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    Try a ground lift.
     
  13. brad347

    brad347 Member

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    turn the amp on its end. Seriously.
     
  14. SlideGuy123

    SlideGuy123 Member

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    Anyone try the Ebtech "Hum-X"? I wonder if this would make a difference or it it is meant to solve a different problem altogether?
     
  15. walterw

    walterw Gold Supporting Member

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    nope. the hum is coming from the pickup itself. the hum-x fixes ground loops in the system.
     
  16. SlideGuy123

    SlideGuy123 Member

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    Well, I could always make an aluminum foil hat for the pickup (to match mine)...

    So I'm down to live with it or replace the pickup. Thanks for the suggestions, everyone.
     
  17. walterw

    walterw Gold Supporting Member

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