Noise!?@#$&*$

Discussion in 'Amps/Cabs Tech Corner: Amplifier, Cab & Speakers' started by SteveK, Mar 28, 2004.

  1. SteveK

    SteveK Supporting Member

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    We've been playing in this one club for years and it is driving me crazy. Every place else that we play my rigs have been as quiet as you could expect, with just the normal amount of hiss when you kick on the high gain channel. At the club last night, it was again as expected, as though a REALLY large swarm of bees was let loose if I switched to the gain channel. As long as I was playing it was tolerable, but it was impossible to let a note fade out as the bees would rush in. I've tried taking my pedalboard out and going direct, different cables, "noiseless" pups, switching guitars and amps and nothing seems to help. Would a power conditioner help, or is the wiring in the club so bad that there is nothing to be done? Basically everything has to be plugged into the same circuit, and there is enough neon in there to the point of distraction. We get great crowds and LOVE playing there because of that, and they don't seem to notice any problem.


    ANY IDEAS?!!?!?!?!?!?
     
  2. TieDyedDevil

    TieDyedDevil Member

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    We (and other bands) had a similar problem at a local bar. You simply couldn't play a single-coil guitar. It had something to do with a certain spot in the room. Later, when the "stage" moved to a different room, the problem went away.

    Try going wireless (or running a long cord) and see whether you can find a quieter spot on the stage. If that doesn't work I see three options, of which only the first is likely to be satisfying:

    1. Aggressive shielding.

    2. Less gain.

    3. A noise gate.
     
  3. KLB

    KLB Member

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    What you describe sounds more like a radio frequency problem with your amp. Perhap this one club has a particularly concentrated amount of RF due to something in the area like a TV or Radio Station, or a microwave tower, etc.

    I once had a JTM-45 that I had to rewire with a star ground near the input, which by necessity became a single metal Switchcraft jack with internal channel jumpering instead of the stock 4-input (plastic jack with internal chassis ground). This solved the problem at all locations. By the way, before I fixed it, I did not have an RF problem with the amp at every place I used it.

    Oh yeah, keep your cable length below 15', too.

    Good luck in finding a solution!
     
  4. SteveK

    SteveK Supporting Member

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    I don't know...remember this happens with EVERY guitar and amp, single coils and humbuckers too!
     
  5. John Phillips

    John Phillips Member

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    ... in which case it does sound more like line-borne noise. There may be something on the same circuit (particularly lighting controllers or similar) which is not properly suppressed. It doesn't even have to be very close by.

    Try a power-conditioner first. It's the easiest solution anyway - certainly compared to rewiring amps.
     
  6. Fuchsaudio

    Fuchsaudio Member

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    Hey Steve: Since I'm local, fill me in on the club and/or next time your there, maybe I can come out and see and hear for myself. My best guesstimate is light dimmers or some of those gaseous diplay lights (beer logo's and such) that use high voltage to light up. One friend of mine has some dimmers in his guitar showroom that cause ton's of noise in every amp there !

    Look at my house: A public service step-down transformer twenty feet from the front of the house/main livingroom. Most pickups are noisy, unless you turn around and find the 'null' in the hum-field. The rear of my house, is quiet with anything.
     
  7. SteveK

    SteveK Supporting Member

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    Andy,
    Meant to call you yesterday and see if you wanted to sit in with us, but between mine and my mom's health concerns I just forgot until we were on the way to the gig. Didn't want to surprise you and the Mrs. at 8 PM asking if you wanted to come out and play :eek: :eek: You're real familiar with the Great Notch...so any ideas?

    BTW....How are we coming on my next Fuchs?
     
  8. Fuchsaudio

    Fuchsaudio Member

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    Guess we're in the same boat with parental health fun. Woulda liked to make some noise. Next-time.

    My guess (besides the place being over 100 years old) is those damn neon signs all over the joint. If they like you guys (an who wouldn't lol), I'd ask if they wouldn't mind shutting them off, to test the noise reduction. If that turns out being the problem, a local plug-in filter on each (or a cap soldered in the right place on the fixture), could fix things up. I'd also want to check if the AC outlets in the place are properly wired with a ground connection.
    Call me this week, as I may have that new leather covered cabinet in for your approval.
    :dude
     
  9. prsflame

    prsflame Member

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    I had the EXACT same problem at a club I was gigging at this past Sat night. tried a noise gate, and plugging into a Furman, and it helped a little bit, but not enough to make a difference....Then suddenly in the middle of the first set, the noise dissapapeared.....I believe this was after they shut down some lighting. Does anyone out there understand why it is that this type of situation occurs with an amp only when the high gain channel of the amp is engaged?
     
  10. Mark Robinson

    Mark Robinson Member

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    Neon signage, Dart Machines, certain refrigeration units, all can cause major hum. Also it's more common than it should be, to find outlets wired with the hot leg on the left instead of the right. Since all I ever play is dumps that are one foot in the grave, and the other on a banana peel, I developed a little routine for survival.

    If you use a pedal board, you have to do a major great job of ringing it out for hum. Keep at it until there are no ground loops on it, large or small. Any slight hum in a friendly venue, can become a huge distraction when you're surrounded by 11 Neon beer signs.

    I have a little yellow test plug thing, that instantly tells me if we have correctly wired, and grounded power. If the outlet is reversed, I use a gray plastic cheater thing, with equal sized plug blades, and an attached ground wire, and make it correct. I also carry a 100' 12 guage extension cord, in my car, especially if we play outdoors. I will check several plugs in any venue and go get the 100' cord if that's what it takes to access a good outlet. At a house party, I head straight for the laundry area, cause that's where you're most likely to find a good grounded outlet.

    I always carry either an EMG equipped Telecaster, or my Strat with Kinmans. The EMG pickups will work anywhere. They get a bad rap here and there, but for me, there's been many a time when I've thanked my lucky stars for them, even though they are a little light on low mids. But they do cut through anything, kudzu, small children, whatever, you have to use the tone control.:D
     

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