Radio interference on a few specific pedals - any suggestions?

redeyedjim

Member
Messages
2,351
Any suggestions for ways to reduce or eliminate radio interference? I have a couple of pedals (a fuzz and a vibe) that unfortunately are picking up a lot of radio interference when they're on. The noise occurs with each pedal individually, and of course it's worse when they're both on.

This is at my house. I play music in a room that's off to one side and on its own power circuit. Moving to another room isn't an option. All of the power outlets in this room are on this same circuit, and changing that is not an option, either.

I've tried the vibe on a couple of different adapters (a 1Spot and a PP ISO-5), but that didn't make any difference. The fuzz runs from a 9v battery, so that's already pretty isolated. They are just very prone to picking up RF interference, I guess.

I read the old Analogman FAQ on RF interference. I have not yet tried adding ferrite beads or capacitors, but that may be coming soon. Any other suggestions before I take it to that level?
 

snouter

Member
Messages
2,153
Are you getting radio stations when the guitar volume knob is full? If so, ebay the pedals and replace with better designed ones. Or are you getting hum at various intensities possibly from a low quality power supply in a nearby computer, florescent lights, etc.?
 

redeyedjim

Member
Messages
2,351
Yes, I am picking up radio stations through thew two pedals, and neither they nor the guitar need to be all the way up to hear them. No issues with hum.

> If so, ebay the pedals and replace with better designed ones.

Well, the pedals in question are an Analogman Sun Lion and a DryBell Vibe Machine, so I don't think their design or construction are issues, and I'm not planning on parting with them. I'm looking for tips to mitigate the issues with these pedals. Thanks.
 

gearscrubs

Member
Messages
4,203
Fuzz Face circuits (I think the fuzz part of the Sun Lion is a FF derivative?) are fairly notorious for picking up RF interference. I haven't found a good way to avoid it. Hope others can chime in with some tips.
 

redeyedjim

Member
Messages
2,351
Yes, half of the Sun Lion is a FF circuit (Sun Lion = FF + Rangemaster-style boost), although it's actually the Rangemaster/Beano Boost side of the pedal that has the RF issues.

Putting aside the Sun Lion, there's still the vibe pedal's radio issues, and I'm even more eager to resolve this issue for that one if I can.

Has anyone successfully solved or mitigated this sort of an issue? Selling the pedal doesn't count.
 

stringman340

Member
Messages
471
Yes, half of the Sun Lion is a FF circuit (Sun Lion = FF + Rangemaster-style boost), although it's actually the Rangemaster/Beano Boost side of the pedal that has the RF issues.

Putting aside the Sun Lion, there's still the vibe pedal's radio issues, and I'm even more eager to resolve this issue for that one if I can.

Has anyone successfully solved or mitigated this sort of an issue? Selling the pedal doesn't count.
I bought a Fender power strip that has RF protection, and I haven't had the issue since. Not saying it'll work for everyone, but it has for me.
 

redeyedjim

Member
Messages
2,351
I bought a Fender power strip that has RF protection, and I haven't had the issue since. Not saying it'll work for everyone, but it has for me.
Was the Fender power strip one of these?



Can you share a few details of the issue you were having before using the power strip? Was it RF interference, AC hum, or both? The Sun Lion is powered by a 9v battery only, but perhaps plugging everything else into the power strip might make a difference? I have a Furman power conditioner that's currently wired up with some other gear that I can try (one of these, an AC-215), but having just re-read its specs I'm surprised to see that they don't specifically mention any RF or EMI filtering.
 

Aquinas

Member
Messages
1,586
Just a thought: some pedals (certain fuzzes and fuzz-like boosts, like the "beano" side of the Sun Lion) are just going to be prone to picking up radio if there is a transmitter nearby. My ZVex Octane 3 is one of those, as are Super Fuzzes in general, and many Rangemaster clones are as well. It is just part of what they do - if you were to eliminate the part of the circuit that does that, you'd change the sound. Of course, you could Faraday Cage the sucker, but that might change the sound as well - in such simple circuits, grounding makes a big difference!

Vibes can be prone to it as well, but in that case it is because they are "too true" to the original, which had grounding issues. None of the quality clones seem to have that issue - my Aquavibe doesn't do it, and none of the others I've encountered did as well. Never tried the DryBell, but it has a good reputation, so I dunno what's going on there...

One idea I had is that you can try simply re-orienting the pedals to find the spot where they pick up the least - especially the fuzz. Geometry FTW! Other than that, you may be just SOL, because if the radio transmission is strong enough, nothing short of a total Faraday cage (for the whole room) will actually stop the signal - and even then, it is not guaranteed, since you'd have issues with coverage...

My suggestion? MOVE.

:bonk
 

stringman340

Member
Messages
471
Was the Fender power strip one of these?



Can you share a few details of the issue you were having before using the power strip? Was it RF interference, AC hum, or both? The Sun Lion is powered by a 9v battery only, but perhaps plugging everything else into the power strip might make a difference? I have a Furman power conditioner that's currently wired up with some other gear that I can try (one of these, an AC-215), but having just re-read its specs I'm surprised to see that they don't specifically mention any RF or EMI filtering.
^^ That's the one. It was definitely RF - though I don't remember which pedal was the offender at this point - and at the time, I was having ground loop issues with my amp and the 2 power supplies on my board. Also some hiss, probably the AC hum you mentioned. So, I grabbed the Fender strip to handle the RF, plugged my amp into an Ebtech HumX whcih is plugged into the Fender strip. I run my boards' power into the strip as well, and all is clean.

I would go grab one and see - it's worth a shot, can only help you with your quest, and you can just return it if it doesn't. :)
 

redeyedjim

Member
Messages
2,351
My suggestion? MOVE.
LOL - I'll tell the wife that we have to move because one of my guitar pedals isn't playing nicely with my other gear. I'm sure she'll take the news well ;)

Thanks for the suggestions. There are a lot of electronics in this room, not all related to music, so it's possible that some other device if the root cause of this issue. I'll see if I can pinpoint it. I accept that I may not be able to fix the Beano Boost in this location, which I can live with. The vibe, though...sheesh, that's the one that kills me, because the DryBell vibe is really good. I have another vibe I can use if I have to, but the DryBell sounds better.

I'll pick up one of those Fender power strips, because it's relatively cheap and I can use another good power strip anyway.

Thanks, all!
 

Aquinas

Member
Messages
1,586
LOL - I'll tell the wife that we have to move because one of my guitar pedals isn't playing nicely with my other gear. I'm sure she'll take the news well ;)

Thanks for the suggestions. There are a lot of electronics in this room, not all related to music, so it's possible that some other device if the root cause of this issue. I'll see if I can pinpoint it. I accept that I may not be able to fix the Beano Boost in this location, which I can live with. The vibe, though...sheesh, that's the one that kills me, because the DryBell vibe is really good. I have another vibe I can use if I have to, but the DryBell sounds better.

I'll pick up one of those Fender power strips, because it's relatively cheap and I can use another good power strip anyway.

Thanks, all!
One thing I forgot to mention, you SHOULD get an isolated power supply, like the Pedal Power or a Cioks supply - you'll get around to it eventually, and it is better to just pony up now and KNOW the power isn't an issue rather than continuing to use a pair of [more] questionable wall warts. Just from experience - it is a step you'll eventually take, might as well make it now!
 

PurpleJesus

Moderation is key
Staff member
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I can't use traditional fuzz faces at my house bc of this. Nkt275 and bc109 Sunfaces did this. ESPN Radio clear as day no matter the volume.

You've already found the AMan suggestion page. That's your best bet. I gave up and sold them :(

I was using batteries, first in chain, no buffers, quality cables. Nothing helped. And I LOVE fuzz, currently have four on my board, and none of them do it. It's something about that FF circuit. :dunno

I ended up w another FF style fuzz that for whatever reason doesn't do it. I miss my Sunfaces badly though. Best slide guitar tone I ever had.
 

redeyedjim

Member
Messages
2,351
One thing I forgot to mention, you SHOULD get an isolated power supply, like the Pedal Power or a Cioks supply - you'll get around to it eventually, and it is better to just pony up now and KNOW the power isn't an issue rather than continuing to use a pair of [more] questionable wall warts. Just from experience - it is a step you'll eventually take, might as well make it now!
Thanks. I am using a 1Spot for convenience at the moment, but I do have several isolated power supplies (a MXR MC403, a PP ISO-5, and a ModTone Power Plant 1.3 -- I have more pedals and pedal boards than sense). I have tried them with these pedals, but using them didn't change the situation w/r/t radio interference.

I can't use traditional fuzz faces at my house bc of this. Nkt275 and bc109 Sunfaces did this. ESPN Radio clear as day no matter the volume.

You've already found the AMan suggestion page. That's your best bet. I gave up and sold them :(

I was using batteries, first in chain, no buffers, quality cables. Nothing helped. And I LOVE fuzz, currently have four on my board, and none of them do it. It's something about that FF circuit. :dunno

I ended up w another FF style fuzz that for whatever reason doesn't do it. I miss my Sunfaces badly though. Best slide guitar tone I ever had.
Thanks, that's good to know. :(

Yeah, I have a few other good fuzzes and don't have this issue with them -- it is very specific to the two pedals I mentioned. And I can live without the Sun Lion, at least at home, but the DryBell vibe is such a good vibe that I hate to miss out on it for this sort of reason. I can accept not using a pedal because it doesn't sound good, but not using a good sounding pedal because it picks up the radio too clearly is sort of a bitter pill to swallow.
 

PurpleJesus

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8,678
Thanks. I am using a 1Spot for convenience at the moment, but I do have several isolated power supplies (a MXR MC403, a PP ISO-5, and a ModTone Power Plant 1.3 -- I have more pedals and pedal boards than sense). I have tried them with these pedals, but using them didn't change the situation w/r/t radio interference.



Thanks, that's good to know. :(

Yeah, I have a few other good fuzzes and don't have this issue with them -- it is very specific to the two pedals I mentioned. And I can live without the Sun Lion, at least at home, but the DryBell vibe is such a good vibe that I hate to miss out on it for this sort of reason. I can accept not using a pedal because it doesn't sound good, but not using a good sounding pedal because it picks up the radio too clearly is sort of a bitter pill to swallow.

Ahhhhh, man. I missed that your DryBell was doing it too. That sucks. A uni-vibe is doing it? That's weird.

I don't know if you're looking for replacement suggestions, but you can get Chase Bliss Wombtone MK1 versions right now for pretty cheap (cheaper than a DryBell) and it doesn't have any radio interference in my house so I assume it wouldn't in yours since we were having the same issue. It'll do a great uni-vibe tone along with a bunch of other stuff.

Sorry to hear that both are doing it. I know how f'n annoying it was when it did it for me. I love SVP & Russilo, but not when I'm playing Jimi. Jimi doesn't need to know about Kevin Love's injury status or how much pressure is in a football...Jimi needs fuzz and vibe.
 
Messages
10,653
Been digging through these old threads about radio interference on certain pedals.

Happened last night with my red Dyna-Comp. Strong AM radio coming in. Bass player thought it was hilarious. Never happened before, but sure enough I was using a cheap power strip because I didn't bring my usual surge protector.

I will re-test this evening with a better strip and see if it fixes it.
 

TheoDog

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
19,827
Does the radio reception change if you:
Move the pedals further from each other, from the guitar, from the power supply?
Run pedals on batteries?
Use different guitars, cable lengths, amps?
 

GK72

Member
Messages
364
I have 30 stomp boxes, most of them drives, several fuzzes. Only 1 gives me problems with radio frequency and it's a Jimi Hendrix Dunlop mini. It happens every time I use it, which isn't often. I have much better fuzzes that I prefer but I kind of enjoy playing along with the Hispanic speech although I don't habla the bla bla.
 
Messages
6,868
I'm getting radio interference on my new Space Spiral. :(

It's not bad enough to make me chuck it since it sounds awesome, but it's a bummer. :( It doesn't do it on its own, but I still need to use more than one pedal, right?
 




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