Static charge from guitars

Discussion in 'Luthier's Guitar & Bass Technical Discussion' started by philamag87, Feb 3, 2012.

  1. philamag87

    philamag87 Silver Supporting Member

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    My 61 RI SG and 60's Tribute LP produce a lot of static electricity. If I just rub my hand up and down the neck without touching any other part of the guitar the static is awful. If I shift positions and the guitar rubs against my shirt you get a lot of static. Oddly enough my HWY 1 tele doesn't do any of this. What cause's this static and how do I stop it?
     
  2. Drak

    Drak Supporting Member

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    Fabric softener dryer sheets.
     
  3. JimGtr

    JimGtr Gold Supporting Member

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  4. philamag87

    philamag87 Silver Supporting Member

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    do what with the dryer sheets exactly? I did rub them on the neck but it didn't do anything but my guitar smells nice!
     
  5. Rockledge

    Rockledge Member

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    Take advantage of the situation and incorporate balloons into your stage show.

    I had a guitar once that had a lot of static in it. I played with an old tube amp back in the sixties that whenever I would forget to wear shoes while holding the guitar in the basement it would change my hair style.


    Seriously, I think the dryer sheet thing is about the possibility that the static problem is caused by the lining in your case.
     
  6. Drak

    Drak Supporting Member

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    :rotflmao:rotflmao:rotflmao:rotflmao

    The dryer sheets remove the static charge, ...at least on pickguards.
    I've even seen recommendations to remove the pickguard and put one under it then re-install, tho I've never done that, but a quick wipe with a sheet always did work to remove the static charge from the pickguard I used to have that issue with.
     
  7. Sweetfinger

    Sweetfinger Supporting Member

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    That wasn't static electricity. That was you making a ground circuit with... the ground. Depending on the amp, you may have been in danger of electrocution

    OP: I know a pro player who carries a spray can full of static cling stuff for laundry in his gig stuff. Sometimes changing your shirt/outfit material will help.
     
  8. Rockledge

    Rockledge Member

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    I realize that my humor is a bit dry, but I didn't think it was THAT dry.
    And, of course I was in danger of electrocution, all of us were back then. They didn't make UL labs required ground lugs back then.
    They say what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. Perhaps that is why I am strong as a mule.

    We use to also experience the same "static" when trading guitars. Two guys trading guitars while playing tube amps often got lit up pretty good.
    I remember one time walking up to a dude I was playing with ( he and I are still friends and get together and jam some now and then) and trying to say something to him in his ear , we were quite loud at the time.
    An arc jumped from my nose to his ear that lit us both up.
    Ahhhh... the good old days...........
     
  9. philamag87

    philamag87 Silver Supporting Member

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    I will look into the static cling spray. It's weird if I touch the bridge, tailpiece or the metal part of the pickup selector switch no static when I rub my hand up and down the neck. I also noticed that when I touch anyone of those 3 pieces it greatly reduces the hum from the P-90's guitar. Why would that be?
     
  10. Rockledge

    Rockledge Member

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    I suspect it is because when you touch anything that is grounded your body is becoming part of the circuit and therefore becoming a shield that stops atmosphere noise from getting to the pickups and other innards.
     
  11. Sweetfinger

    Sweetfinger Supporting Member

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    We're all still in some danger! Amps "repaired" or buildings wired by people who didn't know what they were doing or didn't care can result in a "hot chassis".
    You will still be able to get an unpleasant zap even from "properly" grounded equipment in a correctly wired building. The wiring in a building can build up different potentials referenced from true ground. If you are plugged into a socket on one side of the stage and the PA is plugged into a different circuit there can be several ohms difference in the ground wiring. Voltage and current can build over that potential and when you touch a mic or another amp/guitar you complete the circuit. It'll cause hum in your PA- that's why racks, big systems and studios have to be careful about lifting ground references from all but one place, otherwise all those ground connections act as a "ghost" circuit.
    For a good time, walk through your house with a multimeter and measure the voltage between different grounds.

    This is old, old knowledge. Ever wonder why a turntable always had a separate ground tab that had to be connected to your amplifier? If you just grounded through the power cord you'd have different potentials and introduce hum and hash into the signal. By referencing the turntable to the amplifier's ground you eliminate that.
     
  12. Rockledge

    Rockledge Member

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    Electronics is a significant part of my education, so trust me I follow you. In fact I often carry a plug in circuit tester with me.
    I cringe when I see guys break ground lugs off to accommodate two prong wall sockets.
    A few years back I was holding a guitar in my studio plugged into an old Kustom amp that I had already converted to 3 wire. I reached over to turn a computer off and touched the case and it gave me a little sizzle even with a functioning ground lug. I hooked a different computer up, the fault had to be somewhere in it.
     

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