Strat hum cure?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by yawiney, Mar 7, 2015.

  1. yawiney

    yawiney Member

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    Anything to do short of changing pickups? Love the tones of my 2 70's Strats but recording quieter songs in the studio, it's hard to get away with the buzz at times. Do I have to change the pickups to deal with this?
     
  2. brainhurricane

    brainhurricane Member

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    I have a Boss NS-2 noise suppressor pedal - absolutely love that thing and it takes care of all of my noise issues.

    How shielded are the pickup cavities - can you add shielding? Are there quieter (EM radiation speaking) locations in the studio?

    I don't know if you ever want to sell them, but leaving them as stock as possible is always best. If they're keepers for life, I'd shield the cavity but leave the stock pickups - if you love the tone now, there's a big chance you will regret changing the pickups.
     
  3. cj_wattage

    cj_wattage Vendor

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    Noise gate? Stay in the 2 and 4 positions until you are about to play?

    You might be able to reduce some of the hum with beefed up shielding of the pickguard.
     
  4. c_mac

    c_mac Member

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    The Ilitch system works wonders.
     
  5. Turi

    Turi Member

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    Just use positions 2 and 4. Job done, 2ez.
     
  6. 65DuoSonic

    65DuoSonic Member

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    Since his Strat's are '70s models, I'm guessing they probably lack rwrp middle pickups - but I could be wrong. They might be sporting a three-way switch too.
     
  7. swiveltung

    swiveltung Member

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    Google it. There are ways, but certain buildings negate those.
    Shield your control cavity, pickguard and use a shielded wire from the input jack to the pot.
    I wonder if a Variac will get rid of building noise? Seems it should.
     
  8. ledzep618

    ledzep618 Supporting Member

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    You might have a noisy or might benefit from shielding the cavity better. I just redid the electronics on my Strat and it is substantially quieter. Other sources of noise are easily mistaken for 60 cycle hum
     
  9. doublescale1

    doublescale1 FSR Tele Silver Supporting Member

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    Some have reported on this forum that shielding can begin to take the top end pickup response off your strat & it's not always a very good cure for the 60cycle hum. I tried it and never was that happy with the results, even after spending the time/money to have it done. Go here: http://www.ilitchelectronics.com
    The Iilitch system is the only no-comprimise way to hear everything your real single coil pickups are capable of - their system is a little more $$ than a noise gate pedal (If your using a noise gate, you'll not have sustained notes cut off by the gate) but about the same as a good set of noise canceling pickups that many will tell you are still "close-but-no-cigar", since even the best hum-bucking "noiseless single coil pickup" will not be a true single coil with all the response that is supposed to come with them. If your playing live only, the top-end noiseless pickups might very well do it for you in a live mix; they will sound good and "Stratty" in that context. If your recording and listening to playback critically, then talk to the Iilitch people, they answer their phone and will take the time to come up with the best solution they have for your single coil noise issues. Fralin sells the Back Plate Silent Single Coil system that Iilitch makes. I have the Iilitch licensed SSC system factory installed on a Suhr S-Classic w/a/V60LP set and a Chambered T-Classic w/2XP90's (note: Suhr has since developed their own proprietary noise canceling system, no longer selling the Licensed. Iilitch system, Suhr's system is not aftermarket-install available yet, as far as I know, you can call & ask them though), I have put the BPSSC on an EC Strat (worked great even w/all the other EC Strat electronics) that eliminated 80 to 90% of all noise and a 50 Year Anniv. Fender Strat, same results with that strat too. Never an issue playing out with noise once the BPSSC was in place, and the single coil pickups were once again glorious sounding pickups, the kind that you get a strat for in the first place. Good Noise Reduction Hunting.
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2015
  10. walterw

    walterw Gold Supporting Member

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    what @doublescale1 said!

    shielding might reduce the extra buzz you get when you let go of the strings, but won't help with the regular single coil hum.

    hum-canceling pickups like the dimarzio area series are getting damn close these days, but still aren't quite the same as real single coils.

    the ilitch stuff is so far the only no-tone compromise fix. (the compromise there is that it doesn't cancel all the hum perfectly, but rather is maybe as noisy as a noisy vintage humbucker. still way quieter than straight single coils.)
     
  11. MKB

    MKB Silver Supporting Member

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    You can experiment with a hum cancel coil in series with the pickups, in my main Strat I have a low wind large wire (40ga) coil from a humbucker as a hum canceller and it works very well. Again it doesn't totally cancel hum, but does knock it down considerably.

    I've read most any coil will work to a point to cancel hum, some folks like those cheap Chinese pickups with the ceramic magnets. Just knock off the magnets, remove the pole pieces, and it will make a reasonable hum cancel coil for very little money. However this type of coil might affect the tone a bit, the Ilitch system is the best solution IMHO.

    Keep in mind that a hum cancel coil or the Ilitch system will not work properly with a RWRP pickup set, all the pickups have to have the same magnetic polarity and wind direction to be humbucking with the extra coil. Also you will no longer be able to do the trick where you rotate the guitar position to minimize hum.
     
  12. doveman

    doveman Member

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    You can use the Ilitch system with a super switch and use your favorite RWRP set of pickups. That way the Ilitch is in play with 1-3-5 and it is disabled for 2-4 letting the RWRP do it's regular cancelling. The best I've tried and you can use your favorite Strat pickups.

    Ilitch is a More expensive solution - but both my Tele and Strat guitars are set up with my favorite pickups and haven't been changed in years. Hunt is over.
     
  13. yawiney

    yawiney Member

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    They were 3 way and the one thing I changed is putting a 5 way in both. When I play some old guitars with 3 way, putting it in the 2 and 4 spots cures the hum(I use the 4 position the most), but on mine it dosn't help.
     
  14. doveman

    doveman Member

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    Then the Ilitch would work for you without the need of a super switch.
     
  15. yawiney

    yawiney Member

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    Yes! I am mos def going to check this and mabey check with Suhr as well since i really respect Suhr's quality. Thanks so much for all this good info!
     
  16. yawiney

    yawiney Member

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    How do I know if I have reverse wound pickups in the middle? Do all vintage strats have those?
     
  17. yawiney

    yawiney Member

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    How do I know if I have reverse wound pickups in the middle? Is it by year or random?
    I think I don't because the 2 and 4 positions are just as loud.
     
  18. doveman

    doveman Member

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    If 1-3-5 hum and 2-4 don't then you have reverse middle. If all hum they are all the same ... Again Ilitch coils will work with a 5-way switch if all settings are humming now.
     
  19. Joe Perry

    Joe Perry Member

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    I agree with the others. The Illitch backplate is the best solution. I have it on one strat and and the built in version 1 on two of my Suhr Classics from when they were licensing it.

    The Dimarzio Areas are good but if you have pickups that you like it's worth the investment. Some complain about the price but to me it's worth it. You are paying for his R&D time and innovation. To me it's worth it. People pay a lot more for for other things and get way less in return.
     
  20. yawiney

    yawiney Member

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    ^Thanks. If Suhr was using this I trust it to be worth the $.
    Thanks. Yeah they all buzz I just wanted to be sure the backplate thing will work. Calling Llitch tomorrow!
     

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