Noob question re: hum and how to fix/minimise

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Benm39Benm39 Frets: 9
Hey folks,

Apologies in advance for my novice understanding of most things electrical - noob alert! Also, this may be posted in the wrong forum so please feel free to move as necessary Admins!

Over the last couple of days, my guitar setup has developed a quite pronounced humming noise.

As this seemed to occur with either of my amps (a mesa boogie v:25 head and a Katana mk1 head) I'm not sure the problem is amp related. When I'm not touching the strings (or cable jack) the hum is there but it disappears whilst playing, or if I'm touching the cable jack on the guitar, so I believe it's some kind of ground loop issue.

The hum is more pronounced the higher the volume on the amp, likewise if gain is increased, and also if the tone and volume pots on the guitar are dialled up.

I have tried swapping cables to see if it's an issue with the cable shielding - but the new cables today produce the same result. As such I'm thinking it must be something to do with the instrument wiring/shielding...

Nothing else in my setup has changed - it's very simple as I'm only playing at home, usually direct into the amp, sometimes through a couple of pedals. The hum doesn't vary based on where I am in the room relative to amp(s) or cab, or which way the guitar is facing. The guitar has twin humbuckers and the same setup just a few days ago was effectively silent... I'm curious as to what may be causing this and hopefully being able to fix/mitigate but unsure how... any suggestions folks? Is it possible something within the instrument wiring has come loose through normal playing.. I haven't opened up the cavity yet and thought it best to tap into the collective wisdom here before I start clarting everything in sight with solder and copper foil :)

Grateful for any steer cheers!
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Comments

  • ICBMICBM Frets: 48571
    That sounds like buzz (not hum) if it goes away when you touch the strings. It can normally be reduced by shielding in the guitar, but if it's suddenly increased then either something has happened to the shielding or there has been a change in something external to the guitar or amp - either a new source of noise, or there's something wrong with the mains earthing.

    It's nothing to do with a ground loop, that causes hum (not buzz) which doesn't change when you touch anything on the guitar.

    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone." - Walt Kowalski

    "Just because I don't care, doesn't mean I don't understand." - Homer Simpson

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  • Benm39Benm39 Frets: 9
    Cheers @ICBM ; , I'll take a look inside to see if anything appears loose etc. in the wiring then, because, as far as I can see, there's nothing that's changed within the environment that might have introduced this.
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  • HAL9000HAL9000 Frets: 6149
    Does this still happen if you use a different guitar?
    In my hand I hold a piece of perforated paper
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  • Benm39Benm39 Frets: 9
    @HAL9000 ; I only have the one electric... though i like the fact that this may 'in the name of research into buzz fault' provide justification for obtaining another guitar!!  =) . I can also ask a mate to bring one of his over next time he's round me way also (though plan A of another guitar sounds better!)
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  • ESBlondeESBlonde Frets: 3159
    As ICBM has mentioned, it could be an external source.
    So has something new been plugged it somewhere in the house? A new fridge, computer, fancy light, TV, etc. It was christmas so quite possible. If so try unplugging those devices one at a time and see if the buzz stops. Start with TVs, monitors and striplights/neon signs.

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  • mikeyrob73mikeyrob73 Frets: 3159
    try moving everything onto a different socket, i had something like this happen on one socket in the living room,moved to a different socket and its fine so i suspect some earthing issue on that socket 

    this only happened after we had renovated the kitchen and the sparky put extra wall sockets on the kitchen, turns out the new sockets in the kitchen are off the same circuit as one socket in the living room. 
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  • Benm39Benm39 Frets: 9
    Hi folks,  many thanks for the additional suggestions.  There's nothing new appliance wise but I'll certainly try different socket and see :) 
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  • ReverendReverend Frets: 2311
    Benm39 said:
    @HAL9000 ; I only have the one electric... though i like the fact that this may 'in the name of research into buzz fault' provide justification for obtaining another guitar!!  =) . I can also ask a mate to bring one of his over next time he's round me way also (though plan A of another guitar sounds better!)
    We provide a public service here. Viz - reasons to have more guitars  
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  • Benm39Benm39 Frets: 9
    Can't help to look eh... and it's not like I'd lose a lot in subsequent trade in hehe :)
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