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FDP Forum / Guitar Mods, Repairs, and Projects / DIY guitar Buzz problem

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TinPan

USA

Nov 20th, 2017 03:11 AM   Edit   Profile  

Ok, test done, all shielding has contact, but still have buzz. compared Stew mac diagram with Lace sensor diagram and everything is the same except the cap supplied from Stew Mac is .047uf and the Lace diagram shows a .022uf cap. One more thing I noticed concerning the 3 pots (1 vol 2 tone) the first tone pot (one next to the vol pot) works fine the other pot I do not seem to hear any difference between teb/bass, stays treble. connections are solid and in the right place, Bad pot????


Mick Reid
Contributing Member
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Australia

American-made in Oz!!
Nov 20th, 2017 05:24 AM   Edit   Profile  

"...Bad pot????"

It happens. I've only experienced it once, but once is enough to say it can happen.
If you have an extra pot (one that you know is good) it doesn't take much to swap it out and see.

Isolating noise issues can be frustrating...
Keep trying :^)

edit to add:
You definitely have the #1 lug of the volume pot grounded, and all the white & green leads from the Lace Sensors going to ground also?

(This message was last edited by Mick Reid at 07:32 AM, Nov 20th, 2017)

TinPan

USA

Nov 20th, 2017 06:34 AM   Edit   Profile  

Mick Reid, yes #1 lug is grounded to the pot, also affirmative on the white & green leads from Lace pu's. Im also starting to ponder this "with knowing how braided/shielded wire can react", there could be a tiny "strand" of braid touching a lead somewhere. Also What are your thoughts on the stewmac .047uf cap verses Lace .022uf cap.

Peegoo
Contributing Member
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Enjoying

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Nov 20th, 2017 07:55 AM   Edit   Profile  

The cap rating simply sets the roll-off frequency of the tone control. It's a personal "ear" thing, and depends on what sounds best to you.

Try this: disconnect the signal wire from the tone pot (it's a signal drain to ground). See if the noise goes away. Which reminds me--is the tone pot grounded?

If you can, take a close-up shot of the wiring and post the pic so we can help diagnose the issue.

There's a funny thing about wiring up a circuit: you read the diagram, you have all the right parts, and you solder it all up. And something's not right. You go back in, review the diagram and check everything, and it all appears to be correct.

But the human brain has a nasty habit of familiarity--it will make a tiny little mistake invisible because you've looked at the thing 100 times. We've all done this more than once, I guarantee. I know I have.

A second set of eyeballs (even someone that knows nothing about electronics) to compare the diagram with the circuit can usually spot the problem right away.

wrnchbndr
Contributing Member
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New Jersey

I'm back with the otters again
Nov 20th, 2017 07:58 AM   Edit   Profile  

My favorite was when I was working on a client's guitar years ago. I had just replaced the pickups on the bench and when I plugged it in there was a terrible 60cycle hum. I immediately went into troubleshooting mode. I tore into the carefully crafted soldering and wiring work I had just done making a mess of the solderjoints disconnecting wires and such only to find out that it was my soldering iron generating the noise and there was nothing at all wrong with the guitar.

TinPan

USA

Nov 20th, 2017 09:12 AM   Edit   Profile  

All tests were conducted with the iron off

Hammond101
Contributing Member
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So. Cal. USA

Nov 20th, 2017 10:07 AM   Edit   Profile  

Depending on how the tone circuit is wired the bottom tone knob might be wired to control a pickup you haven't selected.

I have carefully wired Strats and screwed the pooch on this tone pot connecting the wire from the 5-way to the wrong lug of the pot. I've also connected the cap to the wrong lug. Ugg! Late nights, distractions, Jim Beam, it happens.

You might try moving your tests to a different room and see if the hum improves. Double check that tone pot wiring.



TinPan

USA

Nov 21st, 2017 02:35 AM   Edit   Profile  

PeeGoo "The cap rating simply sets the roll-off frequency of the tone control. It's a personal "ear" thing, and depends on what sounds best to you."

These days I play a lot of blues so a thick bell tone is important to me.

BTW I do not have a camera to take a photo

(This message was last edited by TinPan at 04:38 AM, Nov 21st, 2017)

ejm

usa

Nov 21st, 2017 08:29 AM   Edit   Profile  

Not to get too nit picky with semantics, but:

The cap "rating" usually refers to the voltage rating, and has nothing to do with the frequency roll off.

The cap "value" is in farads/microfarads/etc, and will determine any frequency response characteristics.


De ville
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WA

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Nov 21st, 2017 08:47 AM   Edit   Profile  

I've noticed televisions are bad for causing noise.

TinPan

USA

Nov 25th, 2017 06:18 AM   Edit   Profile  

Getting very close to catapulting this thing into the river

Peegoo
Contributing Member
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Roisin, I wanna

fight your father
Nov 25th, 2017 06:56 AM   Edit   Profile  

ejm, that's what I meant :0)

Jim Beam! Har!

Mick Reid
Contributing Member
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Australia

American-made in Oz!!
Nov 25th, 2017 07:03 AM   Edit   Profile  

"Getting very close to catapulting this thing into the river"

I've been there before... just a different river!

I know you said it's an el-cheapo but before go all medieval on it, there's no shame in taking to a tech or someone more experienced.

I have "cheap" guitars that are real nice players. (in fact most of my guitars may be considered cheap by some)

My point is, don't let pride get in your way and keep you from getting help. If someone else can troubleshoot the problem, you might have a great instrument in your hands.

Also it's easy to get caught up in the problem and unwittingly miss the solution. A fresh pair of eyes is never a bad idea.

Hang in there!


Peegoo
Contributing Member
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Roisin, I wanna

fight your father
Nov 25th, 2017 08:35 AM   Edit   Profile  

I agree with Mick: get a 2nd pair of eyeballs on it to compare it with the diagram.

WARNING: sometimes diagrams are incorrect, but that's usually with those posted to the Internet. Diagrams provided by the big names along with their products are accurate 99.999999% of the time.

Does it buzz when opened up, but still all connected? I ask because when you stuff the wires in and screw everything together, things sometimes go awry (signal connection tabs touch grounding paint, etc.), and you can have noise, no signal at all, or other weirdness.

Try isolating the problem by testing each pickup as follows:

Disconnect each pickup's hot lead from the circuit, and use some clip leads to connect only the pickup to your amp, one at a time. This will help you determine if a pickup is causing the issue.

If you work on guitars, you need a test lead. Here's how to make one.

Take a 6' length of instrument cable and install a 1/4" plug on one end. On the other end, solder two 6" wires, one to the core and one to the shield. Insulate and seal the connections with heat-shrink tube. On the core wire, solder on a red insulated alligator clip. On the shield wire, install a black insulated alligator clip.

A simpler way to make one is to cut one plug off the end of an old guitar lead and add your wires & clips to it.

Connect the 1/4" plug to your amp's input, and attach the alligator clips to any component in the guitar's circuit you need to test. Remember that you need to isolate the component in question by removing its 'hot' (signal) solder connection from the circuit.

wrnchbndr
Contributing Member
**********
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New Jersey

I'm back with the otters again
Nov 25th, 2017 08:44 AM   Edit   Profile  

This post has gone on long enough. You need to abandon all of your previous thoughts and start again without any assumptions. Something has been missed and ruled out incorrectly.
This could be any of the following.
Step one: it could be the guitar, the cable, or the amp. Verify that it is the guitar by replacing it with another guitar with the same type of pickups.

TinPan

USA

Nov 25th, 2017 09:49 AM   Edit   Profile  

Ok here goes.....I resoldered all leads, tested my jacks with another guitar (all good) amp is almost new, And here is the result, it seems the buzz drops completely out when I turn the volume down just a little. go figure... brings me back to a bad pot... Ya think?


Te 52

Laws of Physics

strictly enforced
Nov 25th, 2017 03:45 PM   Edit   Profile  

"Bad" pots usually crackle or go intermittent or dead rather than hum. You could take the lead from the selector switch to the volume pot, unsolder it at the pot and connect it directly to the jack hot lug. That will bypass the pot.

TinPan

USA

Nov 26th, 2017 04:16 AM   Edit   Profile  

I want to thank everyone for your input, it appears all the resoldering helped to the point where I feel the buzz is normal "tolerable"

Now I have a second DIY project and better knowledge on "how to" thanks to all of you!

Mick Reid
Contributing Member
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Australia

American-made in Oz!!
Nov 26th, 2017 06:36 AM   Edit   Profile  

"... to the point where I feel the buzz is normal "tolerable" "

I'm glad you've reach a point of satisfaction, but my experience with Lace Sensors was that they were dead quiet (despite not being true "noiseless").

I first tried them about 6 years ago when we had a house that had "bad" power. Regular single coils were a nightmare, so went to the LS's and the problem was solved. (however, I did also shield the crap out of my guitars)

I'm just saying at some point, when you've put some distance between you and the recent frustration, have another look at this last project and see if you can improve the performance even more.

Maybe this second project will be an opportunity to expand your horizons even further!
Best of luck to you.

You know where to go if you get stuck!


TinPan

USA

Nov 26th, 2017 08:41 AM   Edit   Profile  

Thanks Mick, the 2ed project came with cheap (china) humbuckers, I will probably replace them.


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FDP Forum / Guitar Mods, Repairs, and Projects / DIY guitar Buzz problem




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