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

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TinPan

USA

Nov 19th, 2017 04:49 AM   Edit   Profile  

Experimenting building this DIY Strat guitar. Granted it a cheap-o so I discarded all the electronics and sent away for actual strat electronics, I put in Lace sensor "noiseless" p/u's, painted the "cavities" with conductive graphite paint (2 coats) and covered the inside of the pick guard with copper foil. Put it all together with instructions from the 5 way switch. I bought the switch & electronics from stewmac. I still have a "ground" hum/buzz. What gives??? any input appreciated!

Mick Reid
Contributing Member
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Australia

American-made in Oz!!
Nov 19th, 2017 05:16 AM   Edit   Profile  

Does the "buzz" go away when you touch the strings?

Do you have a ground wire going to either the bridge or vibrato claw? (if vibrato equipped)

FTR, Lace pickups (of which I'm a fan btw) are not truly noiseless (like a stacked humbucker) they are still actually a single coil but "noise reduced".
However, you shouldn't be getting the noise you describe with them.

And welcome to the FDP!


DrKev
Contributing Member
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Paris, France

It's just a guitar, not rocket science.
Nov 19th, 2017 05:53 AM   Edit   Profile  

The common mistakes everybody makes from time to time...

First, see Lace's own wiring diagram (linked below)

Next, what Mick said above.

Make sure you did not reverse the ground/hot connection at the jack.

Remember that the third lug on the volume pot needs to bent over and soldered to the back of the pot.

I frequently get the tone pot wiring wrong. It's not rocket science but my brain has a mild case of tone-pot-wiring dyslexia.

Double check every single connection is correct and a good connection.Multimeters are useful! Some wiring diagrams leave out the ground connections on the back of the pots for clarity but they still need to be there. If your soldering iron is underpowered it's easy to make a poor connection on back of the pots.

Could it be due to something else? Just last week I had really odd noise that I could not figure out. Every coneection double checked and tested and measured and everything was perfect but I still had a LOUD buzz until...

...I switched off the soldering iron! I was in a building built in the 1890s, the wiring was not up to code, there was no ground on the wall sockets of the room I was in and the soldering iron power supply was noisy. The single coils picked it up easily. Once the soldering iron was switched off, nothing but silence.

Lace Sensor Strat Wiring Diagram

(This message was last edited by DrKev at 08:02 AM, Nov 19th, 2017)

wrnchbndr
Contributing Member
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New Jersey

I'm back with the otters again
Nov 19th, 2017 09:08 AM   Edit   Profile  

Yup yup yup. Backwards wiring at the output jack or the ground wire from the trem claw isn't attached or both.

Te 52

Laws of Physics

strictly enforced
Nov 19th, 2017 09:18 AM   Edit   Profile  

Also, shielding the cavities and pickguard is only effective if the shielding is grounded. I usually run a lead from a known ground to a ring terminal, then screw that to the inside of the cavity with a small screw to ground the shielding paint. Also, the conductive paint should extend a little bit onto the body surface such that it makes contact with the pickguard shielding.

Maybe you already did all these things, so this is a "just in case."

TinPan

USA

Nov 19th, 2017 09:49 AM   Edit   Profile  

Wow quick response, thanks all! First reply to Mick Reid. Yes ground wire is attached to claw. Dr Kev, my iron is a 35w weller I always let it get good n hot before I work, last time I tested it the iron was off, I will check that other things are turned off next test. I tested with out strings on, so I touched the bridge and the buzz does go down a bit, dont want to waste good strings if it doesn't work, wrnchbndr output jack is correctly wired, Te 52 I did paint a little over the edge, perhaps I'll add some more and I like your idea of attaching a screw and wire directly to ground and same for foil. I'll keep you all posted.

Te 52

Laws of Physics

strictly enforced
Nov 19th, 2017 12:55 PM   Edit   Profile  

Another thing to ask yourself is whether you are evaluating the guitar in a really noisy environment. Fluorescent lights, dimmer switches, ceiling fans, wall warts and other power supplies, CRT monitors, etc. are all powerful sources of EMI.

vomer
Contributing Member
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Broke Down

in the Brassicas
Nov 19th, 2017 01:40 PM   Edit   Profile  

And to continue from what TE 52 said, an episode which had me perplexed and which I posted about here some years ago now, I could not figure out why my wiring was still buzzing until I moved the test amp out from under the workbench...

Peegoo
Contributing Member
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Enjoying

the downtime
Nov 19th, 2017 01:46 PM   Edit   Profile  

One that will kick your donkey is playing in an upstairs room (or apartment) that has a ceiling fan in the room directly below you. That puts the running fan motor about 12" from your amp and cables/pedalboard.

There also may be something on that branch of your house wiring that's causing noise on the AC line. Try a different room or use an extension cord to take power from another outlet.



TinPan

USA

Nov 20th, 2017 02:10 AM   Edit   Profile  

Here's an update; I tested with my vom (analog, the only one I have now) It seems there is no ground contact to the copper foil so yesterday I added more paint to be sure to make contact. Im about to test it now. Everyone's suggestions make sense too, I will move the amp away from my work bench, turn off the lights and soldering iron and anything else that may cause an emf. There are ceiling fans in the house but they are not in use at this time.


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

the downtime
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

Support the FDP - Please Donate
Nov 21st, 2017 08:47 AM   Edit   Profile  

I've noticed televisions are bad for causing noise.

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




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