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single coil noise

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cantankerousd
(@cantankerousd)
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Joined: 15 years ago
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Topic starter  

I recently purchased an axe with one humbucker and two single coils.
with an odd number of coils running, i.e. 1,3. I get lots of noise.
I have tried to isolate the noise-that is, through an amp-through my pocket pod-through my zoom pedal, and it invariably is coming through the guitar. (an esp) what kind of pups might eliminate this noise?(without sacrificing the peircing highs I am getting from single coils) is the Boss noise suppressor a viable option?

You don't have to firebomb dresden to prove you can fly a plane.-Warren Zevon


   
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ph0nage
(@ph0nage)
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Joined: 15 years ago
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a noise suppressor would probably do the trick. I have an ISP Decimator that I love and use it w/ the neck pickup of my strat. What zoom pedal do you have? I used to have one that had built-in noise suppression (although it was the highest model) I can't vouch for the BOSS NS pedal though as I have no experience


   
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cantankerousd
(@cantankerousd)
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Topic starter  

I've got the zoom g2.1x and it does have a nr setting. I just haven't played with it enough to get it dialed in.
Looks like I've got some experimenting to do!

You don't have to firebomb dresden to prove you can fly a plane.-Warren Zevon


   
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Hyperborea
(@hyperborea)
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I recently purchased an axe with one humbucker and two single coils.
with an odd number of coils running, i.e. 1,3. I get lots of noise.

Single coil pickups (and odd numbers of coils) have noise. You can reduce it with shielding - see Guitar Nuts
what kind of pups might eliminate this noise?(without sacrificing the peircing highs noise suppressor a viable option?

There are humbuckers that make single coil sounds. One of these is the Seymour Duncan Duckbuckers. There are also low noise true single coil pickups like the Lace Sensors.

Pop music is about stealing pocket money from children. - Ian Anderson


   
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Sin City Sid
(@sin-city-sid)
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You could use something like a Mega Switch from Stew-mac. It will combine the singles to act like humbuckers. However, if you have humbucking single sized pup's it will not work, like the Duckbucker mentioned above.


   
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XylemBassGuitar
(@xylembassguitar)
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Single coil pickups (and odd numbers of coils) have noise. You can reduce it with shielding - see Guitar Nuts

Yep...In my experience, the first (and cheapest) thing to do is make sure the guitar is well-shielded. Check the electronics cavity and the pickup cavities. Also, wrapping copper shielding tape around the middle of the single coil pickups will help in a lot of cases.

Xylem Handmade Basses and Guitars


   
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nonpartisanartisan
(@nonpartisanartisan)
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Joined: 11 years ago
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I just finished the long (long... long long long) process.

Deep breath.

I heard "all single coils are noisy."
Well, they all have "hum" but that isn't what I had.

Guitar Nutz made sense so I pulled my electronics & rewired everything. At the same time I was changing my bridge humbucker and implementing a custom wiring since there was no point in going half way. When finished the electrickery was complete properly soldered/grounded/shielded and it was done as good as it gets. This is no idle home job but something done with Louis the King.

It still seemed noisy. I would touch the strings and the noise would go away. Someone said this was normal. It drove me nuts when my daughters Squier was quieter than that out of the box.

Maybe it was my amp ... so I changed the tubes in my amp it was silent and rocking with another HSS and my guitar was a still bag of noise. What was I to do? Wear a ground strap to the bridge? Garrote myself with an E string?

There is Hum and there is Buzz... Hum is the 60Hz stuff that cancels out. This noise didn't cancel out with the middle and neck in parallel. Angry.. and nobody could say what the problem might be until I found the answer on a site for Bass guitars.

If the singles are still noisy in parallel (M / N) or the noise goes away or dampens when you touch the strings you have buzz: Some single coils have no ground shielding or grounding of the magnetic poles.

If plugged in and without touching the strings or grounded hardware while the guitar is noisy gently touch the pickup pole with a fingertip. (Your finger nail can insulate you from the string.) If it gets even noisier then this is the problem... the posts are not grounded.

I pulled my single coil pickups, took some aluminum tape and taped a copper filament to the poles at the underside. I verified each and every post was grounded securely inside the guitar. I buttoned it up, put on some new strings and plugged it in.

It was fantastic. Yes, there is still the hum - a very quiet hum at high gain - but seriously in a different league from what it was before to the point you have to listen closely. That hum doesn't change when I touch the strings and it does vanish in the paired combinations. Where the humbucking bridge is split to B & T these combinations can be listed as B+T B/T B+M B/M M+N M/N N+T and N/T - I have five of those wired into my HSS today.

-r


   
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Crow
 Crow
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Cool. Did you lose any tone from those single-coils after grounding?

"You can't write a chord ugly enough to say what you want to say sometimes, so you have to rely on a giraffe filled with whipped cream." - Frank Zappa


   
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nonpartisanartisan
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None at all. Gained some, actually, because a lot of the harmonics were buried below the noise floor. I did the grounding in two stages, the first stage reduced it about 80% and my guitar teacher was impressed with the sound change. The final change made it clear and crisp - no noise even with the gain cranked and crystal tone when playing clean and that is when I heard the harmonics clearly. Oddly clear enough that I now hear the tremolo springs in action.

Note that I used copper (non-magnetic) wire contacting the magnetic poles. If you use a magnetic material it will change the magnetic field. WIth my Ibanez I needed only line it up and use the foam that acts to press the pickup in position, with a Strat I was thinking using a strip of aluminum tape to hold it into place or find some copper tape that has conducting adhesive. Note the conducting adhesive part. This would lay across the poles and past the end of the pickup to contact with the shielding on your pick guard that you have if you follow the GuitarNutz shielding plan.

So many little things to do now... so minor but things I couldn't hear before. It may be time to block the tremolo. I bought a pencil block of African Mahogany... but that is a subject for another day.

=r


   
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Crow
 Crow
(@crow)
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Just to be clear: The copper wire physically touches the magnetic poles, yes?

The Melody Maker single-coils on my Kalamazoo solid-body make lovely sounds but also unlovely noises. I've re-shielded the cavity about three times... but haven't tried this trick. I intend to ASAP. Thanks. And welcome to the forums!

"You can't write a chord ugly enough to say what you want to say sometimes, so you have to rely on a giraffe filled with whipped cream." - Frank Zappa


   
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nonpartisanartisan
(@nonpartisanartisan)
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Joined: 11 years ago
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Yes, the copper wire physically must contact the poles.
In one of my efforts it slipped off one pole and a fair amount of noise was present.

It is easy enough to test with the strings off the guitar ... without touching ground and the gain up just touch your finger to the magnetic post (each one independently.) There should be no noise. If there is noise because they are not grounded the ones that are not grounded will produce MORE noise when you touch the post with your finger tips. Note that some posts may be grounded so you have to check each one, and sometimes one pickup is grounded and not the other...

- Ron


   
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