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  1. #1
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    11.27.17 @ 03:32 PM
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    Default New house, LOTS of buzzing...

    OK, so I moved into a new house a few months ago. Once the weather turned cold, I noticed that my previously dead-quiet TransFex Pro 212s/ DigiTech RP500, and Music Man Axis setup got VERY noisy, of the 60 Hz variety. My "studio" (if you want to call it that) is a carpeted room on the third floor, and all receptacles are grounded.

    The first thing I did was to try the RP500 by itself, with headphones plugged in. It turns out it doesn't matter what outlet, or more strangely, what CIRCUIT I plug it into. ANY receptacle on the second or third floor that I plug my guitar into causes buzzing.

    Next I tried the RP500 with different GUITARS, and got the same result.

    So next, I purchased a $100 "isolation transformer" to plug my amp/ processor into, on the advice that it could solve this type of problem when everything else has failed. Unfortunately, the isolation transformer also failed to correct the problem, again, no matter WHERE I plugged it in.

    One thing I did notice is that putting a finger on the metal sleeve of my guitar cable pin causes the buzz to basically stop. Obviously, though, I am unable to do this while the cable is in the guitar, and the buzzing returns.

    Has anyone ever encountered anything like this? I feel like I have done everything short of calling in an electrician, because who wants to do that?

  2. #2
    Eruption
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    07.13.12 @ 05:20 AM
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    Have a furnace/heater or other device that is on in the winter? Those things can generated a lot of noise in the electrical lines. You may be on seperate circuits but a typical home has a common ground for all circuits.

    Any business's or factories nearby? its rare but industrial places can dump a lot of noise on the neighborhood grid

  3. #3
    Baluchitherium
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    04.02.15 @ 07:26 AM
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    a slightly stpid question as im sure you've already checked...

    have you checked the ground connection on your guitar?
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  4. #4
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    11.27.17 @ 03:32 PM
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    Default

    Thanks guys. The circuit is not connected to anything else. There is a wall mounted air conditioner in the room on its own circuit, and a portable baseboard heater that was the FIRST suspect when this problem originally appeared. Unplugging that doesn't eliminate the buzzing. In fact, that first night, I switched off all the circuits in the house EXCEPT the one my amp is on. Nothing changed.

    I noticed at one point that bringing the tip of my guitar cable closer to power sources and wireless devices made the buzz louder and changed it's character, so I started using the cable as a tester of sorts, and started unplugging devices from the circuit, assuming that I would find the culprit in this way. Imagine the disappointment when I ended up sitting in the dark with my amp plugged in, with the signal still buzzing away.

    To confirm that there wasn't an amp problem, I unplugged the amp, and plugged the RP500 back in, using headphones. Still buzzing. VERY aggravating.

    I know this is a long shot, but could this be a humidity issue?
    Last edited by s6275; 12.17.08 at 05:02 PM.

  5. #5
    Eruption
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    Sometimes it can be the type of lighting, Flourecents can cause alot of noise/ hum !

  6. #6
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    I knew that going in. There are no fluorescent lights up there.

  7. #7
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    06.07.15 @ 10:30 AM
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    You mentioned the second and third floors. What about the first? Any noise there?







    Don't read this.

  8. #8
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    11.17.15 @ 08:56 PM
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    Quote Originally Posted by s6275 View Post
    I know this is a long shot, but could this be a humidity issue?
    If the buzz you describe is "fret buzz" ... sure.
    I wouldn't think it's likely to effect electronics unless your equipment is kept in a sauna.

    Is there a computer or any other electronic devices in the room?
    Last edited by Dino5150; 12.17.08 at 06:56 PM.

  9. #9
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    Thanks Dino. I noticed at one point that bringing the tip of my guitar cable closer to power sources and wireless devices made the buzz louder and changed it's character, so I started using the cable as a tester of sorts, and started unplugging devices from the circuit and switching off all the circuits except the one my amp was connected to, assuming that I would find the culprit in this way. Imagine the disappointment when I ended up sitting in the dark with my amp plugged in, with the signal still buzzing away.

    To confirm that there wasn't an amp problem, I unplugged the amp, and plugged the RP500 back in, using headphones. Still buzzing. VERY aggravating.

  10. #10
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    10.26.16 @ 03:37 PM
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    Hmmm, you said touching the cable sleeve (ground) solved it...

    That means that you are completing the circuit by grounding it like its supposed to be. Try ONLY touching the cable sleeve while it is plugged in to the guitar, and not touching ANYTHING else on the guitar. If the buzzing doesn't stop, then probably your jack is not grounded to the strings -- so either the ground is loose in the jack, or in the guitar circuitry, or the grounding wire to the Floyd claw isn't attached.

    I've had the same problem, and from the sound of it, you do not have an amp or house interference issue. I would say there is about a 99% change it is a bad cable or guitar ground.

  11. #11
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    Unplug all your rack gear and effects and try going direct.
    Try different cords and different guitars.
    With the process of elimination, you may find the culprit.

    If all else fails, check for EVP's (Electronic Voice Phenomena) ...
    Your house may be haunted.

  12. #12
    Baluchitherium
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    04.02.15 @ 07:26 AM
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrjstudios View Post
    Hmmm, you said touching the cable sleeve (ground) solved it...

    That means that you are completing the circuit by grounding it like its supposed to be. Try ONLY touching the cable sleeve while it is plugged in to the guitar, and not touching ANYTHING else on the guitar. If the buzzing doesn't stop, then probably your jack is not grounded to the strings -- so either the ground is loose in the jack, or in the guitar circuitry, or the grounding wire to the Floyd claw isn't attached.

    I've had the same problem, and from the sound of it, you do not have an amp or house interference issue. I would say there is about a 99% change it is a bad cable or guitar ground.
    my thoughts exactly. i know very little about house wiring in the u.s. but it cant be far removed from what it is over here in the uk (albeit a different voltage) but from what he's described it sounds like either the guitar or cable.

    borrow someone elses guitar and try that through your rig, try a different cable. eliminate those first before considering your amp or building.
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    Not because I have a great body, it's just an easy way to make sure I have the hotel swimming pool all to myself."...Bullwinkle for quite obvious reasons!

    "Dude, the cashier gave me the creepiest sneer when he rang up my unmentionables!"...Sassy Lassy during a Facebook conversation!

  13. #13
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    11.27.17 @ 03:32 PM
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    I'll start trying cables next. I have tried 4 different guitars already, though. If there is something wrong with the ground wire on all 4 guitars, I must be doing something horribly wrong.

  14. #14
    Good Enough SLEEPER5150's Avatar
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    12.03.10 @ 03:16 PM
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    Quote Originally Posted by s6275 View Post
    Thanks Dino. I noticed at one point that bringing the tip of my guitar cable closer to power sources and wireless devices made the buzz louder and changed it's character, so I started using the cable as a tester of sorts, and started unplugging devices from the circuit and switching off all the circuits except the one my amp was connected to, assuming that I would find the culprit in this way. Imagine the disappointment when I ended up sitting in the dark with my amp plugged in, with the signal still buzzing away.

    To confirm that there wasn't an amp problem, I unplugged the amp, and plugged the RP500 back in, using headphones. Still buzzing. VERY aggravating.
    This is somewhat remeniscent of a problem I had several years ago. In the winter time it was way worse, but what was happening was the noise you describe, but also a radio signal was also coming through my cabinet emulator. The funny thing was that it would only come through the channel A and not the B channel. Thought there was something wrong with the unit. Brought it in. Tested up and down and it was perfectly fine. Took it back home, hooked it up and there it was again. I spent about two months trying to solve the problem. You mentioned wireless devices. It turned out to be related to our house alarm system, which ues RF to comunicate between panels. It's not the RF itself, but somehow noise gets backtracked into the power supply. (faulty design) so the technician wired in some sort of noise suppressor at the transformers power source. He described it as something along the lines of what your car uses to eliminate the sound of the ignition system in your car. It was totally baffling, and I'm not saying for certain this is wahat you are experiencing, but if it sounds like it is a possibility, call an electrician and see if he can point you in the right direction as to how to test it. Good luck!
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  15. #15
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    11.03.17 @ 01:35 PM
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    My first guess would be in the cables. I will note that some newer homes, and homes which would have had recent renovations sometimes have poorer jobs done on their electrical systems than what has been seen in the past. For example, when we moved into this home (03), I had a devil of a time tracing down a low level hum in the subwoofer for my home theatre system. It turned out the the ground in the recepticle that the sub was plugged into wasn't completely grounded, which caused the hum. If the electrician had done his/her job properly, I would never have had an issue.

    Oh, and yes, I have been in every switch, receptical and overhead light since then to check on those connections as well. Even checked the breaker box, where I found that one of the lugs for the central air/heat wasn't properly tightened.
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