Amp buzz w/ Telecaster... Any solutions?

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Recycled_Brains
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Amp buzz w/ Telecaster... Any solutions?

Post by Recycled_Brains » Mon Feb 11, 2008 8:26 am

I have a Telecaster that I use with a vintage Ampeg Reverberocket, and the single-coil pickups generate a whole lotta buzz throught the amp. Is there any solution to this, other than standing in the other room? It's often audible when I record with it, and it drives me nuts.

I have a couple of SG's that are fine, and noise free, but sometimes I need the Telecaster sound.


Thanks in advance.


-ryan
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Post by joel hamilton » Mon Feb 11, 2008 8:48 am

Read below what justin and roscoe say about this topic.
... I clearly have no idea how to record, or what a guitar looks like... ;)

Seriously though, thanks to everyone who posted some actual facts. :)
Last edited by joel hamilton on Mon Feb 11, 2008 8:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Recycled_Brains » Mon Feb 11, 2008 8:52 am

joel hamilton wrote:higher output pickups. Even if they are single coil.
That is the only way i have found to really, truly make it work. You can also wire the bridge pickup out of phase with the lipstick, and at least have the option of a humbucker that way.... That works well, I have heard it with my own ears on one of Roscoe's tele's. (roscoenyc on this board).
would something like this work? The only thing about that particular device that causes concern to me is this (taken from the manual):

"NORMAL/STRONG TOGGLE SWITCH ? Sets the amount of Hum Elimination. In NORMAL
mode the Hum Debugger removes only the odd harmonics from the hum present in your signal.
In STRONG mode the Hum Debugger removes both odd and even harmonics from your signal?s
hum content."


Would that have a negative result on the overall sound, or can it be specific to the "hum"? I obviously am not interested in removing odd/even-order harmonics produced by the valves.


-ryan
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Post by fossiltooth » Mon Feb 11, 2008 9:04 am

joel hamilton wrote:You can also wire the bridge pickup out of phase with the lipstick, and at least have the option of a humbucker that way....
This is so awesome. I actually get to correct Joel Hamilton! Here's my revenge for that time when you proved you knew more about hardrives than me!

What you're thinking of is the effect of having two pickups, one of which is RWRP (Reverse Wound Reverse Polarity). If these pickups are wired in parallel, the noise hum will be canceled out, but the actual signal will remain in phase. In the 70's RWRP became a stock feature for the middle pickup on Strats. You'll notice that the hum disappears in positions 2 and 4, but is present when any pickup is used by itself. This is also common of he neck pickup in most modern teles.

Contrary to Joel's post, this is not the same as an out-of-phase pickup combination, or a humbucking pickup. These are actually three distinctly different concepts.

A humbucking pickup is wired in series, and therefore has much hotter output. If the two pickups are reverse polarity only, you'll get signal cancellation, resulting in a very thin sound. Some guitars incorporate a polarity switch for one or more pickups that will allow this tone as an effect.

Companies like Seyymour Suncan and Dimarzio make hum-cancelling single coil replacements that are meant to sound like single coils. They're made with two small magnets, one of which is RWRP. You can try them. Some people think they're close enough, or better in tone, and love them. Some people hate them.

My sure cure for recording single coil instruments in situations where a low noise floor is a necessity?

Have the player swivel in his/her chair until you find a spot where the hum disappears. Try it. Just rotate your torso. Unless you're in a building, with really sucky wiring, you will find a spot where the noise essentially vanishes.
Last edited by fossiltooth on Mon Feb 11, 2008 9:11 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Post by GooberNumber9 » Mon Feb 11, 2008 9:09 am

Recycled_Brains wrote:
joel hamilton wrote:higher output pickups. Even if they are single coil.
Would that have a negative result on the overall sound, or can it be specific to the "hum"? I obviously am not interested in removing odd/even-order harmonics produced by the valves.
Since this would probably go between your guitar and amp, it would probably eliminate all the buzz from the guitar signal BEFORE the amp and therefore and odd/even harmonics that would be created by the amp would not be affected. At the same time, it seems like this will change the sound of your pickups, although probably only slightly. Probably it is a big set of notch filters that run at multiples of 60 Hz.

In terms of Joel's suggestion, I loves me some G&L Magnetic Field Design pickups, which are single-coil and relatively high output. Also, there's tons of stacked humbucker designs out there now that are noise eliminating and still sound like vintage single coils.

If you must stay with the best-sounding set of low-output vintage single coils, then you will probably have to move to the other room.

Todd Wilcox

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Post by Recycled_Brains » Mon Feb 11, 2008 9:19 am

thanks for the awesome responses guys. one other detail... i like the sound best when using both pick-ups, in which case the hum/buzz is lower than when using just the bridge or neck pick-ups, but still a problem....

if i were to investigate replacing the pickups with the hum-eliminating type, would i then have to replace both pickups to reap the benefits of that?

EDIT: i'm seeing that dimarzio and duncan both have the tele-style humbuckers sold in pairs (1 bridge/1 neck).

-ryan
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Post by Recycled_Brains » Mon Feb 11, 2008 9:40 am

anyone have experience with Duncan Vintage Stacks?


-ryan
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Post by sears » Mon Feb 11, 2008 9:42 am

If you turn yourself and the guitar around in a circle, isn't there a spot (viewed from above, an "o'clock") where there's no hum?

The ashtray cover helps too, but you have to be comfortable playing with it.

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Post by roscoenyc » Mon Feb 11, 2008 9:56 am

my telecasters have Fralin pickups in them. (glad you liked that guitar Joel)

I have the neck pickup "Reverse Wound" by Fralin.
Means that when I'm in the middle position I get hum cancelling.

Most of the hum cancelling pickups that I've tried don't have the full range of the single coils (Less highs mostly)

Another option is just to let that shit wail and then use something like the Waves Restoration de-noise software on it afterwards.

Little things like good cables and finding your null point can help also. I'll do almost anything to fly the single coil flag.

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Post by roscoenyc » Mon Feb 11, 2008 9:58 am

Recycled_Brains wrote:thanks for the awesome responses guys. one other detail... i like the sound best when using both pick-ups, in which case the hum/buzz is lower than when using just the bridge or neck pick-ups, but still a problem....



-ryan

If you like the middle position you can just replace the neck pickup with a "Reverse Wound" pickup. It will work great.

"Reverse Wound" is different than just switching the output wires from the pickup.

Get 'em here
http://www.fralinpickups.com/telestyle.asp

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Post by Recycled_Brains » Mon Feb 11, 2008 10:42 am

sears wrote:If you turn yourself and the guitar around in a circle, isn't there a spot (viewed from above, an "o'clock") where there's no hum?
there's a spot where it gets better, but i'd rather not have to stay stationary like a statue while i play. :wink: if i have a band tracking live at the studio, i don't want to have to make them do it either. it's one more thing to worry about, that i'd rather try to eliminate all-together.

-ryan
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Post by Recycled_Brains » Mon Feb 11, 2008 10:44 am

roscoenyc wrote:If you like the middle position you can just replace the neck pickup with a "Reverse Wound" pickup. It will work great.

does the reverse winding have any adverse effect on the sound when using just the neck pickup?

-ryan
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Post by ashcat_lt » Mon Feb 11, 2008 10:52 am

If you're getting hum-cancelling in the middle position as you said then you've already got a RWRP in the neck. Or, more accurately, one of your pickups is RWRP from the other. There is no real standard for this, and swapping out for another pickup, even one marked RWRP, could cause problems.

Contrary to what somebody said above in an attempt to correct someone else, this is the exact same concept as a humbucker. The fact that most humbuckers are wired in series has nothing to do with the hum-reducing quality. In fact this will give you the option of having your tele pickups in series, which can be seriously cool! Contrarywise, you can wire a humbucker in local parallel (the two coils of the bucker in parallel with each other) to attain a sound that is much closer to that of a single coil. A little more volume and all the hum-cancelling you'd expect if it was wired in series. BTW - this local parallel thing is often exactly what pickup manufacturers are selling as single-coil sounding humcancelling pickups.

All that said, my suggestion is to shield the thing first, then get back to us.

Edit - for grammar, starting two sentences in a paragraph with "In fact," poor form.

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Post by Recycled_Brains » Mon Feb 11, 2008 10:59 am

ashcat_lt wrote:If you're getting hum-cancelling in the middle position as you said then you've already got a RWRP in the neck. Or, more accurately, one of your pickups is RWRP from the other.
the hum doesn't cancel, it just gets a little better, but still not ideal.

-ryan
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Post by ashcat_lt » Mon Feb 11, 2008 11:07 am

Yeah, then shield it.

If both pickups had the same magnetic polarity and winding direction you'd get MORE hum in the middle position.

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