Picking up interference on guitar
ONDRAY
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#1
8th December 2009
Old 8th December 2009
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Thread Starter
Picking up interference on guitar

I know a guy who moved into a new condo. Plugged in his guitar and got tones of interference. No other audio devices except the guitar are getting interference (which makes sense), it's not a hum/ground loop... When he's moving around, it alters the interference.

He found out he's living next to a mobile phone service provider.

What can be done to fix this issue?
#3
8th December 2009
Old 8th December 2009
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Ben B's Avatar
 

Is he using stock single-coil pickups?

-Ben B
#4
8th December 2009
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#5
8th December 2009
Old 8th December 2009
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Jack Pettit's Avatar
 

The copper tape?
Yes I use that on my guitars.
I cover the cavity in the body and the inside of the pickguard.
I think it helps, but I also have good grounding, balanced power,
and on and on.
#6
8th December 2009
Old 8th December 2009
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I picked up a phone conversation on a guitar recording the other week! So funny. But a bit annoying as we just had to wait it out...
#7
8th December 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oli_W View Post
I picked up a phone conversation on a guitar recording the other week! So funny. But a bit annoying as we just had to wait it out...
It should have made it onto the record!

-Ben B
ONDRAY
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8th December 2009
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Thread Starter
Thanks for all the recommendations. so besides shielding cables and the guitar pickup area, there's no device or method to redirect interference for a whole room. Instead of bieng just instrument specific.

The interference is more of a buzzing, not so much radio or cell converstation. But it's not a hum or components buzz.
#9
8th December 2009
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There are supposed to be some good single-coil pickups available that reject noise, like the Kinman "Zero Hum" stuff.

-Ben B
#10
8th December 2009
Old 8th December 2009
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#11
8th December 2009
Old 8th December 2009
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Gear addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben B View Post
It should have made it onto the record!

-Ben B
Lol, my client actually heard it on one of the mixes i sent! I say leave it in to, you never know, it might never get removed. It's really really quiet though.
#12
8th December 2009
Old 8th December 2009
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I've had this problem in many different places I've lived. Often, it's been times when I've got some high gain pedal on, or when I had my old crappy wah that was like an antenna. It used to pick up religious broadcasts on AM. It was awesome.
Having shielded and properly grounded components obviously goes a long way to help with this. Sometimes when a vehicle passes by that has a boosted radio (illegal or not), this can creep into your signal as well. One town I lived in, my stereo used to pick up this one cop car. It would come right through the loudspeakers, even when all the components were off!
I'm not sure about what I'd do with a cell phone service provider next door. Go to humbuckers most likely.
On a slightly tangential note, I had a set of the DiMarzio Virtual Vintage pickups in one of my strat style guitars, which was supposed to sound just like a vintage pickup, or something like that. They worked as advertised, they were definitely less sensitive to interference, but they had this really, really high pitch thing going on that would make my ears hurt after ~40-45 mins of playing or so. Swapped em out for a set of Fralins, which were noisier, but sounded to my ears more than twice as good and non fatiguing. I'm sure there are tons of people that have had much success with the stacked single coil designs, though. FWIW.
#13
8th December 2009
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Probably the only thing that will do the trick if the signal is strong:

Faraday Cage--http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Faraday_cage

It also might just be the design touch his music room needs.
#14
8th December 2009
Old 8th December 2009
  #14
3 + infractions, forum membership suspended.
lining cavities/pickups with copper foil does the trick. You can buy it at stewmac cheap. Sometimes cable tv or a satalite dish can cause problems if not for the 1,000,000 other things. Things like a 60h hum from a refrigerator motor, electric furnace etc...

Isolation transformer will usually solve the problem cost you like $100-150. Copper foil works for me though. Pain in the butt but worth the effort. An other option which sucks, are active pickups. no hum. The new EMG passive pickups are super quiet though. Ironically the pickups that are the noisiest are seymours? and they sound the best tone wise? go figure. you can't win

Are you sure it's the git-ar? could be a bad cable or a non shielded wire in the guitar
ONDRAY
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#15
8th December 2009
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Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by studiostuff View Post
Probably the only thing that will do the trick if the signal is strong:

Faraday Cage--http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Faraday_cage

It also might just be the design touch his music room needs.


Yup, that's the one.. lol, it's got a nice modern look too. .
#16
9th December 2009
Old 9th December 2009
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alkooloid's Avatar
 

Kinman pickups. Sound great, no buzz. Now in P-90!
#17
11th December 2009
Old 11th December 2009
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DAWgEAR's Avatar
 

I am familiar with this individual's case from another forum. He posted a clip of the hum. The hum is 180Hz. Does that suggest anything?
#18
11th December 2009
Old 11th December 2009
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Ben B's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by DAWgEAR View Post
I am familiar with this individual's case from another forum. He posted a clip of the hum. The hum is 180Hz. Does that suggest anything?
180 Hz is a harmonic of 60 Hz. When people hear ground hum, they are often hearing harmonics of the actual 60 cycle hum.

-Ben B
#19
12th December 2009
Old 12th December 2009
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Thanks, Ben. I re-analyzed the signal. 60Hz is there, but the harmonic at 180Hz is stronger.

Looks like he is actually dealing with 60 cycle hum.

There was speculation about RFI and a nearby cell phone service provider. Is 60 cycles consistent with these or does it point to something having to do with wiring or devices in his condo?
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