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New amp noise problem
Old 23rd October 2013
  #1
Gear Maniac
 
dans595's Avatar
New amp noise problem

I just moved into a new place, a house built in the 50's. The room I intend to use for playing music has ungrounded sockets, but the sockets in the kitchen are grounded (I verified this with one of those $5 socket testers). So I ran a 50 ft medium duty extension cord from the kitchen to the room.

I plugged in my fairly new AC15 and turned it up. The noise was extreme. It wasn't a humming so much as just noise - a mixture of feedback, hum, etc. When I take my hands of the strings it's almost as loud as when I'm playing.

I'm going to have an electrician ground some more sockets for me so I can ditch the extension cord... But I'm wondering if you know what could be causing such extreme noise/hum?

Thanks!
Old 23rd October 2013
  #2
Lives for gear
 
Joe Porto's Avatar
 

If the house still has copper plumbing, you can try using one of those grey 2-prong to 3-prong adapters, and run a wire from the ground ring on the adapter and wrap it around a copper pipe.
Old 23rd October 2013
  #3
Gear Maniac
 
dans595's Avatar
I'll probably have a electrician simply run the ground wire to the sockets ib the music room. Still, my main concern is WHY is there this ridiculous amount of noise. It didn't happen at the old place (which was a much newer building).
Old 23rd October 2013
  #4
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eve69's Avatar
 

Old places have all sorts of cross impedance and just plain old noise. My house is 90 years old and it will squeal in one direction hum in another and be silent in yet another direction.
Old 24th October 2013
  #5
Gear Maniac
 
dans595's Avatar
Is there a solution for this?
Old 24th October 2013
  #6
Gear Addict
 
Tashez's Avatar
 

Buy a power conditioner and run all your musical equipment through it. I had one in my home studio and it eliminated and hums and buzzes that weren't meant to be there.
Old 24th October 2013
  #7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tashez View Post
Buy a power conditioner and run all your musical equipment through it. I had one in my home studio and it eliminated and hums and buzzes that weren't meant to be there.
Before you start buying power conditioners etc. check your tubes. I had a Fender amp that started sounding like it was a conduit to the pits of hell and it just turned out to be a bad tube.

Start there and if that isn't the problem then start exploring other options, such as a power conditioner.
Old 24th October 2013
  #8
Gear Maniac
 
dans595's Avatar
I appreciate the suggestion. The amp is like 4 months old only, and the day before I moved to the new place it worked like a charm... so it seems a bit unlikely that the tube is suddenly gone bad?

Power conditioners - that makes me very nervous, because most of the time I hear about them on these forums, people are saying how they didn't do anything at all for them, etc. Tashez - were you having substantial amp noise before the conditioner? How old is the building you're in? Etc?
Old 24th October 2013
  #9
Quote:
Originally Posted by dans595 View Post
I appreciate the suggestion. The amp is like 4 months old only, and the day before I moved to the new place it worked like a charm... so it seems a bit unlikely that the tube is suddenly gone bad?

Power conditioners - that makes me very nervous, because most of the time I hear about them on these forums, people are saying how they didn't do anything at all for them, etc. Tashez - were you having substantial amp noise before the conditioner? How old is the building you're in? Etc?
In my case I had brought the amp to local store to trouble shoot it and see if it needed repairs - the issue didn't even show up there. When I plugged it in back home it acted up again. I had an electrician come by and wasted a ton of time trying to resolve the issue. Then I finally brought my amp to a tech and it was resolved in minutes.

Tube amps can be finicky...don't be too hasty to rule out an amp problem.
Old 24th October 2013
  #10
Deleted User
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While preamp tubes can become microphonic very quickly these days, if you're getting this worse when you take your hands off the strings, I believe this is a ground issue. You need to look into a dedicated, properly grounded AC service line being installed...at least for the studio portion. I had to do that for my condo and it's not nearly as old (30 years). My tube amps were noisey, the spring reverbs were screwey, all sorts of gremlins. A conditioner doesn't fix all that. My electrician is a talented musician/recordist himself and knew what needed to be done. A new line with its' own conduit did the trick.
Old 24th October 2013
  #11
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eve69's Avatar
 

If when you turn a circle while the guitar is amped if the noise gets stronger and weaker then it's a power sharing/too many transformer problem. Myself - I play in a room full of electronics. One thing that helped me right off was to put the overdrives/distortion pedals in their own socket, and the amp in another socket. Dedicating those sockets to them.

Also, some guitars are noisier than others, and not divided by pickups alone.
Old 24th October 2013
  #12
Gear Maniac
 
dans595's Avatar
Since I'm planning to ground the sockets in that room anyway, I was wondering about your opinions on this.

My options are to connect the sockets in my music room to the ground line that already exists, or to put a second earth rod in outside of the room/house and connect the sockets of that room through the wall to the second rod.

A contractor recommended the latter, saying it would be "cleaner." What say you?
Old 25th October 2013
  #13
Deleted User
Guest
My power installation included a copper spike driven into the earth (and the earth was mixed with some sort of potassium salt) for the ground path. Certainly worth a try.
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