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Thread: Humbucker humming?

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    Default Humbucker humming?

    I've got a simple problem/question. After rewiring a guitar, I noticed it had a slight hum, which increased when I strummed the strings (or the pickups were picking up noise for that matter). It was a slight hum and after completely wiring it again, the hum was back again.

    I decided to isolate the problem and go to the source; the humbucker itself. Its a four conductor seymour duncan (I've used this pickup only months ago in a guitar before and it worked flawlessly), so I took the bare and green, and grounded them directly to an output jack. I twisted and soldered the red and white together. Then I took the black and connected it directly to the hot output on the output jack. It still hums. I tried attaching it to a perfectly working volume pot. Just as you might of guessed, it still hums. Everything is grounded and I even went so far to take it out of the guitar and have the pickup completely on its own. This didnt help.

    When I touch the bottom metal plate of the humbucker, or the metal poles that "pickup" the sound, it reduces the sound but still not as quiet as it should be. I have a perfectly fine working fender highway one with a humbucker and it makes a little sound when its picking up sound, but nothing to noticable.

    I understand my amp makes noise and some hum is inevitable. Im pretty sure my amp has a noise gate and when the sound is being picked up some of the hum leaks through when the distortion is high. The amp is functioning properly. I've tried different cables also. The humbucker it just hums on its own when there is no reason for the noise gate not to suppress everything. I took an old epiphone humbucker with no problems too and attatched it to an output jack and it also hums. But like I said, I have a perfectly good working fender as a control. The same problem occurs at a friends house on a different amp, with different cables, which work with his guitar and such. I DONT KNOW ANY OTHER FACTORS TO CONSIDER.

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    Cake Mire cakire82's Avatar
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    Default Re: Humbucker humming?

    May it be related with the shielding of the guitar? Is it shielded properly?

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    Default Re: Humbucker humming?

    The wires are properly shielded. The cavity isnt, but I didnt think that shielding effects humbuckers so much. Also, a humbucker completely out of a guitar, hooked straight up to an output jack shouldnt have this problem, at least I've never seen them have this problem before.

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    Cake Mire cakire82's Avatar
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    Default Re: Humbucker humming?

    Not as much as single coils of course but i have seen couple videos where a HB equipped guitar had humming problems due to improper shielding of the guitar.

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    Default Re: Humbucker humming?

    I've used this SH-4 seymour duncan only a matter of weeks ago in a guitar with no shielding and it worked fine. It doesnt sound like a shielding problem either.

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    Slam Dunk da Funk Funkfingers's Avatar
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    Default Re: Humbucker humming?

    Belated welcome to the forum.

    It seems to me as if your humbucker has developed a grounding problem. This could be inside the pickup itself.

    If the HB is of the open bobbin variety, you need to investigate the solder joints beneath the protective tape. The most likely failure is either a dry solder joint attaching the bare ground wire to the metal baseplate or physical breakage right next to this solder joint.

    If your HB has a metal cover, it will be necessary to detatch this first.

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    Default Re: Humbucker humming?

    Funkfingers, I think you're right. I took the guitar to a guitar tech at a local music shop and he said its something with the humbucker, not the guitar. I've narrowed it down. When I hook everything up directly to an output jack and dont touch it at all, the (sh4) side that is blank (no adjustable poles) most 2 outer poles on both sides make a buzz when I touch them. However, when I hold the bottom of the pickup or any other part of the grounding, the buzzing goes away for those 4 poles. The poles with a flathead slot work perfectly fine.

    Also, I bought an SH2 off ebay for this guitar project that does the exact same thing, which makes me wonder if thats why it was sold on ebay. I trust learning how to fix one will teach me how to fix the other. Regardless, its not the amp, cable, or even my own house that's doing that to these pickups.

    How can I tell what the problem is exactly with the grounding, and is this an issue I should take up with seymour duncan customer support?

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    Slam Dunk da Funk Funkfingers's Avatar
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    Default Re: Humbucker humming?

    A full, detailed explanation will require an exploded diagram of a typical humbucker. This would illustrate where to look for weak/damaged/broken connections and/or wires coming into contact with something that they should not.

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    Default Re: Humbucker humming?

    Quote Originally Posted by ACR4V3N View Post
    I've got a simple problem/question. After rewiring a guitar, I noticed it had a slight hum, which increased when I strummed the strings (or the pickups were picking up noise for that matter). It was a slight hum and after completely wiring it again, the hum was back again.

    I decided to isolate the problem and go to the source; the humbucker itself. Its a four conductor seymour duncan (I've used this pickup only months ago in a guitar before and it worked flawlessly), so I took the bare and green, and grounded them directly to an output jack. I twisted and soldered the red and white together. Then I took the black and connected it directly to the hot output on the output jack. It still hums. I tried attaching it to a perfectly working volume pot. Just as you might of guessed, it still hums. Everything is grounded and I even went so far to take it out of the guitar and have the pickup completely on its own. This didnt help.

    When I touch the bottom metal plate of the humbucker, or the metal poles that "pickup" the sound, it reduces the sound but still not as quiet as it should be. I have a perfectly fine working fender highway one with a humbucker and it makes a little sound when its picking up sound, but nothing to noticable.

    I understand my amp makes noise and some hum is inevitable. Im pretty sure my amp has a noise gate and when the sound is being picked up some of the hum leaks through when the distortion is high. The amp is functioning properly. I've tried different cables also. The humbucker it just hums on its own when there is no reason for the noise gate not to suppress everything. I took an old epiphone humbucker with no problems too and attatched it to an output jack and it also hums. But like I said, I have a perfectly good working fender as a control. The same problem occurs at a friends house on a different amp, with different cables, which work with his guitar and such. I DONT KNOW ANY OTHER FACTORS TO CONSIDER.


    i had very simular issues i could never resolve... i had a pair of 59's neck and bridge models that make all sorts of hum thru a tele parts guitar... a few times i re-wired it with new jacks, pots and switches, new wires, new sheilding... re-did everything quite a few times and pulled my hair out... I sent the Bridge PU to a few people to look at and had local techs test all my connections... nothing...

    in a rage i almost smashed the whole guitar and said to hell with it... i packed it up and it sits in the closet to this day and i have never tried to stick other PU's up in it as yet...

    i also have a Duncan Custom that is way noisier then my other Custom... i've had them in the bridge position of the same guitar with the same electronics and the one is noisey... no idea why!

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    Default Re: Humbucker humming?

    Quote Originally Posted by Funkfingers View Post
    A full, detailed explanation will require an exploded diagram of a typical humbucker. This would illustrate where to look for weak/damaged/broken connections and/or wires coming into contact with something that they should not.
    Before I dive right into disassembling these humbuckers, I'm curious to know how Seymourduncan customer service can help (if any at all). Anyone know? I bought these off eBay, and the sh4 worked for a year with no problem. It seems to be a design flaw, one that they shouldn't put there name on if they can't back it.

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    Default Re: Humbucker humming?

    ^
    If the problem is a design flaw then almost every passive humbucker constructed in the last fifty plus years shares it.

    Strictly speaking, on pre-owned pickups, SD customer services is under no obligation whatsoever to assist.

    I am ninety nine per cent confident that the problem you have experienced with two separate SD humbuckers is either dry solder joints or physical abuse. i.e. Straining the output cable. Dry solder joints and/or output conductor breakages are simple (if fiddly) to repair.

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    Default Re: Humbucker humming?

    Yeah I think you're right. Thanks for the help funky fingers and I'll let you know how it goes.

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    Default Re: Humbucker humming?

    Ok, now that I opened the humbucker, I cant see anything wrong with any of the leads or grounding. What are the chances that the problem is related to the connections between copper leads wrapped around the coil and the wire leads?

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    Default Re: Humbucker humming?

    Hello,

    I have the same problem than ACR4V3N but with a Cusom-Custom (SH-11) and a 59 (SH-1). Even tried with the pickup completely on its own with the jack. Obviously when I touched any metal, some light buzzing is gone, but the main humming continues.

    I have a Deluxe Strat with SCN pickup and an old ibanez with xh-2 pickups which don't hum whatsoever, at the same level, same cables...

    So I wanted to know if you've been able to solve your problem and how?

    Thanks a lot.

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    Default Re: Humbucker humming?

    Well well welll. I too have that problem... good Sd pickup, new, an invader sh8and yes I have it wired correctly .I am no muppetttt... But still it hums.. I wonder if Sd have a defective buch of units... I am swopped this SD out for an other make.. and yes, it worked fine.. I put t back in and no.. it hummed like a cow on acid... If you get a fix for this let me know.. cheers old chap

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    Default Re: Humbucker humming?

    Hello i am new to the forum and i have been trying to answer the same question for some time now.I have bought a pair of APH-1 ad here's the problem
    When the toggle switch is on treble or neck it hums and when i set the switch in middle position on my LP it stops and it's quiet as night!!
    why???????????????????

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    Default Re: Humbucker humming?

    Quote Originally Posted by JuanAdamo View Post
    Hello i am new to the forum and i have been trying to answer the same question for some time now.I have bought a pair of APH-1 ad here's the problem
    When the toggle switch is on treble or neck it hums and when i set the switch in middle position on my LP it stops and it's quiet as night!!
    why???????????????????
    Your guitar is picking up mains hum. This is very common, and as you correctly surmised is due to how the components are grounded and shielded.

    Usually this is simple to fix. The first items to check are:

    Your guitar lead and amp - does the noise go away if you use different ones?
    All solder joints. Are they all solid?
    All components are grounded, with short connections to the common ground?
    Is there a grounded shield? And if so, is everything connected to it?
    Move the selector switch - does the noise vanish in some positions? This will indicate a dodgy connection in the positions where the noise occurs.

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