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#379084 - 12/02/03 12:29 PM tele hum  
Joined: May 2003
Posts: 419
kit Offline
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kit  Offline
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Indianapolis, IN, USA
any old tele dogs around here? just started playing with a used mexican and i love it - but it's noisy beast! my other guitar is an epiphone with humbuckers, so dealing with a noisy guitar is new for me.

i figure i'll shield and ground the control and pickup cavities, -- not the actual pickups. any other tips for controlling hum without compromising the ringing highs in that tele sound (and without dropping a bunch of cash on boutique single coil pickups)?


------------------
kit malone
http://www.kitmalone.com

#379085 - 12/02/03 01:52 PM Re: tele hum  
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Jody Whitesides Offline
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Park City, UT, USA
Get a stacked humbucker. It's a humbucker in the space of a single coil. It's a very effective way to get rid of hum without having to alter the wood of the guitar for a fullsized humbucker.

Seymour Duncan makes a good line of them, and you can probably find one that will retain a more single-coil type sound without the hum.

Jody


Jody Whitesides
A Funky Audio Lap Dance For Your Ears!
www.jodywhitesides.com
#379086 - 12/02/03 09:12 PM Re: tele hum  
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Bob Young (D) Offline
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Bob Young (D)  Offline
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chicago il usa
I hate to disagree with my learned friend Mr Whitesides..but..

If you bought a tele cos' you want the "tele" sound...
Stacked humbuckers anin't gonna get it.

You have to learn the "Tele Dance"..

It's the little step all of us Tele players do to find that place on the stage where the guitar dosn't buzz too much.

In the studio ya gotta turn off certain lights and if you're working with a computer set up and you're near the monitor you're in extrememly deep [naughty word removed] !

I wouldn't trade my little Mex Tele for anything..but buzz....yeah...it's just part of the deal !

Bob Young

#379087 - 12/02/03 09:59 PM Re: tele hum  
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Marty Helly Offline
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Florence, MA, USA
turn off certain lights

Turn off ALL the flourescents!

If I remember right the last time I looked behind the pickgaurd of a Mexi-tele there was no shielding in the cavity, so a little copper foil can go a long way to fix the problem without losing the quack and twang you do want.


Marty my home

Experience is that marvelous thing that enables you to recognize a mistake when you make it again!
#379088 - 12/03/03 08:21 AM Re: tele hum  
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kit Offline
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kit  Offline
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Posts: 419
Indianapolis, IN, USA
i am going to copper tape and ground the control cavity and put foil backing on the pickguard (i got awesome instructions and tips from guitarnuts.com). i'm not too keen on putting any humbuckers in there...

1. i'm too poor, and have made a deal with myself to not buy any more guitar equipment until next year.

2. i like the way this guitar sounds bright as a bell and i don't want to screw it up. i already have a guitar with buckers for when i wanna shred.

3. i know i'll never *totally* eliminate hum in a single-coil guitar, especially at high gain levels, i just wanna minimize the problem as much as i can.

we don't have any flourescents in our rehearsal space... BUT i also learned that by using the fx loop on my amp for my tube pre, overdrive, and tremelo pedals rather than just running in a chain from my guitar i *significantly* decrease noise levels. they're still there but no longer drowning everything else out. duh - i suppose that's why they put that there.

and bob - i am slowly learning the tele dance but i keep tripping over guitar cables! i'm just all left feet.


------------------
kit malone
http://www.kitmalone.com

#379089 - 12/03/03 10:25 AM Re: tele hum  
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Ray E. Strode Online content
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Ray E. Strode  Online Content
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Brunswick, Ga. USA
Hi All,
Boy I am sure glad to read about these problems with these electric guitars. I just bought my 2 grandsons for Christmas each an Epiphone WILDCAT LTD hollow body Guitar with tremelo. If there are hum problems I now have some info to work with. I guess I will stick with my Acoustic Martin a while longer.


Ray E. Strode
#379090 - 12/03/03 02:10 PM Re: tele hum  
Joined: Oct 2003
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Vincent Tomasso Offline
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Vincent Tomasso  Offline
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Philadelphia, PA
Ray, I wish I was one of your Grandsons! Nice gift!

------------------
http://www.geocities.com/veryvince/

#379091 - 12/04/03 11:16 AM Re: tele hum  
Joined: Oct 2003
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Vincent Tomasso Offline
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Vincent Tomasso  Offline
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Philadelphia, PA
Fender has no hum strat single coils, they may have a tele set as well, not sure. Worth checking out though. The Fender ones are nice.

------------------
http://www.geocities.com/veryvince/

#379092 - 12/04/03 05:48 PM Re: tele hum  
Joined: Sep 2001
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songman Offline
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Sunland, Ca
You could have your pick-ups "potted" this is when they are dipped in a parafin (wax) to quiet them down considerably without sacrificing tone. It works! Enjoy your Tele!


TJ Sullivan
#379093 - 12/06/03 12:01 PM Re: tele hum  
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 8,574
Mike Dunbar Offline
Mike Dunbar  Offline


JPF Mentor

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Nashville Tennessee
I agree with bob. I haven't heard any of the no hum pickups that sound like a real tele.

The paraffin dip helps stop the "microphonics" that occur when the coil wires can vibrate, I used it on my old tele that started making a lot of noise when you tapped the guitar. It reduces any buzz that you might be getting as "feedback" buzz, but I don't think it helps the root cause.

If you have a buzz that increases when you take your hands off the guitar, you can carry a short wire with alligator clips on either end. Clip one wire to the string behind the bridge, clip the other end to the metal saddle. That should help with that.

Memphis producer and session player Jim Dickinson told me a story about coming to play a fancy new studio in Nashville. Jim brought an old Fender and it buzzed. The young engineer kept looking at the board and trying to locate the source while Jim just smiled at the players. The engineer asked, "What is that noise?" Jim answered, "In Memphis, we call it a Fender."

In the studio, you can ground the studio using no dimmers or florescents; mic the amp with some distance, not the best for tone, but it can help with the background buzz; use a noise gate; do bob's dance; overdub a shaker (I use this a lot, [Linked Image] )

Another studio trick is to eq the buzz out as much as possible, then either manually fade the eq in and out at the slow attacks and releases, or set it to "key" with a side-chain compressor. This is a lot of work, but I used it once on a cool track with an annoying buzz. It worked fairly well and was better than losing the track or having the gate flutter on the fade ins and fade outs.

Easiest solution?
Love the Buzz,
Mike

------------------
Mike Dunbar Music


You've got to know your limitations. I don't know what your limitations are. I found out what mine were when I was twelve. I found out that there weren't too many limitations, if I did it my way. -Johnny Cash

It's only music.
-niteshift

Mike Dunbar Music

#379094 - 01/22/04 09:21 PM Re: tele hum  
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 22
Pkern Offline
Casual Observer
Pkern  Offline
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Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 22
Hoboken, N.J. USA
Shielding the guitar is the perfect first step.

Your amp is plugged into a grounded outlet isn't it?

Some dimmers also create that annoying hum with single coil guitars so try shutting off any lights on dimmers.

Shorter cables can help. Moving the amp can help.

If the hum is 60 cycle, a narrow EQ can drop that without affecting the overall sound but if its radiation from neon or flourescent lights or a computer, you either have to play some place else or tell people how much you love it. Most bars/clubs have neon inside and out.

Other than that, it's pasrt of the charm of the Terlecaster Sound.

#379095 - 02/04/04 01:54 PM Re: tele hum  
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kit Offline
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kit  Offline
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Indianapolis, IN, USA
thanks for the responses everybody. shielding worked like a charm. it still hums very lightly, and only occasionally, but everything is now more than tolerable for live playing - even with distortion.

in case you're curious, here's what i did.

1. aquired some copper sheilding tape from stewart macdonald, some wire, and a soldering iron.

2. lined the inner cavities and the back of the face plate with copper tape.

3. used the wire to connect the pickup and control cavities to make sure they were all electrically contiguous.

4. made sure the leading edge of the tape in bridge pickup cavity made contact with the backside of the bridge (thus grounding everything). i just taped it so that a little tab covered up the screw hole, and screwed the metal bridge back on like normal.

wah-la ... massively decreased hum! the whole thing took me like 20 minutes and cost me about 15 dollars in materials - and didn't change anything about the look or tone of my stock tele.

------------------
kit malone
http://www.kitmalone.com

[This message has been edited by kit (edited 02-04-2004).]

#379096 - 02/23/04 03:10 AM Re: tele hum  
Joined: Nov 2003
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Joe Wrabek Offline
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Joe Wrabek  Offline
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Joined: Nov 2003
Posts: 6,403
Garibaldi, OR USA
Folks:

It sounds like you may be discussing a problem that's not specific to Telecasters.

I've got an ancient (25+ years old) D'Armand pickup in the soundhole of my J-200, and I've got a hum. I was convinced the hum was coming from my old practice amp (a 2-channel tube-model Austin--cute li'l thang), so I got a new amp, a little Dinosaur. No tubes--same hum. Replaced the guitar cord--same hum. I figure the hum's gotta be in that old pickup.

Now, I had the volume control disabled a long time ago, so the pickup operates at full (theoretical) power--I control volume from the amp. Question becomes: What do I look for? Or is this somewhere where I should be seeking professional help? And if so, do I seek it from a guitar shop, or can any electronics shop do it? I.M.W.T.K... And thanks.

Joe

#379097 - 02/23/04 06:49 AM Re: tele hum  
Joined: Dec 2001
Posts: 4,001
Jody Whitesides Offline
Jody Whitesides  Offline

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Posts: 4,001
Park City, UT, USA
Along the lines of the copper shielding that people tend to use, there is actually another product that I think works better.

It's called shielding paint. It's a special paint made for shielding electronic cavities. I use it in every guitar I own. You paint 5 or 6 coats or as many as you want really, the more layers you use, the better your shielding is in the pickup hole. Lot less hassel than taping a copper sheet. Much nicer in look and ease of application.

You can get it at the Stewart MacDonald website I believe.

Jody


Jody Whitesides
A Funky Audio Lap Dance For Your Ears!
www.jodywhitesides.com
#379098 - 02/23/04 11:46 AM Re: tele hum  
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kit Offline
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kit  Offline
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Indianapolis, IN, USA
Quote
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Whitesides:
Along the lines of the copper shielding that people tend to use, there is actually another product that I think works better.</font>


Yeah - I read about that stuff... almost got a can when I got my supplies, and I'll probably use it next time.

By the way - I (heart) the StewMac catalog, now. Everytime one comes in the mail, I find myself reading it from cover to cover with pure avarice.



------------------
kit malone
http://www.kitmalone.com

#379099 - 02/23/04 10:59 PM Re: tele hum  
Joined: Mar 2002
Posts: 2,096
TrumanCoyote Offline
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TrumanCoyote  Offline
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Joined: Mar 2002
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Quote
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Mike Dunbar:


Easiest solution?
Love the Buzz,
</font>


My kinda guy!

#379100 - 02/24/04 03:44 AM Re: tele hum  
Joined: Nov 2003
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Joe Wrabek Offline
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Joe Wrabek  Offline
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Joined: Nov 2003
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Garibaldi, OR USA
I do tell people, "Yes, my guitar is humming along with the music."

Joe

#379101 - 02/27/04 01:31 PM Re: tele hum  
Joined: Jul 2003
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Gary Gustin Offline
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Gary Gustin  Offline
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Aston, PA 19014
I am a Tele Dog from way back when.

I use a 1966 Telecaster that is beat looking. I have autographs all over it from family, friends and Jam buddies. It has been refretted twice. The maple neck is

Just last month, I took it to Medley Music in Bryn Mawr,PA and had Fender Texas Tele Specials put in from the Custom Shop.
These pickups sound great but they are still noisy except in the middle position.

It's part of the Tele mystique...Noisy yes but a classic sound for sure. Tele slingers make a statement...period.

If not, I hear Gibson and Ibanez also make guitars.

Gary

#379102 - 02/27/04 06:47 PM Re: tele hum  
Joined: May 2003
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kit Offline
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kit  Offline
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Posts: 419
Indianapolis, IN, USA
I know what yr saying about the noise being part of the "character" of the guitar.

Nothing that anyone does will eleminate buzz totally... but the buzz in my guitar was almost unbearably loud... really you occasionally couldn't hear the guitar over the buzzing sound.

now that i'm done shielding it -- there's still a low level of it, but it's totally liveable now. Really only noticeable at high gain levels. The tone of the guitar is completely unaltered, otherwise.



------------------
kit malone
http://www.kitmalone.com


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