If I touch the pedal or the strings and the hum goes down in volume....

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Whippet, Apr 29, 2019.


  1. Whippet

    Whippet

    Aug 30, 2014
    If I touch the pedal or the strings and the hum goes down in volume, but does not completely go away.

    If I turn up the gain and master, obviously it gets worse.

    If I turn on the overdrive pedal it gets seriously bad, that I cant drown the hum/buzz with my playing.

    The amps dont make any noise, connected to the same outlet as the distortion pedal.  I even connected it to a portable battery operated amp and the result was the same. As soon as I connect the distortion pedal, it starts making noise.

    I have used all different types of power supply units for the pedal from Zoom ac adaptor, One Spot, Strymon, generic POS, etc etc. I cant get rid of this stupid loud hum. Is there a remedy for this? What am I doing wrong?

    Thanks for all information and advice in advance.

    Forgot to write, no other pedal is attached except for this overdrive pedal.
     
  2. Warpeg

    Warpeg

    Jun 20, 2005
    Ohio
    What kind of bass are you using?
     
  3. Whippet

    Whippet

    Aug 30, 2014

    single coil jazz, Musicman Stingray HH, PJ, etc. Every single one makes sound this loud humming sound. In fact I noticed that it makes a crackling sound when I touch the nobs.
     
  4. Whippet

    Whippet

    Aug 30, 2014
    kinda fixed it by plugging the Strymon ac adaptor into the socket by itself, without using a multiple outlet with the amp head attached to it. The hum is now acceptable but for some reason it seems like it gets louder as I keep it plugged longer.

    Single coils do produce hums but this isnt that kind of a hum. It is 100 times louder and crackles when I touch the pedal.
     
  5. sissy kathy

    sissy kathy Back to Bass-ics Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2014
    Arbutus, MD
    Easiest solution is to get rid of the distortion pedal.
     
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  6. Warpeg

    Warpeg

    Jun 20, 2005
    Ohio
    Troubleshoot the pedal and each cable in your chain to isolate the issue.
     
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  7. Whippet

    Whippet

    Aug 30, 2014
    I wish! Cost me a fortune!
     
  8. Whippet

    Whippet

    Aug 30, 2014
    Will try that tomorrow when I get some more cables.
     
  9. JKos

    JKos Supporting Member

    Oct 26, 2010
    Torrance, CA
    Is there a possibility the pedal is malfunctioning or wired improperly internally?

    - John
     
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  10. Whippet

    Whippet

    Aug 30, 2014
    I was thinking about that and to get the answer, I am taking it to my teacher this coming week or next week. I am also thinking of taking it to the tech that recently rewired my transformer to see if the pedal is working correctly.
     
  11. 12BitSlab

    12BitSlab Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 28, 2016
    Liberty Township

    Sunk cost fallacy.
     
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  12. 202dy

    202dy Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2006
    "One who cannot cast away a treasure at need is in fetters."
    J.R.R. Tolkien


    First trouble shoot the electrical circuits in your practice room. Then trouble shoot the signal chain including guitar on the input side through the effects to the amp.

    Distortion pedals tend to add noise. If this turns out to be the problem the choices are few and simple. Either get rid of it or learn to live with the noise.
     
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  13. Whippet

    Whippet

    Aug 30, 2014

    Thanks for the step by step instruction. I have asked an electrician to come and look at the wiring. Also I am getting a grounded multiple outlet to see if this makes a difference.

    Next week I am taking my pedal to my teacher to see what he says about it and try using it at his place to see if noise still comes through. If it does, I am sending it back for replacement.

    If all come out positive, I am just going to have to live with the noise.

    Thanks once again.
     
  14. No one has mentioned cables. Bad shield will lose audio ground connection. You’re able to restore the audio ground when you touch metal. Isolate the pedal with two good cables. If it’s still bad check the jacks. This seems physical at the connections and not electrical.
     
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  15. Whippet

    Whippet

    Aug 30, 2014

    will try this today with a bunch of cables. Thank god I have 8 spare instrument cables!
     
  16. Otis66

    Otis66

    Apr 29, 2019
    First thing you should do is check the outlet your amp is plugged into to see if it is wired correctly. I have a circuit tester that plugs into my surge protector that my amp and effects are plugged into.
    I had a problem your discribing that was an outlet I was using.
    Four outlets in my room and the one I was using had a bad ground causing all kinds of noise.
    http://www.walmart.com/ip/Power-Gear-3-Wire-Receptacle-Tester-50542999/16561511
     
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  17. Lownote38

    Lownote38

    Aug 8, 2013
    Nashville, TN
    I'd bet money that it's the pedal. In my experience, the more expensive a compressor, or distortion pedal is, the more prone to malfunctions they are. I stay away from expensive boutique pedals for that reason.
     
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  18. Whippet

    Whippet

    Aug 30, 2014
    I will go to the hardware store today and look for this. Thanks for the information. The worst part of this hum is that it seems to get louder and louder, the longer I play.
     
  19. Whippet

    Whippet

    Aug 30, 2014
    I brought it to my teacher and left it at his place, who is going to check it out in the next few days. He'll tell me if this thing is working properly or not.
     
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  20. Otis66

    Otis66

    Apr 29, 2019
    You’re not playing in front of a computer screen or other electrical interference device are you?
    I keep a circuit tester in my surge protector at all times. Especially at outdoor gigs and old venues. At outdoor gigs there should be a ground rod hammered in the ground to ground all mics amps and sound gear. Old venues are wired differently than modern wired buildings, no ground wire returning to junction box.
     
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  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
    Jun 19, 2021

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